Sunday, October 28, 2012

Primer on Earning Internet Sage Status

Thanks to my over 20 years of internet discussion forum participation, I have learned quite a few things about how to pass one's self off as an Expert on the Internet.  It used to baffle me quite a bit, but it's pretty obvious now.  Perhaps a little tale will help explain.

In 2012 it's pretty common for people to be generically accustomed to pretense on the internet.  Nearly anyone you know who's spent any time browsing or surfing the Toobz can share a laugh with you when you talk about 40something shut-in guy living in his mother's basement who got busted for impersonating a 15-year-old girl in a hook-up forum.

But at the same time it's commonly misunderstood or not-understood how or why, for example, a political ignoramus and complete naif about human nature would be able to pass himself off as an Internet Savant on SocioEconoPolitical Matters.

Why do you think that is?  Why do you find it easy to see Joe the Janitor exercising peculiar fantasies by pretending to be a 15-yr-old cheerleader, but can't imagine Irving the Ignoramus wanting desperately to be mistaken for the next Noam Chomsky?

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The ways in which people end up getting praised on the Toobz as political sages are nearly identical to the ways in which a person gains "popular" status in middle or high school.  It's a combination of attitudes projected, insecurities palliated, tribal needs fulfilled.

Remember back to 8th grade.  The first guy to have enough facial hair to require shaving gets the girls all moist.  The first girl to have enough boob prominence to require a C-cup bra gets the boys all wooden.  "Popularity" is about envy.  When guys hear that Tom Testosterone's beard (such as it is) requires regular maintenance and therefore makes the girls swoon, they wish their facial hedge would grow like a rainforest.  When girls hear that Emily Estrogen's thoracic terrain is driving the boys into onanist frenzies, they wish their little brassiere bumps would fatten up properly.

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In the socio-econo-politico realm of Toobs Banter, most web surfers really are politically stupid.  As in, sub-cretinous brickheaded ignorance.  And they can't write a decent sentence, let alone a coherent paragraph, never mind a string of paragraphs that almost resemble a half-decent essay.

So when some dork-ass motherfucker bold enough to risk ridicule writes a blog post or forum comment that strings together 2 or 3 thoughts in a few paragraphs, in some way that can be followed by an earnest 2d grader, suddenly a nascent expert is born.

Wouldn't you like to become an Internet Savant yourself?

Of course you would.  That's why you're reading me.  You want to find some ideas that you can mimic and thereby pass yourself off as being some minor imitation of my own self.  Admit it.

And because I'm a generous person, I'm going to help you sort out just how you can try to rise to my elevated station.

I make no guarantee that you'll become as famous and world-wide admired as I am, but perhaps I can help you reach the status of someone like Amanda Marcotte, Chris Bowers, Markos Zuniga, Melissa McEwan, or Jane Hamsher.

1)  Read a bunch of political "analysis" from such accepted experts as Tom Friedman, Paul Krugman or Chris Hedges (if Democrat), or George Will, William Safire or Thomas Sowell (if Republican).

2)  Note the frequency with which these experts offer assuredness in their perspective, and the ways in which the assuredness is conveyed.  Observe the way opinion is rendered as irrefutable fact.  Example:  "While it cannot be doubted that Black people prefer fried chicken and watermelon, I saw Clarence Thomas eating lunch at an Indian restaurant in Georgetown -- so he's not the Uncle Tom everyone thinks him to be."

3)  Note the lack of sources, generally speaking, for their assured opinion(s).  But also, note the sources offered when that rare occurrence happens.  Example:  "I was speaking the other day with a friend in the Obama Administration, and she told me that President Obama would prefer to not use drones, but due to pressures from the Republican Party on National Security, he's left with no choice."

5)  Note the ways in which "data" are offered and the frequency with which "statistics" are used to give the "data" credibility.  If you can use statistics from a highbrow-sounding thinktank (whose only purpose is to generate rhetoric to be used in political opinion), you'll prevent many readers from doubting your honesty.  Example:  "While we often hear people such as former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney questioning the role Israel plays in US foreign affairs, 73% of Americans polled by Zye O. Gnist, LLC said they prefer US tax dollars being spent to help Israel defend itself from neighboring terrorists."

6)  Note the balance of non-controversy and partisan affirmation.  By "non-controversy" I mean the ways in which obvious problems are identified in grave tones.  By "partisan affirmation" I mean the ways in which the problems are presented in language that resembles what one-half of the duopoly uses to discuss problems.  Example:  "Women's reproductive rights are threatened by the prospect of a Romney presidency, which would enable new Supreme Court justice appointments that may result in an overturn of Roe v. Wade."

7)  Be sure to pay close attention to the occasional use of personal experience, or stories of "regular folks", as practical examples supporting the opinions offered.  Begin thinking about your own personal anecdotes that can be whipped into service as "proof" of your opinions being correct.  Example:  "Just the other day I was speaking to a teabagger neighbor, who said we need to elect Romney/Ryan in order to strengthen National Security.  But hasn't Obama been tough on terrorists?"

8)  Never use a small word when a big, multi-syllable rare word can be used.  The more often you send people scrambling for a dictionary or thesaurus, the more likely you'll be worshiped for your "erudition" or "articulateness."  Example:  "One clear reason to vote for Obama/Biden this November is the obstreporous manner in which the Romney/Ryan campaign repeatedly and almost without exception has elected obfuscation rather than elucidation.  There are innumerable exemplars of this reprehensible methodology, offering an incomprehensible conducement toward elision."

Friday, October 26, 2012

limited time offer

UPDATED BELOW

Now that the Web's biggest phony has uttered his biggest lie of all --

I'm dying of cancer, I the fictional construct have contracted fictional cancer, please fictionally pity me and fictionally find yourself having fictional empathy for me, and please (I beg of you, polysyllabically and pompously in grandiose metaphor and superlative idiom) hold my fictional hand while I use my fictionally renown eidetic powers to castigate "reactionaries" and "misogynists" on fictionally created grounds fabricated in my fictional noggin 

-- it's time to return for a brief sortie, a recon mission where the latest-and-greatest of Political Expertise is surveyed, assessed, reviewed, analyzed and questioned.

In the phrasing of the immortal defrocked Jesuit, John McLaughlin,

ISSUE ONE!  Romney versus Obama!

In this corner Mittens who Hates Women, and in the opposite corner, Barry who Embodies the Lesser Evil.

We now urge you to take up pen, to open your iPhone's texting function, to get your Yuppie Tablet into text mode, to sit at your computer and start blogging!

It is high time we expose Devil Romney and his Romnesia!  This, dear friends, so that we may ignore the horrors wrought by Lesser Evildoer, a/k/a First Black President!

Because if you don't do that, we're going to accuse you of harboring RAPE FANTASIES!

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We, of the Almighty Corvid Empire Currently in a Waiting and Holding Pattern Off-Stage but Nevertheless Impressively Highbrow and Consummately Enlightened (NB: always more than you, bro -- you filthy misogynist!), are exultant  and resplendent in our Naked Emperor Finery.  We always have been, currently are, and always will be superior to everyone who doesn't agree with us on the minorest issue of gender politics.

Like abortion-on-demand.  Your laws MUST stay off a woman's body.  A woman MUST be able to murder all life forms without legal recourse.  Women MUST have exception to culpability.

"Why?", you ask.

Well, we'll tell you.

It's because women have been subjugated since humans first walked the earth.  We owe them supreme murder authority.  It really doesn't matter if YOU personally never have mistreated a woman.  If you're a man and we find you disagreeing with us, we'll accuse you of harboring RAPE FANTASIES!

We, of the Almighty Corvid Empire Currently in a Waiting and Holding Pattern Off-Stage but Nevertheless Impressively Highbrow and Consummately Enlightened.

Can you not feel the superiority we emanate?  Can you not smell it?

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Well.  That certainly was bizarre, unhinged and psychotic.

Wasn't it?

Yes.

Please forgive me.  I was desperately engaged in channeling The Mighty Crowbar, whose insanity is quite hard to emulate.  It's not something anyone can do at any given moment on a mere whim.

To get into the Crow character, one must abandon all logic and reason.  One must get into a headspace where rationality is a foreign, uncharted and unknown land.  One must engage in the most hypersensitive projection of one's nightmares, onto others who don't deserve such projections.

This is necessary because of the Crow History of Manifold Battery, Buggery and Rape.

Oh.  You didn't know?  You didn't know The Crowbar was a rapist?  A multiple rapist of both adults and youths?  Of both genders?

Well.

You should.

The Crowbar spent his youth first beating up on smaller, weaker boys.  When that type of vicious violence didn't satisfy his twisted psyche, he began raping smaller, weaker boys.

He confided to his priest that he definitely wasn't gay and didn't have homosexual urges, but rather, this was about personal power.  It was necessary for him to overcome his feelings of inadequacy.

Fr. Weldon Smith, pastoral counselor at the RC church in Crowbar's home town, confessed to these facts when he was found to have cancer.  I secured an interview because I'd been hired by Random House to write a biography of the amazing Jack Crow, blogging savant and supreme hyperfeminist man.  My advance check of $18,000 easily covered my telephone calls and travel to the Crowbar hometown, where I found Fr. Smith in a hospice, withered to 75 lbs of dying human husk, but still capable of conversation.

"Yes, one of my life's great regrets is taking confession from the boy who grew into the man we know now as 'Jack Crow.'  My instinct was to report the terrible crimes he committed, but my fidelity to the church and the penitent privilege that arises from that fidelity prevented me.  It has haunted me for at least 35 years, but I have to get it off my chest."

I asked Fr Smith if he ever considered confessing these sins himself, to a fellow priest.

"Oh yes, of course I did.  But I knew that like the disclosures I'd kept under my own hat, it would remain a secret.  So I have to tell someone, and I'm glad to tell you."

Fr Smith went on to describe brutal rapes of teenage boys and girls, mere children whose anal sphincters were horribly shredded by Crow, who would not only have sex with his victims but would then use a baseball bat on them to make sure they "learned their lesson" -- in Crow's words.

I asked Fr Smith what "lesson" Crow was trying to teach his victims.

"He wanted them to learn to avoid mystical thinking, and he wanted them to respect women."

Stunned, I asked Fr Smith just exactly how Crow intended his repeated rapes and sexual batteries would achieve those goals.

"Oh they couldn't possibly achieve those goals.  This is why I've been wracked with guilt all these years.  He was clearly one of the most disturbed psyches I've ever been near in the confession booth.  I would tremble with fear when he was giving confession.  There was little more than a thin board between us.  After hearing his descriptions of violent acts committed against these poor innocent children, I would be haunted for weeks with nightmares."

I asked Fr Smith when he took his last confession from Crow.

"Well, he'd have been about 17 I think.  I'd given a glowing recommendation for him to gain acceptance to several different colleges.  He came in to tell me of his acceptance at multiple schools -- every one he applied to, if I remember correctly -- and after beaming with pride at this announcement, he then asked if I could hear one more round of confession."

Naturally I was curious as to what transpired in this last round, but didn't want to pry.  But Fr Smith was forthcoming.

"The last round was terrifying.  He quickly got into the confession booth and this time, he was bragging about raping 3 different girls in one evening.  He confessed to getting each one extremely drunk and then having violent sex with her, against her wishes expressed rather clearly.  These weren't just implied rapes.  They were obvious, vicious acts that no person ever should commit against another.  I'm afraid the victims of Crow's rapes and sexual batteries suffered horribly, too.  Several of them committed suicide.  A handful are drug addicts.  Two of the women became prostitutes.  Two of the boys did as well.  Three boys are now in life imprisonment.  It's a shame, really."

I then told Fr Smith that Crow was a blogger who maintained a highly moralizing tone and frequently lectured other men for their misogyny and for holding rape fantasies toward or concerning women.

"That's sadly typical of people with his background," said Fr Smith.

I thanked him for his time, and caught a flight back home the next morning.

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I'll have more to report later, but this should suffice for now.

UPDATE:

I received this photograph in an email from Fr Smith, with a message:

"This is an image that was forwarded by an anonymous member of the parish, who claimed to have witnessed some of the acts I heard in confession.  I don't know if that anonymous tipster tells the truth, but this does resemble the 17 year old version of Crow.  --Fr Smith's secretary"