Hashtag Dumbass!

dumbass

Unfortunately, I’m losing my fear of nuclear holocaust, climate change and a global pandemic because I’m beginning to believe that long before any of these disasters befalls us, our society is going to implode under the weight of its own stupidity.  Let me explain.  I was waiting in a doctor’s office when I happened to read something stupid on Twitter.  No big deal, right?  However, I was bored, so I googled “stupid tweets” and faster than I could say, “OMG! You’re a moron!” I was swamped.  It turns out there are entire websites and YouTube channels (lots of them) devoted to Twitter idiots.  Who knew?  In less than 20 minutes, I gleaned what you see here, and I can’t imagine what I would have come up with if I had put some muscle into the research.  It really begs the question: Are these The Final Days?

Disclaimer: These have been heavily edited because our society a) can’t spell, b) wouldn’t know punctuation if it bit them on the bum and c) is obsessed with obscenities.

How big is the specific ocean?

What’s the capital of Africa?

What is Obama’s last name?  Does anybody even know?

If airplanes can fly, why don’t we just fly them to Mars and shit and quit wasting so much money on rockets?

How do I get YouTube to come and film me?  I do a lot of funny things, but I can’t find out where to message them to come and film me.

The Olsen twins are so awesome, and they’re sisters with the same birthday.  How cool is that?

This guy even got a reply
Is the iFold Tower in France?
It’s not the iFold Tower; it’s the Eyeful Tower, and it’s in Europe – dumbass!

When they filmed Jurassic Park, how did they get so close to the dinosaurs?  I don’t understand.  #confused

I’m pregnant.  Will my baby have all my tattoos?  #worried

I don’t like dolphins anymore.  Squirrels are my favourite reptile now.

I’m going to stay a virgin for my whole life — so I can set a good example for my children.

I ate so many cookies I think I’m going to die of beaties.

What kind of meat is lamb?  Beef or pork?  I’m not supposed to eat pork, so I need to know.

If Trump gets elected, I’m leaving America and moving to California.

We did 30 songs in 3 days – 75% written and 40% freestyle.

Why did that Facebook guy offer 3 billion to buy Snapchat when he could have just downloaded it from the App Store for free?

How does the water in a waterfall get back up to the top?

Why the hell did Benjamin Franklin have to invent lightning /:

Is NASA stupid?  Don’t they realize that every time they launch a shuttle, it puts a hole in the ozone layer which causes …

And as a bonus, a couple of celebrities:

Why are all the buildings in NYC standing straight up?  If earth is round, then some of the buildings would have a slight tilt.
Tila Tequila

Hello, Facebook.  Yes, this is actually Lindsay.  Welcome to my Facebook page.
Lindsay Lohan

And possibly the stupidest man on the planet.  (There were several Tweets to choose from.)

If we exhale more than we inhale, we feed the plants.  This will end world hunger.
Jaden Smith

 

I’m Scared Of The Mob (2018)

I’m a coward.  I’m scared of the mob.

Social Media
Carolyn Bourcier 

One of the problems with observing our modern world is you spend most of your life in fear.  This comes from having an opinion and voicing it outside the comfy confines of your own head.  It’s a truism in the 21st century that, whenever you say anything about anything, you’re going to piss off somebody.  Most people get all free-speech-macho about this, but when push comes to shove, everybody knows that our society is unforgiving around unguarded opinions.  More importantly, when the mob turns against you, you’re punished severely.  This is why we’ll never produce a contemporary Mark Twain: the consequences of unedited thoughts, in today’s world, are just too dangerous.  Far better to be momentarily safe than monumentally sorry.  Thus, people with pens tend to stick to the road most travelled.  Unfortunately, that road is crowded with dumbass clichés.  Future anthropologists who attempt to piece together our society from the mountain of evidence we’re going to leave behind will conclude we had an unholy obsession with heterosexual white men.  They are the nominated villains of our time, so naturally the record will read like a bad John Grisham novel.   It’s a sorry state, I suppose, but it beats the hell out of our world according to Suzanne Collins and E. L. James!

Actually, there’s no real problem with history recording our time as the shallow end of the intellectual swimming pool.  None of us are going to be around to be embarrassed by it anyway.  Nor do we have to worry about future chroniclers calling us cultural cowards.  They won’t be the slightest bit interested in our existence.  After all, you get historical ink from speaking up, not lying down.

The thing that burns the bacon, however, is that having set the table for a vigorous and dynamic dialogue, we’re now scared skinny of the food fight it might create.  Just look around: we have a mostly educated public with the information of the ages at their fingertips (literally.)  We’ve cracked open the Old Boys’ Club and now have instant access to all manner of ideas from everywhere and everyone.  Furthermore, we live in a free society, where (for the most part) the rule of law gives free range to these ideas.  Life is good, right?  Wrong!  The first thing we did with this intellectual banquet was set dietary restrictions.  Not to beat the metaphor to death, we’ve populated our world with so many sacred cows that, in the land of intellectual plenty, we’re starving to death.

It used to be that the only thing that governed public discourse was civility.  There was decorum in our discussion.  For example, we didn’t call each other names – like alt-right asshat and snowflake libtard.  Perhaps certain subjects were handled delicately, but there was never any thought that they should be avoided.  In fact, it was a matter of honour to shine light into the darker parts of our society – distasteful or not.

These days, those days are over.  We have more conversational taboos than a tribe of Borneo headhunters.  (No offence, headhunters!)  There are a ton of subjects in our world that are simply no longer open for discussion.  Some of them I can’t even name in these pages without hollering up a verbal lynch mob.  In the past few years, this list has expanded exponentially.  Soon the only subjects anyone will feel comfortable commenting on will be Donald Trump’s infidelities and the zombie apocalypse.

People like me, who know enough about history to understand what the mob is capable of, are cowards at heart.  It’s one thing to go Vaclav Havel on the powers that be and strike out against censorship and oppression.  After all, history shows us that eventually the pen is mightier than the sword.  However, it’s quite another to stand alone in front of a self-righteous mob of social media trolls who are gathering the torches for a good old-fashioned Twitter roast.

In these troubled times, I do not fear the endless apparatus of the omnipotent state.  It’s the Eagerly Offended anarchy of social media that scares the crap out of me.

 

Full Disclosure: I originally wrote this is 2013 but had to do some editing because things have gotten a lot worse in 5 years.

What You Miss When You’re Cyber-blind

cyber-blind

I have a friend who is cyber-blind.  He doesn’t have a computer; he doesn’t have a tablet; he doesn’t have a cell phone.  In fact, he barely has cable TV (and no PVR!)  But he isn’t one of those pompous asses who’s constantly reminding the world that he lives on a higher plane of consciousness because he’s transcended technology.  No, he’s just a regular guy.  And as he tells it, “I missed the beginning of the digital revolution, and now the learning curve is too steep for me to catch up.”  He’s perfectly content, BTW, but the obvious question is: how does he function, on a daily basis, in a world that can’t go to the toilet without tweeting the results?

Here are just a few things my friend is missing:

1,612 Instagram Photos of Food — One of the requirements of an Instagram account is that you must eat at least 9 meals a day.  And I’m certain nobody under 30 knows what hot food tastes like because, by the time they’ve produced the photographic evidence, it’s cold.

16,120 Useless Email Messages — Aside from being cursed at birth, there is no earthly reason why my email account overflows every couple of days and I have to spend at least a half an hour, cleaning up the crap.  Who the hell even uses email anymore?

161,204 YouTube Videos — You start off, in the early evening, clicking on a 3-minute video about how to stuff a Cornish Hen and end up — somewhere south of midnight — watching “Best Of Drunk Girl Fails 2014,” posted by a Ukrainian named Nemski.  Don’t deny it!  You’ve done it, too!

1,612,047 Facebook Homilies — What is it about Facebook that attracts idiot clichés?  Facebook could be one of the greatest forums for intelligent discussion in history, but what do we get?  Cute kitten memes that tell us to “Value your friends, cuz true friendship is purrfect!”

16,120,479 Twitter Trolls — I don’t care how you slice the pie, Twitter is Lord of the Flies with Wifi!  It’s as if Jack the Ripper’s evil twin built a digital playground for all his nasty little friends and then turned them loose on the world.

But the very worst thing in the digital universe is:

161 Passwords — Every time you turn around in cyberspace, you need a new password.  I’m absolutely convinced that Websites demand that these weirdo afflictions have at least 8 characters, 2 prime numbers, 1 capital, 1 lower case, 3 symbols, an emoji, a hieroglyphic, a quadratic equation, a Greek letter, a Cyrillic letter and the first three letters of your great-aunt’s maiden name because they want to see just how obedient we are to our computer overlords!