The internet is arguably the most progressive technology created in the history of mankind. It’s so beautiful in its paradoxical nature: impossible to understand but easy to use. I use it every day, and I know absolutely nothing about how it works. I like to imagine that somewhere in the world—probably China—there’s a room full of hamsters running in wheels and little people arbitrarily unplugging and plugging wires into holes in a wall, holes that are juuust high enough that they have to stand on their tippy-toes to reach them. Voila, internet.
The internet was invented by Al Gore in the 1990’s, according to Al Gore. Beginning with the dialup days of AOL (Creahhhhhhhh-creeeeeee-waaaaah-bldddddddd), the internet allowed people to access information faster than ever before. Encyclopedias began to give bibles a run for their money in the category of “Books People Have Because They’re Supposed To, But Never Really Read.” The news media changed forever, and printing presses received a virtual stage 1 cancer diagnosis that has since advanced to somewhere between stages 3 and 4. With the invention of online chatrooms, the telephone was no longer the only way Jared Fogle could get in touch with…I don’t know, Subway, I guess.
Yet these advances all pale in comparison to what I think was the greatest child of the internet: The comment section. Ah, the blessed comment section. No longer were we limited to spreading our really important opinions by word-of-mouth or messages in bottles. No longer was your racist uncle only able to project the N-word at those within earshot. No longer could teenagers only tell their friends that they slept with their mom (or dad, in the interest of being politically correct).
The internet comment section is the greatest thing to come from the First Amendment since…well, since the First Amendment was passed. That’s right. It is the greatest thing to happen to freedom of speech in the history of America. Which brings me to my point:
Why the hell aren’t you all out there flexing your free-speech muscles until all the blood leaves your head and you pass out on the keyboard, forehead-typing something that autocorrects to “ur a fgt,” because you type that so often that your computer just assumes that’s what you meant, no matter what you type in. The comment section is everyone’s opportunity to be heard by everyone else, all over the world. Why would you not use that opportunity to tell the world why Caitlyn Jenner is a perversion of nature and would be better off dead, or at least outside the United States of One Nation Under Straight White Jesus? It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve (who used to be Eve until she got a sex change).
Why aren’t you writing (preferably) more racist variations of “Obama is a traitor and his Presidency was the biggest terrorist attack on our country!” That’s a real Facebook quote. By whom? By a goddamn American hero, that’s who.
Why isn’t everyone spreading their impenetrable evidence that 9/11 was a government job, and Columbine was a government job, and the Aurora shooting was a government job, and the Newtown Elementary shooting was a government job, and the Boston bombing was a government job?
I’m looking specifically at you, “Polite People.” I just think it’s so pompous and elitist that you go into comment sections and are “respectful of others.” You say you understand my sincerely held religious beliefs, but just think they don’t belong in government, and the Constitution agrees with you? Hell no. I can see through that. You want me to admit that you have a sound opinion too, and then before I know it, the government is going to force me to have gay sex with some guy named Clive who smells like aftershave and dirty vodka martinis. Nice try, Mr. Nice Guy, but you can take your level-headed comment with well-cited sources and get the hell out.
You think I should pause to consider that clock the kid brought to school reasonably appeared like a suitcase bomb, and, since you know virtually no facts about the situation, you aren’t rushing to condemn the actions of the administration and the police? You’re so naive. Didn’t you know that all police are racist and just want to oppress brown people? Get your head out of a book and wear your angry bleeding heart on your sleeve like the rest of us. Everyone’s opinion matters, and they will remind you of that by typing it in all-capital letters.
And don’t even get me started on the current immigration situation in Europe. If it isn’t America, who cares. Someone once said that “Nationalism does nothing but teach you to hate people you’ve never met, and to take pride in accomplishments you had no part in.” You know who it was that said that? Probably a jealous foreigner. (It was an American, but that doesn’t help my point so I’ll ignore it.)
I could go on, but I won’t. There’s a social media mob getting together about some animal half a world away that got shot. Do I know or have I researched anything about the reality and economics of animal conservation, and have I ever expressed a care about conservation at any time before in my life? No, I haven’t, but that doesn’t matter. Justice is blind, so how could I possibly research a topic before I dish out sweet, sweet internet justice?
Time to go send that guy some death threats. See ya later.