Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hating Windchimes

“A dangling instrument of sonic miasma”? “Dreaded and offensive melodic doodling”? “Evil noise polluters”?

Just some of many complaints on the web about the invasive and spreading menace known as windchimes. Available in all shapes and sizes, these New Age versions of the BoomBox are no less pernicious or obnoxious than their electronic, amplified forebears. (Or than Tony Soprano’s blasting the Rat Pack from massive speakers on his boat -- the beloved Stugots II -- into the beachfront home of an uncooperative neighbor.)

From the cheap, tinny, lamentably mass-produced metal variety to the more quiet bamboo to the almost-silent (but visually loathsome) compact-disc danglers, they seem to be popping up just about everywhere. A quick Google scan reveals that men tend to hate them, women less so. Our petitioner this time is decidedly a man.

He writes: “I hate these f*cking things. They keep me awake. They pollute the area with noise. Who gives anyone the right to decide what others should hear, day and night? Who thinks they sound good anyway? My neighbors across the street just put up some and they are irritating and they are constant. Their sound penetrates my home even when my windows are closed. I HATE them!!!!”

Sing it!

We here at Hate for Hire completely agree with you. They drive us nuts and persist as a grating symbol of utter selfishness. Live in an isolated area where no one else can hear them? Fine, hang ‘em high. But if you live in a neighborhood (like ours) where homes are within earshot of one another, hang those miserable and miserable-making things indoors so you can enjoy them and others (we) won’t have to.

A member of the H4H core team routinely passes a home in his neighborhood whose front porch sports SIX sets of these raucous noisemakers. Wirecutters at the ready some night soon, we don’t care about “the natural flow of chi”…those mothers are coming down!

Officially registered at Hate for Hire, March 28, 2010.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Hating Facebook

My goodness, the venom this “social networking” site has generated. Even from people who actively participate in the “hey, look at me!” phenomenon that has, like it or not, become an inescapable part of the global fabric.

This “self-inflicted privacy eradicator,” as one UK detractor labels it, lets people “poke” you, generates invitations to become fans of topics than can only be described (generously) as “niche,” offers “suggestions” for new friends by showing dozens of people you’re certain you’ve never met, and on and on and on.

A “cyberland of rampant narcissism and wasted time”? A “sinister, turbo-charged online menace”? There’s no shortage of anti-Facebook blather out there as a quick Google search instantly reveals. But one thing seems clear worldwide: You love it or you hate it…which sounds like our cue to step happily into the fray.

Our petitioner writes: “I hate Facebook because it's really an ANTIsocial network, however it might advertise itself. It gives people a false sense that they're ‘in contact’ with all their friends, but which kind of contact is that?? The kind of contact that leads to nothing -- it's largely not 'customized': all good friends, close friends, acquaintances, and so on are all lumped into the same category, so inevitably it's descending into empty superficiality. I'd call it ‘close encounters of the -1 kind’.” Whoa!

Take a deep breath, there’s more: “It promotes total laziness in human relationships. And don't even get me started on those who send emails to everyone about their virtual farms and how many pigs they fed.” Amen, brother!

In the interest of full disclosure, we have to admit that Hate for Hire has its own Facebook page. (But then again, we’d also like to point out that Facebook itself features upwards of 150 different “I Hate Facebook” groups, started by global participants from Oslo to Australia, Toledo to Turkey.) Hey, at least we don’t tweet!

Officially registered at Hate for Hire, March 21, 2010.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Hating Katie Holmes's line of kids' fashions

OK, so her daughter is her inspiration for this line of children’s clothing. Would that be the same daughter whose annual clothing expenditures are reportedly a whopping $3.2 million? The same three-year-old seen acting out in Boston recently in order to get her little mitts on some pricey gelato? Actually climbing over the counter into the goods, much to the horror of all in attendance? Better watch out, Suri, that you don’t spill any on that $1,200 “dove dress” you’re wearing. (Note to readers: How many preschoolers do you know have $850 Salvatore Ferragamo purses? Much less $5,000 ruby pendants?)

Rumors began last year that the actress (alleged) and more female half of TomKat Cruise was linking up to “create” a clothing line, Katie Holmes for Armani. Whoops! Press agents were quickly dispatched to squelch that item. Now, it seems, the third Mrs. Cruise has launched Holmes & Yang (designed, we suspect, largely by “stylist” Jeanne Yang), which debuted in Los Angeles in the fall and is virally making its way into markets in Mexico and the USA. Determined to go beyond kids' T-shirts and leggings, Yang succinctly explained a key design element: "It has to twirl." So noted.

Our petitioner writes: “As if she doesn't have enough. Now she goes on to create a line of baby clothes that are completely unattainable for 99.9999% of the world - outfits costing $350+...this money for outfits that children will grow out of in weeks.

“First she married a complete dud and the whole thing is a little creepy. I won't even go into the Scientology bit. But you have to wonder, does she remember when she was just a regular person in this world? How about creating a line of adorable kids’ clothes that people struggling in this country can actually afford? I would love to know how much work she actually does designing these duds.

“Katie, get over yourself and meet us back in reality sometime.”

You tell ‘em, sister! And you CAN go into the Scientology bit if you want; we’re all ears. Besides, why is a nice Catholic girl like Katie getting mixed up in a Sci-Fi religion (in Amazing 3-D) like that anyway? Wake up, lady! It’s Lent, godammit!

Katie Holmes’s line of kids’ fashions:
Officially registered at Hate for Hire, March 14, 2010.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sexual Selection

Why, we wonder, do we receive mucho más submissions asking us to hate women than we do to hate men? Is it because we hold women to a higher standard, and so when one falls short of our elevated expectations, we become irritated? Or are men generally considered to be more hate-worthy from the get-go, and so we tend to cut them a bit more slack? Beats us.

“Alls we know” is that for every one Dennis Franz submitted, we get four or five Gwyneth Paltrows. It seems that the only thing that our male and female petitioners can agree on is that they both seem to hate more women than they do men. What’s that all about? In our zeal to play fair, we sometimes find ourselves treading water, blog-wise, until enough males crowd our inbox for us to keep a moderately even balance. Fortunately, equilibrium has recently been reached. Watch this space.

And speaking of Dennis Franz…faithful readers will know that an earlier posting sent the hair-challenged actor directly to the inbox of the Junior Varsity H4H team. “Foul!” cried the anti-Franz lobby, claiming their man deserved the full-court Varsity press, pressuring us first with reason, then with bribes, then with threats. (We are happy to report that unlike the tactics employed by certain DC-based lobbyists, no callgirls or congressional interns were sent our way. Phew!)

So, upon further consideration, the H4H standards committee has decided to upgrade Mr. Franz to full Varsity status based solely on the facts (though we thank you very much for that Chia Pet.) In the interest of full disclosure, the relevant arguments are spelled out in the “comments” section of our February 22, 2010 posting.

Monday, March 1, 2010