John Cusack in 2012

The New Year is not even two weeks old yet...so I find it interesting the stars have aligned in just such a way that I am already irritated and annoyed by a few things.

For the sake of brevity I have tried not to rant for too long. I've pared my list down to an even dozen.

1. Talking Heads (not the band). This is an election year but I am already sick of the blah blah blah analysis by politicos about everything. When you think about it, being President of the USA is kind of a crap job in the end...so why bother? The debates have been silly, insipid, pointless and dumb. At the end of the day all of these guys from both parties are the same: rich people. Worse, they are rich people who really could care less about me (and you, for that matter). So to both parties I say, shh! Just talk about real issues and let us decide. But don't pretend to pander to us when you couldn't care less. Also: read your history books please. This constant referring to the Founding Fathers is really annoying...and most of the time you are getting it wrong. You know what the Founding Fathers would do if they were around today? They'd be watching Sherlock or playing Xbox instead of starting a new country. They would find it too much of a pain in the ass…plus the politicos would bother them to no end. By the way, is there a more annoying creature in the world today than the political hipster who blogs?

2. The sinking of the Titanic happened 100 years ago this year. Some places are throwing lavish recreations of the final dinner served on board complete with 112 course meals, etc… Is it me, or is this in poor taste? Hello, I think it's in poor taste...and I am pretty easy. I am all for preserving the legacy of the Titanic but not recreating it in a self-ingratiating orgy of stuffing your face and feasting way. If you want to remember the tragedy of the Titanic then honor the dead in some way that doesn't recreate the macabre predeath partying and feasting they did in first class before the ship sank. Again, we should learn from the Titanic's example: The Man will screw you, especially if there is a lifeboat available. Oh and James Cameron, you sick bastard. We may want to see you diddle with your film again, but--if you bring that Celine Dion song back to our airwaves it's on your soul!

3. How long will it take? Ok, if you work retail at the holidays you always get some dumbass who is getting presents way too late in the season--and he expects you to magically make his gifts appear even though his sorry ass procrastinated. Inevitably they ask "How long will this take?" Hello, I am not Nostradamus.

4. The Mayans. Sadly we are blissfully ignoring the magnificent achievements of a centuries-old culture and only remembering their calendar that "may" predict the end of the world. If you get bored get your Maya on and check out the immense strides they made in science and technology. Warning, though: they did like spilling a lot of blood. However, this Mayan calendar thing is an opportunity for people to take advantage of others who believe in that stuff. White sneakers, anyone? As for me, I think it is egregious that the Aztec Calendar has become obsolete now. NOTE: If the world does end, just disregard this one.

5. Walgreens. Ever shop there? Ever try to get a prescription in a hurry or return something there? For returns, you go to the cosmetic counter, which might as well be the Serengeti as far as they are concerned. Plus their crap DVD selection is a blight on mankind. I also love how every store is exactly the same. Every one is bland, sterile and filled with workers who are miserable. It's like a Soviet Bloc factory in there. Granted, they are probably not as miserable as Wal Mart people, but I don't shop at Wal Mart so I cannot comment. But if you ever want to see whiny, snot nosed kids running amuck and trashing stores while parents look away then by all means shop there. Perhaps you like long lines and standing around, and if so, this is paradise for you! Forget it: support your local dime store or pharmacy wherever possible.

6. Tim Tebow. I could care less about all the religious stuff. So it's not that: he's just so annoyingly lucky and goody goody. But the weird cultish following he's gotten around him frightens me and is really bizarre. White sneakers, anyone?

7. Somali Pirates. C'mon, you are giving Talk Like A Pirate Day a bad rep. And you are mean jerks.

8. Florence & The Machine. She can sing. She can be moody and sing. She can be sad. She has talent. However, I am tired of seeing her face everywhere. It is just a record--calm down! It's not the greatest thing since sliced bread. I am oversaturated with her now. Plus...what does The Machine really do? They make a lot of meandering melodies that's for sure.

9. Rob Schneider. Sigh. Does he really need a TV show? Just because you suck in movies doesn't mean you will succeed in TV. Hint, you suck...because you are terrible! This guy has ridden a one trick pony for almost two decades now. There should be a ban on this guy. Somehow though the stupid people in TV Land (not the network) will love this and it'll succeed. Really? Maybe a culture that gives Rob Schneider a sitcom should end in a fiery apocalypse. P.S. Free Cheech Marin!

10. Coffee shops. What the hell happened? They used to be cool places to go. Now they are hives for hippies to sleep at and hipsters to sit and aimlessly stare at their laptops as they scope out faux intellectual chicks. Coffee shops used to be relaxed and interesting. Now they are intense and you could get radiation poisoning from all the computers and gadgets. It's like f'n Chernobyl sometimes. I like coffee, I like tea, I like scones and muffins, but I don't like having to eat them with jam band loving hippies, douche bag hipsters who just read Bolaño for the first time and mousy girls who genuinely want a place to go and be left alone. I went to several ones last week and it was scary as hell. Plus, just because you have a coffee shop doesn't mean you have to charge an amazingly expensive amount of money for coffee, sandwiches, snacks etc. And why are coffee shops so f'n expensive now? I say get your own Need Coffee coffee, stay at home and surf the net away from all the hippies, hipsters and helpless.

11. Bowl Games. Every company in the US of A has a Bowl Game. There's the Feed The Hungry Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Alamo Rent A Car Bowl, Brand Name Discount Bowl, etc…. Really, companies have hijacked the once proud tradition of college football and it is sad. There are over fifteen days of bowl games and most of them are utterly useless. Enough I say. Just have games for the top twenty teams to play in and bugger with rest. Also, get a playoff system already. It's sad how many games there are.

12. New Years in general. It starts on New Year's Eve. It is never as great as you think it will be and drunken idiots are always ruining whatever fun you could be having. Then there are those loud horn noise maker thingees. Keep those away from inebriated maniacs, please. I also think it is sad that each New Year is rung in by Ryan Seacrest. That guy annoys me. At least they shock Dick Clark to life for another go round each year. They open up his life preserving tank, thaw him out and let him have his one night of fun. The man is an iconic legend but they cheapen his dignity each year by making him work with Seacrest. New Year's Day itself also sucks; it's always quiet and boring. The parades are not what they used to be and the floats aren't really all that either. Back in the day they made some freaky stuff for floats, now it's all marching bands and flowers. Dudes driving in a car and waving to people standing around should not constitute a parade. Anyway, at least the movie houses are open.

Okay, enough of that. I really am hoping the rest of the year pans out. There is reason to hope and be excited since there are loads of great books, movies and music coming out and the Olympics are there too. Still, I am shocked to have so much drudgery in the first few days of the year. Hopefully this is not a sign of the end. Believe it or not I remain hopeful and optimistic that the year can be turned around. Maybe.