Stop Selling Me Things

By: Ali Benz

Has anyone ever had to Venmo a homeless person? I have. Not having cash is no longer an adequate excuse. The ease of sending money makes everything super awkward, like when I have to donate to a cause on Facebook for a birthday every other day so I can sleep at night. Between Paypal, Zelle, and online shopping there are no limits.  You can literally sell anything. Whether it’s a product, an idea, or an app—someone’s buying. People want the next best thing even if it’s dumb af. You can literally put your trash on Etsy and call it a “Vintage Dream-Catcher” then suddenly some weirdo in Colorado is paying your rent.

I know everyone has seen those stupid Scooters around town for people who can’t afford Uber. That’s already pretty f*cking weird, but now I’m seeing pogo-sticks. You can hop your ass to work now. I was a professional pogo-sticker back in ‘02, but best believe you won’t catch me on one of those today. Pogos are absolutely not a method of transportation and make literally no sense. Imagine if you didn’t have the right backpack on—or bra. I’m so disturbed. Please, no more bouncing. Bring back Heely’s.

If you commute to work like a normal person, you probably need a decent night’s rest. Everyone has insomnia these days because it’s like, “in”. Super irritating considering I haven’t been able to sleep for years but now everybody wants to talk about it. Luckily, people capitalize on trends immediately and sell weird products on the internet to my mom. First, it was CBD oil. Now, it’s f*cking lavender? What? I told my mother I couldn’t sleep and she sent me a jar of lavender to lather myself in. It never put me to sleep but I do smell like a f*cking candle. Usually when I can’t go to bed my friends give me five melatonin and a Benadryl and hope I STFU. It doesn’t work either but at least I don’t turn into a plant.

Speaking of transforming, can everyone please stop downloading the FaceApp? Why are you so obsessed with posting pics of yourselves as old people? Your day will come. I legit never once wondered what any of my friends would look like at age eighty. Also, I don’t get why celebs insist on aging themselves in the app, too? No one cares what you look like Ludacris—I didn’t even know you weren’t that old. Please be more relevant. And seriously, Jonas Brothers? Why’d you do Kevin dirty like that?! He was already the least interesting to look at then they went and gave just him one of those creepy skin tags. Tragic.

When the internet isn’t targeting face-tuners, they pray on the over-weight. Forever 21 sent Atkins bars with plus-size orders as part of a master marketing plan that certainly wouldn’t be offensive. What do these people think, their XL customers will be flattered to receive subpar diet bars with their jeggings? That they’ll start buying Atkins products because the most disorganized clothing company in the world suggested it? Taking diet advice from a Forever 21 is like taking dating advice from Tiger Woods: It just doesn’t work.

Unfortunately, the FBI agents in our phones will continue to stalk us and bombard us with ads for exactly what we want. You can’t escape it. Instagram will target you. Amazon will find you. Don’t drink and Prime. You might just end up with two pashminas in the middle of July.

Stop Glorifying Mental Disorders

By: Ali Benz

 

A wise, bi-polar man once said, “I’m a sick f*ck, I like a quick f*ck.” Due to his trendy, mental disorder, Mr. Kanye West was able to rap this line for a whopping two minutes and produce a chart-topper. Tragic.

The only people that I hate more than people about to go on Birthright are people that have just returned from birthright. No, Rachel, I don’t want to hear about your new found love for falafel or how you got felt up by an Israeli soldier on the back of a camel. But my hatred of pre and post birthright talk has recently been trumped by a new category: Our generation’s obsession with romanticizing mental disorders. I think it’s great that people are finally having this conversation and normalizing these feelings, but it’s being minimized into a hip fad just like double popped Abercrombie polos and cargo pants that zip off into shorts.

 

Leave it to Kanye West to profit off of being depressed AF. Ye recently described his bi-polar as a “superpower”, which I think is admirable that he was able to reclassify a negative stereotype into a positive, but unless he’s about to lace the new Yeezy Boosts with Prozac, he needs to be careful. The rapper has a giant platform and a huge support network unlike most. Those struggling with a mental disorder should be taught how to address it without fame, and those that don’t possess one should know it’s not something you can just catch and release like mono freshman year of college. You are not going to get a record deal and a Kardashian just because you’re manic. Shortly after West and other celebs opened up about their mental state, I got a text from a friend saying “Do you think  I have bi-polar?” To which I replied, “No, you’re just annoying.” But I’m not a doctor.

 

Speaking of doctors, I saw my physician the other day for my yearly every 5 year check-up (whoops). At the end of the sesh, she handed me a paper and said we should do a quick, regulatory depression test. Just for fun, I guess? She turned her back (for maximum privacy) and I looked down at the multiple choice quiz that would determine my mental health. LOL. The answers consisted of five levels of smiley faces that ranged from aggressive frowning to psychopathic grin. It felt kind of like a trick test, so I filled it in the same way I did every scantron senior year, “C’s” across the board, except for a few questions I found judgmental like, “Are you tired?” To which I chose a rare “E” for “Yes I’m f*cking tired.” Next question. Anyway, my point is, these doctors are so quick to diagnose and prescribe. I guess I thought the “C” smiley was giving more of a flirty smirk than a slanty cry for help, and now I’ve got a brand new Rx.

 

The glorification of mental disorders needs to seriously chill. So many struggle with depression and anxiety that can’t just be cured by the “Ye” album, even as soothing as Kid Cudi’s humming may be. This needs to be an open discussion and not a scapegoat or ambition. Also, WebMD is not your friend, it’ll just tell you that you’re dying, just like every time you dramatically search the symptoms of the common f*cking cold. Relax. You need to pay a hot, young psychiatrist $250 an hour to talk about your sh*t for ten minutes. Or you can, like, see someone ugly on your insurance. Either way. Handle it.