It has taken me a very long time to start a blog, and yet here I finally am, and since I’ve already paid the $15 for the URL, I guess there’s really no turning back now. The reason why I’m so late to the party, besides the fact that there’s no free booze here, is because I hate the Internet, and if there’s anything I hate more than the Internet, it’s what people post on it.
How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways:
1) If you have something to say, it should be something that is actually worth the effort of opening your mouth to verbalize, or in this case, tapping the keys, I guess. If anyone really wants to know about your shitty day or about how cute your cat is or what some jackass behind you in line for coffee said about your favorite band, they’ll ask. You don’t have to tell EVERYONE.
2) Opinions that are stated as facts will probably be the subject of a much longer post in the future, but suffice it to say, it kind of drives me crazy. People who are unaware of their own biases and attempt to force their subjective manifesto on others without the least hint of self-awareness are a principle reason why the Internet can be such an unpleasant place. It’s one thing for people to share strong opinions and wish to argue their points with logic and reason; it’s another thing entirely to automatically start from the perspective that what you believe is irrefutable.
3) We all get angry or frustrated with the way the world works, but posting knee-jerk reactions on the Internet doesn’t solve anything. You may think some problem demands an easy fix and you’re the one to provide it, but usually things are way more complicated than we’re willing to admit. Here’s the litmus test: if the gist of what you are about to post would be right at home scribbled all over the walls of your favorite dive bar’s bathroom or imprinted on a bumper sticker, then maybe it’s not really some profound insight that needs to be shared with the world. Maybe it’s just graffiti.
4) Some people just want to watch the world burn. And the worst thing about the Internet is because everyone’s wearing a mask, anyone can get away with pranking, responding dismissively or rudely to others, and bringing the level of discourse down to the lowest common denominator.
5) Considering how much time some people spend writing, you’d think they’d want to learn how to communicate in a legible fashion. If you can’t write sentences that people can understand, or you’re just stringing random words together, it’s just not worth the effort to decipher what you’re trying to say.
The purpose of this blog is as much about discussing storytelling–be it from films, novels, comic books, music, or any other art–as it is about dodging the pitfalls mentioned above. If I post something, it has to clear these criteria for me: it has to be about something that I legitimately think someone else might be interested in reading about and discussing; it has to be presented in such a way as to encourage discussion and alternating points of view; it has to back up whatever assertions it’s making with evidence, logic and depth; it has to be free of mean-spirited attacks and confrontational accusations; and it has to be clearly written with as few typos and grammatical lapses as possible.
On second thought, damn. That sounds like a lot of work. Maybe I’ll just make fun of rednecks instead.