This video is an example of why it took me 10 years before I actually put up a site dedicated to my random thoughts. The current tagline here is “A Tribute to Internet Narcissism, Skepticism, and Various Other ‘isms”, and that’s because I realize there’s something narcissistic about posting what’s in your head and expecting random strangers to give a damn.
Fortunately, I don’t and this is more of an exercise in writing something on a regular basis. Regardless, this guy is exactly how I picture many “bloggers” who write about themselves and not something specific like Aesopian, for example.
Someone IM’d me with this video the other day. Apparently he had some crackpot theories about Bruce Lee and got dismantled on the Bullshido Forums. I completely missed that discussion thread, which isn’t a surprise given that we’ve got thousands of new posts per day over there.
And it’s not just the whining (and borderline crying) this guy does over people who don’t like his stupid ideas that irks me. Heck, this could be fake, or a tribute to the “Leave Brittney Alone” video. It’s the medium itself. There’s something almost intrusive about a person posting rants like that online. Most people who’ve been raised with decent manners are conditioned to look at someone “speaking to them”. So like it or not, when you stumble on a video of someone ranting or whining like this, deep down in your psyche, there’s that extra bit of aggravation that wells up just the same as if some jerk on the street walked up to you with the intention of talking non-stop in your face for 9:59.
And from a cultural perspective, if there’s not a backlash against this (whether natural or manufactured) kind of narcissism, we’re going to be in a world of hurt. Why? Because the Internet will listen to anybody.
If you’re into cramming watermelons up your ass sideways there’s a constituency of people just like you, waiting to validate your opinions, on the Internet. So out of necessity or out of convenience, you chose to associate only with those people who support your views on watermelon cramming. And when enough of you get together, you start thinking not only that the world actually cares about your viewpoint, but that you should crusade to spread your cause.
This is why we’ve seen the explosion of groups like The National Association for Fat Acceptance, Furries, Juggalos, and Ninjas. Through the Internet, the fringe manages to gravitate towards one another, providing the illusion that they’re members of mainstream society with just a different take on things.
And yes, the irony of writing this isn’t lost on me given the fact that I run a community of Martial Artists who expect people that spend years and thousands of dollars learning how to punch, to actually punch each other. (Of course, unlike the fruitcakes, we’re right.)
And I guess that’s the flip side to this phenomenon. Whereas there are thousands of communities of these social rejects that band together to reinforce their own delusions or trauma-induced fetishes, there are a handful of communities/sites out there, working hard to beat back the tide of stupidity with the paddle of reality.
Communities like those at Something Awful, or a bit more serious, The James Randi Forums, or even my very own Bullshido, are all filled with thousands of people dedicated to fighting/exposing/making fun of stupid.
So while I still think people who post video of themselves ranting and whining are colossal douchebags with delusions of self-importance, at least there are thousands more willing to bring the swift boot of reality crashing down on their balls.
And that brings me comfort.