Gropes of Wrath
The Scarlet French Letter
Girl with a Pearl Necklace
Catch Her in the Rye
Our Mutual Friend with Benefits
The Warden of the Womb
Frank in Stein
War and Penis
Gropes of Wrath
The Scarlet French Letter
Girl with a Pearl Necklace
Catch Her in the Rye
Our Mutual Friend with Benefits
The Warden of the Womb
Frank in Stein
War and Penis
Foster Us People
Guided by Imaginary Voices
They Might Be Alcoholics
Broken Social Support System
Internet Commenters are a loud and opinionated species. While far fewer in number than the Lurker, their boisterousness leads many amateurs to mistakenly conclude that they are the most populous of the online fauna. Often irrationally angry and aggressive even at the best of times, many breeds of Internet Commenter are especially hostile towards the Content Creator. Caution is advised when observing. Food: soft drinks, Cheetos and pizza pockets. Range: Worldwide.
Common Youtube Troll
Even the least dedicated hobbyist will spot the Youtube Troll on a daily basis. While they are mostly solitary creatures that will lash out at their fellows as often as other species, Trolls will occasionally band together to attack a particularly dangerous or enticing target. Among the most combative of all Internet Commenters, Trolls will bombard their foes with capitalised messages questioning their sexuality or encouraging them to commit suicide. Interaction with Trolls has been known to cause feeling of depression and despair regarding the state of modern discourse. Otherwise known as flamers or dickwads. Voice: Loud, guttural and primitive, the one commonality of their wide-ranging calls is their grammatical inferiority. Examples of common cries include FAAAAAGG!!!!11, go die in a fire u tard and, when mating, nice tits bitch. Habitat: Found across Youtube, but particularly prevalent in videos of a religious or political nature, videos on the topic of feminism, and Justin Bieber music videos.
Angry Old Republican
The Angry Old Republican, while often compared to the Whining Sanctimonious Liberal, has several unique characteristics. Sometimes mistaken for Youtube Trolls due to their tendency to communicate in capital letters and eschew the basics of grammar, their poor communication skills can in part be attributed to their unfamiliarity with their environment. Their advanced age makes them ill-suited for life on the Internet, but the Angry Old Republican nevertheless insists on maintaining its habitat. While more social than the Internet Troll, they can be quick to turn on what they perceive as “RINOs,” or Angry Old Republicans who are insufficiently zealous. The Angry Old Republican spends its days trying to convince other breeds of Internet Commenters that the Obama administration is planning to turn America over to radical Islamists and put everyone in concentration camps. This has made them a popular source of amusement for observers. Voice: The Angry Old Republican’s cry changes based on the news of the day. Today’s OBAMACARE IS MURDER will become tomorrow’s Investigate Benghazi!!!. During slower news cycles, the Angry Old Republican will revert to timeless calls such as Impeach Obummer!1! and KEEP YOUR COMMIE HANDS OF MY GUNS OBOZO. Habitat: While most Angry Old Republicans spend their days at FOX News or CNN, others will travel as far as MSNBC or Salon to spread their cries before returning to Free Republic to roost.
The Meme Mockingbird earns its name from its ceaseless repetition of the passing fads of the day. Hobbyists fiercely debate the Mockingbird’s intelligence—some argue that its parroting of popular images and phrases suggests a unique form of language, while others believe it is merely an automatic response indicative of a lack of higher brain functions. Either way the Meme Mockingbird is a rapid adapter, as those that fall behind the curve and communicate with outdated memes are insulted or shunned by their peers. Unlike most Internet Commenters, the Mockingbird is not inherently hostile; rather, their emotional state is dictated by the fad they are currently echoing. This emotional instability, along with the general incoherentness of their communication, makes the Meme Mockingbird one of the most enigmatic—and at times frustrating—Internet Commenters. Voice: To amateurs, the cries of the Meme Mockingbird are seemingly random. With study and experience one can learn why the Mockingbird uses non-sequiturs like YOLO SWAG!! and images of cats, though even veteran observers can be flummoxed by this erratic creature. Habitat: While native to 4chan, the ubiquitous Meme Mockingbirds can be found everywhere from social networks to pornographic websites. Some sites view the Mockingbird as a pest and have attempted to exterminate it, but these efforts have had minimal effect.
Greater Facebook Sharer
Unlike the harmless Lesser Facebook Sharer, which is content to share pictures of itself at the beach and recipes for the latest vegan dishes they’re trying, the Greater Facebook Sharer will spread conspiracy theories, false news reports and general disinformation. While their intentions vary from well meaning ignorance to aggressive proselytisation of fringe views, their shared content is equally infuriating to other Internet denizens. This parasitic species spreads its content by tricking other breeds into following their example, either by convincing them of the validity of their false claims or by guilting them into sharing emotionally manipulative content. In an unusual reproductive process, creatures that are particularly vulnerable to the parasite’s attacks will eventually turn into a Greater Facebook Sharer themselves. Voice: while the overall message of Greater Facebook Sharers can vary wildly, their cries share common beginnings. Have you guys heard about this?? Something to think about!; WAKE UP SHEEPLE and I can’t believe how dangerous this is! BE CAREFUL EVERYONE! and variants thereof are among the most prevalent examples. In full, a cry might sound like Did you guys see this new study that proves fluoride is toxic?! I’m drinking bottled water from now on and I hope you do too!!!. Habitat: Despite the name, the Greater Facebook Sharer can be found not only on Facebook, but also Twitter, G+, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest and even MySpace. The type of content they share varies by region, though some topics, such as sensational but inaccurate news reports, are universal.
My Fellow Americans,
Thomas Jefferson here. Founding Father, third President of the United States and all that jazz. So, what’s up? That’s what you guys are saying nowadays, right? Is that what’s “cool”? Is it still cool to say cool? Sorry, I’m getting off topic here.
I just wanted to pop in and ask everyone for a teensy favour. Could you fine people please stop quoting me in, like, every debate on guns and the Second Amendment? Because if you could stop, that would be just swell.
I get that guns are a controversial and emotional issue. Were I not, you know, dead, I’d probably be penning some pretty strong opinions on the topic myself! But as I’ve been deceased for coming up on two centuries now my thoughts on the subject really aren’t pertinent, and you should probably stop trying to shove my quotes down the throats of people who disagree with you in lieu of actual opinions and facts. Let me explain why.
For starters, that quote you’re ascribing to me? I probably never said it! Yeah, misattribution is a big problem for me—I get credit for more quotes I shouldn’t than poor old Mark Twain. Here’s an example:
When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
Wow. Pretty stirring stuff. I wish I could take credit for that! But nope, never said it. Same with this one:
The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it.
I’ve been seeing that quote a lot. Snappy, right? But totally not me. It doesn’t even sound like me. I mean, come on guys, have you even read my writing? Like, maybe this little thing called the Declaration of Independence? It’s elaborate and flowery and written like I was living in the late 18th, early 19th centuries. You know, because I was. These quotes totally read like pithy 21st century style over substance sound bites meant to sound deep on the Internet.
Which is ironic, because it should only take you about five seconds of research to spot the fakes. Seriously, you have the Internet! That shit’s so cool! So use it to call people out when they’re posting these quotes, okay? You’ll help stop the spread of misinformation, and look smart. Win-win, y’all.
Now, ol’ Jazzy Jeff here bets he knows what you’re going to say next. “But Mr. Jefferson, even if you didn’t use those exact words, don’t they capture your feelings on the subject?” Well friends, I’m afraid my opinions on firearms are complicated, and can’t be accurately summed up in a comment on a news article. What can I say? I like to consider the merits of both sides of a debate. Just ask my slaves!
More importantly, why do you guys even care so much? Don’t get me wrong, I’m flattered that you take my words so seriously. But I died in 1826—the world was a little different back then. Lots of folks claim that if I was alive today I’d take their side in the gun debate, but I’d probably be too busy having my mind blown by fighter jets to participate. You know we were still using muskets in my day, right?
This whole gun problem you got going on right now is tough, no doubt about that, and I wish you all the best with it. My only advice is to maybe try forming your own opinions instead of mindlessly parroting the false thoughts of a man you’ve deified to a dangerous degree (again though, I’m super flattered!). Times and laws change, so put things in a modern perspective and make Tommy proud.
Anyway, I gotta run—James and I are going to go grab some drinks at Sam’s place. I’ll leave you with what I understand is the traditional parting expression of goodwill in modern America.
Several of my co-workers’ names.
What I was working on.
What I’m doing here.
Why I have this job.
Why I’m spending my hours performing menial tasks for mediocre pay instead of taking a risk and pursuing my dreams.
What I’m doing with my life.
Why I even bother to drag myself out of bed at 6:30 every morning.
Banana bread for the potluck.
Your intriguing statement that the soul is a tour guide for our lives raises fascinating philosophical questions. As a counterargument, may I humbly suggest that it’s 7:30 in the fucking morning and I really don’t give a shit about your stupid dumb kayaking journal, Jesus God.
It’s great that you once wrote that finding yourself alone in the vast Alaskan wilderness left you humbled by the majesty of the universe. But I find myself humbled by a splitting hangover and pangs of regret over the money I foolishly gambled away at the casino last night. It’s difficult to appreciate the serene beauty of a pod of whales when the parts of your head that aren’t exploding are trying to calculate if you’ll need to suck off some Serbian concierge in order to settle your bill.
It’s nice that there’s a plethora of wildlife frolicking alongside us. It really is. But I don’t want to “observe myself by observing them,” unless one of them has a hangover and knows how to do something about it. I’ll observe the fuck out of that whale. No? Then I’m begging you, put away your kayaking journal. Go catalogue some salmon, or whatever the hell naturalists do.
It doesn’t help that your sedate voice suggests you are offering me and my fellow cruisers your facts and reflections on life while enjoying a cup of herbal tea and the firm yet sensual touch of a beautiful masseuse as you gaze upon the stark brilliance of Alaska, becoming closer to nature with each relaxed breath and note of birdsong that penetrates the fine glass walls of your private lookout. Meanwhile, I’m trying to beat some obese Texan to the last plate of Eggs Benedict, even though the fat fuck already has, like, a dozen pieces of bacon on his plate, and I wanted just one of those too, but he nabbed them all while I was busy dodging some maniacal old lady roaring around in her scooter, and all the while some stupid Jimmy Buffet song is blaring through the café and holy shit, what is wrong with these people, is that guy just eating a bowl of whipped cream for breakfast?
Oh my God, now you’re reading historical quotes. Yeah, it’s awesome that some politician who’s been dead for a century declared Alaska’s wilderness to be one of America’s greatest natural resources. You know what else is a great natural resource? Sleep.
Is that poetry? Fuck you. Go to jail.
Here, I’d like to share something with you. Since you’ve offered us excerpts from your kayaking journal, I’d like to offer you an excerpt from my dream journal. I hope you find it as beautiful and thought-provoking as I’m sure I’d find your poems and quotes were I lucid enough to fully comprehend them, and also if I was a 60 year old woman.
Last night I dreamt I was swimming through the waters of Alaska. It was midnight—the full moon was reflected in the water alongside a thousand stars. The ocean was cold yet I was not, for my naked body was warmed by the thrill of being returned to my natural roots.
As I swam through the obsidian waves I espied a herd of seals resting on an ice floe. Eager to both rest my weary body and bond with my fellow living beings, I made haste to their location. When I arrived I sat upon the ice and gazed at the night. Overwhelmed by the beauty of what I saw, I began telling the nearest seal what I thought of the sight before me, what I thought of our humble place in the cosmoses, and everything else the stirring scene brought to mind. I talked at some length, and when finally my thoughts settled and I was content to simply bask in the glory of the wilderness, the seal spoke in its deep, rumbling voice. For as long as I live I will never forget what it said to me:
“It’s about fucking time you shut up. Christ, I was up all night gorging on fish, I feel like I’m literally going to explode. I want to fucking sleep. So if you say another Goddamn word I swear I’m going to slap you senseless and then pee in your mouth. You got that, dipshit?”
And then I awoke a wiser man. I think the lesson is clear.
P.S. The whales were a very impressive sight.
At last, gang, we have captured the Miner Forty-Niner. At last we shall learn the truth behind the haunted mine.
I can’t believe our elaborate system of mirrors, ropes, pulleys, smoke machines, tripwires and slide whistles was able to trap the Miner in the depression of existential darkness!
Never doubt victory, Velma. No victor believes in chance. Shaggy, do the honours, please. Remove the mask, pull back the curtain, for truth reveals its highest wisdom in the guise of simplicity, and what is simpler than an obviously fake old-timey moustache, except maybe those crummy mummy bandages from a few weeks ago?
Shaggy removes the mask of the Miner.
Zoinks! It’s, like, me!
Do you see yourself in this monster, Shaggy? For I see myself.
Jinkies! And I see me! What do you see, Scooby?
Wow! It’s re! Rooby Roo!
But how? I thought for sure it would be Old Man Jenkins!
It is as I have long feared. We have spent so long catching monsters that we ourselves have become monsters. We gaze into the face of the Miner Forty-Niner and see only the Miner Forty-Niners inside of us.
Jeepers! But I’m no monster!
But is not man the cruellest animal, the greatest monster of all?
What about re? Rooby Roo?
You’re alright, I guess.
I’m afraid he speaks true. There are monsters inside us. Have you never once wanted to take the side of the demon, the wolfman, the angry lumberjack ghost or whatever that one guy was? Have you never wanted to profit from people’s ignorance and fear, from the hidden treasures and unknown oil wells that dot their derelict lands? From their oddly specific blindness to acrobatic harnesses and high wires?
Is that what’s in this mine? Treasure?
This mine contains ignorance, the lies we tell ourselves and the truths about us which we dare not know!
Yes, and that! Tell us where the gold is!
Wouldn’t you rather know where Daphne is?
Foul monster! What have you done with our fair Daphne? Release her at once, for like all women she is delicate and fragile and savage. Except Velma, who is nerdy and kind of mannish.
Fool! I have trapped Daphne deep in my darkest pit!
Alas! Daphne is lost to the dark pit above which all humans dangle from a precious tightrope! For deep in that pit is nothing but fear and dread, fear and dread of that most terrible thing--a natural death after a live poorly lived!
Like, how do we save her?
We have no choice. We must burn ourselves in our own flames, for how can we rise anew if we do not first become ashes?
You’re saying you want to go get high in the Mystery Machine, right?
I’ll get the Scooby snacks!
Rooby Snacks? Rooby Rooby Roo!
Scooby knocks Shaggy to the ground in his haste to reach the Scooby snacks, creating an amusing sound effect. Cue laugh track and existential despair.
A farmer and his family must protect their animals from a horde of bestiality enthusiasts.
A group of soldiers break into a house and force the occupants to let them have a sleepover.
A woman driving late at night arrives at her destination slightly faster by making illegal turns.
A lesbian couple gets married in Texas.
A man rebroadcasts baseball games without the express written permission of Major League Baseball.
Dear CNN, Slate, Salon, et al.,
I was recently advised by you that I should be pregnant by 26. Well, I shouldn’t be pregnant, but my wife (who I married right out of university, also by your advice), should be. As a single 25 year old lacking serious relationship experience, this came as quite the wakeup call. Your smug, self-congratulatory tone heightened my concerns that I am wasting my years away while you raise beautiful families in trendy New York neighbourhoods.
But hold on a second. Did you not also advise me, in the confident words of someone who has mastered life itself and deigns to provide sage advice to us little lost children, that I should be spending my 20s on my career? I’m already using any free time I can rustle up trying to advance my dreams, at least when I’m not so exhausted from a day at the office doing work I find soul-crushing that the prospect of completing any task more trying than watching cartoons is a laughable impossibility. I imagine it would be difficult to raise a child and maintain a loving relationship with a spouse in these circumstances. And yes, I know, you told me I should already be in the industry I want to be in, working the way up the ladder of my ideal career. I guess I’m just dumb and lazy. What else could it possibly be?
To make matters worse you have also told me, again in the same authoritative voice, that I should not stress out about my life at this stage, and should instead travel and do the things I’ve always wanted to while I still have the chance. Okay then, I guess I’ll just drag my expectant wife on a two month backpacking sojourn across the steppes of Mongolia, where we’ll experience deep spiritual discoveries and learn how to make yurts from the indigenous population, yurts that we will then sell from our website on the side (www.yurtsforyou.com), just like we always wanted to. That’s the sort of thing us hip young people do, right? I’m sure my job will be waiting for me when I get back.
Boy, you guys are really starting to make me feel like a failure. Oh, but I’m confused. You’ve also told me that it’s best to marry and start a family later in life, and that it’s possible to start a new career later in life, and that’s it perfectly normal to flounder around a little at my age. That wisdom would be reassuring were it not written in the exact same know it all tone that marked your other, completely contradictory advice, leaving me more baffled than enlightened.
As near as I can tell I’m supposed to marry, start a family, buy a house, get my ideal job, travel the world, pursue my dreams and become content with my role in society within the next few years or I’ll spend the rest of my sad, lonely days regretting my choices, unless I don’t do any of that in which case it’s fine, my life won’t be ruined at all and my best years will in fact be ahead of me.
I appreciate that you’re trying to look out for me. I really do. But I’m already stressed enough from watching my peers either get married and settle into careers or stay single while journeying to exotic lands and pursuing their passions, while they all tell me that they love their lives and wouldn’t have them any other way and I fluctuate between the two lifestyles like a puppy trying to figure out which would-be owner loves him more. I don’t need you compounding the situation.
I read your sites to learn who won the big game, how many people were killed in the latest tragic shooting spree and which celebrity is totes rocking their hot new beach bod. I do not read your sites for articles where the headlines essentially read “Mark Hill is Sucking at Life” or “6 Things you HAVE to do to Not Die Alone, Unloved and Full of Self-Loathing.” Please either provide advice specific to my situation, drop your sanctimonious tone and acknowledge that no single path through life is the definitively correct one, or supplement your advice articles with pictures of puffins so I feel less depressed while reading them. There are not enough puffins on the Internet.
“A Year of Reposits” video retrospective narrated by Sir David Attenborough.
Gloating speech taunting the rival websites I drove out of business.
Commenter of the Year Award presented.
Posting of the climatic final chapter of The Terrific Trips and Terrifying Travails of Timmy the Timid Turtle.
Ritual sacrifice to Hermes.
Launch of major redesign intended to shift the focus of the site to my erotic Everybody Loves Raymond fanfiction.