The internet is full of assholes. I know, what a profound statement. Believe it or not, I wasn’t even at asspatrol.com when I came up with this little maxim. It’s crazy though, because on paper, it seems pretty flawless. Anonymous dickheads with no fear of reprisal or improper syntax/grammar/spelling just free to say whatever they want with impunity? How could that promote assholiness? The rampant shitheadian orthodoxy on the internet is really just a sad testament to mob mentality, the malleability of the human spirit, the lack of any sort of ingrained sense of protectiveness for our fellow man. Or, perhaps it’s stupidity manifesting and quarantining itself as people with any sense of actually wanting to, you know, DO something don’t tend to spend a lot of time on the internet dicking around and commenting on youtube posts and such, while marginalized dickheads who never get listened to anywhere else suddenly have a forum with which to volley the insults they’ve collected by being human bags of shit back at the world. Is that a fair assessment?
I don’t know where the idea that everyone should have a platform for their opinion came from. The greeks? Ben Franklin and his merry band of slave owning sexual predators/great thinkers? As far as my research reveals, these people didn’t really think that EVERYONE deserved a voice, and sure, they had some arbitrary and somewhat fucked up logic (uh, you’re black. Uh, YOU don’t have a penis. Sorry) but they had a system. I’m not suggesting that we take all the computers with internet hookups away from women and black folks, because let’s face it, everyone on this mother fucker is a white guy anyway. You want proof that the founding fathers/cradle of western thought had the wrong ideas about who to shut up? Look no further than the internet, where white males are doing an excellent job of unraveling any sort of argument for the superiority of the sex/race. It’s a victory in that sense, I suppose. AND if our collective consciousness is actually acting as a profoundly ingenious performance artist attempting to completely level the intellectual prejudice in this world, and it’s doing so by way of message boards and blogs, well, wow. My bad. This is a pretty great species after all.
But I kind of doubt that, honestly. Here’s the thing. Everyone has an opinion. This is a fact. Most people however, don’t actually express their true opinions. They take the road more traveled, or less traveled depending on their own level of perceived iconoclasm, or they completely ignore their instincts and go with what they THINK they should like/dislike, or they let arbitrary social mores (racism, sexism, I’m from Germany) get in the way of what could be something they would otherwise like or perhaps hate. OR in the case of people who write about things, the people who supposedly have the opinions worth hearing about, they take the tack of whichever opinion is the easiest to argue. (A great example of this is Gavin McGuinness [I don’t think that’s spelled properly] who is the guy who started the Vice ‘do’s and don’ts’. He’s said that he looks at the picture, figures out the best joke and bases his opinion on that. And he’s one of the funniest people I’ve ever read. Just pointing out that writing about something necessarily puts your opinion in the back seat and your ability to write about it shotgun)
This isn’t always true, but it’s true more times than not. Have we discussed the laziness of journalists before? Well, when it comes to constructing a half page review of a movie, for example, someone could list all the great (perceived) cinematic tips of the hat, the masterful lighting and editing, the pedigree of the director and/or actors or they could just say “eh…it kind of blew.” This is the backwards way, though, because it’s almost always easier to negatively write at length about something. This is why so many reviews are negative and so many blogs (BSC included) are mostly rants about things that suck. It’s not that I (we) hate everything. It’s that effusive praise is short in the tooth. Negativity feeds the vocabulary because people always want a new way to call someone an asshole (shit socket!) and people always want a new way to say something sucks (that licked the crisco off a retarded pig’s distended nutsack). That’s the currency of modern opinion. What’s the flipside? “That was good.” “That was great.” “This is the single best thing that ever occurred.” That’s how British journalists write things. Don’t believe me? You should go check out Kerrang’s archives and see how many bands have singlehandedly saved rock n roll in 2008.
Okay, anyhow. I hate the whole “well, if you’re gonna have an opinion on (for example) a record, let’s hear your band. It better be a better band!” line of defense that accompanies so many dumb message board arguments because that’s just stupid. You don’t need to be able to do something in order to think someone else is bad at it. For example, I recently saw (on tv) a guy try to jump a motor bike onto a roof but instead he hit the back porch. I think my “that guy’s a pretty bad stunt biker” opinion is perfectly valid. I am not interested in proving that I could do said stunt (of course I can do it, that’s neither here nor there). It’s the same with movies or music or what have you. You can’t hide your own sucking at something behind the fact that someone else sucks at something too. I can’t do stand up. I think it’s very hard and the people who do it are incredibly brave. I also believe that Dane Cook is terrible at stand up, and I’m at ease with the coexistence of this pair of facts.
The one place where this falls flat, however is with writing. If someone is critiquing someone else’s writing…Let’s say, for example someone is critiquing my blog, and they, themselves rant against it. That’s fine. I’m not the funniest, smartest guy in the world. Cut me down to size. Rant away. BUT you had better be funnier than me if you’re gonna go there. Otherwise, you’re doing EXACTLY what I’m doing here, but worse, and that only outs you as the same, but inferior, type of stupid, blowhard asshole that you were so jazzed up to decry on the internet in the first place. Bad move, eh? That’s why I’ll never comment about anyone else’s blog specifically (except Perez, who is revolting.) I’m much more comfortable broadly swinging insults at large groups. Hmmm…this is the internet, after all.
Does that make sense? Probably not. Now, this is just a kind of a dumb example, because everyone in the world loves my blog (at least, that’s what I glean from the hundreds of thousands of emails I get each week) I’m just using an example that is at once aggrandizing and humbling to prove a point. People are assholes on the internet. And in real life too I guess.
I have a class tonight and I haven’t written shit. I have to clean the house and go to the gym and I haven’t even thought about what kind of porn to look at. Jesus. It’s a busy day.