Yahoo! Mail has a feature called Buzz Up that allows anyone reading a news story to post comments about that story. Perusing the posts is like reading a free-flowing conversation between Mussolini, David Duke and a mentally retarded warthog.
With every post you observe the erosion of civilized discourse, and with each sentence a bit of hope for humanity dies a little bit.
It isn’t that the bile-spewing, maniacal, immature or ridiculous comments are bad. They’re a blood-streaked, filthy abomination towards everything decent and civilized.
Now I’m all for the freedom of expression and the right of individuals to express themselves. I’m also for intelligent expression and civilized dialog, a kindly exchange of ideas. But with the anonymity and distance of the Internet, the call for a civilized exchanged is largely ignored, replaced by shrill scolding, partisan hacking and statements that I wouldn’t type if I swallowed half a bottle of Scotch and toked on a joint the size of a Buick.
Reading the posts, I learned two things: that the people who posted were immature right-wingers and followers who didn’t give a shit about anything but their own world views and that judging by the repeat postings, its easier to insult someone and call them morons and idiots if you hide behind a pseudonym.
Sometimes the comments aren’t vitriolic condemnations or insults. Sometimes the budding comedians throw out goofy one-liners. It doesn’t matter what the story is. It could be about a busload of kids crashing and burning and some jackass will have to throw in an insensitive zinger.
Yeah, I know. The Internet turns people into dicks.
When a gunman opened fire on the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C., some of the comments included:
“I heard the shooter was Mel Gibson.”
“Most likely one of Obamas Muslim brothers.”
“Night at the Museum 3: The Lock-Down.”
“They need not be afraid of Negro Hussein being there, he doesn't believe the holocaust ever happened.”
When search teams recovered three bodies after an explosion knocked down part of a Slim Jim factory in North Carolina, many of the messages chided those who made light of the situation. Still, others had to post:
“God willed it so, and that's all we need to know.”
“I don't think this is what they meant by "Snap Into A Slim-Jim!"
When late-term abortion doctor George Tiller was murdered, some comments included:
“I see we have more dumb liberals who don't know the difference between executing a muderer and killing an innocent fetus. LOL
What crime did the fetus commit ?
The person executed murdered someone ! DUH !!!!!!”
“what kind of church would have someone like this is their place of worship? maybe what he did was legal by mans law but was it moral or right.”
“The SHOOTER actually performed a "super late-term abortion", didn't he?”
Okay, to be fair not every post was written people with double-digit IQs. Yet there is an abundance of them and they do generate rants and self-righteous diatribes.
It also seems that 95 percent of the comments call President Obama a Muslim, a socialist or a voodoo witchdoctor. I understand partisanship and playing to your base, but when 5,000 postings repeat the same thing using the same words and tone, that’s not agreement – it’s brainwashing.
That also goes for both Republicans and Democrats spewing rhetoric designed to insult and debase the other side.
There’s really a mental drag when you listen to negative messages whose content is as rational and balanced as Al Qaeda’s list of demands.
I understand the goal of Buzz Up is to allow a window into the reader’s minds, but the rancor and ferocity of these comments is hard to take. It’s like being trapped in a room with a thousand retards, all of them drunk and all of them yelling at the top of their lungs that Obama is Satan, while the other end of the room is filled with another thousand retards yelling that he is not.
After a while you just want to get the fuck out of that room.