Things have gotten a little silly around here, and I’d like to call for a unilateral disarmament. The following solutions will only work if everyone agrees to them, so let’s all get on the same page, got it? Here’s my Unilateral Disarmament List of 7 Things We Ought to All Agree On:
1. Rock Shows – We’re up on stage playing a gig, and the entire band is wearing earplugs. The sound guy is wearing earplugs, the bartenders are wearing earplugs, and I look down into the audience, and the people up front are wearing earplugs too.
emotin’ all over!!!
Can we cut the charade, please? Let’s all agree to unilaterally lower all band concerts by thirty decibels. Let’s all take our earplugs out, the bands promise not to give you tinnitus, and let’s all go home happy, yes?
2. DVD Loading – Rarely does technology take you backwards, but DVD and Blu-Ray discs have done precisely that by forcing you to watch all the FBI warnings and piracy crap we used to fast-forward through on the VCR. Not only that, but the new discs don’t even allow the MENU button to work until you watch an endless array of trailers and other ads that have NOTHING TO DO WITH THE MOVIE.
Let’s disarm: let us fast-forward through the warnings and give us the MENU option, and we will probably watch the trailers anyway because it’s our choice. Movie lovers respond to moronic behavioral constriction with illegal downloading, y’know.
3. Letters Mean Things. What is wrong with this picture?
I’ll tell you what – you have given the butter a grade that does not exist. Exactly how much better is AA than A? And is there an AAA? Can we please all agree to go back to a grading system that means something FOR ALL FOOD?
I know what “A” means normally: “just fine, and you should consume it.” I know what “B” means as well: “it’s probably just fine”. If it works for high school quizzes and the sanitation grades for restaurants, why can’t it work for everything else?
4. Clothing Sizes – Many of you huskier dudes have noticed something of late: you are able to fit into 34 or 36 waist-size pants. I’m told the same has happened in women’s dress sizes; a friend who had been a 10 is now fitting into the occasional 6.
Psychologically, I have to say “well done”. You clothing manufacturers have convinced us that we’re doing far better than we thought. But ultimately, this game has no shelf life, and it’s getting woefully inaccurate. The tailor at my sister’s wedding said that a men’s 41-inch waist is called a “36-inch waist”. Where’s the science?
While we’re at it… Nike, can you just go ahead and make your shoes a half-size larger so we don’t have to get frustrated every time we forget your idiosyncrasies? Oh, and ice skate shoe companies? Why do I wear a 13 in all shoes, but an 11 ice skate?
5. English Words – Yes, pretty much everyone uses the word “literally” wrong and says “I could care less” and “irregardless”. People sell “cookie’s” and “hot dog’s” and lean painfully on conversation filler words like “y’know”, “um” and “like”. I, myself, get “arcane” and “archaic” mixed up all the time, and in fact, have an error in this very sentence.
But we should absolutely disarm this line of opprobrium, mostly because complaining about it is super goddamn boring, and besides – how else can you feel superior if your fellow Americans don’t give themselves away?
6. PZEV – Oh come on… Partial Zero-Emission Vehicles? Isn’t that like saying “free with purchase”? And “Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicles” sounds like something a 3rd-grade boy made up for comics class. Can’t they just follow our butter lead and have a grade? A = Awesome, F = Fucking Up Our Environment.
7. Sports Drugs – Look, just make steroids and hormones legal, and in turn, we agree to give a shit about baseball again. It’s obvious they can’t test for everything, and the kabuki theater we get in the meantime is embarrassing. The reason every kid in Brooklyn loved the Dodgers in the ’40s was because they thought they could be one of them someday. Now that dream is shattered, and there’s nothing left but lies and dwindling ticket sales.
As for the NFL, we want our thick-necked freakshows as thick and freaky as possible, so don’t even worry about testing them. But all you other sports – and I’m looking at you too, bike racing – just drop all the pretense and show us your needles.
Or you could all agree to give up the juice, and in return, us sports fans would offer amnesty and judgment-free forgiveness. We would be okay with asterisking the Steroid Era (the way we do the Dead Ball Era) and we’d start anew. Attendance would skyrocket, and kids could have their heroes back. That’s a unilateral disarmament worth daydreaming about.