I Saw a Motivational Meme Posted Online. I Decided to Demotivate It.

Inspirational quotes memes are the new motivational poster, which means they have to be demotivated.

I remember when I was working in a corporate office setting years ago, the big trend was to fill the walls with “motivational posters.”  You probably remember them; a black background framing a stunning, uplifting image of an animal or human doing something above and beyond or against the grain.  There would be a big, positive-sounding word followed by an inspirational quote.  You know, something like this…

achieve-poster

Wow.  These kind of posters are really uplifting the first time you see them.  Look at that guy.  If I only expect high things, I can make high achievements.  For just a moment, you think to yourself, life is good and it can be even better, if I believe!  And maybe it’ll even fuel a bit more pep in your step and productivity in the rest of your workday.

Unfortunately, I found these motivational posters had a sum of diminishing returns effect to them.  The first time you see them, you feel inspired for an hour.  The second time, a few minutes.  Then after a third, fourth, fifth, the pep factor drops rapidly until it’s like no effect.  Eventually, you look at the poster and think to yourself, “wow, what a crock of shit!”

The worst part of it is that these posters would be physically present, hung on the wall, and left there as a constant reminder of how the little the company’s management actually attempts to try to motivate employees.

Trying to seriously discuss employee morale with management would often result in a trite justification of status quo along the lines of “we don’t understand why people would bother leaving our company.  We pay in line with industry standards, so it can’t be about the money.  And everywhere else you go work, you’ll work basically the same hours.  So people should be perfectly satisfied to be working here.  But check out this wonderful motivational poster in my office to learn what it takes to get ahead of the pack.”  
Yeah, thanks for the pep talk, boss.

It was only a matter of time before someone got inspired by the lack of inspiration actually gained from  motivational posters and thus “demotivational posters” were born.

downsizing_grande

Despair, Inc. did a pretty awesome job of cutting those motivational posters down to size.  I got addicted to these demotivators when I was in the corporate environment, because let’s face it, these really spoke to the truth of working in the corporate environment.

Eventually, I stopped seeing the motivational posters as much (I guess they fell out of vogue), but with the explosion of social media, something else seems to have risen up to take their place… the inspirational quotes meme.

You’ll probably see like 10-20 of them a day in your Facebook or Instagram feed.  Friends posting up a little something to bring a little positivity to what has become a daunting social media landscape filled with rage, rants, fake news, and political pugilism.

You can’t blame your friends for posting these, can’t blame yourself for reposting them.  Trying to bring a little inspiration to people is a good thing, right?  And at least these memes come and go out of your life quickly, give you a quick little motivation boost and then disappear.  

The problem is that these insprirational quotes had a sum of diminishing returns thing going as well.  And even worse, I got addicted… like I mean really addicted.

At first I’d get my little boost and go on, but eventually I started feeling myself needing more and more inspiration, especially as I’d see the rest of social media filling up with more negativity.  

I’d wake up, look at my phone, and be like, “ok, Facebook, give me something to inspire me to be great today, inspire me to love what I’m doing with my life, inspire me to get out of bed.  Found one!  Damn it, not inspirational enough!”  

I’d cycle through pages and pages of selfies, food pictures, “look at these damn liberals” posts, “look at these damn conservatives” posts.  I’d be looking for that one perfect thing that would give me the motivation to keep calm and carry on.  But sometimes it would never come. 

I’d be like, come on Internet, give me one more hit, I’ll pay you back next week, I’ll do anything, I’ll suck your….

“WAIT A MINUTE!” I finally thought to myself one day.  What was I doing?  I was falling for that same hollow, motivational poster b.s. that I was able to see through so easily before.  

I got hooked.  Social media turned into the baking powder and glass pipe that, when added to that pure cocaine combo of inspiration quotes and motivational imagines, cooked up crack.  What I’m sure started off as a little diverting fun for many, has slowly turned into an epidemic of searching for hollow positivity. 

Once I realized that, I decided I was going to change for the better.  I cut out searching social media for positive inspiration.  Now I get my motivation from reading a book or a taking a walk to get some fresh air, meeting with friends for coffee, setting realistic goals to accomplish actual things each day.  I’d meme these things, but why be an enabler to others who are struggling through an inspirational quote meme habit?  

 I take my inspirational quote meme intake in moderation. I blocked some sites that were constant streetcorner style inspirational quote dealers.  Plus, I’ve been introduced recently to the concept of “dank memes” recently, basically the meme equivalent of those demotivatiibal posters of back in the day.  Those have been my anti-drug.

So in line with that new thinking, when I came across this meme yesterday.

no-matter-what-the-situation

 I just knew I had to take it down a couple of notches.  

no-matter-what-the-situation-gun-to-head

Jerry Lewis in King of Comedy by Martin Scorcese

Dank AF.

So the next time someone decides to put up a motivational meme up on their timeline, watch out… because it might just get demotivated.

Advertisements

Woman Goes to Car, Realizes She Forgot Something, Goes Back in House to Get… Her Daughter

OK, this was kind of funny.  Kim Kardashian West, walks out of her apartment to a crowd of gathered phototaking reporters, smoothly makes her way to the car, takes off her jacket, looks around and realizes she forgot something in the house.  She then takes her jacket and goes back inside.

kim-forgets-north-west-meme2

What did she forget?  Her keys?  her wallet?  Her phone?  Her daily medication?  Nope.  She comes back out holding her daughter North West in her arms and carries on like before as if nothing happens.  Here’s the video.

 https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fsuperficialrevival%2Fvideos%2F1306763892701765%2F&show_text=0&width=400

I know people are going to give her a lot of flack about it.

kim-forgets-north-west-meme

But at least it got resolved quickly, with no toddlers getting left “Home Alone” and no incidents of “Wet Bandits” recieving tramautic torture and permanent bodily harm.

So a happy ending.  But for those nostalgic for the more action packed version of this story, check out this vid instead.

Soccer Goalkeeper Attempts Hockey Style Save, Gets Nut Shot Instead

Somehow I ended up being soccer goalkeeper, even though much of what I know about guarding the goal comes from playing NHL video games.

I play in a weekly soccer league.  Our team is called the HK Orbits.  Lately I’ve been playing goalkeeper, with mixed results.
We used to have an awesome goalkeeper in actor/stuntman Michael Chan.  But lately I’ve been taking the goalkeeper position in his absence.  The only issue is that I only have a vague idea of proper goalkeeping technique for soccer (or “futbol” as the rest of the world calls it).

hk-orbits-1

A relatively recent picture of the HK Orbits team

I know to make sure the ball doesn’t go into the goal, but my lack of physical acrobatics in front of the net leaves me lacking compared to Michael’s stuntman prowess.  That being said, I’ve seemed to hold up well enough that the guys are OK with me sticking in goal.

The other day, however, I made a slight, but painful mistake in front of the net.  We were playing against a tough team, lots of shots on goal, unrelenting attack.  We were short a couple of our better defenders.  So I had to step it up as the balls flew in with a vengeance.

A few good shots got past me and we were down in score.  I knew I would have to bring in some next level shit, especially since they had this one French guy that could run it in and hit corners with pinpoint precision if he got past our defense.

Sure enough, the French guy, the other team’s star player, got a breakaway and was heading right towards me.  I knew I had to shut down this shot on goal at any cost.  I got into my crouching, pouncing position.  As he came close, I made my move.  The French guy shot it full force from point blank range and leaped in front of him crotch first like f*cking John Vanbiesbrouck!

john-vanbiesbrouckJohn Vanbiesbrouck while he was on the NY Rangers

That’s right.  I dove for that ball like a hockey goalie.  But I very quickly realized something… this ain’t hockey.  And John Vanbiesbrouck wears a shit load of pads to make saves like John Vanbiesbrouck.

argentinas-gonzalo-higuain-fails-to-get-the-ball-past-irans-goalkeeper-alireza-haqiqiIran’s Alireza Haghighi going John Vanbiesbrouck on Argentinas Gonzalo Higuain

Me on the other hand, no crotch pads, no cup, just Adidas shorts and Calvin Klein boxer briefs protecting my nuts.

soccer-player-kicked-in-the-nutsI kind of looked like this guy afterward

Sure enough, I was in a world of hurt.  I needed some ice, but no ice to be found, so I had to settle for a semi cool bottle of Pocari Sweat that I had brought to the game. In either case, I was done for the game after that nut shot.

In the end, we lost the game, someone jacked my goalie gloves, and I limped out of there with my pride just as busted as my balls.

So, not necessarily a happy ending, but when I first told the story, my friend Seth sent over this video to lift my spirits.

I also found this nut shot compilation video as well.

Luckily, my nuts survived the incident and I’m back to walking without a limp, but the moral of the story seems to be that I need to A) get myself a cup and/or B) stop taking my soccer lessons from hockey players.

hk-orbits-2

In either case, make sure to keep your balls away from the flying ball my friends.

 

Hong Kong Candy Ad Unintentionally Gives Us All a Shakespearean style “Middle Finger”

Something tells me that “biting your thumb” has a different meaning in Hong Kong culture than the west.

Throughout the MTR system, you’ll see this advertisement for Arnott’s Tim Tam candy bars, both in Chocolate and Cappuccino flavor.  The ad is eye catching and pleasant enough to the eye, with lovely models and happy faces while trying out the Tim Tam bars.  I have to admit, it put me right in the mood for chocolate.

However, the one thing that stood out the most, for me, in the ad was the model at the bottom biting her thumb.  Naturally, I’d imagine she (and the director of the ad campaign) were trying to signal how finger licking good these chocolate bars might be.  But I think they might have missed that “biting one’s thumb” also has a much different connotation.

img_3293

Biting one’s thumb is considered an old British and Sicilian gesture to insult someone, much in the same way one would use the middle finger.  Essentially, it’s a gesture to say “fuck you” to someone.

bite-my-thumb-at-thee-romeo-and-julietJaime Kennedy in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet

On one online dictionary, I found this definition:

bite (one’s) thumb at
An archaic insult, often accompanied by the gesture of biting one’s thumb at the person being insulted. How dare you say that to me? I bite my thumb at you, sir!

http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/bite+my+thumb+at

Some might remember the use of “biting one’s thumb” in this scene from Superman III.

Screenshot 2017-01-03 12.59.50.pnghttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQuThW5c4DQ

Superman turns bad and straightens the leaning Tower of Pisa.  An Italian souvenir salesman, realizing his miniature leaning towers are no longer sellable, bites his thumb at Superman while yelling some Italian expletives.

Of course, the most famous instance of “biting one’s thumb” is in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.  Where Sampson, one of the Montegues bites his thumb to insult the Capulets.

shakespeare-i-bite-my-thumb-at-thee

Here is an excerpt from the thumb biting scene and do keep in mind that this gesture ends up causing a sword fight in the streets.

SAMPSON
Nay, as they dare. I will bite my thumb at them;
which is a disgrace to them, if they bear it.

Enter ABRAHAM and BALTHASAR

ABRAHAM
Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?

SAMPSON
I do bite my thumb, sir.

ABRAHAM
Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?

SAMPSON
[Aside to GREGORY] Is the law of our side, if I say
ay?

GREGORY
No.

SAMPSON
No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, sir, but I
bite my thumb, sir.

GREGORY
Do you quarrel, sir?

ABRAHAM
Quarrel sir! no, sir.

SAMPSON
If you do, sir, I am for you: I serve as good a man as you.

ABRAHAM
No better.

SAMPSON
Well, sir.

GREGORY
Say ‘better:’ here comes one of my master’s kinsmen.

SAMPSON
Yes, better, sir.

ABRAHAM
You lie.

SAMPSON
Draw, if you be men. Gregory, remember thy swashing blow.

They fight

So when advertising candy bars, be careful of what gestures you use.  Otherwise, you might just run a fowl of guys like this…

bite-your-thumb-at-me

 

Auntie’s Head Mistakenly Grabbed on Hong Kong Minibus 

That awkward moment where I’m trying to squeeze my way off a crowded minibus, I reach for the back of a seat to steady myself, accidentally grab a Chinese Auntie’s head.

For your average westerner, there’s always that slight bit of nervousness that comes when it comes to riding a minibus in Hong Kong.  The routes are less likely to be on main streets, you have to ask the driver to stop where you need, and there’s a whole list of ways you can and must use to get to your stop, and you have to say it in Cantonese.

On top of that, getting off the minibus at your stop often becomes a true test of quick thinking, agility, flexibility, and speed.  When the minibus is full, stuff in people’s arms are overflowing into the aisles, the bus driver is itching to hustle down the street ASAP, and you’ve got the window seat in the last row, you need to duck, dive, twist and dash your way to the door and off the bus before the people outside start rushing on-board.

Naturally, this sometimes makes for awkward moments, like the other day.  I struggled to get out of of my window seat, past the lady with bags on her lap that gave me like two inches to crawl past her.   As I stumbled, I reached out to grab a handle or the back of the seat, but I missed judged my reach.  Instead, I accidentally grabbed an older, local Hong Kong lady by the head.


It took a split second to realize that I had grabbed something hairy, instead of the shiny metal handle on the back of a seat, but that split second seemed like an eternity of horror.  I let go immediately, ran out of the bus in complete embarrassment, and (while I already knew apologies would mean nothing, that lady was most definitely going to curse my whole family in Cantonese) I apologized profusely with a staccato and continuous string of “sorry sorry so sorry” the whole way up the aisle and out the bus.

I couldn’t help, but think that day that, even though completely by accident, I probably completely reinforced all that lady’s negative impression of westerners in Hong Kong.  Maybe next time I’ll take a cab.  😉

Follow on Facebook @trueanecdotal

Advertisements

I tell it like it is, or at least how I remember it.

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: