January 09, 2012

2) Cheap clothes that fall apart. I’ve got a pair of 60-year-old cap-toe oxford shoes that are near-perfect after decades of hard use. I had a modern pair of the same shoes from the same company that dissolved into a puddle of minced cow product within a year. The old pair of shoes cost a lot more when new; Americans built them. The new shoes were constructed by slave labor somewhere in China. I’m happy to pay extra for stuff that won’t turn into dog food in a year or two, but obviously there is a market for walking around in shoe-like potted meat product.

3) Charging me money for entertainment made by dead people. Copyright and intellectual property laws exist to protect creative people who make life better for everyone. Since 1998, these laws have been extended out to infinity to serve the interests of uncreative copyright holders who appear to be among the most revolting totalitarian human beings afflicting the planet. Why should anyone in the 21st century profit from the concept of “Zorro”? Why should anyone profit from Outer Limits episodes made 50 years ago? Why should anyone pay royalties to sing “Happy Birthday?” Call me crazy, but I don’t feel like giving money to vultures feasting on cultural carcasses. I think Zorro and Mickey Mouse should be public domain. Anyone who wants to make a freaking Zorro or Mickey Mouse comic book should be able to do so. Tapeworms who squat on “intellectual property” that has become part of the cultural patrimony serve less purpose than biological parasites. People who invent useful things are only given 20 years to profit from their patents; why should Gershwin’s "heirs" profit from some music he wrote 90 years ago?

4) Appliances designed by morons. I am not asking much here. When you make a blender, make it so it can chop up ice cubes. If my blender can’t chop up ice cubes, it’s not a blender. It’s a simulacrum of a blender. I have yet to find a 21st-century blender that can chop ice. The last one had more horsepower than the lathe I keep in my kitchen for cutting up titanium. The blender was a beastly chromed thing that looked like it belonged to a Mafioso tasked with getting rid of bodies. When I took it apart to see why it chumped out making a strawberry daiquiri, I noticed the threads which connected the motor to the spinny-cutty thing were made out of cheap pot metal, and so they dissolved faster than the ice cubes.

5) Appliances designed for morons. It is pretty funny having a .45 caliber rifle with this inscribed on the barrel: “Warning: misuse may cause injury or death—follow warnings and instructions in owner’s manual.” It is less funny that I can’t buy a new one which doesn’t attempt to inform subhumans that guns can kill. Is anybody discouraged from sticking their face under a running lawnmower because of the warning label? Can people that stupid read warning labels, and if they can’t, why should we save them? Some tribe of cretinous busybodies is ultimately responsible for putting warning labels on guns and lawnmowers. If they want to do some good for the consumer, I suggest they start with suing blender manufacturers for false advertising.


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