Simpsons Already Did It!

What’s the deal with airplane food? Men like sports, women like shopping. One Cinnabon is big enough to feed a family of four.

The lack of originality in the world is shocking. We’re about one movie remake – or “re-envisioning” – away from Revenge of the Revenge of the Nerds. Or perhaps America will flock to the theaters to see Mannequin 2 remade in eye-popping 3D.

Did you hear about the edgy new sitcom coming this Fall? It follows a group of friends living in *insert large metropolitan city here*as they navigate their way through the twists and turns of this crazy thing we call life. Men and women trying to “just be friends”? Let the hilarity ensue!

Or for those of you with a more serious side, I heard there is a shocking new drama coming about a group of cops/detectives/scientists/authors/psychics who solve crimes/investigate crime scenes/prosecute criminals. The stripper was killed by her jealous boyfriend that was a suspect in the beginning of the show, but then stopped being a suspect? ~That’s quite the twist ending.~

The “Recommended Reading” aisle at Target is like walking the halls of the most depressing animal shelter in the world. Apparently all you need to write a book nowadays is a blind cat, three-legged dog or a ferret with bipolar disorder. Tell the harrowing tale of one of man’s furry friends overcoming a disability and BAM! You’ve got a bestseller.

“Sara looked out as Rover frolicked joyfully in the backyard. She watched how he played with such youthful exuberance and for a brief moment, Sarah felt a pang of sadness. No one who saw Rover’s carefree spirit would guess that he was deaf, diabetic and had lost part of his tongue saving a newborn baby from a possum.”

Wait… didn’t something like that happen in Lady and the Tramp? See… I can’t even come up with an original dog-saving-baby-being-attacked by-wild-animal story.

You’d never know it by the final outcome of these posts, but I actually have pretty high standards for myself. I never feel like any of my ideas are original enough. Writing about Facebook? It’s been done. A story about Rebecca’s Black’s song Friday? How trite.

But apparently we don’t get sick of things as easily as you might think. We’re a culture obsessed with what’s fresh and new, but it would seem that we also enjoy the same old, same old. That or we’re just really stupid and can’t tell when we’re being fed the same idea over and over again.

Did you know that high-calorie beverages make you gain weight? How about the fact that there are jobs available in health care? If you weren’t aware of these facts, then you’ve never once been to the Yahoo! homepage.

Listen to the Comedy station on Pandora radio. The comedians’ topics are all basically the same, they’re just presented in different ways. Yes, yes, Snuggies are hilarious and women can’t drive. I think I just came up with my first standup bit.

So what’s the point that this snarky self-helper is trying to make? There are no original ideas left in the world. Even writing about how there are no original ideas isn’t an original idea. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Life would be pretty dull if we got bored that easily. It’s the way in which the material is presented, not the originality of the idea that matters.

Now if you’ll excuse me, there is a marathon of Intervention/Addicted/Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew on that I must watch.

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Facebook Doesn’t Annoy People, People Annoy People: Part 1

Have you ever run into an acquaintance and had that split second moment where you considered jumping into a rosebush so you didn’t have to talk to them? I bet you’re friends with them on Facebook.

Why does Facebook exist, really? It’s not really for professional networking, that’s LinkedIn. It’s not really to follow celebrities or companies, that’s Twitter. It’s not… eh… I won’t even bother mentioning MySpace because no one has logged in to that website for five years.

As far as I can tell Facebook is meant to help us keep in touch with friends, family and those acquaintances that we actually like. But that’s a dream world scenario.

In reality Facebook keeps us “connected” with a few key people and the other 250 (or 1,237 if you’re one of “those” people) are just filler.

Ask yourself this question: should you be “friends” with someone if seeing that it’s their birthday makes you think “ugh… do I really want to waste 20 seconds wishing them a happy birthday?” Or better yet, seeing it’s their birthday makes you go “it’s whose birthday?”

We all have them. The people who pop up on the screen and we’re annoyed before we even read what they’re going to say.

Oh, look! Another vegan recipe. When I decide to switch to that super expensive, not-allowed-to-eat-anything diet I’ll be all over that.

What’s that? Your kid used the potty for the first time? Let’s hope that doesn’t end up ranking in the top 10 achievements of their life. Judging by the fact that you just potty trained a five-year-old I’m thinking the chances aren’t looking too good…

There’s the irritating ex-neighbor who is obsessed with posting 80’s music videos. Ten YouTube videos in a row from a band whose drummer has been dead for 12 years. Each post with its own ever-so-ingenious caption such as “sweet song” or “Your gonna love this one. Its awesome” Catch the grammatical error there? Grammar jokes, people. Grammar jokes.

Then there is the elderly friend of your friend’s great-aunt that you met once at a wedding. They feel the need to share every “Repost this if you know someone who…” status that has ever been invented. This is the same women who will soon be ecstatic to learn she was chosen to inherit millions of dollars from an heiress – ha, that sounds like a British person saying hairless – Ugandan prince. All she has to do is send her social security number and bank account info. How could that ever be a bad idea?

What about that annoying friend with a blog who spends all her time pimping her latest entry and trying to get friends to “like” her page? They’re literally the worst.

Ugh! Or even worse… what about those idiots that are happy? Happy couples. Happy families. Happy cats. Vomit, puke, vomit. Go sell your crazy somewhere else, happy. We’re all full up here. Obviously I log onto Facebook to judge people, not be happy for them.

All joking aside, what’s this Snarky Self-Helper’s advice? Everyone on Facebook is annoying to someone. If you don’t like it, there’s this super simple solution called not logging on. Eh, who am I kidding? Being annoyed by people on Facebook is one of the greatest joys of Facebook. So let’s go stalk that weird co-worker… but first let me take a selfie.

We’re Not As Cultured As We’d Like to Think

People used to be so barbaric in their chosen forms of entertainment. There was a time when people would actually gather around the town gallows and watch others be hung to death for the sheer amusement.

I want to keep my posts fairly light-hearted in nature so I’m going to just ignore the fact that there are still places around the world that do this. Like most Americans I choose ignorance. Makes me feel less guilty when I’m bitching about traffic jams or how crowded it is at the mall.

Another entertainment pastime that was less morbid – but 100% politically incorrect – was the good old-fashioned freak show. Can you believe that people used to actually pay to stand and gawk at individuals with physical and mental disorders?

Oh, look! Jersey Shore is on…

As I’ve previously confessed, I love reality television. And I must admit that most of the reality shows I like are the kinds that make me feel better about myself through the art of judging.

My love of judging probably comes as a shock to those of you who know me. The secret lives we lead, right?

I personally don’t choose to watch shows like the aforementioned Jersey Shore. I want my reality television to trick me into thinking I’m watching a documentary. Makes me feel all classy-like.

Everyone has their own reality show sleaze-threshold. Mine cuts off right around any show involving a half ton man. I eat those types of shows up, so to speak, but I feel bad in the process.

Whatever your style of reality show, it will always contain some element of what I call the “Freak Show Factor.” We watch these people struggle and fail and make fools of themselves. And because of the freak show factor even the kindest one among us has had a moment of “I’m glad that’s not me.”

The Germans even have a word for this. They call it schadenfreude. The definition being: enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others. ~Shocking that the German people would go to the effort a creating a specific word for something so insensitive and cruel.~

If I were more thorough this is where I would insert some sort of information about the psychological principle behind all this. But I think you’re just as capable of using Google as I am.

So what is the point that this snarky self-helper is trying to make? We’re only human. Sometimes you just can’t fight nature. At least we’re cultured enough to feel bad about our schadenfreude. Or at least pretend that we do.