Sunday, October 7, 2012

Today's PStUM: Self-Checkout Aisles

Not pictured: a job that gives self-esteem and income.

Why have the powers that be decided that the removal of human interaction from all facets of our daily life is the right call? I may not be the brightest person on earth, but automated checkout lines are confusing as shit. It’s not more “convenient” to give your customers a chore while they buy from your grocery store. I think Giant Eagle will survive as a chain if they add a few more minimum wage workers to their locations instead of these asinine (and presumably expensive) machines that no one actually likes. I’m surprised there is no popular movement demanding that grocery stores create jobs for young people and the disabled rather than use an automated system that helps nothing but maintain a marginal level of efficiency in each store.

Today's PStUM: (neighborhood followed by cardinal direction)

There is an irritating trend among city planning these days in which the appellation of relative cardinal direction for a municipality follows the parent place name instead of preceding it. What the hell is wrong with (for example) ‘North Squirrel Hill?’ This is the way cities have been named for decades if not centuries, ‘Squirrel Hill North’ suggests the creeping hand of modernity and corporate branding for long-existent neighborhoods. Squirrel Hill North is not a new housing project, it is a neighborhood where real people live.  Talk like normal fucking human beings- It's called North Squirrel Hill.

Today's PStUM: Tribal Tattooes

What tribe are you from, Travis?

Today's PStUM: "Prescription Drug Abuse”

As any mother in America knows by now, our teens (all of them) have a crippling addiction to prescription drugs. It seems youngsters today are just crawling to eat as many pills as possible. Pills are dangerous. Pills.
The singular enemy.
The recent PSA campaign against pill use shows kids who died from them. Without any description of what they were actually consuming. The new moral panic over prescription drug usage reflects again a profound ignorance of how drugs actually work- “prescription drugs” are not a category in themselves; they are just one method of obtaining various substances. This distinction covers amphetamines, benzodiazepines, sedatives, opiates, and others- a vast range of different substances with different effects. This idea that “prescription drugs” are a useful categorization for substance abuse is ignorant and hinders any progress that may be made towards helping addicts cope with their disease.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Today's PStUM: Porcelain Berries

I walk to the grotto everyday to pray my novena. Every day I see tasty tasty grape berries from de vine. I see dese berries, I say- what lovely colors! I can tell they grape by de shape of de leaf, I can tell grape by de bunch of de berries, I can tell grape by de vine. So I taste grapey. It no grapey! It bitter bitter! I see the leaf, I see the berry bench, I think: tasty grape! Won’t you get in my belly? I go to de Wipipepia, I sees de article- it not grape it porcelain berry! Bad berry, bad bad berry. De devil mix him lies with de truth. Porcelain berries foolin me with their nasty nasty offspring.

Today's PStUM: Cats

I often (by which I mean never) get the question, “do you like pets?” well, that’s a loaded fucking question. I have had pets my whole life; several loving dogs who have been my best friends in the damned world. To me, that’s what a pet is- a friend, a loyal companion. I do not count cats among the ranks of pets, rather, they are more akin to a style of furniture that respirates and moves a little bit. Oh, and also shits in your house. Cats are not really all that much different from groundhogs that live near a camping ground- they have abetted their fear and aggression toward man enough to secure a somewhat stable living environment free of predation and occasionally scraps of food. That’s it. No, your cat is not special because you trained it to poop in the toilet. When it comes down to it, your cat will not save you from a fire, fight off intruders, or express any interest in your persistence as a living being so long as you feed it. Cats are nothing more than feral animals too lazy to act on their instincts.