Category : pointless

They walk among us. Normal people, like you or me. But inside the corners of their ratty little minds they carry a dark, hideous secret: They own a leaf blower.

I know, I know. It’s easy to hate them, like SUV drivers, sweet sixteen psycho-princesses and those happy-slapping chavs who run around hitting unsuspecting people and filming it. But owning a leaf blower does not make you a shitty person. A crappy one, yes. But not shitty.

It’s not the individuals who own leaf blowers who concern me; it’s the whole problem of Leaf Blower Culture that keeps me up at night (that, and the noise). This is not to say the leaf blower wielders are innocent however. It is their weakness that ruins things for the rest of us. But what flaw in our collective psyche allowed it get to this point?

The Human Flaw
The skull-rattling noise of leaf blowers is the real reason that people use them, I suspect. Far from being the biggest flaw, it’s actually what attracts these weak, pitiful souls to it, desperately wanting to make some impact in the world, wrongly or rightly.

Backpack leaf blowerAlthough commercial grade leaf blowers are spendy at around $500, a small consumer version can cost as little as 40 bucks (plus gas). Like SUVs, the relatively cheap price combined with the vibrant feeling of pure mechanical power gives consumers a drunken sense of maniacal glee.

A few hours after the purchase you can find many people softly, sickly laughing as they swirl the leaf blower around like a bloated magical wand, causing a small wind storm along with an incredible cacophonous noise heard blocks away. Screaming over the monstrous din, they dance through the lawn with their mechanical version of Voldemort’s wand spewing forth a steady stream of devilish noise and blustery fury. Somewhere deep in their gollum-like mind the voice of a mad-man rings loudly in their hollow hearts:

“HAHA!! Yes!! I am making those leaves flee before me! I am invincible with my precious blower! Cower before me, you stupid leaves! I’ll blow you clear across the lawn! MUAAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!!!!!”

He is no longer a balding and pot-bellied middle-aged suburban dad. He is Leafmancer the Majestic, master of all who cross his path. Dare ye to speak to him over the bilious noise of his quivering instrument of power? Nay, he will not hear your pleas. He does not concern himself with such trifles as your feelings. “Back off, before I blow you off!” he hisses in an inaudible whisper.

A Cost/Benefit Ratio Forrest Gump Could Deduce
This simple device encapsulates everything that is wrong with American culture from a social, environmental and technological standpoint. Let’s look at what a leaf blower does and it’s advantages versus disadvantages.

A leaf blower is basically a reverse vacuum cleaner. It blows instead of sucks. But what goal does it accomplish, what societal need does it address?

It replaces a rake.

That’s it. As far as I know, there is no other common use for a leaf blower than the function that is easily accomplished by the common rake, which can be purchased at hardware store for 20 bucks and requires no fuel or maintenance and operates nearly silently.

The leaf blower does its job extremely poorly — and it does so very loudly — yet people still flock to this useless, feeble technology.

5 guys with leaf blowers

To really drive this home, and be fair to leaf blowers, I will now list the advantages and disadvantages of this machine:

Leaf blower pros:

  • Slightly faster? Maybe, but I’ve seen workmen accomplish virtually nothing in an hour’s time, like a retarded monkey pushing around a box of sand
  • Some can suck up and mulch the leaves, but most people don’t have or use this functionality; the device is technically referred to as a “blower vac” in this capacity
  • Although they ostensibly reduce human energy output, using high-powered machines is somewhat difficult and still makes you sweaty. I don’t see many grannies using them

Leaf blower cons:

  • Loud as a fucking airplane
  • Expensive compared with a rake
  • Requires continual purchase of costly fossil fuels
  • Causes air pollution and leaves the stench of gasoline
  • Creates huge plumes of dust & debris, some of which can lodge themselves in your eye
  • Not as good at creating leaf piles as a rake
  • Heavier than a rake
  • Bulkier than a rake
  • Has moving parts and requires regular maintenance such as:
    • Cleaning or replacing the filters
    • Replacing the spark plugs
    • Cleaning the fan blades
    • Cleaning the air intake
    • etc. etc.
  • Doesn’t work without a fuel source yet still requires human control/power
  • If you’re using a leaf blower, you’re pissing off everybody around you

Meanwhile, a rake just fucking works. (Plus, it can be used to sneak up and attack people using leaf blowers.)

Leaf blower mouth

A Cultural Sickness that Reveals Our World’s Rotten Soul
Our world teeters on the edge of economic, environmental collapse and I’m worried about leaf blowers? Well yes, because if we think leaf blowers are a good idea then I weep for our noisy, pointless future. Why does our culture accept and use these technologically gimmicky bullshit tools when perfectly acceptable old-school tools exist? Is it sheer laziness or a delirious lust for auditory power? I’m afraid our leaf blower addiction reveals far more about our society than we would ever want to grok.

Corporate priorities tend to distort things. In recent years the idea that there’s a technological solution to every problem has been driven into the corporate drone’s head. He knows all his competitors are using leaf blowers. He thinks that a rake looks low-tech and that customers are more impressed with technology than simplicity. He expects a lawn care service company to show up with a trailer full of gas-powered goodies, all of which make an unholy racket. It’s part of our cultural expectations at this point: If you’re not making a shitload of noise, are you really doing anything?

Blame it on our Genes
Our monkey brains are helpless before the lure of shiny, noisy tools. If this is the best we can do, perhaps the world would be better off without us. Dolphins don’t have leaf blowers. When they enslave us, they will say it’s for our own good and they might actually be right. That’s what scares me. Still, rakes sit lonely and dust-covered in millions of garages, wondering, like some jilted lover, what it did to push us into the arms of that supercharged demon-mistress next to it. Will America remember the simple, subtle beauty of the common garden rake before it’s too late?

We could certainly use the exercise.

This is one cultural deficiency I can’t blame solely on the Oligarchy (although our elite-encouraged oil addiction is a contributing factor). It’s our own stupid lust for power that led us to this point. If we keep this up I’m gonna start cheering for the goddamn lizard people. Bring on the brainless zombies (armed with leaf blowers, of course).

C’mon, folks: Evolve already!

A Future Fraught with Free Leaves
I’m not the first person to complain about this plague; leaf blowers are illegal in several cities and people have bitched about them for decades. Yet, here we are in 2011 and they’re still fucking here.

The most ironic part is that leaves will win this battle in the end. Leaves will be blowing freely long after humanity has slit its own throat and withered, gurgling and gasping, into the heedless sands of history.

Are leaves such a horrible infestation that they must be removed from our urban green spaces? What about the incredible amount of noise and air pollution that is being added to the atmosphere in their place? We are truly a sick culture if we think this is an acceptable trade-off. I will risk the fucking leaves, thank you very much. Maybe our feral, wretched descendants will use them as currency.

The guy who invented the rake must be rolling in his fucking grave. He’s just lucky he can’t hear it when they blow the leaves off his gravestone.

Sick Music

I haven’t posted in awhile. It’s been two weeks; two very busy weeks.

I wish I had something cool for you, but I don’t have much to say other than: I’m sick. I feel like crap. So no worthwhile posting today. Instead, I want to direct you to an interesting site I found. It’s called thesixtyone and it’s basically Digg for music. FINALLY!! I’ve been waiting for something like this for a long time and it looks like somebody’s finally done it right.

Check it out; let me know what you think. I’ve uploaded a Darkfold song if you want to hunt it down. :-) We have a show coming up on Saturday at Station-4. We would love to see you there!

Flying Squirrel Suits!

Real flying squirrels are gonna be pissed when they see this.

I wonder who was the first guy who said, “Hey, let’s make suits that mimic flying squirrels and then jump off a fuckin’ mountain!!” ‘Cause these guys actually did it:

That’s probably just about the most insanely stupid thing I’ve ever seen. I’m not objecting, though. We need space monkeys to do dangerous and stupid shit so the rest of us don’t have to. And these guys are breaking new ground in the field of… uh… um…

Okay, they’re just crazy.

Why am I obsessed with LOLcats?

It’s just a stupid internet meme, but it amuses me endlessly. Here’s one I made for Hedy:

Ahhh… the internet. Pretty soon there’s gonna be more pictures of cats on the web than (human) pornography. Kitty-porn, as it were, is winning.

I just can’t explain the attraction. Kitties are cute, no doubt, but it still seems odd. I wonder if there’s a 12-step program…

An enjoyable four-day weekend

I’m back at the grind after a lovely Memorial Day vacation. I hope you all had a great vacation as well. Mine was pretty cool. It involved dancing, drinking, camping, recording, softball, jogging, bocce ball, lots of eating, frisbee, jamming, driving, hiking and non-stop partying with friends. All in all, I can’t complain. The weather was even pretty nice. It got really windy the first night we camped, though. It was kind of surreal, but it just added to the fun.

I should have a more interesting post up soon. Probably later today or tomorrow. I will have to do a bit of research before I post. This blog is tougher than it looks, yo. I move mountains for you, dear readers!

You live in the monkeysphere, human!

You are human, yet you live in a monkeysphere. How odd.

..What?! You don’t know what the Monkeysphere is? Here’s your chance.

You can impress people and look smart at parties by having a solid grasp on the concept of a monkeysphere and the ability to explain it succinctly. Then you can screech and fling poo at them.

If you’re nice, maybe I’ll let you into my monkeysphere.

I demand updates!

You ever go to a blog and wonder, “When the hell is this asshole going to update his stupid blog?” Well, I just went to my own blog and wondered that same question. “Who is this asshole, anyway? Why can’t he get off his ass and post something?!”

A just question. I will continue to give myself shit until I get off my ass and post something. A little self-flagellation never hurt anybody.

Blog Constipation

I want to blog, but I have nothing to say. So now you have to read this pointless post. Go on, try to stop. You know there’s nothing of value here, but I bet you’re still reading this anyway. I already told you that I am without a point. But here we are. I’m posting, and you are, presumably, reading this. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

Well, here’s to life and football. Oh, and mad props to MPEG2 Works 4 Advanced, while I’m at it. It’s a great way to convert video files to DVD format.

Man, we got fucked at band practice on Saturday. The neighbors complained a few songs into our set. We hadn’t even gotten loud yet. Fuck, man, we were so pissed, but we continued playing an acoustic set.

See, I told you this post had no point.

Well, I did it! Check out the new blog

Yep, this is an all-new design and now it’s finally live. I’ve even migrated all my old posts over to the new system. Obsessive? Yes, but it was pretty easy. They go all the way back to 2002, but I’ve only been posting on blogger.com for the last month or so. And as you can see, some of those posts were test posts.

I hope to update this blog a lot more often than I did before. After all, I now use a system that is infinitely easier to update. Before, posting was a nightmare. Dreamweaver didn’t like my design and was constantly freezing up when I was typing. This is so much better. Who knew there was actually a point to “blog software.” I think I thought I was a tough-guy, a real hard-core web designer, who does things my way or not at all. Well, it turns out that my way is kinda hard. So, even though I have a little less control over the design of this blog, I hope my increased post-frequency makes up for it. We shall see.

Hell, I can do another post, right after this one! Muhahahaaa! It’s easy! I can organize my thoughts into coherant posts without screwing around with the HTML! This is sweet.

Welcome to my new blog

I’ve ditched the old design and moved on to this one, hosted by Blogger. I figure this way I will be able to update it a lot more. It was a difficult and time-consuming process before, partly because of Dreamweaver’s quirks and partly because of my insane design. I’m trying to tone down the obvious insanity this time, although it may crop up later.

Oh and feel free to let me know how it looks. Now you can comment on this blog (and this story), which is a feature my old solution was missing. Hope you like it!