Saturday, 27 February 2010

When I am the Minister for Transport (part one)

Many town or city centres, these days, are open only to buses, and bicycles...  Now, as everyone knows, buses and bicycles are the two most irritating vehicles on the roads in this country...

So, when I am Minister for Transport, buses and bicycles will be banned from built-up areas - for the sanity of all...

"Park & Ride" schemes will be turned upside-down - a bus will take you from your house, to a carpark on the outskirts of the city, and then you will get into a car, and drive into the city centre to do your shopping, or go to the bank, or whatever...

Brilliant, eh?

Monday, 8 February 2010

The long-overdue Facebook rant

Facebook - it's fun, it's cool, everyone has it, you keep in touch, you communicate, you share photos, videos, thoughts, comments, experiences...  Only one problem - it's RUBBISH!!

The rubbish-ness of Facebook is manifold...  I like to think of it as a shrivelled hand, where each bent, bony finger represents a reason why Facebook is rubbish...

The thumb, underneath which we all squirm in discomfort, is the broken codes of Facebook's interface...  Photos refusing to load, a "live feed" which still shows posts from last weekend, comments which say they can't be posted, but actually get posted twice, or three times, while you struggle to know what's going on...  It is a bug-ridden mire, a swamp of incompetence, pervaded by that pestilential "oops, something went wrong!" error box...  They have tried to be too clever by half, and they have fallen short...

Half the time, my home-page looks like this:

The index finger, pointing right at you, with mock-sincerity, is the layout of Facebook's interface...  If the code behind Facebook is bad, the way it is laid out on the screen is diabolically poor!  Even when my "feed" is working, I see is a string of people joining useless groups, or "becoming a fan" of everything in sight...  Am I interested?  Nope!  As an effective socially networking tool, Facebook is in danger of dieing completely - groups, fan pages, and applications have their eczema-inflamed fingers around Facebook's flabby throat, slowly choking the life out of any sane person's interest in the website...

And that leads me on to the middle finger, a rude and defiant gesture - a poisoner which Facebook itself invited to tea...  Applications!  Fishville, Farmville, Farm Town, Send a Smile, What Kind of a Friend are You?, How Old a Soul are You?, Fan Check, Who Were You in a Past Life?, My Top Followers - you know the ones...  How annoying...  Clogging up the "News Feed" like brambles over-running a once-nice suburban garden, people discovering their Top Ten Valentine's Day Crushes, at the click of a button...  Do I care?  Still no!

The fourth finger, weak and impotent, mostly irrelevant, is the Facebook Chat application...  I have used it once - it was an experience akin to bathing in cold, three-day-old herbal tea on the roof of The Treasury, while, oblivious to your presence, Alistair Darling and George Osborne wrestle fiercely, each clad only in a mankini...

And now, the fifth and final finger, of Facebook's dysfunctional hand...  The users themselves...  "Gosh, how could you say such a thing?!  If anyone's a victim in this whole charade, it's Facebook's users!"  Well yes - but some seem intent on make cyber-rods for their own ebacks...  I referred earlier to the pointlessness of a "News Feed" choked up with posts about irrelevant, un-funny, nonsensical groups and fan pages...  Who creates these?  Who joins the groups?  Who "becomes a fan" with alarming yet inescapable monotony?  The users, of course...!

I have done some research, to show just how ridiculous the whole group/page situation has become...  I, personally, am getting fed up with many of the old, hackneyed "jokes" which float around Facebooks fan pages...  For example, the whole "can *mundane object* get more fans than *unpopular celebrity* ?" thing is getting a little worn-out now...  In total, there are "about four thousand, two hundred" of these pages - some of the most popular include -

Can this Onion Ring get more fans than Justin Bieber?
can this sausage roll get more fans than cheryl cole?
Can this purple monster i made on paint get more fans than the president?
Can this Sexy Potato get more fans than Miley Cyrus?
Can this Banana Get more fans Than Miley Cyrus
Can this Hedgehog get more fans than JLS?
Can this egg get more fans than Katie Price?

These are all real examples, all of which have over fifty thousand fans on their pages...  And there are at least another four thousand, one hundred of them too!  You see my point?

Another quick search shows the following shocking figures..

There are 406 fan pages, and 231 groups, whose names begin with "Hi, I'm a boy" - and there are 575 fan pages and 350 groups whose names begin "Hi, I'm a girl"...  The "Hi, I'm a boy" groups are typically made by girls, and they try to make out how awful boys are - similarly, the "Hi, I'm a girl" groups are made by boys trying to get back at girls who've made "Hi, I'm a boy" groups...  Unless they're from the small backlash of groups about boys made by boys - or groups about girls made by girls - which try to make out that each gender is not as bad as the other seems to think...  It's essentially a sexism war, on Facebook - and it's all rather silly...  Here are some examples -

Hi, I'm a boy and I ignore decent girls and choose sluts instead.
"Hi, I'm a boy, I lie about my feelings all the time and ruin your life :)"
Hi I'm a Boy, Your Not The Only Girl In My Life, I Have Ten :) ♥
Hi! I'm a boy - I'm a prick.
Hi, I'm a boy, and actually, I'm a decent bloke.

hi i'm a girl, I argue, moan, think im always right & never shut up
Hi, I'm a girl, I sterotype all men because I cant get into a relationship.
hi, i'm a girl, i unfairly generalise the opposite sex
Hiya, I'm a girl, and when I say I like you, I actually mean it.

As you can see, if you've clicked on any of those links, these groups are just full of petty arguments, tired sexist retorts and piss-poor spelling...

Also on the topic of a badly-punctuated "battle of the sexes" revolving around Facebook Groups (well, kind-of) there are 546 fan pages about having period pains...  I may be straying into dangerous territory myself here, but hey, I know it can be painful, but is it 546-pages-painful?!

Then, there are all the "I hate it when"s - around forty-six thousand of them!  These can be split into two categories...

Number one - Real I Hate It Whens...  For exampl -
i hate it when i forget something i really wanted to say
I Hate It When I Can't Fall Asleep Because I'm Thinking
I hate it when people unexpectedly go offline...

And number two - Stupid I Hate It Whens - which are supposed to be "funny" but really, really aren't, and are terribly over-done...  For example -

I hate it when you walk outside and someone randomly throws a fridge at you
I hate it when you open your trunk & a naked asian beats you with a crowbar
I Hate It When You Walk Outside, Realise Your A Fish, And Die.
Dont you just hate it when a walrus attacks your nan.
Dont u hate it when your with Jason Derulo & he keeps asking what you said?

There are 231 pages, and 67 groups, devoted to people who laughed when they saw a certain image - usually something to do with popular culture...  Here are some more cringe-worthy examples -

I LOL'D when i saw this picture of Robert Pattinson
I lold when i saw this pic of justin bieber !
I lol'd so much when i saw what simon cowel would look like bald. :')
I lol'd when I saw your new girlfriend because you said she was hot.

Pathetic, eh?

And finally, there are a disturbing 1800 pages, and a whopping 6200 groups, claiming to give your Facebook account a "Dislike Button" if you join, and invite all your friends...  Of course, none of them work - it is obvious, by now, to anyone with half a brain, that despite the initial clamouring, Facebook has no plans to instigate a "Dislike Button"...

In my opinion, the concept of Facebook still holds true, but it is as a good soul trapped inside a rotten and disfigured body...  It is like a fat man with a heart of gold...  It needs to go on a detox, and get back into shape...

[all figures correct at time of publishing]