22 of the most overrated things ever
VIP Sections in clubs
So if I want to sit down you’re going to charge me Dhs5,000? Just to sit down on the other side of that rope at a table that’s identical to the one in the regular section right next to it, and all I have to do is pay a fortune for a bottle of spirits that costs a fraction of that in my local MMI? Anyone fancy going to the pub?
24-hour news channels have ruined this once dramatic phrase. Previously, if you saw a ticker on the screen with BREAKING NEWS then you knew that something big had happened, like the SAS storming the Iranian Embassy or the space shuttle exploding upon launch. Now, it’s more common to see this phrase than weather updates and the power of the expression has been pretty much killed.
For reasons completely unknown to us, this weekly cringefest has become something of a national institution in the UK, and insulting it in front of most British men is apparently a crime akin to treason, similar to openly slandering the Queen or killing a swan. You’ll forgive us for not seeing the appeal of three pompous bufoons driving round the country, passing condescending judgement on anyone who isn’t a petrolhead, all pathetically trying to reclaim some semblance of youth with awful haircuts, worse clothes, or in Richard ‘Hamster’ Hammond’s case, neck chokers from Thailand circa 1997.
The term “exclusive”
It was once the golden seal of first-hand journalism, a promise that nobody else would be telling you this story and this source was the only place you’d get this information. Now it appears on celebrity gossip pages over half-articles that were already non-stories when the Mail Online ran them last week. We see it on syndicated interviews that by definition are not exclusive having already appeared elsewhere. We even saw it on a press release that was mailed to a huge database of disinterested journalists. “Do you know what exclusive means?” we asked the PR, who shall remain nameless. “It means it’s a very important story?” she replied meekly. No it doesn’t. And it wasn’t.
Dubai Shopping Festival
So it’s like any other weekend in the malls except it’s even more crowded and you’ve thrown in a few clowns and jugglers to get in everybody’s way and offered some discounts on the stuff nobody bought over the last six months? Child size or XXXL only. Nah. We’ll wait for the news season’s stuff to come out thanks.
The place where television (and surely, culture as we know it?) goes to die. From the heinous ‘talent’ shows, where some poor sap with delusions of grandeur is wheeled out to be scorned at by the likes of Simon Cowell and Joe Public, to despicable fly on the wall shows, lionising idiots who are famous for nothing in particular, doing…well, nothing in particular. In what’s currently being lauded as the ‘Golden Age of Television’ thanks to the emergence of genuinely great series like Breaking Bad, The Wire and Game of Thrones, reality television is the lowest common denominator of public entertainment. Please, no more.
Yeah, a little bit is pretty nice once in a while, especially on a piece of brioche, but you know how this stuff is made right? If not, Google it. It’s the by-product of torture – a Guantanamo Pate, if you will.
They’ve unsuccessfully launched an acting and/or singing career, a clothes line and a poxy fragrance, they’ve even had a stint on Big Brother to gain some column inches. But there still remains one more avenue for the the modern day celebrity to gain an easy pay day, the DJ circuit. ‘Paris Hilton is spinning the decks at Burlesque club this weekend!!’ the advert reads, and idiots in their droves descend on the establishment to watch an individual who shouldn’t be trusted near a microwave, play a pre-automised set that any four-year-old with access to an iPod could trump.
…actually, all DJs
Live music is one of life’s great joys: the rumble in the chest as watching virtuoso performers create instant, aural masterpieces. Cramming into a field to watch a stranger cue up someone else’s MP3s on a big stereo for two hours does, however, seem to sidestep most of its appeal. What are you watching, exactly? A tiny head bobbing up and down? A video screen showing a man twisting a couple of knobs? Ultimately, placing someone who plays music alongside someone who actually makes music is pretty perverse. Having a big DVD collection doesn’t make you Steven Speilberg.
It was the investors’ choice of the post-crash years as stock values plummeted and the threat of currency runs loomed and, as a result, the price of gold soon ballooned to nearly $1,800 an ounce. Right-wing radio hosts in the US even screamed for people to hoard the stuff, believing an end-of-times anarchy would render dollars obsolete. Two years later, however, gold’s value as shrunk by more than 40 percent, leaving many gold owners hoping for another economic meltdown just to sniff a profit. That’s the problem with gold, other than shine, it doesn’t do anything. It’s not a stake in a company that can sell something or a piece of property that can be rented out, it’s just a commodity whose price fluctuates. Seriously, put your money somewhere else.
So you’re essentially paying three times more to have a sofa in your room. A sofa you will never use. How did this become something high-end travellers aspire to?
The Winter Olympics
Little more than the Rich White People Olympics.
The great time-saving red-herring. Frankly, unless you have a dinner party twice a week, you’d probably have to cook three complex meals in succession just to dirty enough plates to justify using a dishwasher – providing you can stomach living with a filthy kitchen in the interim. And even then you still have to rinse plates and empty cups before loading it, and de-streak everything once its pressure-cooker sounds have finally ceased. And forget pans. You have to wash those by hand. Let’s be honest, in most apartments, the dishwasher is essentially a snazzy cupboard. That costs Dhs1,000.
Going to the beach
You sweat, sand gets stuck to you, you go in the filthy sea to wash it off (“Is that old toilet paper floating near me?”), even more sand gets stuck to you, and a bit of seaweed, you sweat some more, you go home. Then you spend the next fortnight finding sand everywhere in your car and house and shoes.
The public’s opinion
News stations reading out texts and tweets from the public, as if the one thing that will illuminate and improve coverage of the complicated breaking news story is the view of a person who knows even less than you do, expressed in 144 characters or less. Yeah, thanks @MegaLOLZGangsta for your contribution to the debate, I now understand the inherent fallacy of the two-state solution perfectly now.
The Monaco Grand Prix
It’s regarded as the epitome of glamour and excitement, but in fact it’s regularly the dullest of the F1 races. With few overtaking points it’s little more than a street procession. In few other sports is the showpiece event, the most famous race in the sport, actually the least exciting.
Sure, it can be nice, and it’s certainly healthy. But do you ever *really* look forward to eating it? Who honestly regularly has a craving for raw fish wrapped in an anemic looking leaf? Even if you’re one of the few that do, it never quite fills you up does it? Didn’t think so. And let’s be honest, food tastes better warm.
All that work to get a six pack, but you only get to show them off on the beach or at a swimming pool. And the majority or people at the pool are kids and you don’t want to be the guy trying to impress other people’s kids. Was it really worth starving yourself for and spending half your waking life doing sit ups in a gym while being blasted with the worst music you’ve ever heard?
It’s overpriced, difficult to eat and ultimately unsatisfactory. The cinema’s first great public hoodwink, shortly followed by…
Now what could be more fun than really feeling like you’re in an actual warzone? Or a nausea inducing car chase? Essentially you’re paying DHs150 for a headache. “I’ll just see the normal version thanks. Oh it’s only 3D is it? Across all 12 screens? Brilliant.”
Because weddings aren’t tiresome enough…
Nothing is great, but hey, there’s a load of it. Nope, no thanks. We’d rather have a starter, main and dessert of things done well, rather than a smorgasbord of things congealing in tureens that fifty other people have all been poking at for the last hour. It’s a carried plate away from queuing at a trough.