The Book of Despair

  1. In the beginning there was the Uncaring Universe. And the Uncaring Universe did not give a shit about you or your problems
  2. And, behold, the Uncaring Universe did look upon the vastness of space and say “that’s a lot of room. I should put some shit there”. And the Uncaring Universe did shit upon the space.
  3. And when the Uncaring Universe had shat upon space, it gazed upon its shit and it did say “Meh. Good enough”
  4. The Uncaring Universe did gaze upon its shit and it saw that one of the pieces was a little less shitty than the rest.  And it said “I should do something about that.  I will create Man and place him upon the less shitty world that he may cause the world to be more shitty.
  5. And the Uncaring Universe did place man upon the face of the Earth that he may go forward, multiply, and cause The Earth to be shitty.
  6. And shit happened
  7. And one day Ian the Campbell was born.  And behold, that was bullshit, because that was not his real name
  8. And Ian, whose name was bullshit, did grow into a man
  9. And Ian, whose name was bullshit, did wax wise in the sophistry of men.
  10. And behold, Ian, whose name was bullshit, did inflict his sophistry upon willing readers
  11. And thus he spake unto his willing readers
  12. “Willing Readers, this I desirest thou to know:
  13. People Suck
  14. When someone you’re not related to welcomes you to “The Family”, turn and run like a son of a bitch
  15. Whenever a manager uses the word “proactive” in a sentence, you know something is about to suck
  16. If wishes were fishes we’d have some to fry
    1. (Corollary)  Actually, If wishes were fishes, they’d probably all get that disease where the fish literally puke their guts out and die and float to the top and all the other fish would devour the dead fish–or wish–in an orgy of cannibalism.
  17. If someone preemptively assures you that something isn’t going to happen, you can count on it happening
    1. (Corollary) If someone preemptively assures you of anything, then they are full of shit.
    2. (Corollary) If someone preemptively asserts that they are or are not something then they probably are, or are not exactly that thing
  18. The bigger the pickup, the bigger the asshole at the wheel
    1. (Corollary) The bigger the pickup, the smaller the penis on the asshole at the wheel
  19. Suicidal teenagers are fucking annoying
  20. Teenagers who think they are Vampires are fucking annoying
  21. Teenagers are fucking annoying
  22. They have mobile phone coverage on the Summit of Mt. Everest now.  Climbing Mt. Everest has jumped the shark.
    1. (Corollary) The phrase “jumped the shark” has, itself, jumped the shark
  23. The driver’s side windshield wiper will always wear out before the passenger-side
  24. The shitty-ness of the music is directly related to the loudness to which a teenager will feel compelled to turn up the volume
  25. The internet is full of shit
    1. (Corollary) People on the internet tend to be full of shit as well
    2. (Corollary) …and they don’t know when to sit down and shut up
  26. Everyone thinks that no-one loves music as much as they do
  27. When picking up a take-out order from a restaurant, the special order you have to double-check before leaving will be at the very bottom of the bag
  28. In the parking lot, that stupid person meandering aimlessly in front of you will be parked right next to you
    1. (Corollary) They will also drive the way they walk
  29. Whenever someone comes into your office, the most embarrassing song on your your iPod will come up in shuffle.  No matter how many un-embarrassing songs there are to choose from.
  30. Nothing profound has ever been said on Twitter
  31. Nothing profound will ever be said on Twitter
  32. The further away from New York you were on 9/11/2001, the more likely you are to wax rhapsodic with affected pathos about The World Trade center on any given 9/11.
  33. Everybody thinks that they are more like grumpy cat than anybody else
  34. Wikipedia:  A million nerds can’t be wrong
  35. Unless they’re talking about women, in which case a million nerds are always wrong
  36. All internet comments sections are headed to the same destination:  a huge dick-waving contest.
  37. You will hit every light green when you just need 10 more seconds to finish surreptitiously sending that text message from your car.
  38. Everybody thinks the drivers in their town are worse than everybody else’s town.  The truth is everybody is a bad driver everywhere.
  39. Jaywalkers will always run across the two lanes you’re not in, then walk across the lane you are in
  40. Any person who declares that they were educated at “the school of hard knocks” or “the school of life” on Facebook is 99% likely to not only be catastrophically ignorant, but also noisily proud of their own ignorance.

Obsessives Fans Make Me Feel Inferior

Obsessives Fans Make Me Feel Inferior

By on February 15, 2016 in Life Ignominious

The Lord of the Rings

As a young man, I lived very far from my Junior High School.  As such, I endured a school bus ride of over half an hour each way every school day.  The bus collected kids from my relatively sedate middle class neighborhood as well as traveling from some rougher parts of town before striking out on the highway that led to the school.  While I was rarely picked on, being generally well-liked, the ride was often quite rowdy and noisy—altogether out of tune with my mild, slightly bookish personality.

On that bus, I immersed myself in the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien.  I read The Hobbit, and the trilogy over and over again, vividly imagining myself in that far off land, engaged in noble and significant pursuits instead of sitting on a smelly school bus dodging spitballs and erasers in flight.  I must have re-read those books twenty or thirty times.

At that time, and for much of the next five or six years, I considered myself quite a fan of those books.  I was knowledgable, could recite scraps of prose, even attempted to figure out the incomprehensible meter in the lyrics Tolkien included.

And then, the internet happened.  “The Information Super Highway”, as the media loved to call it, when first it hit the consciousness of the American public.  It was the dawning of a new age.  Small collegial usenet groups composed of close-nit college students and faculty were suddenly flooded with Compuserve and AOL users who now had access to this recently discovered country.  It was then I discovered that, as Tolkien fans go, I was fairly small beer.  I encountered people who had learned to speak Elvish, people who had read and understood the Silmarillion, people who had surgically altered their feet and ears to look like Hobbits.  Suddenly, overnight, a niche I thought I occupied with a small group of like-minded people, was populated by throngs of maniac obsessives who were by any measure, doing it better.

Stars Wars

Star Wars Fans

Star Wars Fans

In 1977, a little known film auteur released a low-budget sci-fi film that exploded like a nuclear holocaust on an unsuspecting public.  I was five years old when my dad took me to see Star Wars Episode IV at little theater about a block from where I work today.  I was a fan, of course.  We were all fans.  I had a Millennium Falcon, an X-Wing fighter, a Tie Fighter and all the important action figures.

I engaged in obsessive speculation about the curious “Episode IV” in the title.  My friend insisted that George Lucas had already written nine episodes and he filmed the fourth first for mysterious reasons my friend could not explain.

I’m certain, Gentle Reader, that I don’t need to enumerate the lengths to which internet obsessives have carried Star Wars fandom.  But I will mention that I have not declared myself of the Jedi Religion on a United State Census form, I don’t know how to speak Wookiee, furthermore I don’t even know the name of the language Wookiees speak, and I really don’t have a firm opinion on whether Han shot first or not.  Clearly, a lot of people are doing Star War fan better than I.

A Horse is a Horse?

I’ll supply a non-geek example for completeness.  My wife is a horsewoman.  She enjoys riding horses and she owns a sweet old beast, a Mustang-Quarter Horse cross.  You would think there’s no simpler pleasure.  Images of throwing a saddle onto his back and riding through the desert at dusk surrounded by solitude and sage might spring to mind.  But into the mix you must add horse people–other people who are fans of horses.  There are cliques and opinions and unwritten rules by which one must abide or risk the shunning of the horse people.  If you have a western saddle, god help you if you ride in the English style, or wear English boots.  There are vertical conventions you are unwittingly buying into the moment you pick out a hat.  Purchase a western hat, and you have immediately narrowed down your options for saddles, clothing, riding style, stirrups, bits, bridles,horse breeds, favorite musicians, and underclothing if you wish to retain the good will of the horse people.


Whether it’s a genuine love of the object of interest, or a symptom of a culture obsessed with extremism in all it’s forms, I am simply not obsessed enough with any of my interests to bend my daily life around them—to enslave myself to others demands regarding how I should expressive my interest.  In short, I have decided to stop being a fan of anything anymore,of  even the most underground artistic endeavor, for I know somewhere, out there, there is a forum on the internet where people are over-analyzing and over-obsessing it threadbare.

Star Wars Photo by Guerre Stellari, used under terms of the Creative Commons License 2.0.

About the Author

About the Author: Ian is a 3rd generation native of Southern Nevada, where he lives today in a quiet suburban neighborhood with his wife of twenty years and their two sons. Ian has earned his bread in a variety of occupations including stocking a beer freezer, mixing and pouring concrete, being a roadie for a synth punk band in San Francisco in the early 90's, being a not-very-well-known hard rock DJ, scenic carpentry, theatrical lighting design, theatrical sound design, playing Ku Klux Klan Member #5 in a professional production of "Grover", and writing for an virtually unknown, subversive, underground blog called Radio Free Las Vegas. .

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