What I hate about the 21st century

The 21st century is now in its seventh year, and frankly, I don’t see a lot to like. Granted, I’m an avowed antiquarian, who smokes a pipe, uses a pocket watch, and prefers a fountain pen, but nonetheless I knew we were off to a bad start just by the number of morons who thought that the new millennium started in the year 2000. It’s always a bad sign when a significant portion of the population of an industrialized nation can’t even do simple math.

In no particular order here’s a list of things that are pissing me off about the new century.

Suicide bombers: Wait just a minute here, God told you to do what? Sorry pal, that wasn’t God, it was the voices in your head. About the only good thing I can say about these guys is that they can only ply their vile trade once. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of deluded souls out there who really think that God will be pleased with them for killing a bunch of innocent people.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: Basically a shill for the Muslim theocracy that really runs Iran. The man says the Holocaust never happened, and then wonders why he has no credibility with the international community. And now he wants nuclear weapons. Anyone with half a brain in their head should find this absolutely chilling. Say what you want about the Cold War, in retrospect both the Americans and the Russians were the epitomes of diplomatic restraint. For all their rhetoric and saber-rattling, both sides in truth realized that blowing up the planet was a bad idea. Not so with Ahmadinejad. I really believe he would start a nuclear holocaust in the name of Allah. One way or another, he has to go. With any luck, the Israelis will do our dirty work for us like they have so many times before.

Kim Jong-il:  Essentially the same rant here as for Ahmadinejad. Except I don’t think he’s ever denied the holocaust. But he is building up his military while his people are starving to death. Another one who has to go.

Barry Bonds: Even before the steroids scandal, he was widely known as the Biggest Asshole in Baseball. Now he will probably break the home run record set by Hank Aaron, an honorable man and gifted athlete who endured painful racial slurs throughout his career but played the game the right way. The day he breaks the record, every fan in the park should stand up and turn their back. They won’t, though.

The New York Yankees: I’m a Red Sox fan. I had to get that one in here.

Britney Spears: C’mon, you KNEW I’d get to her sooner or later. It’s not that I hate her, as such. In fact, I kinda feel a little sorry for the little tart. But I hate what she represents: a whole generation of narcissistic teens and twenty somethings who seem to think that they’re entitled to get what they want, when they want it, and preferably not have to pay for it. If they don’t, the result is a temper tantrum. Naturally, teen girls idolize her, apparently without realizing that, unlike Britney, they don’t have the means of getting themselves out of the trouble that emulating her behavior will land them in. Detox costs money, girls. So do babies. So does a divorce. Furthermore, Britney, Paris, and company have turned the women’s movement completely on its ear. They now are easily the equals of men when it comes to boorish behavior. Was that the idea?

George W. Bush: Hey, I voted for the guy. Twice. And I still admire his backbone in the face of adversity. But the fact is that through his mismanagement of both the budget and the Iraq war, coupled with an arrogant refusal to listen to the advice of others, he has single handedly delivered the Congress to the Democrats. The Presidency will probably be next. And before any of you “My-President-Right-Or-Wrong” types go reaching for the hand grenades, I would offer you this little factoid to consider: the country is now being run by Nancy Pelosi, Henry Waxman, and Ted Kennedy. Happy about that? Thanks a lot, George. This, of course, brings me to my next point.

Nancy Pelosi: Just making sure I piss off everyone here. Nancy Pelosi makes Hillary Clinton look like Margaret Thatcher. A liberal in the worst sense of the word, she is the face of Nanny Government. In the world of Nancy Pelosi, I’m not allowed to smoke a cigar on the beach, but I CAN go to the nearest methadone clinic and get a free fix and syringe. In her world, my kid is not allowed to say a prayer in school, but he CAN get a free condom from the school nurse. And by the way, if I want to send that kid to college, I have to pay for it out of my pocket, while my tax dollars go to giving an illegal immigrant a scholarship. Thanks, Nancy. And thanks again, George.

Outsourcing: Tried calling customer service for Dell or Symantec lately? You get to talk to a pleasant chap with an almost undecipherable Indian accent who calls himself “Harry”. Now, believe me, I have nothing against “Harry”. Like me, he’s just a working stiff who’s trying to feed his family. I’ll bet he thinks outsourcing is a pretty nifty idea. But it seems to me that American companies that market the majority of their products to Americans, and make the majority of their money off Americans, should be employing Americans. Is this really such a radical concept?

iPods: This one will probably piss off more people than the one about George Bush, but I don’t care. To me, it’s a generational thing. Kids today seem to think they have a God Given right to be entertained 24/7, and the iPod epitomizes this in my mind. That, along with the relentless marketing which implies that you are a lower form of life if you don’t own one, makes the iPod one of the most odious inventions ever. That, and the fact that I still can’t figure out how to work mine.

Cell phones: I hate these even more iPods. If the iPod symbolizes our culture’s need for non-stop entertainment, than the cell phone symbolizes our culture’s utter abandonment of common courtesy. God forbid someone should actually put the goddamned thing down for two seconds and have a real face to face conversation with someone. The Blackberry belongs in the same rubbish bin. Which brings me to my next point:

Text messaging: I’ve actually had teens tell me that they would rather TM someone than have a real conversation, because of all those, like, awkward pauses. We are raising a generation of kids that are technologically savvy but have no real communication skills. Johnny can’t read, he can barely talk, but he sure can TM.

Nanotechnology: A nano is one millionth of a millimeter. Poison gas made with nanothechnology makes conventional gas masks useless. I don’t know very much about nanotechnology, but it scares the hell out of me. Somewhere out there someone is figuring out how to use this to create a more efficient way of killing lots of people at once. This seems like a rather high price to pay for sunscreen that doesn’t leave a white film.

Political Correctness: This is what the Nancy Pelosis of the world use to stifle free speech. Last time I checked, the First Amendment applies to everyone, not just those who are saying what you want to hear. Calling someone the “N” word is reprehensible, but pointing out the reason there are not more blacks in baseball is because most athletically gifted black youths gravitate to either football or basketball is not. People should learn the difference.

Rap “Music”: I think I hate this more than anything. Rap “music” has probably done more to contribute to the coarsening of American society than any single cultural influence. I know some will condemn me as a racist for saying this, but I do not think it is racist to deplore an “art form” that glorifies violence, misogyny, and irresponsible procreation. Rappers refer to women as “bitches” and “’ho’s”, and not only get away with it, but become stars. Yes, I know the First Amendment protects your right to rap. But it also protects my right to deplore it.

Global Warming: The thing I hate most about this issue is how it’s become completely politicized. The Liberal/Democrat types breathlessly gush about the need to save the planet. Until, of course, someone comes up with idea of planting a wind farm in their backyard. And, naturally, the Conservative/Republican types poo-poo the whole idea because they’ll be damned if they’re going to agree with anything the Liberal/Democrats say. Personally, I think there could be something to the idea, but now that it’s become a political issue, the truth will be the first casualty. In the meantime, the liberals will glom onto this one because it gives them another convenient excuse to expand the Nanny government. I have little faith that the government will be honest and forthcoming with this issue, irrespective of who’s in power. Which brings me to my final point:

The anti-smoking movement: If ever there was something that has brought the notion of Big Brother/Nanny government to full horrendous flower, it is this. Tobacco is a legal product that is enjoyed by millions, but by perpetuating the myth that even transient exposure to second hand smoke is dangerous, the anti-smoking crowd have created an environment in which I have seen my rights eroded, and seen myself degraded to basically one notch above a child molester simply because I enjoy tobacco. Yes, you heard me correctly: I enjoy smoking, as do millions of other people. I know there are risks, but that’s my problem, and my decision. You don’t want to smell the smoke emanating from my pipe? No problem. The fact is that both smokers and non-smokers could easily be accommodated. There is room in any town for smoking and smoke free establishments. But no, we can’t have that. Big Brother doesn’t like tobacco, therefore nobody can like tobacco. And now even employers are getting into the act. The Scots company recently fired an employee because he was a smoker. NOT for smoking on the job, mind you. He was fired for engaging in a legal activity on HIS OWN TIME. Just remember this: if Big Brother can take away my pipe, he can take away your little vice, too.

So there it is: my take on the 21st century. Now, without further ado, I’m going to turn off the computer, light my pipe, wind my pocket watch, and spend the next hour reading something by Arthur Conan Doyle.



20 Responses to “What I hate about the 21st century”

  1. February 28, 2007 at 1:11 pm

    Good article. I could tell you got a bit emotional about some of your dislikes. Okay, all of them, actually.

  2. February 28, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    I think you pretty much summed it all up. Couldn’t have put it in better words myself.

    Just a random comment…as strange as it may sound, I think the pipe image backs your musings up quite well. Pipes are often associated with sophistication and worldliness (but you probably would abhor those two descriptions). But continuing with this image and its associations, the pipe would be symbol of a person’s vast experience with Life and this place called Earth…which in turn, lends more credibility to your comments.

    Great article! It’s full of cynicism. I sometimes like to write in that style too. Wait, scratch out “sometimes” and fill in “always”.

  3. 3 ~m
    February 28, 2007 at 6:57 pm

    Personal expression; this is what blogging is all about, Smith.
    And I must say that I pretty much agree with you and your blatant cynicism is a thing of beauty to behold.

    I’ve never been called a thing of beauty before. Cool. 8)

    I hate Rap more than you do. Wouldn’t worry there.

    Another one of the few musical points on which we are in complete agreement. 😉

    Come to think of it, C.A.N. would probably enjoy this post.
    That’s probably the highest compliment I can pay you. Well done.

    C.A.N. ? That is high praise indeed! I’m honored. 🙂

    Have a smokin’ day off…

    I always do. 8)

  4. March 1, 2007 at 11:32 pm

    Anything good about the 21st Century?

    Ummmmmmm. I’m still working on that post. It’s gonna take awhile, believe me.

  5. 5 joebec
    March 2, 2007 at 12:41 pm


    and i couldn’t agree more with alot of what you said. i’m only 31 and i miss the simplicity of the 70’s! when you weren’t home, you weren’t home. if you were on the phone you got a busy signal. kids don’t know what board games or card games or bicycles are anymore and is scares me too. i try to teach my kids that a box with pictures is not the only thing in the world. and kim jong-il scares the living shit out of me. nothing like a raving drunk with nuclear weapons and a mean streak. God, help us.

    Ahh! A kindred spirit I see. You and I are going to get along just fine, I can tell. 8)

  6. March 3, 2007 at 9:04 pm

    Interesting post, Smith. Well written and convincing. I won’t argue the points with you – as I agree with you on more of them than I disagree with you. Kudos.

    Thank you! And yes, I strongly suspect that when all is said and done, you and I are probably more or less on the same wavelength politically. 😉

  7. March 7, 2007 at 10:33 pm

    An excellent list, Smith. As the Waterboy’s mother would say, ‘Pelosi is the debil.’

    And it’s only going to get worse, my friend.

  8. March 23, 2007 at 12:23 pm

    Ha ha ha…this is pretty spot on…is it crazy that I’m 27 and agree with just about everything you say here (except for perhaps the jab at the Yankees and Global Warming)? My grandmother would be proud!

    Not crazy at all. The fact that you agree with me about everything just shows you have a first rate brain in your head. 😉 As far as global warming goes, there’s plenty of room for debate on that one, but as I’ve pointed out elsewhere, when an issue becomes political, truth is the first casualty.

    As far as my position on the Yankees goes, sorry, there’s absolutely no room for debate on that one. 😉

    Seriously, thanks so much for stopping by!

  9. 9 Sam
    April 13, 2007 at 8:46 pm

    Now that you’re taking a break, and the fact that this post was written a while ago, you’ll probably never see this comment. Oh well! Great list. Great thoughts. Great opinions. Agree with you on every one!

    I did see it, eventually. Thank you!

  10. 10 James S.
    December 18, 2007 at 4:29 pm

    Im a 19 year old african american college student and I 100% agree with everything you said.

    That proves you have a first rate mind. 😉

    I love the part about rap music and text messages, its all to true. I try to stay away from the “new school” rap but i do listen sometimes, in my defense i never participate in the things they say.

    Good for you! Thanks for stopping by. I hope you’ll visit me again soon!


  11. February 8, 2008 at 10:32 am

    I am randomly reading thru your posts. Your blog is an excellent find!

    As for the smoking issue ~ I don’t appreciate cigarette smoke blown across my face when I am at dinner. Yet, I find the aroma of good pipe tobacco to be very sensual.

    As for rap ~ I call most of it cRAP music. I do enjoy some of the poetry of a few of the rappers. Some write in such a way that makes me think.

    I am more a ballads type listener, but Eminem’s “Cleanin Out My Closet” is one of my all time favorite songs.

  12. 12 samuelmiller
    March 27, 2008 at 12:07 am

    Right on man! Great observations. Maybe you should run for President; couldn’t be any worse than the current bozos running.


    p.s. Nancy Pelosi is concentrated evil & stupidity.

    Obviously we’re on pretty much the same page when I comes to politics! Hope you’ll feel free to visit often and leave some more comments.

  13. 13 o.k.
    July 26, 2008 at 6:24 am

    what can i say
    great list!
    i totally agree with you.
    btw im only 15, and i hate ipods and cell phones too.
    and, well, i was 9 when the new millennium started, so i thought it started in the year 2000, as everyone was telling me, but just a couple of years later i realized everyone was wrong…
    i tried to explain to my friends but they didnt get it…oh well.
    the 21st century sucks
    and everythings going to get worse…


    (PS. English is my second language, sorry for any mistakes )

    No need to apologize. Your english is just fine. 😉 Thanks for stopping by.


  14. October 26, 2008 at 2:49 am

    Well, as a 22 year old I’d have to agree with you on almost everything you have sad probably because I have a decent memory of the 20th century, I think more can be added on to the list, but that is good enough for a short list. Anyways, the mid 21st century and late 21st century might be better or worse, but it would definitely be different if you compare early 20th century and late 20th century. Well Peace 😉

  15. 15 Mommyclay
    November 19, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    I simply typed in “I hate the 21st century” into Google and got this. I love you. Not in a scary way but in a “I couldn’t have said it better myself and will refrain from adding to it” way.

  16. 16 i_found_a_normal_person
    March 5, 2010 at 5:18 am

    I’m 12 and everyday i wish i had grew up in the 60s 70s….now i’m sad

  17. 17 JohnnyBoy
    August 13, 2010 at 1:18 am

    I agree with everything you say im 13 and like some other kid said i wish i was born in like the 50s or 80s mabey 70s or even 1940s i liked how men walked around in suits with hats now i see boys with these skinny jeans with piercings all over its horrifying to look at everyday. on top of it i hate rap i like rock and 80s music some of the artist these days are fake and use computers learn an instrument for gods sake also all my friends do is txt who could u be talkin to on the phone 24/7 who you met online and alot of my friends ask girls out txting how about be a man and go up to her and ask her out. this generation is going to make america worse then it is i tell you

  18. 18 Alton Locke
    July 4, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    Old post. If you were to sit down and properly think through the list of things you hate and then consider that you’ve voted for right-wing people who love cheapening by outsourcing and the destruction of public service by replacing it with private companies that are not interested your name or what you think, then you migh consider how foolish you’ve actually been.

    The ‘nanny state’ was actually an important underpinning of the order and organisation and general well-being of the ‘golden era’ of the late 40s, the fifties and early 60s. Every person who now bemoans the lack of ‘style and culture’ in the public arena, and who keeps on voting for right-wing political parties and individuals who are committed to chaotic dog-eat-dog, is rather a fool. Don’t you think?

  19. October 21, 2018 at 5:38 am

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taking up a glowing cinder with the tongs and lighting with it the long cherry-wood pipe which was wont to replace his clay when he was in a disputatious rather than a meditative mood" ~ Dr. John H. Watson ************************
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