Narrow-minded, Self-centered Directors

It seems that film and television directors, especially American ones, are very narrow-minded and self-centered. I have seen countless instances of shows and movies recently where a character checks their mobile-phone to see a message but the text was too damned small to read. What makes it all the more irritating is that the phone is usually large enough on the screen that it could have been legible, but they wasted most of the phone’s screen with blank space.

Apparently directors are not aware that not everybody has a 72″, high-definition LCD flat-screen television or high-resolution “Retina display” iPad. Directors are self-centered and think of themselves and their rich friends and family and forget that many viewers may be watching on small and/or low-definition/resolution screens. They also forget that not everybody will be watching on a 100′ movie-screen or on an iPhone 3″ away, but maybe on 19″ televisions from 6′ away on their couch. Even with good eyesight, the tiny text on the phones in these shows and movies is difficult, and often impossible to read which makes it hard for the viewer to follow the story (let alone for people whose sight is not perfect).

Directors need to put themselves in other people’s shoes and think of how others who are not rich may be experiencing their works. Website designers frequently examine what their sites look like in other browsers to ensure an optimal experience for the maximum number of people, but directors don’t seem to bother at all. This is all the more annoying because fixing it is almost always exceedingly easy, fast, cheap, and trivial. They already often have to make up a fake phone screen to avoid unintended product-placement as it is, so they could easily just make the fake screen contain larger text. Even with actual screens, it should not be difficult to make the text larger and more legible because most devices include accessibility features to assist users with poor vision.

While I’m ranting about the poor choices that director’s make, I’ll add another one: making things too dark. There are few things more annoying to watch than a scene that is too damned dark. I hate having to watch a screen of almost all black with the occasional flash of meaningless bright area, wondering what the hell is going on. It is aggravating to have to turn up the brightness and gamma (and thus wash the screen out) to be able to see what’s happening. This goes for movies, shows, and even video-games. They already went to all the trouble of creating the sets, makeup, and costumes (or models and level geometry) in which to shoot the scene, why would they then make it too dark for anybody to actually see their work‽ That’s just a waste and causes frustration. (Obviously I am not talking about the occasional scene which is meant to be completely dark so that the viewer is not supposed to know what is happening other than through sounds.)

You “Should Of” Listened in Class

I absolutely despise the “Internet Generation”. I know that every generation thinks the next one is a bunch of no-good kids, but the current generation of younglings are just awful. The technological boom that occurred just before they started school has caused them to become very different than previous generations due their constantly being connected to everything and everyone. One of the worst aspects of these kids is that despite having the world’s information at hand, they have grown to be illiterate, uneducated, lazy, and just plain stupid.

One would think that if a person had information on any topic available at any time, they would be super smart because they don’t have to wait to learn it in school. Unfortunately this has had the opposite effect. Young people figure that since the information is always available, then they don’t need to bother learning anything because they can just look it up. That couldn’t be a more wrong way to think.

It presume that they will always be able to look up whatever information they need even though that is not guaranteed. There have been network outages, electrical outages, phone/computer problems, and so on and so forth. Worse, the times when you really need information are the times when you more than likely cannot look it up. If you are stuck in the middle of nowhere, trapped in a snowstorm, stuck in a post-apocalyptic world of any of countless varieties, then you cannot just “Google it” or look it up on Wikipedia. Then what‽ How are you going to figure out how to purify water to drink, how to make a battery to charge your phone to call for help, how to make penicillin to avoid dying of an infection? I bet you wish you bothered to actually learn these things now.

Another problem with the Internet generation’s laziness aside from their general lack of knowledge, is their illiteracy. Texting has led to a form of “1337speak” which super-abbreviates everything. Instead of typing out full words and sentences, they type short strings of characters that represent actual words and characters. While this made sense in the early days of mobile communications due to SMS’ 140 character limit or even a little later when phone carriers charged by the byte, it is unnecessary and even harmful today. Children grow up using text-speak at ridiculous proportions. They exacerbate things by not paying attention in school, which means that text-speak becomes the norm for them. It is a wonder they can even read real, full text.

One all too common example of their illiteracy is the Internet being littered with occurrences of should of, could of, and would of. Obviously what has happened is that these youth have heard people use the terms should’ve, would’ve, and could’ve and simply transcribed the sounds that they heard, not realizing that they are contractions for should have, would have, and could have. How on Earth do this kids have grown up, not having heard the un-contracted terms or learned about using contractions in school‽

Some may attempt to explain it as being due to the poster being foreign and English being their second language, however that is a specious explanation because it is quite clear when someone is a native English speaker or not. In most cases, the people who type the aforementioned bastardizations are indeed native English speakers who are simply illiterate. Even accounting for constant-access information and text-speak, there is no excuse for (unintentionally) using flat-out wrong language.

Yet another example of the Internet generation’s illiteracy and laziness is their terrible spelling. Even when they are typing full words and sentences instead of hyper-abbreviations and acronyms, they still spell abhorrently. Granted, they probably don’t pay attention in English class and instead just text their friends, but even that is not an excuse because their stupid phones and computers almost always have a built-in spell-checker these days, so they are just being extra stupid by typing incorrectly and ignoring the spell-checker’s vain attempts to make them sound at least moderately intelligent.

I fear that one day, this incorrect usage may become accepted and even make its way into dictionaries due to common, widespread usage. This thought is particularly offensive and inexcusable. Just because a lot of people do something wrong does not make it right. De facto rules are common, but forcing a change to the rules due to mass ignorance is disgusting.

English has always been a mercurial bastard language to begin with, but this sort of apathetic and blasé attitude towards sloppy usage will only make it twist and mutate into something even more inconsistent and sloppy. Foreigners frequently complain about English being so hard to learn as it is; imagine if it was even less structured! (I used to say that with English, it doesn’t matter how or even what you say, so long as you get your message across, and that may work for an informal language like 1337zp34+, but certainly not for an official language.)

As far as I am concerned, the only acceptable usage for “*ould of” is something like:

I was just wondering; could ‘Of Mice and Men’ be made into—another—movie?

Justin Bieber has Yet to Release an Actual Album

Of all the things I hate, one thing that is near the top of the list is anything that is over-hyped and undeserving. Obviously this applies to people like Kim Kardashian who is rich and famous for no reason whatsoever and has neither done nor accomplished anything. It also applies to Justin Bieber. Bieber is rich and famous for no reason. Some people will attempt to defend that he is a talented singer, but most people, myself included, would argue that is not the case.

Justin Bieber has yet to release an actual album. He got famous in 2008 even before he had released the arrogantly titled My World. That is the definition of over-hype. He was already famous before having even done anything. Worse still, My World was not even a real album; it was an EP. That means it only had a few songs on it; not enough to call it an actual “album”. He then released the unimaginatively named My World 2.0 which while called a studio album only had a single song more than the previous release. He then released a couple of remix, acoustic, and compilation “albums” which merely contain a few of his previous songs, with the occasional new one. He also released a Christmas album consisting mostly of him singing traditional Christmas songs. Finally, he released Believe last year which is his biggest release yet with a “massive” 13 songs. (He has a few singles which of course means a few loose songs here and there mixed with existing songs.)

Justin Bieber is quite rich and famous, yet he has created only a couple of dozen songs. That is only about two album’s worth of music. He even had a documentary film made about him after he had released less than even one full album.

Remember the old days when singers would put out albums with ~20 songs? Remember when they would be rich and famous only if they had numerous hits? Remember when they only released “greatest hits” albums only after they had a full album’s worth of actual hits?

Many people don’t think much of Miley Cyrus either, but at least she earned her fame and fortune by releasing numerous albums with dozens and dozens of original songs (only one or two were remix or compilation albums). She also acted on a show for four years across 101 episodes (counter-intuitively, Disney shows tend to have longer seasons even though the actors are children). Regardless of whether you like her, her show, or her music or whether you think she deserves her fame and fortune, she actually spent a lot of time and effort to earn them; certainly a lot more than Justin Bieber ever did.

At most, Justin Bieber is a flash-in-the-pan, a one-hit-wonder. Unfortunately his sugar-daddy Usher and his agent did a great job of promoting the crap out of him to stupid tween girls, thus ridiculously extending his 15 minutes of fame. If people were sane, fair, and proper, Justin Bieber would have faded away like Rebecca Black.