What Hath Thou Wrought? (Pt.1)

By Rachel Birdsell
TFW Contributing Writer

This is the first in a two-part series of my love-hate relationship with the Internet.
I have been a user of the Internet since 1996.  Saying that I love it would be an understatement.  Take away my Internet and I would most certainly panic, cry and possibly need a hypodermic filled with something that will make everything all warm and fuzzy.  I’ve made good (and sometimes bad) use of the web since that magical day in ‘96 when I first heard the lovely scratchy siren call of dial up.

Now I spend a lot of my time online reading various news sites and blogs. Invariably, no matter how interesting the article or post is, the comments are more entertaining. I find myself reading page after page of comments, enthralled by what my fellow humans have to say on a given subject. If what we as individuals say, is a direct reflection of what we are as a whole, then we’re in trouble, America, because as individuals we can be a bunch of brainless a-holes.

Courtesy Photo: President Barack Obama fist-bumps custodian Lawrence Lipscomb in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building following the opening session of the White House Forum on Jobs and Economic Growth, Dec. 3, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Recently, this 2009 photograph of President Obama giving a fist bump to a member of the White House’s cleaning crew flashed across my Facebook feed. The comments made on the photo were pretty reflective of the craziness of our fellow Internetians. As I read through the comments, I realized  the comments from normal people were outnumbered by the comments left by the aforementioned a-holes.


Here’s an imaginary comment panel about this photo that parodies the usual suspects found in the comment section, complete with grammatical atrocities. I’m sure you’ll recognize a commenter or two.

The Not News Guy: Why is this even being posted? It’s not news. Why aren’t you writing about the plight of the white-winged, pileated, scowling barn heron?

The Photo Expert: It’s obvious that they ‘shopped the janitor in. I can tell by the pixels.  I should know; my uncle’s a photographer.

The Drama Student: It’s not Photoshopped, but it is staged.  They’re all staged.

The Only Sane Person: I think it’s a great pic of our Commander in Chief. It’s a spontaneous image of a cool moment.

Rabid Republican: Why is this a big deal? President Bush fist-bumped a lot of people when he was in office and it didn’t make the news. You dems are idiots.

The Only Sane Person: I think you mean that Bush fisted a lot of people when he was in office.

Conspiracy Theorist: This wasn’t “just” a fist bump. It was a “secret fist bump” that symbolizes the impending “alliance” between the “Muslim Brotherhood” and the “Mexican” cartel.

The Only Sane Person: Why are so many of your words in quotation marks?

Conspiracy Theorist: It’s so “they” won’t be able to “track” my “Internet” activity.

Pessimist #1: The President shouldn’t be fist bumping the help. How undignified.

Pessimist #2: If Obama really cared, he would have hugged the guy. Is he afraid to get his fancy suit dirty?

The Only Sane Person: So, no matter what Obama does, he can’t win, can he?

Racist: this is what happens when you put a black guy in the white house theres a reason its called the WHITE house THE SOUTH WILL RISE AGAIN!!!!

The Sane Guy: The Civil War was over a long time ago, dude. Get over it.

Religious Freak: This is what happens when you take prayer out of school and teach EVILution.

The Sane Guy: WTF? What does any of that have to do with this photo?

PC Militant: You are all cretins. The man is a custodial engineer, not a janitor.

The Guy Stuck in 1999: Any of you ladies wanna private chat? A/S/L me.

Armchair  Immigration Agent: He’s an illegal immigrant … and the janitor probably is, too. Kick ‘em both out of OUR AMERICA.

Rabid Republican: LMAO! Good one.

The Only Sane Person: You do realize that the President is a US citizen and we’re here because our ancestors stole land from the Native Americans, right?

Rabid Republican: We didn’t steal no land. We bought it from them. Besides I’m a quarter Cherokee and your still a idiot.

Ron Paul Supporter: Ron Paul will never fist bump a janitor, because when he becomes President, there won’t be any janitors at the White House. He’ll do it all himself. RON PAUL 2012!!!!!

Homophobe: This is the President who said it was okay for gays to be in the military. What’s next? People marrying their ceiling fan?

The Only Sane Person: I give up.

Rachel Birdsell is a freelance writer, artist and semiprofessional cat wrangler. Feel free to drop her a note at rabirdsell@gmail.com.

Categories: Commentary