Monday, September 10, 2012

London Rants

Hello again.  I know I said before that I would post yesterday, but in the words of the one and only Maury Povich, “That was a lie.”


The reason for me not posting yesterday was that I simply forgot.  For the first time since I got to Valkeakoski, I actually spent the day enjoying myself.  It was the first week of NFL football so I watched a bunch of games.  Before that I was preparing for training and then doing some extra fitness work after.  The point is that I said I would do something and I didn’t so I apologize.  But that’s ok, because I’m ready now to go on not one, but two rants.  Buckle up because this is gonna be a crazy ride.



For those who don’t know, this line means that I’m done talking about anything relevant.


Last week I was in London and it was awesome.  I stayed with Celia, who is effectively my girlfriend even though we don’t call each other that.  We get along great because she is kind of like a girl version of me and I’m a boy version of her.  That might sound a bit weird, but it makes sense in my head.  I also just really like London.  It’s the only city outside of America in the world that combines the big city experience that I love with English infrastructure.  Stockholm is similar in that all the people speak English and a lot of the necessary signs are in English, but the hustle and bustle is missing as are the cheap prices.  Anyway what I’m trying to say is that London is great.  There is though one thing that I absolutely hate about London: local teenagers.


In the past year I have spent a total of maybe 20 days in London.  If I had more free time that number would be even higher.  But whenever I think of going to London, the only thing that gives me pause are the effing teenagers in that city.  English kids aged maybe 15-18 just walk around being dicks to people for no reason whatsoever.  I am a normally mild-tempered guy, but I just want to punch these kids in the face.  And the thing is, they’re everywhere.  Do british kids not have to go to school?  Do they just ride the tube all day annoying strangers?  Most of the incidents are minor, but they add up.  Two incidents in particular though deserve mentioning.  The first happened at a McDonald’s right next to the London Eye.  There were probably 50 people waiting in line and it was all one big unorganized mess.  Right as Celia and I got to the front, four teenagers just walked in and pushed past everybody to the front.  One guy looked at me and said, “Is it alright if we come past you?” and then looked away before I could say anything.  It pissed me off so much, but what was I gonna do?  Do I punch the kid and start a fight in a crowded McDonald’s?  Do I tell a manager?  What could he/she do if I did?  I wish I could say that I at least slapped the kid’s drink out of his hand or something, but instead I just waited an extra two minutes and went on with my order.  That was the first incident.


The second incident was ironically also at a McDonald’s, but this one made me much angrier even though in reality it is a much lesser offense.  It was last week and I went to McDonald’s because I love that place and could never see myself not eating there.   I get to the front of the line and there’s this Indian-looking kid working the cash register.  Ok I need to take a brief tangent.



There are a lot of Indian people in London.  I have a vague understanding of Britain’s past with India so it’s not so surprising, but still there are a lot more than I realized.  I see more Indian people in London than black people.  It’s a really multicultural city, similar to New York but with a different percentage of each minority.



Now some people won’t get what I’m about to talk about because in Sweden and Finland the people working the cash registers seem to be exclusively well-to-do, white high school kids.  They somehow seem to love working at McDonald’s and are the kind of people you’d expect to see in commercials.  That is absolutely NOT the case in London or anywhere I’ve been in America.  This dick (I mean kid, the letters not surprisingly are more or less the same) and I engaged in the time honored tradition at big city McDonald’s of mumbling back and forward without making eye contact to get the order.  This means that half the time one person or the other doesn’t fully understand what’s been said.  That happened and I asked the kid to repeat what he said.  He sighed, took a deep breath and said whatever it was he said in an annoyed voice.  Hold on.


AM I ANNOYING YOU, RANDOM KID CASHIER AT MCDONALD’S!?  Is it not literally your job to talk to people?  Sorry that I didn’t hear your freakin mumbles but for all he knows I could be partially deaf.  Or maybe I’m just screwing with him to have a laugh.  Regardless, it shouldn’t be a burden on his day that I need him to repeat himself.  That was literally a week ago and I’m still pissed off about that.  Then, when I finally got my meal, this clown had the nerve to put the meal on three trays.  I picked up only one tray and starting going to a table and he started to say, “You’ve got three…” then stopped when he realized I only took one.  This dick (I think we can agree he’s a dick) gave me three trays just so he could smugly tell me I had more than one.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with working at McDonald’s (you’d probably make more money than I do), but if you work there you better not be such an asshole that you can deal with minor inconveniences.  Therefore no British teenager should be allowed to work in that position.  That’s my first rant.


My second rant is inspired entirely by the Tate Modern Art Museum in central London.  This massive museum for “art” is located directly across the Thames River from St. Paul’s Cathedral and is very close to all the most touristy stuff in London.  But don’t tell the people there.  They’re all hipsters who are too cool to visit somewhere popular.


Now I love museums, and I like art, so I should love a huge art museum, right?  Wrong.  I hate the Tate.  It makes me mad when I go there.  Not because I don’t like the artwork; in fact, most of it is really impressive.  No the reason I hate the Tate is because of the crap that they call “art”.  I’ll give you some examples:

Kids make this every day.

Just a big block of granite with glass on top.

Octagon.  Honestly that's it.

A mirror.  The tag next to it hilariously notes that this piece of "art" is from 1965.

I honestly thought the vents on the floor were part of the art.  That's how non-artsy these things were.  This could literally be at any construction site.

To once again quote someone, this time Aziz Ansari, “Are you shitting me man!?!?”


There is no way any of that is art.  One is literally just a mirror.  I understand that sometimes art can be weird, but there is no way you can classify this as important/relevant/good.  And that’s what annoys me about the Tate. 
One thing I think you guys and gals might now realize about this blog is that whenever I take a picture, I look like an absolute idiot.  So as I’m going around taking pictures of the worst things in the Tate it’s not just me there.  People can actually see me taking picture and, here’s the kicker, THEY THINK I ACTUALLY LIKE THIS CRAP!  The hipsters were all looking over and giving me knowing nods, as if to say, “he gets it.”  Ironically, my hatred of hipsters and modern art led me to getting accepted by hipsters at a modern art museum.  That’s the way I spend my vacations.  And so ends rant #2.


The last thing I’ll do is show a video of a “living art” exhibition that was happening on the ground floor of the museum, which is a vast open space.  I can’t even explain it you just have to watch.



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