Movies & TV / Columns

Editor’s Note: The Top 10 Pet Peeves of 2012

December 19, 2012 | Posted by Chad Webb














For the eighth year in a row, I am presenting my Top 10 Pet Peeves. It is a blast for me because I enjoy bitching about various aspects of pop-culture, and since 411mania is a pop-culture website, I have the opportunity to do that. I am sure you will waste no time in telling me how stupid some of my choices are. Oh well. These things annoy the hell out of me, but they might not strike the same chord for you.

It is important to note that many people or things will not show up because they have made so many appearances in the past, and I hate to reiterate myself too many times. Those individuals or things that are a thorn in everyone’s side year after year get a special place in the Hall of Shame as you’ll note below. To view my lists from previous years, and to see how odd some of my selections look now, click on any of the links below:

The Pet Peeves of 2011
The Pet Peeves of 2010
The Pet Peeves of 2009
The Pet Peeves of 2008
The Pet Peeves of 2007
The Pet Peeves of 2006
The Pet Peeves of 2005

Dishonorable Mentions

* Christmas Too Early
* Amanda Bynes
* Honey Boo Boo
* “I Think You Might Like It” Music Video by John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John

10. MPAA – In all honesty, the MPAA could have been on this list any of the years since I started doing this column. I even had to go back into the archives to make sure I didn’t use it before. But in 2012 we witnessed two major significant events in particular. The first was the Weinstein Company’s Bully documentary, which was slapped with an R rating simply because it had a few sporadic F-bombs. Yes, a compromise was met, but not after the doc had gone through the wringer. The fact that this debate had to happen at all is ridiculous. The second was Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, which was also given an R rating after Scott was shooting for a PG-13. The fact is the difference between R and PG-13 matters a great deal in terms of what the film will gross at the box office. The hypocritical, seemingly befuddling nature of the MPAA has been common knowledge for a while now. We could also discuss the amount of PG-13 films that skated through the ratings process and probably should have been given a harsher sentence, but that will take too long. Many people in the movie industry have disliked the MPAA system for many years now. I don’t like it either. A new, more sophisticated ratings process should have been implemented long ago. Alas, we will have to deal with this annoying organization for the foreseeable future and these incidents will keep popping up.

9. Madonna
– I can’t be the only one who feels that Madonna has become a pathetic caricature of her former self. Look, I enjoy her music, I truly do, but as she gets older she embarrasses herself more and more. I can’t even count the amount of concert controversy involving her in 2012. She flashed the audience, superimposed a swastika on the face of a French politician, brandished a machine gun on stage, and I’m surely missing one or two. The fact that this aging singer has to resort to such tactics to keep her name in the headlines is just sad. Of course her feud with Elton John and the petty exchanges with Lady Gaga and others are notable as well. When Madonna released Ray of Light, her music took a mature, adult turn that I liked a lot. After that, it was as if she went on a permanent mid-life crisis where now we have to cringe as she tries to act half her age in an attempt to keep in touch with younger audiences. What makes this funny is that she never needed to do that. Her music is largely timeless, but now I wonder how much her reputation has been damaged.

8. Politics on Facebook
– Yes, I believe in freedom of speech and all that, but damn, some people can be really REALLY irritating when practicing that amendment. To those who post the occasional observation about the debates, this is not for you. This goes out to all the officious twats who bludgeon us with lengthy opinions and play-by-play commentary on any political speech or debate. Seriously, it was maddening this year, having to sort through all the posts on my Facebook wall trying to avoid the inane chatter of people who can’t help but voice their opinions in the most obnoxious manner. Do you think that swarms of your Facebook friends are reading your posts and are then swayed to your mode of thinking? They’re not. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that no one has changed their views, but there is a fine line between a normal discussion and relentless posts in an off-putting way. Some people just can’t help themselves. It’s as if they are begging for an argument, ones that go back and forth and never get anywhere because neither side will concede. Every 4 years for the past three elections, there are folks who take the elections too far and end up looking silly. The recent one is one of the best/worst examples of this.

– I’m not 100% positive that this trend began in 2012, but it seems like its popularity peaked this year, so it’s going on the list. This lame acronym stands for “You Only Live Once.” And by the way, this is not a bashing session on the Drake song, where this evidently originated, though I do think it’s one of his bad tracks. Ok, this has been a recognizable saying/phrase for a long time now, so why did we turn it into the incredibly dumb YOLO? How did a line in a song cause this to grow in popularity? And why does it seem that this is mainly directed at tweens? I’ve had people tell me that only certain age groups wear the shirt and hats…because apparently they are only ones who get to enjoy the solace of this acronym. I’ve said “You Only Live Once” in the past, though I would never say “Haha…YOLO my friend…YOLO.” When this goes away, will people only remember it as YOLO, or will they say “You Only Live Once” which is the same thing only you don’t sound like an enormous douche.

6. Music Feuds No One Cares About
– As fun as Twitter can be, it has given way to some of the pettiest squabbles between celebrities. No industry knows this better than music. In 2012, the public saw multiple feuds take place, and all of them felt empty, uninteresting, and moronic. How about Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey on American Idol? I have doubts if this was even legit, or possibly just a tool to drum of fledgling ratings. You also had Wolfgang Van Halen, the new bassist of Van Halen, versus One Direction and boy wasn’t it riveting? You will not find a duller dispute of 2012. And then we have Chris Brown and Drake, a clash that feels like it will never go away. What do all these have in common? No one gives a shit about any of them, and if you do find yourself waiting by the computer for the latest developments on Nicki vs. Mariah, you need professional help.

5. Earphone Nubs – What happened to regular headphones? You know, the ones that just rest on your ear. Maybe they’re bulky to carry around or something, but they were easier to deal with than the ones that fit into your ear. They all have these rubber little pieces on the end and they make me want to rip my hair out of my head. You see, the rubber nub is only barely attached to the earphone, so they come off easily and get lost all the frickin time. I suppose the trick is that we keep losing the nubs and then are forced to buy more. I realize huge headphones don’t make the most sense to carry around, but it seems like these earphones with the problematic rubber pieces are the primary choice in stores. I suppose if you searched online you could find the headphones you want, but it’s still annoying. Maybe Dr. Dre’s Beats work really well. I wouldn’t know since I can think of no conceivable way I would spend between $200 and $300 on earphones. Keep making the earphones, but 86 the rubber nubs. Thanks.

4. 50 Shades of Grey – Certainly the most baffling success of the past year is the 50 Shades of Grey book by E.L. James. I will come right out and say that I have not read the book myself, but my wife has and I received chapter by chapter summaries whether I wanted them or not. So I like to think I got the gist of the story and…’s porn. Make all the excuses you want, it’s trashy porn, or if you prefer porn mixed with one of those crappy romance novels you find in grocery stores. It’s not like similar stories haven’t existed for millennia, but somehow this becomes a sensation? What in the blue Hell is the world coming to?! Putting the idiotic sex aspect to the side for a moment, this began as Twilight fan fiction, which you would assume might be reason enough for people not to take this seriously. My biggest issue with 50 Shades is not necessarily that it exists, but that I truly cannot fathom why it became popular. The more I think about it, the more it makes my head hurt. And now it’s becoming a movie for goodness sakes. Will it be the next Showgirls? It deserves that reputation. It just amazes me that for decades of garbage like this only being read by a small amount of people, suddenly out of the blue, women decide that this is quality reading material. Unreal.

3. NHL Owners (The Lockout) – Well, if you’re not a hockey fan, you won’t care about this entry, but the most bothersome event in sports this past year is the NHL Lockout. After a great year financially, with popularity of hockey only increasing, the 3rd lockout in 18 years occurs and further damages the sport. One part of this that really gets under my skin is that most casual fans or even people who aren’t fans at all automatically assume that the players are the greedy ones. In many cases, that might be true, but in this situation, it is the owners who are the greedy ones. I won’t explain the entire situation. If you’re curious, I urge to check out this article which perfectly sums up the dilemma. All I know is, hockey is a damn rough game and the players do not deserve to be shit on like they are now. The season is basically gone. Many players are scattered across the globe, playing in different countries. For me, my team (New Jersey Devils) made it to the Stanley Cup last year and now the arena they play in does not have that extra revenue from hockey (The Prudential Center). This is hurting a lot of people and it’s time the NHL honors their word to its players. Most fans have moved on, and if/when the game starts back up, how many people will have lost interest? What a shame.

2. Kristen Stewart & Robert Pattinson
– Ok, now even if you don’t totally agree with all my choices, I know I’ll get 100% approval for this one. 2012 was saturated with news, updates, controversy, and more about these two. I didn’t care about their romance when it started, I didn’t care about Stewart cheating on Pattinson, and I don’t care if they’re back together. Although I will say it was extremely silly when the whole world was ready to hang Stewart from the nearest tree for sleeping with another man. Our obsession with stuff like this is mind-blowingly retarded. Now that The Twilight Saga is over, I sincerely hope that we have heard the last of Stewart and Pattinson’s romance.

1. The Over-Sensitivity of Everyone – Allow me to explain. This year was filled with celebrities making comments and then apologizing for them when someone was offended. Not a week goes by now where a mainstream or even pseudo celeb doesn’t make controversial comments. Inevitably there will be someone who didn’t like it and when that happens, the public bands together like never before and demands that the person issue a formal apology. When did our society become so thin-skinned? Can nobody say anything anymore without us reacting like petulant, whiny children? We have become so over-sensitive that we demand apologies at a moment’s notice and then accept them at face value. Most of the celebs who apologize are merely doing so to avoid damaging their reputation. But we believe them regardless even though the apologize aren’t genuine in the least. I’m not saying that we should dismiss every controversial comment and I’m not saying that celebs should never apologize, but I do think this pattern happens at an alarming rate these days and it’s more than a little ridiculous. Every misunderstood exchange now makes headlines. Take…mmm everything Nicki Minaj says for example. Recently Steven Tyler made some comments about the quality of her judging on American Idol and it was actually misconstrued as racist. Tyler of course said he was sorry even though he didn’t do anything wrong. James Gunn, who is directing Guardians of the Galaxy, made some controversial blog posts in 2011. It offended women and gays, among others. He of course spoke out and apologized for his comments. Here’s the thing, they were about fictional superhero characters. He said himself it was meant to be satirical and funny, but that didn’t stop every organization under the sun from coming forward and yelling about how offensive his BLOG POSTS were. Should he have written what he did? No, it was in bad taste. But did stupid comments about fictional people really warrant such anger and hatred in the media? Certain groups were even calling for him to be removed as director of the aforementioned film. News stories like this go down all the time now. Where did this trend start? Who knows? It could have been any number of situations in the past. Can we not take a joke anymore? Can we not brush a comment off our shoulder? Apparently not. We need to piss and moan about everything. The fact is people sometimes say dumb things and make mistakes. That is the way life works. But we also take things to heart too often now. We have become so thin-skinned and delicate that it’s perplexing why we don’t just burst apart at the slightest touch.

Hall of Shame

Britney Spears/Paris Hilton – Class of 2007
High School Musical – Class of 2008
Kanye West – Class of 2009
The Lohan Family – Class of 2010
Jersey Shore – Class of 2011
The Kardashians – Class of 2012


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Chad Webb

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