Listen up, everyone. There are a handful of things that we all need to stop doing. I won’t be cute about it. It’s too important. We are collectively fucking up and the fate of the entire human race hangs in the balance here.
Now, I’m not talking about petty little things like “war” or “racism” or “child-murder.” No, I’m talking about the big things, the real issues that face us in these trying times, strange and terrible as they are. These are the issues that matter, this is how we can all make a difference. And we can start with these nine things that we all need to stop doing immediately.
Look, I like a good meme now and then, the same as the next guy, but we all need to agree, right here and right now, that it’s time to rein this shit in. I’m talking about the desolate souls still trying to make “I can haz” type nonsense happen in the year of our Lord 2016.
You see, it’s not so much about the memes themselves, it’s their overuse in every comment section, by every “funny” idiot, who doesn’t know how to express himself without using ridiculous Internet speak. You all know what I’m talking about. It needs to stop before we all become a gaggle of witless buffoons, gibbering to our loved ones about how Doge fought Slenderman and Ermahgerd! Look at Neil deGrasse Tyson’s sassy reaction! That’s no way to live, bros. No way at all.
Choosing Your Phone Over People
Look, I know this is a losing battle and that I’m gonna sound like an old man screaming at everyone to get off his lawn here, but… yeah, can we please actually, you know, try engaging with each other rather than just texting our lives away?
Now, I’m not saying run up on a stranger and start babbling away because that’s awful and if you are doing that, add that to the list of things you need to stop doing. But there is nothing more depressing than seeing a group of friends all huddled together with their heads down, buried in their phones, thumbs twittering away. I know, I know, real life doesn’t have as many cool features as your phone, but you’d be surprised at the amount of life-like emojis you can use.
Stop it. Right now. Just… stop it. This seems like the sort of thing that everyone makes fun of, and yet the man-bun continues to be seen from coast to coast. So, clearly, someone – or a lot of someones – are actively okay with this nonsense.
It’s not just man-buns, though. It’s what the man-bun represents. I won’t say hipster because that word has become overused and almost meaningless, but… yeah. I’m talking about the sort of “fashion” that we all know is going to be a hideous cliché one day, the same way people make fun of bell-bottoms and 90s Color Me Badd mustaches. We know it’s ridiculous and awful while it’s happening. This is exactly what Jesus was trying to warn us about. At least that’s how I always understood the Bible.
Talking About The Kardashians
Look, I’ll admit it. I was all set to talk about how we need to stop indulging these morons. More specifically, about how we need to stop pretending that any of this is okay. But along the way, it occurred to me that a better solution would be to simply stop acknowledging these cretins at all.
You see, complaining about them isn’t going to help. It just makes them stronger. They are like poltergeists, feeding off of our bad energy. Even this tiny discussion has made them slightly stronger and for that, I apologize. So, starting now, let’s just all agree to not even mention their names. I know, I know, this is a futile battle, but as Edmund Burke once said, the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Or wait, in this case, maybe it’s the opposite? I’m so confused. Damn you, Kris Jenner!
Saying Netflix And Chill
This is hideously overused and you all know it. Like, if someone actually is using the “Netflix and chill?” line right now, they deserved to be mocked and heaped with scorn. Heaped with it, bros. This is something that is about to break on its own. Like, we’re about a week away from this officially becoming the 2016 equivalent of a sad dude doing a Borat impression, so there’s not much I need to do to stop this nonsense. But we can all get ahead of the curve and maybe speed that up because, honestly, bros, I can’t wait a week.
Acting So Goddamn Superior
I know, I know, asking everyone to stop being so judgmental all the time is pretty fucking rich in the context of this whole… whatever this is. But I’m going to do it anyway. So, can we please stop being so goddamn judgmental all the time?
We have become a culture of sneering contempt, willing to rain death from above down on anyone who might make the slightest social faux pas. It is ironic that in the age of tolerance, we are some of the most intolerant assholes around.
Now, I’m not asking you to stop bagging on all the idiots. That would be unrealistic. But can we at least chill on clubbing and the cannibalizing each other simply because it makes us feel better about ourselves and our own inadequacies? Let’s at least try, okay?
Being So Goddamn Dramatic
In the same vein, can we please stop howling “Oh God, think of the children! Won’t someone please think of the children???” every time an off-color joke gets tossed around or a dude gets a mild concussion playing a game. We get it. You care. A Lot. You’re a very good person. Now shut up.
It would also be cool if we could stop acting like everything that happens is “OMG the worst thing ever!!!” or “the most epic thing that has ever happened in the history of the universe!!!” We live in an age of breathless absurdity, of constant drama, in which we have to pretend like we’re sitting at the precipice of some hideous disaster, white-knuckling our way through it all, where anything and everything that happens is filtered through a billion decibel noise machine that never stops running. Everybody chill!!! (The man dramatically screamed without a trace of irony.)
Trying So Goddamn Hard
We live in an age where everyone has to be a genius, a comedian, an intellectual, a critic, a… you get the point. Everyone is just always trying so goddamn hard and it sucks. It’s just damn cringy, and it creates so much noise that after a while you start tuning out the real geniuses, the real comedians, the real intellectuals. (Fuck the real critics, though.)
You have neck-beards tipping their fedoras and m’ladying their way to (white) knighthood alongside barely literate idiots weird-twittering their way to Fame and Fortune (at least in their own sad minds.) And next to them, you have a generation of Lisa Simpsons breathlessly trying to catch Mr. Burns around every corner. It’s just so goddamn tiresome. Trying so goddamn hard isn’t cool, guys. It’s fucking lame.
Looking for Reasons To Be Upset
Again, I recognize the irony here. But really, can we all stop looking for reasons to get outraged at everyone and everything?
I mean, I get it. Some things are deserving of outrage. But when you’re outraged at everything, none of it matters. We need to stop being so goddamn obtuse and pedantic (I just bought a thesaurus) and cut through the bullshit and accept that people aren’t going to be on-point all the time. People say things in a clumsy way sometimes, or they say something a little raunchy. Or they have a weird opinion about one thing even though they’re totally cool about everything else. That’s okay! Really, it is. It’s called being human, and it would be really cool if we could all recognize each other as human and cut some fucking slack now and then.
The alternative – being angry all the time – is just miserable, and it doesn’t really do any good. It just fractures and alienates everyone, turns groups of people into smaller groups until there’s finally just bickering, angry people with no friends who see enemies around every corner, who invent enemies in every clumsy sentence, in every joke that doesn’t quite land. It’s exhausting and it’s awful, and more than anything else I’ve talked about, this is something we all have to agree to stop doing.
Man raising hand image by Shutterstock