blog.asurroca.com my personal blog

August 20, 2013

Someone Else’s Speech for Graduates

Filed under: humor,living,thoughts,writing — Alfonso Surroca @ 9:34 pm

One time (right now) I read this article about some guy giving a college graduation speech. It’s this speech. And then I rewrote it as my own speech, which I prefer better, because I’m young and selfish, just like the guy giving the original speech expects me to be.

What are old people good for, besides ridicule? Tales of regret.

Once, I was poor, and it was awful; once, I worked at a slaughterhouse, and it wasn’t. I’ve imbibed poop-water in a distant land, and shot a hockey puck at a girl I fancied. Once, a mousey nervous-hair-chewing new girl came to town, and moved away, and I was kind of kind to her when she was around, though mostly she wasn’t; that’s because I was selfish. Everyone thinks they’re the invincible lead in their own story within a greater world; it’s not that we don’t care, we just can’t see outside our stories.

It makes being kind tough, but as we get older, our reflexes dull and we can’t play FPS games anymore, so instead we play casual Facebook games, and we learn to slow down, and be less selfish, and give our money to Gameloft, and Zynga, and others. We realize through endless microtransactions that we’re more of a minor cog in the machine than the lead of the story.

And like that, life grinds you down into dust, but it’s like fairy dust. And if you have kids, you sprinkle them with it. Many of you have decades of the stuff on you, and inside you; you’re breathing it in right now, your parents’ lives.

I’d say “don’t be a dick”, but some Trekkie already made that speech, so I’ll just say this: In 80 years or so, I’ll be 134 with robot legs and laser eyes and a lot of cats, and hopefully some of you will have come to the same realizations I have and become kind, and when you are as kind as the Element of Kindness, and we’re all living in space, drop me a line, and I’ll say “I told you so”, and we can arm-wrestle with our cybernetic future arms and toss back a space brew or seven. Cheers.

January 26, 2011

Every (Hipster) Music Critic’s Year-End Top 10 List Explained

Filed under: humor,music,reviews — Alfonso Surroca @ 12:46 am

Upon reading this article on the predictability of year-end top 10 lists, I decided to make my own. Because someone called-out Pitchfork (and me) for being as predictable as the year-end top 10 lists referred to in that article.

10. Any self-respecting egoitst music critic is going to pick his/her personal favorite as #1. Also, Mumford & Suns is a hipster Dave Matthews Band, and fuck them. There I said it.

9. If the author didn’t understand Four Tet’s latest record, then there is little hope for him as a music critic, because it’s not dense. He’s dense.

8. This is America, and it’s OK to hate on other countries (ironically, of course). So, fuck foreign records. Exception: British bands. Because we speak their language.

7. What an amateur. Any self-respecting hipster music critic will not include any breakout successes. Rather, they will deride the bands’ rise to the top and declare them to be uncool sell-outs. “Arcade Fire? Yeah, they used to be cool, back when they were unknown and in that one Apple commercial.”

6. Obama is president. Hipsters don’t have to go on pretending to like hip-hop anymore. It’s a post-racial world.

5. The old-timer records belong further down the list because they’re only even on the list for irony’s sake. Everybody knows a good hipster has no sense of history. What’s history? Huh? Fuck history, that’s what.

4. Yes, Kanye West does deserve his own spot, despite hip-hop having no place on a modern hipster music critic’s top 10 list. Because Kanye transcends hip-hop. His beautiful dark twisted fantasy is our beautiful dark twisted fantasy. He speaks to us. He understands us.

3. This is the slot for the obvious sub-mainstream hit, actually, the one that almost made it, but didn’t. Because bands who almost sell-out but have to lick their wounds and come crawling back to college radio are the best. Oh, MGMT, it’s nice to have you back.

2. This is the spot for whichever album everyone else chose as #1, obviously. Let’s call this spot “Your Favorite Record is Only my #2 Pick”.

1. And finally, a good hipster music critic is going to put his/her personal favorite here. This is for the album that he/she either a) lost his/her virginity to, b) listened to the most while being high, c) listened to while sitting on the hood of a car looking at the night sky and musing or just pretending to be in a John Hughes movie or something. For example: 2008–M83, 2009–Animal Collective, and 2010–Beach House.

August 21, 2008

Trout

Filed under: humor,technology — Tags: , , , — Alfonso Surroca @ 9:48 pm

Next time you get a message from someone you don’t recognize with the word “trout” in their name, expect to be confused while confusing a third-party. See, there’s a flood of AIM bots running around lately.

What these bots do is troll for AIM screennames, then send apparently send a message to a random AIM user from its list. When this user responds, it sends that response to another random AIM user from its list. Neither “victim” will see the screenname of the other person—each will think they are talking to one of the trout screennames. Much confusion or anger will then ensue. And then people will post memorable conversations on LiveJournal.

So, what was my conversation like? Once I realized this was not a person I know, I started telling them to fuck off and blocked them. Perhaps I was impolite.

P.S. If you think this whole “trout” thing is more annoying than humorous, you can send the code $optout to opt-out of communications with them.

August 14, 2008

Ghost-sex

Filed under: humor — Tags: , , — Alfonso Surroca @ 12:22 am

So, a friend started drawing ghosts today and I thought they’d make a good comic. This is me putting my money (mouse?) where my mouth (Photoshop file?) is.

August 9, 2008

Webpage Farms?

Filed under: humor,photography — Tags: , , , — Alfonso Surroca @ 2:08 pm

I have the following comments: 1. These folks couldn’t come up with a name that better represents their business? 2. Has anyone even said the word “webpage” after, say, 1997?

July 25, 2008

BRB giving my persona info to scammers

Filed under: humor — Tags: , — Alfonso Surroca @ 11:18 pm

BRB jokes during the course of an IM conversation are entertaining. Example from moments ago:

[23:03] asurroca: […] I gave you a secret code valid for a prize of a free iPod Touch, Nintendo Wii, or Xbox 360, if you just enter the code, answer whether or not Bush should be fired, and enter your birthdate, credit card info, and social security number

[23:03] asurroca: so you pretty much missed out bigtime

[23:03] Kate: fuck.

[23:03] asurroca: yup, sorry

[23:04] asurroca: I went ahead and entered the info myself

[23:04] asurroca: so I’m going to get some sweet new gear for FREE!

[23:04] asurroca: brb checking bank acct

[23:06] asurroca: holy SHIT! My credit cards are maxed out and my bank accts are drained! How could this have happened?!?!?!??!

July 1, 2008

Garfield Minus Garfield

Filed under: humor — Tags: , , , , — Alfonso Surroca @ 1:37 am

Yes, I know Garfield Minus Garfield, or G-G, isn’t new, and I may lose internets cred by posting an old meme. Whatever. At any rate, I’ve always felt sorry for Jon Arbuckle. When you get past the humor in Garfield, what you’re left with is depressing. As evidenced by G-G:

G-G cartoon

G-G cartoon

G-G cartoon

Sadly, I’m finding that I can relate to Jon more and more each day.

June 19, 2008

Li’l Castro, the Precocious Future Communist Dictator…

Filed under: humor,politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — Alfonso Surroca @ 1:53 am

Wikipedia has an image of a letter 12-year old Fidel Castro wrote to Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940, wherein the future Cuban dictator asked the then-US President for $10 and offered him a sweet hook-up on quality steel for use in building ships.

Admittedly, his English was not especially good, as he mentioned in his letter. And that’s where this image comes in. When asking for $10, what he wrote, specifically, was this:

“If you like, give me a ten dollars bill green american, in the letter, because never I have not seen a ten dollars bill green american and I would like to have one of them.”

tendollarsbillgreenamerican

June 18, 2008

Four Words: AP Sucks

Filed under: business,humor,news — Tags: , , — Alfonso Surroca @ 12:49 am

Apparently, the Associated Press, in a noble effort to appear as much as an obsolete dinosaur as possible, has rules barring bloggers from citing more than four words out of an AP article without paying fees. See the deets at Boing Boing.

This got me thinking: What would AP headlines look like were everything past the first four words chopped off. I checked out recent AP headlines and here are a few perfectly legal fair use citations from the AP, under their stringent rules:

“Bali bomber warns of”
“Hundreds of same-sex couples”
“Cuban TV shows new”
“Celtics rout Lakers 131-92”
“Clinton asks top donors”
“Mississippi River breaks through”
“Bush to urge Congress”
“Probe: Pentagon lawyers sought”

These spartan headlines are almost more eye-catching than the five-or-more word headlines available at the AP’s site. Perhaps I’m on to something.

May 26, 2008

MFU, by HC

Filed under: humor,technology,thoughts — Tags: , , , , — Alfonso Surroca @ 4:24 pm

“When I walk down the street and only 3 or 4 shots are fired at me, I find it hard to stay awake.”

That’s the quote that stood out, among numerous outstanding quotes from this excerpt of a book of post-modern stream-of-consciousness madness by an author known only by the initials H.C.

It’s not new, especially by internet standards. In fact, by said standards, it’s ancient history, and I’m almost positive an entire generation has completely forgotten about it by now. It’s a relic of the days when WIRED was not yet a respected institution, and anything with .com at the end was automatically invaluable. Much of what the original C3F site spoofs, such as Pathfinder and the original incarnation of MSN, are bygone relics that the Sidekick generation has never seen or heard of.

I guess you could say it’s something like The Catcher in the Rye meets Snow Crash meets any post from Maddox.

Note that you can read the whole book by starting here and replacing the numbers in the URL until page 6, where the author makes things a little less maddening (most of the time) for the reader by providing links. Enjoy.

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