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A World Wide Web of Morons
by Solomon Philbrick
Ever need to feel better about yourself? Lord knows I do (on an almost daily basis,) but that’s probably due to some sort of inferiority complex and I don’t feel like paying a shrink to sort it out. Besides, neurosis may not be good for the soul or the mind, but it can make for some interesting thoughts. Hopefully. See? There I go again.
I wrote here a few weeks ago about a protest that the Legion of Bored Students threw in order to skip class and make a bunch of noise. Well, they had another one on Saturday, probably to make room for those who wanted to protest something but actually had to be somewhere during the week. I figured that by Saturday night there would be something up on the Web regarding the whole thing, so I ran a Google News search to see if anything had been set on fire. The Google News affiliates were silent, as were the blogs (which surprised me,) but an interesting bit of news came out from a few days prior that I had completely missed. Apparently, there was a gang brawl among a bunch of junior high and high school students in what we quaintly call the “downtown” area of what is really just a big suburb, and the brawl ended with one death and one murder arrest along with the lockdown of several city blocks.
The local weekly rag (you know, that free newspaper that contains hard-hitting stories next to ads for hookers and Viagra) posted a lengthy and fairly objective piece on the whole sorry incident. It’s a tragedy of course, and I really wish that I didn’t feel the need to say that, but I want to make it clear that I’m not making light of the actual situation. A fifteen-year-old kid is dead and a fourteen-year-old is facing a murder charge and might be tried as an adult. So know this: I am not making a joke out of what happened, nor am I looking to provide a solution to a problem that I can’t fix. What I’m really trying to do is beat up on those who think that they actually can do those things. My targets here are the jackasses who posted at the weekly’s message board, whom I wish to a) stereotype and b) eviscerate.
Type 1: The Bigoted Right Wing Asshead: This guy almost always gets the ball rolling. He immediately pounces on the fact that the victim and the alleged murderer have Spanish-sounding names and writes a stupid missive that goes something along the lines of, “This is obviously ‘cuz of illegal immigrants. They oughta round up all these Mexicans and send ‘em back to Tijuana. Don’t these people know that without us they’d all be speakin’ German?” Type 1 of course has no clue as to the national origins of those in question or their status as immigrants. They may be fifth generation Americans from middle-class homes, but why bother even thinking about that possibility when you are a dumb, ignorant prick?
Type 2: The Idiot Who Takes the Bait: If you take the time to argue with a fool, you probably are a fool. This person will write something like, “UR STUPID GO BACK 2 MONTANA U REDNECK THESE PPL DO JOBS WE WONT DO!!1!!” Note the assumption that the kids are poor illegal immigrants (or at least the children of illegal immigrants,) which no one bothers to question.
Type 3: The Blamers: “Where are the parents?” “Where are the teachers?” “Where were the police?” If we could just pin society’s problems on one group of people, we would all be living in Candy-Land tomorrow. Because, you know, things really are that simple.
Type 4: The Blamed: “I am a parent! I teach my children to have values!” “I am a teacher! I don’t get paid enough money!” “I am a police officer! We were on the scene within minutes!” The blamed then deflect the blame onto one or more of the other groups. Because, once again, things really are that simple.
Type 5: The Person Who Actually Says: “Why aren’t we thinking about the children?” Yes, it’s been a joke for at least ten years, but someone will put that one on the table.
Type 6: The Troll: “Little bastard deserved it.” Don’t confuse Type 6 with Type 1. Type 1 actually believes what he is saying, whereas Type 6 is just trying to piss people off. Unfortunately, as with Type 1, people do take the bait.
Type 7: Left Wing Asshat King of the Non Sequitur: “Oh sure, we have this so-called ‘War on Terror’ when the terror’s really going on right here at home. This is all a result of the (p)Resident’s phony war for oil!” He’s got it. There were no street gangs in California before 2001. If everyone would just wake up and throw off their shackles of ignorance the workers of the world would have nothing to lose but their…sorry, I just fell asleep.
To sum up (or at least to finish this damn thing,) the whole sordid thing that happened last week does not make me feel any better about myself or the world around me, but the fuckheads who comment on it certainly do.