One man's attempt at literacy

Category Archives: Musings

As a gay dude in a committed relationship, I often take for granted the plight of all the single ladies out there, in search of a good man to settle down with/settle for. But I feel it is my duty as a non-stereotypical gay best friend to look out for my lady friends’ interests and give them hope that they, too, will be able to have a stable, loving, and committed relationship with a guy, even if he is a blatant homosexual. I say this because, according to a recent ranking of the “50 Best Cities to be Single In,” based on a Facebook survey, ladies in my current city of New York are totally screwed.

Ladies, remember that knowledge of graphs is almost as sexy as desperation.

Being a Political Science expert, I’ll help break down this very accurate and not-dumb survey, and what it means for all of you single ladies concerning your abysmal chances to procreate:

  • If you’re in the Midwest, good news! Your chances of finding a man to settle down with in the middle of nowhere are great! And by great I mean there are only three women looking for a relationship to every man if you live in Fort Worth, Texas, which is much less depressing (but still depressing) than the 45:1 in New York City.
  • In Colorado Springs there are a lot of single people and a lot of people who are constantly getting into relationships. This is both good in that it means that you’re very likely to find a significant other in Colorado Springs, and very likely to change your mind eight minutes later. Note: Facebook statistical analysis did not account for 10 year old girls who change their Facebook relationship status after holding hands on the bus ride home and then again when they realize boys are gross.
  • Unfortunately, there are 48 single women for every single man in San Francisco, and 80% of those are super gay (and 10% are just regular gay). This means the chance that a woman who is currently single in San Francisco will find the right man is smaller than finding a golden ticket in a candy bar and becoming the heir to a chocolate wonderland (though, arguably, not as cool.) is a thing?

    Pretty much.

  • Speaking of California, there are four Californian cities on this list and the highest rated one, Sacramento, is still 28 of 48 on the list. This basically means if you’re looking to get companionship in Cali, ladies, you might as well just buy eight cats now.
  • It’s also important to note that this “50 best” list only has 48 cities. It’s clear this could only have occurred because there were two other cities even lower on the list than San Francisco, as dubious as that sounds, and the desperate, single women there decided to take action and blow their towns up.
  • Despondent Settling Lesbians will become more prevalent after seeing these results. Now, I know as well as anyone that whether or not you want to be with a man or a woman isn’t really a choice, but most people would rather not be in an unhappy marriage than a happy one and yet they choose companionship. I mean, if it came down to being alone forever or being with Ellen Degeneres despite her strange anatomy, wouldn’t you choose the latter?

    Loneliness realistic valentines

    This quote works for both the top and bottom point! Magical!!!!

  • In Detroit only 1% of people are single. This is because of the buddy system that developed in Detroit to avoid all the muggings, which has led to many fun bonding situations. After all, who would you rather marry than the person who is willing to stand by your side as you travel down the most notoriously dangerous streets in America? It’s like the beginnings of a dark romcom directed by Nora Ephron and Quentin Tarantino.
  • Finally, we have New York, near the bottom of the list, but still more hopeful than the gay paradise of San Fran on the opposite coast. New York is the setting of Sex and the City, a show that makes it seem as though there are so many men wandering around that you can simply find boyfriends by bumping into them on the sidewalk or taking an exceptionally long elevator ride. As realistic as a show about a woman who can afford an East Village apartment, a closet full of Manolo Blahniks, and cosmos on the regular with the salary of a weekly magazine columnist is, New York simply isn’t the place to find the love of your life. Unless the love of your life is a pair of stilettos, in which case, you go, grrrrl (I say that the sassy gay way to distract you from any rising hopelessness at hearing these facts).

Awhile ago, I wrote about Snapchat. In my view, Snapchat is the worst app ever; I mean, it’s just like texting only worse in pretty much every way.

And yet, it’s massively popular. While it doesn’t necessarily make much money, it could be bought, like Instagram was, to a bigger social media company for seven or eight figures.

What happened with Snapchat wasn’t too unique; in fact, a good case of something else like this is a little game some of you may know called “Farmville.” Farmville was a Facebook based app that allowed you to pretend to farm things to your little heart’s content, without the burden of actually interacting with nature. Thousands upon thousands of people made in-app purchases, because who needs to use money to buy real food when you can use it to buy virtual food, right? With the success of this app, Zynga took off, gobbling up other games and milking them for all they’re worth, like Farmville Hungry Hungry Hippos (which, by the by, makes no sense), and the Words With Friends board game (which is basically like Scrabble only less fun, more expensive, and BLUE!).

All was going well in the land of Zynga until a few weeks ago, when the company announced something: they were doing really poorly. The company’s attempt to ultra-monetize existing brands like Words With Friends in counter-intuitive ways (“Let’s make our cheaper app rip-off of Scrabble into a more expensive board game rip-off of Scrabble!”) just turned out to be ultra-stupid. But that’s what happens when something is successful; we try to use it, and make it more successful, without acknowledging that there is a point where growth is bad.

Photo property of Dabe Allen.

(As a little note, the best example of this is not an app at all, but Starbucks, which used to be much bigger until people realized they don’t need mediocre coffee on every street corner in New York and Seattle)

In the time of Myspace, Facebook, Snapchat and Zynga, one successful app is enough to set you up for the rest of your life, and propel you forward more than any other single product in the history of the world. Zynga and Facebook — they’re investing all this time and money, making halfhearted apps and inheriting successful or semi-successful apps and websites because we live in an age where to strike it big, while infrequent and unpredictable, can cover the cost of hundreds of other failures.

What will be the next Snapchat? I don’t know. All I know is I never suspected that, given the absolutely moronic premise, I’d need to use the phrase “the next Snapchat” to begin with. Time will only tell how many media moguls will spring up and throw dumb ideas at us in the hopes that it’ll catch on despite its stupidity.

New York is known for a few things: wonderful and innovative food; the world’s best art and fashion; and terribly, horribly rude people who are always in a hurry. Coming from Montana the mere mention of New York will set Ma or Pa off on a tirade about how “them people dun’ know how ta just settle down an’ be nice for one gosh durn minit!”  Even people who have never been in New York nor really interacted with a New Yorker will discuss at length with you the problems of those awful East Coasters and their refusal to act with a modicum of politeness.

And to an extent, they’re right.

Property of the Village Voice The thing is, if you move to New York you are often in a rush, and you do get a bit ruder. You have to. But it’s not because you get sucked into some sort of respect-stealing black hole, or because the city is located on top of a portal to Hell, a la Buffy; the problem is that so much of being in New York is about waiting.

Let me explain: when I lived in Montana I lived seven miles out of town. This means that to drive to me (and pretty much everyone I know had a car or had access to a car) took roughly 15 minutes — maybe 30 minutes if they lived on the opposite side of town and it was snowing and there was traffic AND they happened to stop and watch a group of deer grazing on the way. Living where I did, I often had friends tell me they didn’t want to come over to my house because it “took so long to get there.”

Fast forward a mere month to New York, where I discovered that the first apartment I moved into was a mere 15 minutes away from the first friends I made in the city and we all did a little dance, because, suddenly, being 15 minutes away was amazingly close.

So, you see, New Yorkers don’t rush because they are self important; they rush because they waste so much time not moving at all. Meeting a friend for a quick cup of coffee doesn’t really happen in New York because getting to that coffee shop often takes twice as long as the meeting itself, and who wants to do that?

When we discuss why New Yorkers rush, we must discuss the rudeness — ah yes, the signature trademark New Yorker attitude. The rudeness is born not of spite but of futility. If you have never lived in New York or an equally bustling metropolis you will never understand the fury that overcomes you when two people with suitcases decide to waddle down the sidewalk, side-by-side, at the speed of molasses on a Canadian winter day. Sometimes walking through the streets of New York make me feel like I’m in the labyrinth and have to get past the minotaur, only there isn’t a single minotaur; there are seven million immensely slow hulking creatures blocking my path and ensuring my loss of sanity.

Property of Unspoken Cinema (?)

This is what the population of New York looks like to me now.

It’s like Chinese water torture: one slow person, ten slow people, you can deal with, you move past them without a second thought. But at some point, maybe around 6,723 humans that seem intent on being nothing more than fleshy roadblocks, someone moving slower than my grandma does in her walker is liable to make the bile rise up your throat and into your eyeballs.

And what about stopping in the street to check your directions? If you need to find out where to go, I don’t begrudge you for pulling out your map or smartphone to check your location — I once got lost for two hours shortly after moving because I thought I was going south when I was going east — but if you’re going to do that, do it while leaning against a wall, not at the top of the bloody stairs!

Every New Yorker tries to exert some sort of force over their own transit-fate because, ultimately, they are powerless. Finding the worst place to stand in the entire department store and slowing everyone down isn’t done out of ignorance; it’s raising your fist at the heavens and shouting, “You see? I can do that too!” And then desperately sobbing.

Property of ModDBWhile we’re on this subject, let’s talk about honking, a side effect of the fact that sometimes automobiles seem to lurch slower than a senior pushing a shopping cart down the sidewalk. Only, when talking about honks we must talk like Yoda. “Honks lead to anger; anger leads to fear; fear leads to the Darkside. Born of the Darkside, honks are, and lead to the Darkside, they do. Only causing more honks, honking does.”

The truth is New Yorkers are ruder sometimes, yes. We can’t deny it. This is not because of some miasma of anger lurking in the streets; it’s just because getting around this city is such a pain in the butt.

Property of Howard University Library.

“A New Yorker doesn’t rush because it has a destination, it rushes because the lady in front of it has just gotta move.”

I know why the New Yorker Rushes

And gripes and sneers at windows,

Empty Starbucks in his hand.

No taxi in sight again and

The Q train has not arrived in so long.

She wishes for freedom

A way to escape these endless avenues.

Perhaps a turquoise Vespa,

or even a lawnmower.

If you live in New York and aren’t ridiculously wealthy, you’ll have to get used to riding the subway. It’s a sad fact. Now, normally the subway isn’t that bad; hell, in the summer an air conditioned train can actually be a reprieve from the swamp that is Manhattan.

But there is one time when riding the subway is vaguely reminiscent of the apocalypse: rush hour. Just like the rush hour you might experience driving in LA, before and after normal work hours are the most dreaded parts of the day to travel, and in New York you get the added terror or public transportation~! Dun dun dun.

Me getting off at Times Square for brainsss

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In the past week, two things happened: Occupy Wall Street “turned one” (though that seems like bad wording because the movement is mostly dead), and I became aware of the $3 Change For Change movement, which is all about supporting candidates who pursue campaign finance reform through “Money Bombs” — that is, getting as many people to donate $3 as possible to those campaigns. While these two movements might seem different, they are essentially the same. Continue reading

Generally, I try to stay away from topics about religion because it’s almost impossible to discuss anything religious without person A rolling his eyes or person B punching person A in the nose, etc. But this week I am making an exception because I am not discussing religion so much as I am discussing history. Specifically, the history of something more near and dear to my heart than many other subjects: alcohol.

Nine out of ten deities agree, one improves the other!

Now, to call me an expert on the Christian religion would be unfair, as I know less about it than I do about lamps — and all I know about them is I love lamp — but I do know one thing; Jesus Christ, revered as a savior by over 2 billion people in the world, was the world’s first oenophile (wine lover). Continue reading

I’ve decided to start doing the Weekly Writing Challenge to ensure I actually, you know, write when not completely brain dead. This week, this first week, I actually almost ended up admitting defeat (though it may be too late anyways?) before I had even started but then something hit me: if I gave up so quickly, McKayla Maroney would definitely not be impressed. Continue reading