Category Archives: Random

Streaming Music Sucks

I’m sad to admit that I just recently got into the whole streaming music thing. My sister was kind enough to sign me up under her Spotify account so I wouldn’t have any excuse to not listen to albums and songs that she suggested. Seeing as it’s 2018 and I just now started to stream sounds really bad, so what the fuck have I been doing this whole time?

I’ve been pirating music like it’s 2005. You know, living in the past. You see I’m really fucking cheap and paying $10 a month isn’t a whole lot, but when I compare that to getting music for free, well, $10 is more than free. I also doubted that I would make that $10 worth while. It’s basically equal to purchasing an album every month or so, and I would probably never purchase 12-15 albums a year, so it’s a net loss for me even if it isn’t that much money. If I wanted to listen to something I’d pirate it or use some stupid Google Play credit or Amazon credit to purchase an mp3 version. Like I said, I’ve been living in the past.

So now that I got Spotify, how is it? It’s pretty damn cool, but it’s also pretty shitty for a few reasons. It has me nervous about music in the future, and while I’m probably overreacting I’m still nervous.

Spotify gives you an amazing amount of music, music that I’d never dream about trying to find and listen to. When I was pirating music I was limited to well-known albums, and full albums at that. Sometimes I’d torrent an artists entire discography and just select the albums I wanted. Other times I wouldn’t even be able to find a copy to pirate. I was recently trying to find The Lion King Soundtrack and The Lord of the Rings soundtracks but couldn’t find them anywhere. Would I purchase them somewhere or just go without? Pirating is cool because it’s free but it makes your choices rather limited. Sometimes you just couldn’t find what you wanted.

Spotify has the total opposite problem (a good problem to have but still a problem): now there’s too much music to listen too! I seriously have access to whatever the fuck I want to listen to and it’s rather overwhelming. I couldn’t find The Lion King or Lord of the Rings before but now I have access to both (or all 4 because LoTR is really three soundtracks…) as well as everything else in the world. I hop in my car to drive to work and I have no idea what to listen to now. LoTR, Death Grips, my sister’s playlist, punk music, rock music, Disney music, podcasts, and basically what the hell am I going to listen to now?

It’s like my post on how video games are too long: there’s now too much music for me to listen to and I don’t have the time or the focus.

My ADD seems to flair up quite a bit too with all of the choices I now have. I drive 20 minutes to and from work for a total of 40 minutes 5 times a week. I could listen to a single album each day if I really focused on listening to just a single album. But before work and after work I have differing moods. I want to listen to some upbeat shit on the way to work and some depressing shit after work. Focusing on a single album is nearly impossible unless it’s something like Animal Collective’s Feels by having the upbeat shit on the first half and the ambient, spacey shit on the second half. With the nearly infinite choice of music to listen to I find myself jumping from song to song and not enjoying a single artist or album in all its glory. I just go from favorite song to favorite song and hit after hit not giving two fucks about the “deeper tracks” that are out there.

That leads me to my concern: is The Album dead? Back in the 1950s and 1960s music was focused on hit singles; artists and companies would sell 45 rpm “singles” with a “b-side” and no one gave two shits about full length albums (LPs). This changed with some massively glorious albums released by The Beatles (Revolver, Sgt. Pepper, etc.) and The Beach Boys (Pet Sounds) among others. Those albums are meant to be a single album and experience and people started to make good albums and not simply good singles. I’m talking Ziggy Stardust, The Dark Side of the Moon, and other albums that are a single, solid piece of artwork. Hell, you can even go all the way to The Suburbs and The Lonesome Crowded West because those are fantastic. Oh shit! I forgot Doolittle! Obviously there are tons of other good albums besides those so don’t shit on me if I didn’t mention your favorite album ever. I was just making a point.

With streaming music I think things could change back to how they used to be with the focus on singles. This already seems to be the case with popular radio and has been for the past however the fuck long. The kids seem to know Taylor Swift’s newest song word for word but don’t know shit else from the album. They don’t give a shit about overarching album themes, deeper tracks, or the artist’s “purpose”. I guess The Album was still there holding strong even with radio and its focus on singles but now I’m not so sure. With so many choices, good songs, and our collective inability to pay attention at all I can envision The Album going the way of the CD and cassette tapes and becoming a relic of the past.

Or maybe I’m just a pessimist.

Streaming is pretty damn cool as long as my data usage doesn’t get out of control. But with all those choices of songs, albums, podcasts, and playlists, I just can’t sit down and focus on a single artist or album. That part kinda Sucks, but it kinda Sucks in a good way if that makes sense. I just hope people keep making quality albums.

Snowblowing (and Shoveling) Sucks

I live in Illinois and we recently had a moderately bad snow storm. It wasn’t really bad because we didn’t get two feet of snow but it was still enough snow to force you to shovel the driveway. After a certain amount of snow you just can’t reliably leave your driveway or alleyway without being stuck. And one thing that sucks more than shoveling or snowblowing is when you don’t shovel or snow blow and you get stuck in your yard. Then you have to fuck around with a shovel, bags of salt or sand, and dig your car out of whatever the fuck you got stuck in. Sometimes it’s easier to just shovel the shit than risk being stuck. That’s the kind of snow we just had.

We also live down an extended driveway/alleyway (we’re not sure what it officially is to the county) that is about 100 or 200 feet long. It’s long enough that I haven’t tried to measure the damn thing so I guessed at the distance. It’s a long way though. It’s also roughly 10 feet wide so that’s about 1,000-2,000 square feet of area that has to be shoveled. That’s a lot of shoveling.

Shoveling Sucks. It hurts your back, it’s slow, and more importantly you have to do it so you can get your vehicle to actually be able to be used. If you have money you can pay some punk-ass teenager to shovel it, or if you have even more money you can pay some guy (who will price gouge you) to plow it with his truck. But if you’re poor, well, say goodbye to your back because you’re clearing it with a shovel. Better go find yourself some Tylenol and/or Vicodins.

I used to hold snowblowing as the golden way of removing snow. That was partly because I’d have to shovel all the time and we didn’t have a snowblower. Thankfully, my dad brought over his snowblower so we could clear our driveway. I was pretty excited to not have to shovel because snowblowing is better. Right?

No, because Everything Sucks. Snowblowing is cool and all but it has its some fucking downsides. By not busting your back shoveling you gain a bunch of other downsides that are nearly as bad. Firstly, his snowblower was rather tiny and only cleared about a foot and a half wide path of snow. Doing the entire driveway took some time. In deep snow it would also shit out and die where you’d have to restart it with the pull cord. That happened about ten times.

Secondly, my god those things throw snow in a reckless manner. Shoveling allows you to put snow exactly where you want it but snowblowing just blows it wherever the fuck it wants to. We had our garage door opened and despite not trying to blow the snow inside it did it anyways. (I had to shovel it clear so the door would close.) You’d end up blowing snow where you already cleared. You’d blow snow on the porch, the walkway you just cleared, onto the vehicles, and even on the doors and windows of the house. The wind wouldn’t help matters either by blowing a cloud of cold, powdery, and wet snow all over your coat and into your face. Winter is usually a cold season so snow on your face is never enjoyable.

It’s also hard to do a good job when snowblowing. I either seemed to leave a few inches of snow underneath me or end up scrapping the hell out of our gravel driveway and tossing rocks everywhere. That really is a problem especially when you consider snow (and possibly gravel) is going everywhere like I said before. There was a small but non-zero chance of tossing a piece of gravel or a rock into a car window/house window and doing damage. And what if some poor fucker was walking down the street at the exact wrong time? That’d fucking hurt.

Oh yeah, it was also a two-cycle engine meaning I smelled like gasoline and oil afterwards. Time to wash my coat…

In the end it did it’s job admirably: it moved a fuck-ton of snow quickly and in a relatively easy manner. But don’t expect a snowblower to do a “good job” especially in areas you want really clean. I still had to get shovel the stairs and the porch and around the cars where the blower left an inch or two of snow that it just couldn’t seem to violently toss onto the side of the house. It wasn’t hard work, shoveling the remainder that is, but I originally thought snowblowing was an end-all to shoveling. It’s simple: if you snowblow you don’t shovel. And if you shovel you don’t snowblow because you don’t fucking own one. I was wrong. Apparently they’re complimentary and both of them suck in equally annoying ways.

Maybe I should move where there is no snow? Maybe that wouldn’t Suck. But it probably would.

An Update (Which Sucks)

So here’s what I’ve been up to the past few months (besides not posting a damn thing on Everything Sucks). I was working a new job which over the course of a half-year became unbearable. I worked for two package shipping companies which as you would expect was a mistake during the holiday season. I made it through peak season but instantly quit one of the jobs afterwards. Thinking about going back to that job makes me physically ill.

My sister said that motivation is like a muscle: you can only use it so much. She might’ve stolen that from somewhere so don’t blame me for stealing someone’s quote because I didn’t know about it. I suppose that working two jobs outside in the winter wore me out a bit and the blog suffered from neglect (along with my diet, my weight, my happiness, and my sobriety, etc.). I intend to change that now that I’ve quit.

A few of my older posts were rather political. Now don’t get me wrong, Donald Trump is a piece of shit and probably the worst president we’ve ever had, but there isn’t any point in blogging about it. The way I see it there is way too much political shit out there and I’m really worried that people are becoming fatigued by it. Trump Sucks, Trump Sucks day after day but we’re stuck with him so why fucking throw it up on the news nonstop. People are just to the point that they don’t give a fuck to hear anymore, or at least I am.

I took a break from the constant stream of news and toxic social media and the quality of my life improved immensely. Others should try not being exposed as much.

More to the point, why should I blog about it? As much as I’d like to think that I can change people’s minds I probably can’t. If the (“failing”) New York Times can’t get Trump supporters to change their minds with actual in-depth reporting why the fuck would some random unknown blogger such as TheBlackHairedGuy change any minds? It would be like expecting this shit to actually change my (or any anti-Trumpers) mind. It won’t and it works both ways. Their stupid shit won’t change my mind, and my stupid shit won’t change their minds.

Writing about politics itself Sucks. Trump is so goddamn all over the place I’d be chasing headline after headline and that’s exhausting. Even though it’d be “popular” to shit on Trump it’s a very cheap sort of popularity. Political posts also age very quickly and my last post about the Nazi dudes is such long forgotten news that it’s pointless to even have it up anymore. Do you even remember RyanCare? I sure didn’t.

I want Everything Sucks to be about things that Suck, but I want it to be in a fun and maybe depressing way. A sort of “Haha, life is shit, but it’s kinda funny.” So that’s what I’m going to try to stick to. And goodbye to the political posts because they Suck.

Instant Karma Sucks

Imagine (or probably remember at time when) you are driving down the road, nice and comfy, with your family and/or friends with you. You have the windows down, and the music playing, and the warm summer air whips all around the cabin and you love it because life is wonderful and beautiful. It’s a great time to be alive! But then you look in the rearview mirror and some jackass dickfuck in a beat up-ass car is coming up behind you really quickly. Like he’s doing at least 30 above the speed limit. And although the road is a two-lane road, he stays in your lane, right behind you, zipping up like he’s NASCAR IRL or some shit and only swerves over and passes you when he’s seconds away from plowing into your bumper. He’s obviously drunk because when he passes you he rolls back into your lane, once again like he’s driving in a NASCAR race, and nearly runs off the road. He’s drifting all over the place and lanes apparently don’t exist to this fucker. You immediately get pissed off, and silently (or not so silently) hope that the guy wraps his piece of shit car around a tree or a telephone pole. But there’s only one problem with that: he probably won’t because Karma Sucks and is never instant.

Karma, as understood in our culture which I’ll call American Karma, is usually explained as “getting what you deserve” and in the case of drunk piece of shit above, would be flipping his car over and hitting a telephone pole. Instantly. Karma, in an Eastern sense, has a more metaphysical meaning and I don’t want to get into that here. That is about people getting what they deserve as dished out by the powers at be in the universe in a cause-and-effect relationship. If you’re a jackass, so says the American flavour of Karma, sooner or later (probably sooner) you’ll end up getting what you deserve. Except it never works that way because the Eastern version seems to be the way shit actually works.

The problem with karma seems to be that it takes a long ass time for people to get what they deserve and what they do get is some mild, watered-down form of “getting what they deserve.” This does your sense of justice absolutely zero favors. We want to see the drunken jackass flip his car or truck over immediately, when in reality karma will serve him a much more subtler dish of revenge. Most likely, him being a drunk, he might be expected to have a shitty liver and eventually succumb to cirrhosis or some other drinking related disease in a few decades. Maybe he’ll have a heart attack because of that beer belly and high blood pressure? Drinking wreaks havoc upon the body in general, so you know the guy is going to get what he deserves someday, but that’s my point: someday isn’t really soon enough to us. What’s more satisfying? Seeing a guy wreck his truck and instantly getting what he deserves or knowing that in about 50 years his health won’t be good and he’ll die slightly earlier than usual? That doesn’t feel like justice, it feels too boring to be justice. But that’s reality.

Obviously wishing bad on people probably isn’t the nicest thing you can do, but some people deserve to have bad things happen to them just because of the negativity they bring to the world. It’s simply asking (or wanting) for consequences to catch up with a person. While I was using a drunk driver as an example of a person not getting their due consequence, there are much worse people out there than the drunk. What about the child molester? Or the terrorist? Or the murderer, kidnapper, and torturer? The amount of shit they bring upon people in the world should be immediately met by the universe, so we think, with a swift and just vengeance. But sometimes these people are only met with jail time, and in a lot of cases they can get off totally free. There is no justice sometimes, and the drunk who drives down the road might go a million miles without flipping his truck, and the child molester might not be caught and be held accountable for their deeds. It’s shitty because karma, while it might take forever to work occasionally doesn’t seem to fit the deed, and sometimes it doesn’t work at all.

So next time you see the drunk fly down the road all over the lanes, you’re going to want to see him roll his truck, but he probably won’t. When someone passes you doing 30 over the speed limit you might think you’ll catch them at the next red light, but nope, it’ll be green and there will be no justice for you, the law-abiding citizen. The drunk will make it home and abuse his family without flipping his truck and the speeder will make it home 10 minutes earlier than you will. He might even get the fresh french fries at McDonalds. Sometimes a person robs a gas station and gets away scott-fucking-free and nothing happens to them. The lazy asshole at work somehow gets promoted, and the corrupt millionaire gets elected as a senator. That’s reality and Karma, while it exists in some mild form while people suffer consequences maybe, someday, it’s not Instant, not gratifying, and that fucking Sucks.

Facebook Advertising Sucks: Avoiding the Echo Chambers

I’ve recently been experimenting with Facebook advertising and this blog. I’ve known consciously for a long time that any endeavour is successful in a large part by how you sell yourself: you can’t just have a really good blog or business or whatever and expect that word of mouth can carry you to success. You could have the best damn widget ever and no one will ever buy it if they don’t know about it. There is a lot of hard work and shamelessly selling yourself on the road to success.  I say I’ve known this consciously because while I’ve known it, I didn’t really believe it at a really deep level. Anyways, while I want this blog to be successful, I don’t really intend for it to be an actual business. I figure if I get a bunch of readers I could sell T-shirts or something, mostly so people can rock my sister’s logo design, but it isn’t a get-rich-quick sort of scheme. It would be cool to get more readers, and see if that whole “selling yourself” idea works, and it would be an interesting experiment if I ever did try to start a business. So that was my motivation behind advertising, to see how effective it really is and to learn from it.

So I advertised (“boosted” in Facebook parlance) a few of my posts. The first one I advertised was the post about writing and typing; it was a fairly tame post that I figured people might find enjoyable. If you clicked the link you can see that it did get quite a bit of shares, more so than most other posts (33! Shit! I didn’t know it did that good!).  Anyways, advertising on Facebook is cheap, easy, and does seem to get your message out to people. It also allows you to pick your audience by selecting interests that you want to target for your audience. Obviously for that post I selected people who liked reading, writing, and blogging. You want to advertise to people who the message will resonate with, obviously. More on that shortly…

For advertising my second post I wanted to go right for that juicy market that is Donald Trump hatred, and selected my scathing but fun post on covfefe. (And got 55 Facebook shares?!) It wasn’t so much trying to get those sort of readers, just that my first advertised post was fairly tame, and I wanted to get in on the mess of politics. When it came time to pick my audience it was obvious to select those who identify as liberal and who possibly lean towards liberal views. Duh. Like I said before, you want to target people who your message will resonate with. But this seems really cheap and easy, so I also targeted those who were very conservative and who leaned conservative. In a recent post about Echo Chambers (which I learned from advertising the covfefe post), I railed against people reading shit that agrees with their views. To me, what’s the point of advertising an obviously liberal point of view to people who lean liberal? I’d just be contributing to the “echo chamber” problem so why not advertise to the conservatives? So that’s what I did…

And it was kind of a mess.

First off, it finally clicked in my head that I had just spent $25 to target conservatives with a very anti-Trump post, and if you care to check this blog’s Facebook page, some people weren’t happy at all about it. Curiously, a bunch of liberals “liked” the post, but few conservatives shit on it, so I’m assuming many of the people angered by it just ignored it. Still, that isn’t as bad as shitting all over the page like some people did and could’ve, but it’s still wasted money by going absolutely nowhere. Advertising on Facebook Sucks because you pay to target an audience, so you’d naturally pick those who agree with you. No one in their right mind would pay to target those who hate their ideas and views. Imagine if Shell or Mobil gas tried to target electric car owners? Or if Tyson Foods advertised towards vegans and vegetarians:iIt’d be a waste of money.

Secondly, I don’t think this would get any sort of conversation going at all. Not a single conservative voter will read my blog posts and go “Hmm. He has a point. Trump is bad, what was I thinking?” The political posts I write are some vulgar, simple, and easy hit pieces on Trump and the Right, mostly because they make such obvious and easy targets on a page called Everything Sucks. While I don’t want my blog to only appeal and to target liberal-minded voters, trying to actually get a conversation going (while simultaneously shitting on Trump) on Facebook seems pretty stupid and futile. I mean if a newspaper as prestigious as the New York Times (“the failing @NYTimes”) can be labeled “Fake News” and shit on by Trump supporters, why would Everything Sucks and Facebook Advertising change anyone’s mind? It won’t…and I’d be dumb as hell to think it would.

So, in short, Facebook advertising is pretty cool if you just want to shamelessly support a page, company, blog, or whatever. It does work and is fantastic at getting your product (or whatever) out in the world for people to notice and perhaps utilize. This puts the success of your whatever on it’s quality and not if people have heard about it or not. My two blog posts got tons of views and shares after I advertised them, but in terms of trying to advertise to those who disagree? Hell no, because no one wants to spend money to reach people who will hate their message. Even if I’m trying to be inclusive and not contribute to creating my very own echo chamber, Facebook advertising sort of encourages advertising to people who will be supportive of your message. Facebook makes it so you can target an audience who will like your message, but this ease in getting positive feedback discourages any willful targeting of a dissenting audience, further contributing to people hearing what they want to hear. Facebook Advertising Sucks in getting a conversation going and further contributes to the problem of people having Echo Chambers where they can hear facts and opinions that already support their own opinions.

Writing and Typing Ideas Suck

Most of the post ideas for this blog come from me waking up at 3 in the morning and having to go pee. Seriously. For some reason, sleeping for a few hours and waking up sends my brain into overdrive and I seem to have all sorts of great blog post ideas randomly shoot into my consciousness. Most of these ideas even seem to write themselves as I think about them. As I go up the stairs and head to the toilet, my inner monologue takes control and I narrate an entire post in my head over the course of urinating, washing my hands, and proceeding to eat a bunch of shit I probably shouldn’t be eating at 3:00 a.m. Like Oreos. I walk around, stuff cookies in my face, and make an internal speech to myself about whatever happens to be on my mind and the narrative sounds really good too. Since I don’t want to work on the post at that moment — it being 3 in the damn morning — I promise myself that I’ll work on it the next day…

So, a week later I try my damndest to remember exactly how I intended to word the post as I finally sit down to work on it with little avail. Sometimes I even have to remember what the post topic was even about as I’d forget over the course of a week. I sit down, grab my laptop, and start typing away. I usually lose my train of thought after a few minutes and/or sentences with the introductory paragraph not really giving the type of intro that I wanted. The paragraphs don’t transition properly, and trying to write the post seems like trying to tame a wild horse (my analogies suck: future post). I want the blog post to make a certain point or sound a certain way but it ends up doing something similar but not really in the exact way I’d imagined it. I usually give up (“I’ll give it some time.”) and never return to the post idea again and if I do it never sounds nearly as good as the 3:00 a.m. monologue did.

Why doesn’t the 3:00 a.m. narrative pissing idea not work out? I have an idea that may or may not be true: because typing and writing ideas Suck.

In speech class a few years ago I noticed something. The first few speeches I did, which were also short speeches, I had used the maximum amount of allowable notecards that I could. I wrote down my points, sub-points, and my sub-sub-points. The introduction was even written word for word. Not so surprisingly (since I suck at public speaking), I didn’t do very well with those speeches. Apparently I needed to “talk more towards the audience” because I was reading to them or something like that. So for the last few speeches, which were even longer than the first ones, I only used one side of a single notecard. I didn’t have shit on the notecard other than the main topics, and those were mere guidelines. My classmates thought I was being an idiot by not having hardly anything to rely on but I figured that by being sparse on the notecards I couldn’t crutch my way through the speech by reading. Lacking any real words to read I was forced to bullshit my speech and actually talk about my points to the audience, just like you would in a normal conversation. I got amazing grades on those speeches and remembered that less is more when it comes to making speeches.

I think something like that is going on with writing posts, and for anything creative in your head for that manner. A speech isn’t supposed to be you simply reading shit to an audience — that’s boring — it’s supposed to be you talking to the audience like you’re having a conversation. I think a blog post should probably be that way too, at least one like what I (am trying to) have here. I’m trying to talk to the readers, so sitting down and trying to write never seems to capture the dynamics of a person who is talking directly to you. This is even more important if you’re basing your writings off an inner monologue which is basically like a private speech you are making to yourself. By trying to write my inner monologue, something shitty happens and it doesn’t work.

I think that typing Sucks and is what is killing the technique. At the very least it is slower and clunkier than speaking. What I can say in ten seconds would probably takes me 40 seconds to type. This would be a problem even if you’re a really fast typer. It’s just hard to type, see your stupid word choices, spelling errors, and terrible syntax choices all while trying to have a clear and comfy inner monolouge to carry you the entire way! See, I just misspelled monologue and wanted to mouse up and correct it because the red squiggly line under the word is obnoxious and distracting. I left it though. The point is your concentration is always being jacked with when typing and that it is inefficient. It’s hard to capture the near instantaneous thought process by typing; it’s simply too slow. Try it yourself: walk around the house like you have to pee and it’s 3:00 a.m. (maybe even grab some Oreos) and start explaining something in your head, or tell a story. Then sit down at a computer a few hours later and try to write it with the same fluidity that you had while speaking to yourself. Yeah, it’ll probably Suck.

Typing also involves using a computer or other device. You can’t walk around and be casual if you’re plopped down in front of a keyboard and a screen. That obviously makes a difference because you’re in a fixed sitting position. Good luck typing on a phone or a tablet too. Typing really Sucks.

“But what about writing?” you might wonder. Like pen and paper writing. Nope, that Sucks as well, because of the same damn thing as typing at a computer. You still have to formulate thoughts and ideas into a linear sentence structure and struggle with capturing it in an accurate way quickly. It’s still inefficient. But writing is even worse than typing. You have to deal with hand cramps because you probably don’t write on paper very much. Writing is also slower than typing unless you’re really fucking bad at typing. Your writing might also be so shitty you have to slow down and ensure you can actually read what you’ve written. And with it being 2017, you probably have to take whatever you’ve written and type it up eventually unless you intend to take a picture of your writings and post that up for a blog or a school report or whatever. Nope, that won’t work. So writing Sucks even worse than typing.

As with everything that Sucks, is there a way to make it not suck? Since the problem is that inner monologues are a shitty way to form a written document because typing is shitty, is there a way to fix the problem? There are a few obvious ways. First off, you could just record yourself talking and type it out later. But damn, that sounds really stupid and awkward and would lead to its own Dictating into a Recording Device at 3:00 a.m. Sucks post. I also highly doubt anyone at my house would like me walking around a 3:00 a.m. talking into my phone or whatever. Maybe you could try a text to speech program, but I’m going to guess that those are a glitchy mess that only occasionally works as intended. A third thing which I’ve attempted to do with this post is to inner monologue my ideas into a rough outline on a piece of paper, a sort of reverse-speech technique. I make my inner “speech,” write down the main points on a piece of paper, and then write out what I mean on a computer. I did it for this post, and I used the outline as the banner up top. See what I mean about writing being legible? It’s not.

As for if it worked? Well, I don’t know. It sure was easier to write and I was able to pound out this whole post in a single day instead of weeks like the other posts. It probably also helps if you can really channel your inner spirit into writing easily; maybe I just suck at that. Let me know what you guys do that gets your thoughts into a written form because writing and typing Sucks.

Changing the World Sucks: You Can’t

I was browsing Facebook like I always do when I’m trying to be somewhat productive, and I stumbled upon someone’s comment about climate change. This guy basically stated that it is our lifestyle that causes climate change–our personal day to day lifestyles–and through our heavy use of things that require fossil fuels why would we expect society to change? Climate change, to that asshat, isn’t a problem that should be tackled by government or anything with actual power because fundamentally it’s a personal lifestyle problem.

I immediately became pissed off over this and thought about all the things I am trying to do to personally lower my carbon footprint. I ride my bike to work, I bought a little 2-cycle engine for my other bike, I drive a small car, and I try to use e85 fuel to lower my dependence on oil. From having a manual reel mower to using LEDs to plotting about installing rooftop solar panels I am doing everything realistically I can to help change the world in the sphere of my own life and that of my family. And if everyone did this, the climate problem would fix itself.

Obviously, he was right about our lifestyles causing it. Us Americans love our SUVs, our commuting lifestyle, our electricity, and our hamburgers (cows fart out an amazing amount of methane), so why the hell was I pissed at Random Facebook Guy if he was correct? Because of what I wrote three sentences ago: if everyone changed their lives a little the problem would be solved. But guess what? No one actually changes their lifestyles and a large portion of people don’t really give a damn about the climate as long as they get a pay raise every year and don’t have to shovel snow as much. The key to it being solved isn’t necessarily me, it’s other people, people who I have an infinitesimal influence over.

We live in a hugely connected world where ideas from across the globe can reach us and influence us. Thanks to the internet, natural boundaries which once limited human collaboration and the sharing of ideas are nearly gone, and even foreign languages can be translated instantly so even that isn’t a barrier as much as it was. This sounds great for the possibility of world change,the possibility that one person can make a difference through the use of technology. It doesn’t work that way though. Humanity is big. Really big. There are about 7 billion 7.5 billion people in the world. Billion doesn’t even properly reference how big of a number that actually is. But there’s 7.5 of those billion out there in the form of people, and you’re just one of them. 1/7,500,000,000. Or 0.0000000001333 of the total human race.

Why the fuck would I think I can have any effect on climate change, or anything for that matter when effectively I am zero of the total human population? I can’t even figure out how to pester the city to put bike lanes along a few major roads, but somehow I can change the world? Sure bro. Sure.

That’s why I’m pissed and that’s why changing the world through this “live the life you want others to live” shit doesn’t work. I can have a zero carbon footprint on the planet without sacrificing any real comforts (yes, I know my phone and solar panels need to be manufactured but how the fuck does that compare with gasoline in cars and coal fueled power plants?) and this makes zero difference because there’s another 300 million Americans, and 7.5 billion other people on the planet, that can and will make my contribution null. I can be as awesome as sourcing all water from the rain and all electricity from the sun but a few fuckers in their SUVs can ruin any of my progress in a few hours (if that). And guess what? They don’t give two fucks about it and I can’t change that.

So even though we like to think we can be that “big change” we like to see in society, we really can’t be. There’s simply too many other people in the world that can fuck up your plans in a way that they don’t even have to try. The key here is influence, and a single person carries almost no influence and ability to change a thing. You might get lucky and become the next Zuckerberg where people will listen to you, but probably not. And if that’s not the beginnings of a dream-killing train of thought, I don’t know what is.