Rubbish, piffle, tommyrot, drivel and utter bilge

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Lame List

I was just over on reading a list of their Top Ten Things We Wish Had Never Been Invented, and like most lists of this kind, it was very subjective and I naturally agreed with some and disagreed with others, and some I could kinda play Devil's Advocate with and see both sides. So here is their list, with my notes and addenda:

  1. Plastic  OK, right off the bat we can see that this is a flawed list. We know that plastic is non-biodegradable and lives forever in landfills and there's a notorious giant floating plastic junk island in the North Pacific, known variously as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch or The Pacific Trash Vortex (Google it). We know that recycling is essential in order to keep the levels of crap down. We also know that plastic is one of the things that keep building costs down, is lightweight, durable, and that if we did not have any plastic, all bottled drinks and dish soap and laundry detergent, not to mention hazardous chemicals, would have to be stored in weighty metal or glass containers. We'd all have amazing muscles from just doing the grocery shopping. All toys would be wooden. So obviously some sort of balance must be arrived upon concerning plastic. Who knows what cars would be like. And don't even get me started on airbags and most high-tech hospital gadgets. We have clearly arrived at a point in time where we cannot continue the same lifestyle without plastic. So essentially, what I am saying is, it's all very well wishing plastic had never been invented, but without it, you're screwed.
  2. Neck Ties  The article cites several reasons that neck ties are such an awful item (I disagree wholeheartedly on this one, by the way - I own several and love to wear them). These include: Uncomfortable (really?), pointless (I'm sorry - wearing jeans halfway down your butt isn't??), and hazardous (only in certain situations, surely? I mean, you're not going to be operating heavy machinery in a necktie, are you?). It kinda reminds me of the old joke about the guy who returned a tie to the shop, because it was too tight.
  3. Cellular Phones  Again, this is a tricky one. We can all think of things about the mobile phone that are annoying just as easily as we can think of things about them that are great. People talking too loudly on them in public places is probably my pet peeve, especially when it's of a deeply personal nature ("I told her no nails, love, no nails!! The missus'll kill me!!"), but I think we can all agree that the most aggravating part of owning a mobile phone is the service providers - they're all flawed in one way or another.
  4. Condoms  Obviously this list had to have been written by a guy. Yes, they're uncomfortable, yes, they are deeply unattractive, but the fact is they provide a great service to mankind - 99% of the time. And they've been around for centuries, so you're never going to get rid of them overnight. Next.
  5. Bras  Yes, definitely a list made by a guy, and a boob man for sure. Ridiculous. I know that many women bemoan the fact that it is extremely difficult to find one that fits well, is comfy and does the job it is supposed to, but I am sure there is an army of women who can get behind the fact that they are, again, an essential - no-one has designed anything that does a superior job of supporting breasts, and even those women who are not well-endowed in the chest department can agree that if they went braless every day, there will be sagging, and plenty of it. Sorry dude, but just because you wish there was one less fabric layer between you and a handful of heaving bosom, doesn't mean it's gonna happen anytime soon.
  6. Paris Hilton  So now we go from the ridiculous suggestion to the ultra-ridiculous. For starters, no matter what you think of Paris Hilton, she is a person - a deeply flawed one, but a human being nonetheless. Secondly, she wasn't invented - she was born. What the list should have put instead of her name was celebutantes, of which she was the first. That way it could have been extended to mean people who are famous just for being famous. People who have no real marketable talent, except their ability to get their mugs in the paper and on TV and generate controversy. I'm sure if she hadn't been born into a rich family she'd be just the pretty but dim girl next door.
  7. Bombs   It's all very well wishing they had never been invented, but sooner or later some scientist somewhere would have figured out that putting a couple of key chemicals together would cause an explosive reaction. It's just a short journey from there to some military prick saying "Wow, if we can blow up a clay pot, we might be able to blow up a building - or a person - or a town!" Fact is, people are just bastards and there will always be warlike dingbats around the corner who would kill you as soon as look at you, given half a chance.
  8. Fast Food  How far back do you wanna go? They had street vendors selling quickly prepared, portable food in Roman Times. If you really want to get rid of fast food, you will have to get rid of the people that buy it (that means you).
  9. Glenn Beck  I agree with this, but I would lump Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and the entire FOX News Channel in with him. Oh, and while you're at it, how about Sarah Palin. And let me refer you back to the Paris Hilton paragraph - they're people, so they weren't technically invented, were they?
  10. Infomercials  Well now. Something we can all get behind. Think about it. A world with no more Slap Chop, ShamWow, Tony Little, Slankets and Snuggies. No more Diamonique, Nads, or Ron Popeil. No more Chef Tony, or compilation CDs that nobody in their right mind wants to buy. What will the TV networks do? How will they fill their programming schedules? I mean, they don't want to waste that precious airtime when there are sad lonely people out there with credit cards in hand at 4 in the morning, do they? So who knows what vapid shite they would broadcast instead?
There seems to me very little point in wishing that things that are already in existence had never been created. Instead we should try to recognise when scary possibilities are just around the corner, and try to avert them before they become reality. Take scary celebs and ensure they never reproduce. Take explosives and ensure they are only ever used for innocuous purposes, like building demolition, not nasty things like blowing the top off a humongous mountain just to get at the lovely coal inside. And make sure that lists like this never get written, because they are so easy and fun to deconstruct.

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