There are way too many rant pages on the Internet!
But of course, I wouldn't be able to rant about that unless I had my own. Consider it a sinkhole for my anger.
And since I can't be bitter all the time, I'll pepper these pages with a few odd things I notice in life, too.
Biased Observations and Obligatory Rants
A Presentation of The Big Waste of Space Wanna see more?
December 2000 Previous Rants:  
December 31
In yet another installment of television advertisers' intricate plot to annoy me, NetZero has emulated the censured McCarthy Witch Trials to promote its gratis Internet access. In fitting black and white, do-gooder advocates of the service provider pose the question, "Shouldn't it be a right? Don't all people deserve free access to the Internet?"

Are they kidding me with this? Free access a right? And who would pay for the machines you dial into? Not to mention the electricity used to drive them, the licenses for the software that keeps them running, the fees for the phone numbers you dial to reach them, and the salaries of the people who maintain them.

And don't be fooled into thinking that the Internet is a government-run entity "for the people." The pathways you communicate through to reach any site, and the places where the sites themselves reside, are all physical hardware devices that for the most part are owned and maintained by private companies, all deliberately connected to the intricate maze called the Internet for their own benefit. So, explain to me where anyone has a right to access any of it.

It would be like saying that everyone should have a right to free use of a telephone. How would you expect the communications equipment be paid for?

Besides, if NetZero really did stand behind their claim that free Internet access should be a right, then they wouldn't sell permanent advertising space on your desktop while you're online. Nor would they limit you to 40 hours a month and charge you $9.95 for time beyond that.

December 21
I think it's about time someone invented an ice maker that actually works. I mean, we have robots that can travel to nearby planets and explore the surface on their own; we have discs that hold entire movies; we even have notepads with sheets that stick to surfaces again and again!

So, why the hell can't I get a cup of ice without playing Russian roulette? You know what I'm talking about — either the ice comes out in one drowning cascade, instantly filling the entire cup, or you have to hold the lever down for ages, listening to the rumble rumble rumble of mysterious ice machinery until that one lonely cube falls out. Then there's the press-and-release game you have to play with an overzealous machine, where you cleverly try to dispense the exact amount of ice you desire by repeatedly punching the lever with your cup.

I suspect fast-food managers invented these contraptions just to bring amusement to their dreary lives. Just take a look behind the counter — they get ice from a bin.

December 18
Thank God people have come to their senses and stopped playing that horrific insult to the musical world, Mambo Number Five.

When that song hit the airwaves, I was instantly transported back to the days of Was Not Was. I feared we were next going to revive the era when rappers wore alarm clocks around their necks.

I sure hope the one-hit wonder who recorded that song (whose name I have already forgotten) didn't invest his instant millions in the plans for his next hit album. But, if all else fails, perhaps he and the Stuck-in-an-Airport-Phone-Booth-with-No-Change-to-Call-My-Agent guy can together make a comeback tour someday.

December 14
You know, it's great that Gore finally conceded and all (don't infer any nominee preference here), but did he really have to preempt a brand-new West Wing and Law & Order to do it? Couldn't he have saved it for, I don't know, Providence?

Nullified any pity I may have had for him. Although, there is something funny about him interrupting The West Wing.

December 12
I don't get these people who flock to see an image of the Virgin Mary appearing in a tree stump. I see this kind of thing all the time and it baffles me. The face of Jesus on a rock, the name "Allah" in a watermelon, the Madonna in the discoloration of an office-building window. (I didn't make any of those up.)

Seriously, it must be nice to have such time on your hands that you can travel hundreds of miles to burn candles in front of a shape that looks somewhat like a religious figure in an image that you remember from a painting. Is this what they think God does with his time? I mean, with all the power and wisdom that the people who visit these things believes he has, do they think this is the best he can do? I imagine God shaking his head in pity at the people who waste their time staring in awe at these ridiculous sights when they could be out helping the poor and the homeless.

"It's a miracle!" they proclaim. No, that's not a miracle. A burn mark that looks like a guy with a beard is not a miracle. A blind man having his vision restored — that's a miracle. A skydiver surviving a 5,000-foot fall from an airplane without his parachute opening — that's a miracle. Turning water into wine — that's a miracle (or at least a really cool magic trick). But, I don't think God, with all he could be doing, is creating obscure shapes in food to prove he's watching us.

Come on, people — you've never seen the shape of a bunny in a cloud before? Next time you see the face of Nixon in a potato, are you going to fly to Yorba Linda to plant flowers at his gravesite? The human brain can't help but find patterns in things. I mean, I have a stain on my ceiling that looks like William Shatner, but I'm not going to go buy a ladder to climb up and beat it with a hammer.

December 5
Having moved around a lot in recent years, I've been a new patient at several doctors' offices. I've filled out those preliminary forms too many times to remember. And those forms always have the same questions. Are you on any medications? Are you allergic to any medications? Do you smoke? Do you drink? Do you take in a lot of caffeine?

They're easy enough to fill out. My yes-no-no-yes-no reaction is instinctive, like it was when I visited a new doctor yesterday. But, I have a nagging suspicion that nobody even reads those damn forms. When you're called into that little room by the nurse, what's the first thing she does? She asks you, "Are you on any medications? Are you allergic to any medications? Do you smoke? Do you drink? Do you take in a lot of caffeine?" And she does this while looking at a folder full of papers, one of which is probably the form on which you just answered those questions!

But, the farce doesn't end there. The nurse leaves, assuring you the doctor will be right in (a lie), and once the doctor does come in, the first thing out of his mouth after, "Hello, I'm Dr. Upinya," is a series of questions that sounds an awful lot like, "Are you on any medications? Are you allergic to any medications? Do you smoke? Do you drink? Do you take in a lot of caffeine?"

OK, so maybe the questionnaire I filled out is filed somewhere else or maybe the nurse has to check to make sure I wasn't lying on it, but why in the name of Hypocrites does the doctor have to ask me the same questions a third time??

I suppose it's a good thing I wasn't going in for chronic memory loss.

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Wanna see more? A Presentation of The Big Waste of Space