Illustration by Ryan Alexander-Tanner

REAL TALK O'CLOCK, you guys: My last few columns have been too good. I feel like my angles have been too thought provoking. If this keeps up, inanimate objects will urge themselves into consciousness, just so they can grunt out rudimentary compliments about my work like "Ian Karmel sexual astounding write good," before they come to terms with the horror of their industrial existence and throw themselves into traffic, and great job, now we don't have any Slurpee machines.

My wit is getting too sharp. Earlier this week a young, bookish girl walked up to me and said, "Ian Karmel, you're great, Dorothy Parker couldn't hold a candle to you, fuck her, I'm glad she's dead." I can't have that on my conscience. If I keep this up, I'm going to win a Pulitzer, and soon... and I'm still too young and virile to be weighed down with that kind of accolade. So instead, I'm going to take a break from completely reshaping and reflecting the paradigms of an entire generation, and complain about two things that have been bugging me.

Seasonal candy: What the fuck?

Twice this country has known the pain and terror of world war, and still we toil under the artificial, illogical laws of sweets, which tell us that candy canes are but a seasonal delight, while some bullshit like "Sixlets" are a candy for all seasons? Peppermint doesn't even make sense for the winter. It's already cold out, and now I'm going to fill my mouth with something refreshing? You know what would be refreshing? If I could have a fucking candy cane during the middle of the summer, when its zest could be appreciated.

If you need the ceremony of tradition, let's just make candy canes a Fourth of July treat, then for Christmas we can focus on cookies. If you really need Sixlets, you can have those on Purim—and don't count on any of us Jew types to tell you when Purim is—because we don't want you fucking up your life with Sixlets when there are perfectly good candy canes around. (Author's note: Sixlets are actually just "okay"... I just wanted to use the word "Sixlets" a bunch. Please don't drop me as your professional spokesman, Sixlets. "Sixlets! It sounds like Sexlits—available anywhere weird old-uncle candy is sold.")

Sheryl Crow: eventual museum piece.

Sheryl Crow is going to end up in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame eventually, and we just sat back and let it happen. I'm not ascribing any actual value to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, by the way, and I don't mean to unjustly malign Sheryl Crow—she made some of the best music ever for people who are trying to squeeze into some tight jeans so they can go to their friend's wedding shower. I'm just bummed that Sheryl Crow is one of this generation's musical paragons.

At some point in the next decade, Kacey Musgraves is gonna be standing there like, "My whatever career wouldn't have been possible without this coffee mug full of lukewarm bathroom-sink water." We let our media become too fragmented. There's too much specialization. It's too easy to go on Pandora and just make a radio station of the music you want to listen to—and that's great—but it's going to make it harder for another band that is both popular and critically acclaimed to emerge. Instead, the monolithic bands of today are mostly just popular (and not that talented), and it's going to suck if our generation's contribution to the running history of American pop music is Ke$ha or whatever—because suddenly all the good bands only had just enough fans to buy a house and lease a Passat in Portland.