Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Comment Section: Lord of The Flies Part Deux

If you ever want to know what is going to happen to society if the world starts coming to an end, you need only to look at the comment sections and message boards on the Internet.

Translation: We’re all going to die, and your feelings are probably going to get hurt..

Realistically, the comment sections and message boards are more than indicators for what post apocalyptic America will look like. Rather, they’re also basic indicators for what today’s public education systems and political systems look like, as well as how it feels to punch ones self in the face.

While I spend some of my time writing witty whimsical retorts to people’s figurative comment I choose to take literally, other people choose to spend their time spitting the most vile stuff you have ever read; things that would make even my gross younger brother blush. And he’s so gross. Not in a perverted way, but just the way he looks. It’s gross.

Despite me being a very fake negative person, I’m baffled to see so much intolerance, ignorance and hatred in the comment section, and it seems like the most mundane status update triggers some sort of beastly response mechanism in people that just makes them insane.

Here are some things that I’ve learned not to talk about on the Internet:

1. Newborns – Don’t talk bad about a new mother’s baby. In fact don’t even be neutral toward him/her. If you don’t have anything nice to say about their baby, make something up. And especially don’t tell a new mother that her baby isn’t as good at rocking his/her self to sleep than another baby, even if the baby on youtube CLEARLY has more advanced rocking skills, making you technically right. That technicality will only lead to headaches for everyone involved. Sorry°.

2. Politics – Don’t tell anyone about your political beliefs. If you do, be prepared to read that a lot of people think “your dumb” and don’t expect any of them to finish the sentence.

3. Gay Marriage – This topic seems to be more taboo in certain geographic areas, but because the Internet knows no boundaries, it’s fair game to force your misguided opinions on others. What was that? Your traditional marriage is now ruined? I’m sorry. I know how serious you people take your marriages. To think that Kim Kardashian’s seventy-something day marriage is now pointless because two homosexuals love each other is just a shame.

4. Abortion – Don’t.

5. Religion – Do yourself a favor and instead of talking about your beliefs, or the lack thereof, just have a friend give you an 80% double poke to the eyes because then you’ll have an excuse to not read all the comments from all those people that surprisingly know something that is unknowable.

6. Gender/Race Issues – I am a white male, so I have no comment.

7. Sports Team – While I don’t particularly care for any sport (climbing is not a sport, it’s an activity), I know that people take their sports very seriously, enough so that they’ve gone as far as attacking another person because they spoke poorly of a person who throws a ball through a hole, so tread lightly.

8. Barrack Obama – President Obama gets his own category because the things that go on in the comment section on any of his Facebook posts take crazy to a whole new level. Aside from the random spam touting the latest weight loss pills that science has yet to understand, It’s definitely worth a visit
Ok, now that you know what not to talk about, I can only guess that the first thing you’re going to do is talk about them, so let’s first go over things that you can do to make yourself seem less insane.

1.     DON’T WRITE IN ALL CAPS. It’s not necessary. Getting yelled at on the Internet has the same effect as getting yelled at by a hobo while trying to eat your lunch; Confusion, then mild amusement.

2.     Use correct grammar, or at least what appears to be correct grammar. Most importantly are the differences between you, you’re, and UR. Their, there, and they’re are less important, as are gnu, new, and knew, but not knowing these differences is a big red flag of dumb.

3.     Spell out the full word. Typing is so easy. Back in my day, we had to use pencils and chalk, but then they came out with this thing called a computer and it had MavisBeacon, and it was awesome. I learned how to type 120 WPM on home row. HOME ROW, PEOPLE. As impressive as that is, I’d imagine that nowadays, most people are quite a bit faster, which is why it should be NBD to just spell out the full words. It doesn’t take THAT much extra time.

4.     Reign in the exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is a huge problem for me since I’m always excited, but the more exclamation points you add doesn’t translate to how excited you are. It translates closer to how much like a golden retriever chasing a SQUIRREL you are. SQUIRREL!!

5.     And my personal favorite. Don’t use the word literally when you mean figuratively. I know that Webster’s Dictionary says literally can also mean figuratively now, but Webster is a dick and he is wrong. Every time people use it incorrectly, I literally want to blowtorch their hair off, or burn their face with an iron, right after putting a nail in their foot. Or something along those lines.

To summarize: Stay away from the comment sections on the Internet.

°I’m not sorry.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Ice Bucket Challenge: I Knew This Day Would Come

Blah blah blah, look at me, I’m a good person and I like to waste water, blah blah blah. I’ve been dreading getting on Facebook as of late. Partially because it’s sad to see a slow decline in Facebook friends, but also because I started seeing the Icebucket challenge, and I knew it was inevitable that I would eventually be “called out” and forced to address a topic I’d rather not address.

Well, rest assured, you can bet your ass I’m not going to parade myself around dumping water on my head solely for the purpose of showing my online friends how much better I am than they are. And you can doubly rest assured that I would never tell anyone if I donated to a charity because what I do with my money is my own business, so you can just go choke on a hotdog.

That being said, as much as I hate hashtag activism, this internet meme is actually raising money for a good cause, as opposed to other online fundraisers who raise money to make potatoe salad. I think we can all agree that we’re just really jealous we didn’t think of that one.

If you’ve done any research (googling) on the issue at all, you’ve realized that ALS, which is short for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, is a neurological disease that basically shuts down muscle functions such as moving your arms and legs, swallowing, or breathing. You’ve also probably seen some negative press with titles that read something like “27% of the profits go to research”, or “Only a fraction of ALS donations actually go to research”, which, based on the ALSA’s records is true, however, two things. . .

1st. That’s kind of a weird statement, saying that a fraction of something is donated, because 99/100 would also be considered a fraction. I know they were trying to make it sound like a bad thing, but when I see a fraction has been donated, I’m thinking a very large fraction. I guess that’s because I’m an optimist.

 2nd. After doing a bit more research (googling), I found that according to the ALSA, 27% of donations go to research (note that when donating, you can opt for all of your donation to go to research), however 19% goes to patient and community services, which I can only guess means, taking care of people who already suffer from ALS, and 32% goes to public and professional education. So, according to my calculator, since I lost the ability to add when I left college, 78% of donations go to raising awareness, helping people already afflicted with ALS, and research. That’s actually pretty good, considering Kim Kardashian keeps 90% of her proceeds from her “charity” auctions. What a nasty little troll.

I guess what really bugs me about the challenge is that it’s morphed into this social exposé on goodness. People aren’t even following the rules. COME ON PEOPLE. FOLLOW THE RULES. The rules say: use hashtags #icebucketchallenge, #alsicebucketchallenge, and #strikeoutals. This is really the only rule anybody follows because hashtags are easy. It also says use common sense and don’t hurt people. I’ve seen countless videos online of people accidentally dropping buckets on heads because they can’t lift the bucket of water. Hasn’t anybody heard of Crossfit? The rules also say that if you’re in an area affected by drought, you should maybe think about not doing the ice water part of the challenge, and just share  info about the disease, or make a donation to the cause. That part really bugs me because I went on a run yesterday and ran out of water with like 5 miles left and I got really thirsty. I could have used some. Thanks a lot, jerks.ª

So, as much as I want to hate this, and as much as I want to just make fun of everyone for doing it, I can’t totally do that. What I can do is issue my own challenge. It’s the ALS No Shower Challenge. #DIRTYFORADAY. Here’s what you do. You don’t shower for a day, because that’s going to fix the drought, and then you donate money to the ALSA, but here’s the kicker. . . You don’t tell people that you donated money. I know what you’re thinking. How are people going to know you’re a good person if you don’t tell them you’re a good person? Well, they’ll smell you and know that you’re participating in #DIRTYFORADAY. It’s a win-win. You don’t seem like an ego-centric blowhard, but people still know you’re a good human bean.

So good luck out there. Donate money to a good cause, but don’t tell me about it, because I don’t care.

 ªBut seriously, The only thing that bugs me more than wasting water on the icebucket challenge are people that complain about wasting water on the icebucket challenge, because the same people who complain about wasting water probably take 20 minutes showers, and leave the faucet running while brushing their teeth, which wastes way more water than a half full 5 gallon bucket of water.