Get the nuggets out of my box

TV commercials; we all hate them, we are all forced to watch them sometimes. If you’re not quick enough to record a movie, you are stuck sitting through long minutes of asinine drivel about disgusting products you would never buy. At least, I’m referring to advertising here in the region. Yesterday I was unfortunate enough to have to watch a movie streamed live, and hence the clash with tortuous ads, 95% of which were trying to sell me fast food garbage.

The only time I’ll walk into a fast food mess is when I’m considerably inebriated, everything is spinning, and I feel the vomit churning in my tummy, wondering which exit route to take. That is the only time I will shove fast “food” down my throat, and clearly because by that point your body needs the insane amount of grease to reestablish your center of gravity.

It was really quite sad: out of 4 commercials, only one was nonfood related; it was about cleaning products and the script/acting/production were so bad I wanted to crawl into a corner and chew my own toes off one by one. The rest might as well have been advertisements for how to block your arteries quickly, or a vacation to the afterlife to meet your maker because surely regular consumption of this garbage would have you in a body bag in no time.

This was unbelievably frustrating. Why are there no ads for healthy food? Aren’t salads sexy enough? I would much rather watch a cabbage unfurl slowly than processed cheese ooze out of some deep fried crust of saw dust and rat droppings! And it’s not like we don’t have the products to advertise; the Abu Dhabi Farmer’s Market has really taken off and they have been producing great local produce. Ripe Markets in the UAE are bringing excellent organic products, and there are many places that boast healthy menus. So why don’t these entities have a voice in the ad slots?

It’s 2015. The cat is out of the bag; fast food is unbelievably bad for you and obesity levels are rising alarmingly in the Middle East. How are these chains still thriving? Even in the US, the source of this fat mess, the tide has started to take a turn (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/mcdonalds-to-close-more-stores-than-it-opens-in-us-for-first-time-in-40-years-10333642.html). Why are we allowing a rejected trend from its point of origin to proliferate in our backyard? And it’s replacing a healthy and balanced cuisine! It should be a criminal offence to replace Tabbouleh and grilled meat for a big mac and fries.

I would really like to meet the person who is in charge of regulating ads in our region. I would like to strap him in a chair for a week, and each time a fast food ad came on, I would force him to eat that product in its entirety. It’s not fair that only the poisonous shit gets ample representation on the idiot box. In the interest of democracy, I’m not advocating the complete ban of fast crap (although that would be pure bliss). Rather, I would like to see some hot salads, blushing fruits and slutty greens parade on the screen as well. I believe it’s high time for equal representation; bring out those polygamous broccolis!

Of Nice and Men

I’m a firm believer in the power of Nice. Life could be much better for most of us if we were just a little nicer to each other. This is much easier said than done, however assuming we are rational animals capable of evolving, it is within reach to brighten up our world just a tad.

When I was younger, I remember our teachers and parents telling us we should play nice and be polite. Fast forward a few decades and suddenly everyone in the corporate world is baring their fangs, throwing daggers at any exposed backs, and behaving like packs of mindless, rabid dogs. What the fuck happened? Where did the tipping point occur? When did it become ok to evolve into bloodthirsty, smartly dressed corporate whores?

Sadly, it’s not just the workplace. Driving to work, we have all faced that one idiot in the morning that either won’t get out of the way, or is driving so close you can examine his teeth. Then it continues; there’s the angry security guard who thinks “if I act tough, people will forget I don’t have a gun or any real authority”. Or the hundreds of passer-bys, that scowl and growl.

All these angry specimens around me made me wonder at where this aggression originated from. And while some people are just bad apples, I have narrowed down a few causes that can make most of us lean to our darker side.

Lack of sleep: yes, it’s not just burping and pooing babies that get cranky when you interrupt their Zs. Many adults need their 6-8 a night and tempers flare easily when they haven’t dreamt enough of your demise in lala land. Better to be lynched in REM than real life.

Hunger: ah, the starter of wars and the catalyst to our own fantastic (?) evolution. Like lack of sleep, hunger makes you angry and mean. Unfortunately, many people choose daily to ignore science and skip breakfast. By noon time, tempers are hot and chances for a squabble are significant. If you notice someone in your home or workplace that seems to be short-fused for no real good reason, try throwing a cookie in their vicinity and see if that helps the situation. This trick has worked wonders for me. Sometimes said idiot will refuse to eat because they are on some irrational diet. If they refuse the cookie but are visibly hungry, keep some greens at hand for them to graze on.

Sexual frustration: I strongly believe that most cases of anger and cruelty are linked to a sheer lack of sex. When you have that physical closeness with someone, the intimacy nourishes your inner good side. Actually, that may be bull. I think it’s the incessant pounding and head bangs on the board that beat you back into a pleasant submissive state. And whether male or female, if you notice someone slouching around with an aura of hate around them, you should look into hiring a few hefty Nigerians to fuck the nice back into them.

Apart from these basic reasons, some people just think that being mean gets you further in life. This belief, apart from being archaic and stupid, has no real basis or foundation. I think it’s time we shed these old notions and make a clean break, with more tolerance and free smiles. I’m not advocating the other extreme though. I don’t think you should flit around life, skipping and singing, and thanking everyone who spits in your coffee. But it wouldn’t kill you to let that car pass, smile at the security guard, or let those Nigerians finish what they are doing to you.