Categories for my correct opinion


Do Not Tell Me What to Like

Wed 10.12.11

In the last few weeks, Facebook has rolled out a redesign, prominently displaying the “Top Stories” on the front page timeline. The Top Stories are posts from friends and family that Facebook determines are important to you, through some sort of Satanic algorithm privy only to Facebook higher-ups. Granted, these have existed for some time, but now it’s 90% of what you see when you log in. Yes, a web page is now telling you what you think is important.

Facebook is not alone. Gmail has rolled out a few new features, one of which is the “Important button.” The Important Button let’s you designate which emails are important. Sure, it’s similar to the “Starred” button, except the Important Button takes it a step further; now Gmail will help you decide what emails are important by highlighting them as such for you. Yes, your email inbox is now telling you what you think you should find important.

Gmail, this is not helpful for me. If I think an email is important, I have a system of highlighting it. I will use the Star button. I will set up a filter which will put a big, red label on the email, making me aware of it. I will read the subject line and tattoo it on my scrotum, so that with ever step I take, the pain will remind me of the email that I need to review. I do not need help from a website to determine what emails are important. Instead, I need to spend precious seconds checking off emails and removing these automated notices of importance. Seconds I could spend masturbating or thinking about masturbating. Yes, I know I can turn it off in the options, but it doesn’t shut off on the mobile inbox.

This brings me to a further point; every website ever, stop recommending things for me.

Netflix, I appreciate your gusto. Thank you for recommending what shows other people have enjoyed. In some cases, you have helped me find something new and wonderful that I normally would not have given any thought! In the other 98% of the cases, you recommend crap. Obviously, if I watch Rapefighter the Barbarian Vol 1, I am going to watch Vol 2. That’s just obvious. However! Just because I like one NBC comedy doesn’t mean that I like The Office or The Office: UK or Best of The Office or The Office Christmas Special. You have a button that I can push that tells you I am “not interested,” but I might as well stick my pointer finger up my nose for all the good that does. It never works.

Netflix also needs to utilize an “ignore this forever” button. Sometimes my girlfriend picks the show. Sometimes I am watching a terrible cartoon from the 90s for the sake of nostalgia. Sometimes I am drunk and clicking things at random. Sometimes I am hunting for tits. Then the next time I log into Netflix, I am stuck with a terrible mix of suggestions based on shows that I clicked in a moment of weakness. Stop that.

Facebook, back to you, let’s chat. I don’t need to be friends the smelly kid who picked his asshole during math class in 3rd grade just because 5 of my older friends still communicate with the guy. You don’t need to show me my ex-girlfriend’s college room mate over and over on the Facebook side bar. I’m not friends with her for a reason. Worse yet, please continue to hit me when I am down. I had 245 friends on Thursday. Now it’s Monday and I have 244 friends. Who left me? Who deemed me so horrible that they couldn’t stand to see me post statues about my genitals and general disdain for everything? This would haunt me, but I have the attention span of a child, so I forget immediately. Until I see someone under my suggested friends that I was friends with not a week prior. Facebook, all you have done is given my rage a face and a name. You are an accessory to murder! Or will be once the chloroform and wire from eBay arrives.

That reminds me! eBay, please stop recommending that I buy a new television or cell phone every week. Thank you. Amazon, please stop suggesting that I buy a used riding crop because someone who bought Batman & Robin Must Die is also a pervert. Thanks.

I know what you are saying right now: “HP, no one is making you follow those recommendations. You don’t need to pay attention to them and in some cases you can even disable them!” Sounds to me like you are recommending I do something? Well, bite me. Does anyone else find all these recommendations annoying?

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5 Overused Themes that Need a Break

Sun 02.06.11

An audience is a fickle creature. There is a fine line between giving an audience just enough of that certain something, leaving them wanting more and then completely overdoing it. Oh wait. No there isn’t. The line is about a mile wide. It’s the difference between Boba Fett’s sparse appearance in Return of the Jedi and his ham-fisted inclusion in Attack of the Clones. It is amazing to watch an audience turn from absolute adoration to abhorrence. Here is a list of subjects that have become so completely over-saturated, that they barely make sense any more.

Now, just to clear things up: I do not hate any of these. In fact, I like a few of these subjects! If your hobbies include these in any way, I do not hate you (maybe). I am merely suggesting that we just let them rest for a bit before you drain every last drop of blood from your favorite subject. Still don’t get it? Just sit at your desk. Now say the word “the” over and over. By the 50th or 60th time, it should have no meaning and just sound like gibberish. Just like the following.


Although I enjoy steampunk, it is probably not for the reasons most people do. I just love watching a bunch of nerds attach gears to themselves and awkwardly pose for photos. It’s hilarious. On occasion, there is a costume out there that even impresses me, so I am not entirely heartless. However, steampunk keeps appearing in the media as an excuse to mix subject A with subject B. Want to mix in cowboys and sci-fi? Steampunk Cowboys. Think Aristotle should fight vampires? Steampunk Philosophizers. This trend culminates to a horrid point with Steampunk Palin. Simply plugging in Steampunk SUBJECT X, demonstrates that you have little more creativity than a blender.


This one pains me to write, because I do love zombies. I have discussed potential zombie apocalypse plans with friends. One of my favorite movies is 28 Days Later. I love The Walking Dead, both the comic and the TV show. I am horrible, I know. As much as I enjoy the concept and genre, I am sick to death of seeing it crammed into places it doesn’t need to be. We don’t need a half-assed zombie mode in Call of Duty or “hey me too!” zombie game-types thrown in our adventure games. The world doesn’t need 3,000 B-movies a year with a shared plot that consists of “zombies are cool, what if they were pirates/Nazis/strippers?” No one needs 200 custom, silk screened  T-shirts with some variation of “I [brain] zombies” on it. Back in the day, Romero used zombies as a metaphor for crushing consumer culture and now the situation is becoming almost literal (sans rotting flesh).

Star Wars

I don’t even know where to begin. Television shows, stop using Star Wars as a crutch for your dialog. Comedians, you have made every Star Wars joke ever. George Lucas, please don’t release the entire Star Wars series in 3D. Please. Oh, you’re going to anyway, aren’t you? We’ll touch on that later.

We have completely tapped out the stories, costumes, designs, concepts, and themes of Star Wars; between TV shows, movies, re-releases, re-edits, books, comics, references, jokes, and everything in between. We’re trying to make orange juice out of the rind now. Nothing is ever going to recapture the whimsical glory of the original movies, but everything can damage it. Rather than dumping more and more content on the public, Lucas should go into reclusion. There should be no official Star Wars products released. Not even a set of Episode IV marbles. Hell, no one should even talk about Star Wars for a few years. Then, maybe, we can finally have time to forget the crap Lucas has put out and begin pining for the series again.

Hey, Remember This?

If your only gimmick is that you make references to things other people have seen before, you need to stop. This seems to describe 90% of “geek culture” (and Family Guy jokes). We get it. You also know about a thing we know about too. That’s great. The problem with this is that now pop culture seems to just be a reflection of last decade’s pop culture. What will happen in a few years? Will next decade’s pop culture become like a Xerox of a Xerox of a Xerox of a Xerox of a Xerox of a Xerox of a Xerox of a Xerox of a…

This doesn’t just apply to referencing something that happened, but also with adding your own little twist to it too. A gritty, real life Mario? That’s never been seen before. Abraham Lincoln is a vampire slayer now? Let’s mix in Cthulu and Sense and Sensibility! You did it, you simultaneously diluted Jane Austen and H.P. Lovecraft. This trend culminates to a horrid point with Steampunk Palin.

3D Movies

Much like my ex-girlfriend, this was yet another thing I loved, until I couldn’t escape it. When they started reintroducing 3D movies a few years ago, I loved them. Those neat little glasses, things flying at your face, it was such a neat novelty. Seems someone forgot to tell movie studio executives that once you make a novelty the norm, the luster wears off. Now it seems every other movie is in 3D, many being filmed and written specifically to be released in that format. Not only does this drive up the price of movie tickets, but it also fills our rivers and chokes our dolphins with discarded RealD 3D polarized plastic movie glasses.

The debate as to whether 3D is even worth the price of admission keeps bouncing back and forth, but here’s how I see it: We pay more for a gimmick that basically adds almost nothing of value to a movie. When you leave a 3D movie, do you even remember that it was 3D? If it weren’t for the uncomfortable plastic glasses resting over my eyes, making me sweat (yes, my eyes sweat), I usually stop noticing any 3D effects come the midway point of any movie. And maybe it’s just me, but the best I can say for the majority of 3D movies I have seen is “At least it was shiny.” Plus it distracts from the plot and stuff.

Just to reiterate, I don’t actually hate any of these ideas, subjects, or themes. In fact, I have a place in my stupid, nerd heart for all of them. I wear geeky, referential t-shirts. I own several volumes of Marvel Zombies. I have read a Star Wars book (I’m sorry, mom). I am just suggesting (demanding) that we let topics rest and regain strength before we beat them completely into the ground. These topics aside, they are just symptoms of a bigger disease. We need to contribute to a pop culture that does more than remixes and mash-ups.

In a similar vein, Patton Oswald wrote an article for Wired that says anything I could ever say and more. It’s tonight’s recommended reading and I expect either a 1,000 word reflective essay or a 500 word confession/suicide note on my desk by tomorrow morning.


Week for the Living Dead

Mon 10.25.10

Your sitting in your living room, watching basic cable television, as per your nightly routine. You have a loved one or pet curled up next to you on the couch. There is a noise outside; shambling, moaning. You ignore it. Must be some sort of vermin. A raccoon, maybe? Suddenly, there is a thumping outside your door. It starts off rather dull, but steady. The thumping turns into knocking turns into slamming. You wonder if your door can handle the strain. Your loved one or pet has run off. You shout for them, but the sound of moaning outside drown out your cries. You go to investigate the front door and almost puke everywhere when you find a pack of slime-coated, crusty, little ghouls – armed with an insatiable hunger. They yell out “trick or treat!” You give them some candy and return to the couch.

Halloween is in less than a week and you need to get into the mood! Deranged serial killers aside, not much says “Halloween” like zombies. There is a wealth of undead material out there waiting to pounce you, but there’s a lot of rotten stuff out there. You have less than 7 days, here is what you need to get your grubby hands on. It’s time to cram for Halloween.

Zombies, zombies, zombies, all a click away!