Wednesday, February 10, 2010

List Day: Top Five Pet Peeves of the Moment

  1. 48 hours earlier...: Ever watched a show whose opening scene featured the hero/heroine on the brink of a deadly situation, only to fade to black with the caption "XX hours ago"? Wasn't this device cute when Alias treated it like the "grains and carbs" piece in the USDA Plot Pyramid? It's now fallen over the line of overuse and should never be used again. When they start to use this on 24, TV will officially be dead.

    As a sub-peeve, if your show DOES use this device, don't make us rewatch all of the original footage when we reach the climax again -- it's a really lame way to save your footage budget (see also, the first three episodes of LOST's second season, which could probably be aired on three adjacent televisions to get a stereoscopic effect).

  2. Blue LEDs: As one of the elite males blessed with red-green colour-blindness, you'd think I would like a colour of LED that I can actually interpret. However, blue LEDs are so needlessly bright that they transform a darkened room into a crude mockup of a screenshot from the game, LOOM. There's a two-inch blue LED panel on our coffeemaker that reflects around the corner and down the hall to the bedroom which I cover up with a Post-It note every night. The knowledge of prepared coffee is a local kind of knowledge -- you probably don't care unless you're in the kitchen, and even then, the smell will give it away. I'm guessing that the olefactory equivalent to blue LEDs is a milk fart.

  3. LOST DVD Menus: It takes nearly ten seconds to transition between screens on any LOST DVD. After the initial two seconds (I presume my remote signal is travelling through some very slow air), the screen fades out accompanied by the violinistic equivalent of urinating hummingbirds, and then reappears with a new layer of selections. DVD Players are slow enough as it is -- don't interfere with your interface by artistically prolonging load times.

  4. Line-of-Sight Blockers: So you drive up to an intersection and edge a little ways out to make a right turn, and you peer to your left to check for oncoming traffic. Then, of course, some impatient clown in an SUV that's taller than most underpasses pulls up next to you for the left turn, completely blocking your view of oncoming traffic. It doesn't matter that the left turn lane has a red light -- they have to be well-positioned in anticipation. When I make a left turn off of main roads, I always cut as closely as possible in front of eager lefters, because passive-aggressive retaliation is fun.

  5. Facebook is not a source: I read the Post from cover to cover every day (except, of course, for the useless sections like Classifieds and Sports), and a distrubing trend I've noticed is an increase in the citing of web sources in articles. Every third article or so will have text similar to "Mr. Jenkinson wasn't available for comment, but his Facebook page says that he is a fan of Farmville, The Peoples' Republic of China, and Likes status updates about pot-smoking". I read the paper to get a real dose of biased reporting to go along with the fly-by-night variety of biased reporting available on the Internet -- and in that context, I don't care that the murdered night watchmen had a Twitter account. How about some verifiable facts?
Roanoke man beaten for burping
Dog waste piling up in Wyoming parks
Sinatra Song Often Strikes Deadly Chord

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