Why So Retarded?
Revised 10/2/07
I am a practical person, and I like to use practical things. But as the population becomes more retarded, so do the products. It's getting hard for me to even find what I want, without the product either looking absolutely retarded, or worse yet, being absolutely retarded. I've listed several examples here:

1. A simple "A/B Switch", which is a device used to select a video and audio signals from one of two different sources, and direct it into the video and audio inputs of a TV, VCR, etc.

If I were to design such a unit myself, it would probably be a small rectangular metal (recyclable!) box, with a simple 'slide' or 'toggle' switch on the front, and a bunch of 'RCA' jacks on the back where you would plug in all of the cables. The box would be heavy enough, and have rubber feet, so one could operate the switch with one finger, without having the box slide all over the place.

In the past, I've seen units similar to what I've just described. One of them had 2 piano-key style push-buttons on the top that you would press to select input A or input B. Although it was in a lightweight plastic case, the fact that you were pushing downward on the buttons didn't cause the unit to slide around. If need be, the unit could be mounted to a wall with 2-sided tape.
I recently needed another one of these switches. Visits to several big-box TV stores turned up only one style of this unit, and I'm telling you, IT IS RETARDED! See a picture of it to the right.

Instead of being of a shape that would sit nicely on a shelf along with other equipment, this unit looks more like a half-melted-down shampoo bottle. It is about 3 times taller than it is wide, which makes it tip over if you breathe too hard near it. It weighs about two ounces and has a flat, hard plastic bottom, so just the weight of the cables plugged into it want to pull it off of the shelf. And the front "face" of the unit where one would expect to find the switch, contains only the jacks for one of the two inputs. Everyone thinks wires are beautiful and should hang from the front of their equipment, right? Oh yeah, the switch itself. It's a little plastic slider conveniently located on the right side of the unit. Reminds me of the days when you had to reach around the back of your computer to turn it on. Of course you need to use one hand to hold the thing down while sliding the switch with the other hand. Brilliant!
2. Bicycle and motorcycle helmets. In my childhood years, bike helmets were unheard of. And somehow, the kids survived without them. Motorcycle helmets were required by law, and although I never was a big "biker", I did bomb around in the fields now and then on my old Harley Topper. I doubt that you have ever heard of one of those!

In those days, there were all kinds of neat colors of motorcycle helmets available. One of my favorites was  "Stars and Stripes" painted with glittery metallic paint, on the INSIDE of a clear Lexan plastic helmet. That way if you wipe out on the bike, at least you didn't wreck the paint job on your helmet! And the helmet itself had a practical, simple shape to it, similar to a football helmet.

But that was in the good old days. Nowadays, all the helmets I see are fiberglass, with a plain solid-color paint job on the outside, where it will get scratched off easily. But the RETARDED part about all of them now is the big, stupid "beak" that sticks way out of the front, to protect your chin, I guess. I wasn't aware that anyone's chin stuck out that far, and if it does, they would probably be glad to lose it anyway!

But the bicycle helmets take the cake for STUPIDITY! Although I don't waste my time watching TV, I happened to see some of the Tour De France bike races on TV at work. I find it hard to believe that GROWN MEN would ride around in public, much less on national TV, with what appears to be a pile of pink spaghetti on top of there heads! 98% of the bike helmets I see look like that, and they also feature a big "beak" sticking out over your eyes. DON'T YOU GET CAUGHT WEARING SOMETHING LIKE THAT!

Oy yeah, one more thing. I'm no sports fan, but when I happen to see baseball games on TV, I always thought that the helmets (not sure if that's what they're really called) that the players wore were kinda neat. The smooth, shiny, simple shape reflecting the stadium lights. If anything makes me like plastic, it has to be smooth and shiny! But I see that they are wrecking that now too. I'm seeing more and more Nike-Ization of the helmets, stupid, meaningless patterns molded in. I imagine they won't stop until they look as retarded as the bike helmets!

And If I see you in one of those bike helmets, I'll put YOUR picture on this page!

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