I Am Spoiled And Impatient

Oh, a real box. I was excited for a minute there.

At work, I often listen to music on my iPad streaming over Pandora. For those of you not familiar with Pandora, it allows you to select an artist and then creates a radio station just for you based on songs by (and similar to) the artist you selected. Better yet, you can tell Pandora if you really liked (or really disliked) the last selection, and it will learn from your input to better serve you. And Pandora is free. Well, not quite free, and that’s how I learned exactly how much of a spoiled, impatient prick I can be.

A typical session listening to Pandora will go like this:

Me: Hmmm, I think I’ll listen to some music. Let’s see, I’ll type in Led Zeppelin and…

Pandora: (provides 30 minutes of music designed to make me happy)

Pandora: Pandora is brought to you by Snickers! Not going anywhere? Grab a Snickers!


Yes, I am so spoiled and impatient that I will furiously object to a 10 second audio commercial at the end of a 30 minute block of music that was tailored specifically to my preferences, broken down into digital bits, served up over the internet, then beamed wirelessly to my tablet computer where I can listen to it using wireless headphones. And this service is free.

Don't give me what I want through technological marvels that are reasonably priced given the amazing things they do then make me listen to 10 seconds of advertising. You wouldn't like me when I'm mad.

Don't give me what I want through technological marvels that are reasonably priced given the amazing things they do then make me listen to 10 seconds of advertising. You wouldn't like me when I'm mad.

And not only will I get pissed off at that, I’ll get pissed off when Pandora adds a song into my mix that I disagree with. “What the fuck? I’m listening to the Black Crowes, so why the fuck is the Marshall motherfucking Tucker Band playing right now? I hate those assholes!” And I will stab at the thumbs down button so fast that you’d think that Marshall Tucker himself had molested me as a child or something. (For the record, he tried but only got to second base.)

In general, we’ve all become terribly spoiled by the technology that serves us. That’s not exactly an original observation, but it boggles my mind that I can take it for granted so thoroughly that I’ve got actual plans in place to assassinate the board members of the Pandora Corporation. (Not really. Maybe.) After all, I vividly remember Pong being released to widespread acclaim. I remember hating people simply because they had a zero or two in their phone number, because that shit is fucking annoying when you own a rotary phone. And do you know how hard it was to procure pornography pre-internet? Guys my age (and we all did this back in the early 80’s) used to tune in to the old scrambled broadcast channels (like ON TV in Chicago) late at night because if you turned your head a bit, squinted some, and then performed some mental spatial gymnastics, you just might find your self looking at a boob. Or a dresser. It was kind of hard to tell which.

That's a leg, right? Or... Wait! That's an ass. Or a blender. Whatever, it is fucking hot!

That's a leg, right? Or... Wait! That's an ass. Or a blender. Whatever, it is fucking hot!

Right now, in fact, I’m engaged in an activity that is fairly mind-blowing: I’m writing down my thoughts and publishing them in such a way that they are accessible to anyone in the world with an internet connection and the desire to see Corey Feldman make an asshole out of himself. Yet when WordPress informs me that my login has expired while I am doing so, I lose my fucking mind.

WordPress: For security purposes, your login has expired. Please close this window and then login again.

Me: I am going to fucking cut you, WordPress! I am going to find out where you live, break into your house, tie you down and slice you from neck to nuts, motherfucker!

Me: (3 seconds later) Ok, where was I?

And I don’t even have anger management issues. (And I’ll stab anyone who says I do.) As a matter of fact, most of my friends, family, and coworkers regard me as one of the most laid back people they know. I can’t imagine what I’d be like if I was wound too tightly. You’d probably find me in my office dressing my computer like the Gimp and doing all kinds of disgusting things to it.

Me: You like that? Yeah, take it bitch!

My iMac: Aaaahhhhh! Aaaaaahhh! Aaaaaahhh! This iMac ass-raping is brought to you by Snickers! Not going anywhere? Grab a Snickers!

I should know better. I should appreciate the wonderful things technology has brought into my life. And as a matter of fact, until I do, I’m going to go old school.

8 Responses to “I Am Spoiled And Impatient”

  1. I’ll give you the knife if you shank wordpress. as long as you yell “Attica forever bitches” when you do it.

  2. Vesta Vayne says:

    You are absolutely correct. Maybe it’s because we are bombarded with ads on a daily basis.

    My two pet peeves are gas stations with televisions on the pumps, turned up loud. All I want is to fill up my tank, not listen to commercials.
    And if I click on an internet video and it starts with a commercial, I almost always click away. Of course, those ads are, like, 30 seconds long. Do you know what I could do in 30 seconds? Will I actually do anything in that time? No, but for whatever reason I can’t force myself to wait until the video starts.

    • Greg says:

      You know what doesn’t piss me off? (No pun intended.) When they put ads up over a urinal. I’ll happily read those. “Oh, look! Free weights are on sale at Sports Authority!” By all rights I should be intentionally missing to register my disgust, but not only don’t I care, I’m happy to have something to read.

    • Greg says:

      Oh, and I have AdBlocker for Safari (which is available for other browsers as well). It will actually strip the pre-mercial from YouTube videos. Score!

  3. Anna says:

    I find myself a little homicidal when my phone doesn’t send a text message fast enough. Like the information in the text of such great importance that it needs to be sent RIGHT THIS FUCKING SECOND! Oh, and if it dare come up with a Unable To Send – well then, I totally tweaked and ready to call my phone people and give them a serious bitch-slap.

    I had to explain to my children the other day that when I was a kid some people didn’t have color tv. And, some TV’s even made you get up and turn the channel with a dial – and there were only like 12 channels! They were horrified.

    • Greg says:

      Oh, man, I use the paucity of channels argument all the time. We had a PBS channel, WGN, the 3 networks, a UHF channel, and a Spanish channel. And we were lucky to have 8 channels, away from the Chicago metro area, you usually got 3.

      So I tell that to my kids and they ask, “Which one had cartoons?” and I have to explain that cartoons came on for two hours a day after school and early in the morning on weekends. That freaks them the fuck out.

      A fun game I used to play with my daughter was the 1776 game. She’d mention something in her surroundings at the time, and I’d tell her whether or not that existed inn 1776. That game is quite sobering.

  4. Snarkobama says:

    Second Consul here, back in the days when I was Third Consul in Embassy post in Jakarta, which was 10 years ago, Pandora appeared. We used it to listen to classic Chinese Opera and David Bowie, which are very similar, actually. But this confused Pandora, which didn’t know how to match Chinese Opera to anything (we usually got Vietnamese folk songs). Pandora didn’t have ads back then and because it was free, our Ambassador who was a “real” party man allowed us this dalliance.

    But, yes, having the Marshall Tucker Loser Band come right on the back of Led Zepellin is a bit like having Jiang Qing and her Gang of Four do karaoke right after honorable Beijing Opera “Legend of the Red Lantern” with screeching voices and glorious costumes and make-up. Yes, I understand this is freaky looking to you Americans but that’s because you are barbarians. Sorry, diplomats are not supposed to interfere in domestic politics.

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