Blogs:

To confront poor customer service
by SundaySmash
Sun, Feb 07, 2010
SundaySmash

What do you do when victimized by a certain fast food pizza chain? In real life you might complain to your friends and under extreme circumstances call the chain's 800 number to give the franchise a poor rating. Or you could commit astonishing acts of brutality against those who wrong you. I know what my pick is.

The conversation depicted is more or less how it went down with the exception of my presence and the final panel. Our long distance (working) relationship precludes my actual involvement in these events, but I did receive an irate IM immediately upon his return demanding we create a comic, to which I enthusiastically agreed. Really, you have to agree enthusiastically with the giant frigging gorilla no matter what he says if you don't want your spine to be used as an accordion I mean.

It is an unusual day today. For what may possibly be the first time I have every intention of watching a game of football by my own motivation. Who is this at the helm of my consciousness?

Oh, and if you didn't check out our podcast we posted midweek, for shame! Check that now!

Think Different.
by SundaySmash
Sun, Jan 31, 2010
SundaySmash

Kevin's commentary on "To Cope With Utter Disappointment":

 

I’m aware mocking the iPad’s name by saying it implies it has a certain use Apple did not intend is what we might call low hanging fruit, but our eternal nemesis Larue is here to kick it up a notch. Gaze deeply into those silver dollar-sized nipples and find your life enriched. 

It’s possible Marc and I are the only Apple enthusiasts to not have the slightest interest in the iPad. Forget the attack of the silly name; we named our comic partially after a game for the Nintendo Wii, for goodness’ sake. No, our inability to become excited stems more from not having any idea who this product is for.

What Apple offers us is essentially a gigantic iPod Touch/iPhone, which are two of the most beautifully designed pieces of hardware I’ve laid eyes on. Beyond the immediate aesthetic appeal, however, I just can’t figure out how this device is supposed to improve my life. The functionality outlined by Steve Jobs is all for someone who is not me, if it is for anyone at all. Truthfully, for once I’m inclined to agree with my leprous PC using friends about an Apple product; it is pure “looking cool” factor without much more.

The ability to use all the iPhone apps is cool I guess, but I’m not going to pay $500 for the ability to run a program that makes farting noises when my armpit, utilized properly, will suffice. There may come a day where reading newspaper and magazine subscriptions or books via the device is compelling, but the funny thing about books and magazines is they are actually more portable than the iPad. I don’t care if a page in a magazine gets crinkled, but if my expensive screen got scratched, my world would go black only for me to suddenly come to hours later with crimson on my hands and several felonies under my belt. When on an extended trip away from home, it may eventually become preferable to use the iPad for the sake of space, but as of right now I don’t go anywhere long enough where I’m going to read more than one book or magazine. If I do go anywhere, it’s never for longer than a week and reading is not my focus when I’m away on vacation. I can do that at home.

I guess I’m just not an important enough person to need to use iWork when I’m away from home. Even if I was, I have a Macbook that I can take with me instead. Also, I can play World of Warcraft on the Macbook. I’m really not seeing the benefits here. Essentially Apple is promoting a device that is a Macbook without the keyboard and without the hard drive space or even a single USB port.

The iPad may matter someday, but any and all of its purpose is going to come from what third party developers do with the platform. Even so, I doubt what they do is going to matter enough to justify me ever owning one.

-Kevin

What a wonderful world
by SundaySmash
Sun, Jan 24, 2010
SundaySmash

Kevin's commentary on LOL N00B:

We live in a society governed by laws and social expectations for human conduct where people generally behave towards each other with a certain level of civility. Whenever a person channels their essence via mouse into the world of digital information and electronic communication, all of this evaporates. Imagine a zoo unsupervised by keepers with all the cages open and the animals free to rampage, rape, and devour each other as well as any unfortunate human visitors who may be trapped inside. What I've just given you is the best allegory I can think of for the functioning of internet message boards. Just be glad that once you log out, your nightmare is over. Someday, such boundaries may not exist.

I'm not anywhere close to the first person to propose that the anonymity inherent with the internet is a catalyst for uncharacteristically hostile behavior in what is otherwise a normal, rational human being. In no other place are the laws of the animal kingdom so much at the forefront of a manmade institution. The pecking orders that come to be on the internet make high school clique rivalries seem tame by comparison. The savagery a community displays towards a newcomer is more severe than a pack of wolves to the deer that strayed from the herd. Hazing on par with what you may find in a Phi Kappa Beergut basement ensues directed at these unfortunate "noobs." Forget college degrees and related work experience/references - if you want a job, the first thing an employer should look for on a resume is if you were able to successfully insert yourself into one of these communities. Are you a fast paced team player? That tells you all about a person that you need to know.

Finding the right message board is an arduous process in and of itself. You may think to yourself, "You know what? I really like My Chemical Romance." And why wouldn't you? You're probably a teenager with poor taste. So you find a message board for fans of My Chemical Romance only to discover that people are discussing anything but My Chemical Romance. The first time you make a post, you ask what you believe to be an insightful related question, such as, "If you were making a playlist of only My Chemical Romance songs, which ones would you pick?" only to have a cascade of replies within the first three minutes, all of them containing a link to a thread on this exact subject from six months ago, how dare you not know of this, GTFO. Perhaps someone will make a hurtful joke about your screen name, pnutcutternjelly, which you toiled so long over. So what is this fun loving bunch discussing instead of the band this community was developed around? In all likelihood, it's that they're bisexual and their best friend (who is also their love interest) is not.

The truth is, I used to relish these environments, or ecosystems if you will. I had boards I would log onto daily. I am still in touch with some of the people I met. I don't have the patience or intestinal fortitude to place myself in this sort of situation anymore of course, but that has largely to do with having very little interest in spending my free time conversing with people who are, more likely than not, 15 year-olds. Their leetspeak conversations are like sandpaper rubbed vigorously against my eyes while English, the mother of my children and love of my life, is brutally eviscerated, screaming.

I'm actually relieved that high speed internet was not available to me until I reached 19 years of age. I didn't even have internet access until I was 17, and before I left for college I was stuck with 56k modem dial-up that disconnected so frequently that it made the use of message boards undesirable. This may sound hellish to today's youth, but I feel it improved my life - it means that my adolescent thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone to know, rather than forever committed to html for the world to see. Sure I had to spend hours in libraries researching papers and use the telephone in my mom and dad's kitchen to call my friends on a Saturday night to make plans, but I still feel like I came out on top. To all of you who grew up with the internet, know that I feel a deep sorrow for you. I had it easy.

Message boards may be fun, but they are evidence that people keeping their true opinions and personalities reigned in really is what is best for the world. A world full of people controlled by the id is not a world I have any interest living in.

-Kevin

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