I'll be honest, Cracked Blog readers--and it pains me to say this--but you're not the only Internet commenters in my life. You see, while the discourse appended to these posts is almost always rousing, and certainly inspires emotions in me, those emotions are not always the kind that give me, say, hope for humanity. Hope for dick jokes, yes. Humanity? Well, sometimes I need to look elsewhere.
Where do I go? Any number of places, really. Sometimes I'll get my fix from some salty talk with the boys down at the sailing forums, or thrill to the witty period repartee at the SCA. If I'm feeling really wild, I may even indulge in the decadence that is The Practical Manufacturing and Machinist's Forum (click the lathe to enter). I've had some crazy nights there, I can tell you.
But usually, especially when I'm feeling down after a particularly vicious barb from Wallsy or I've just watched my thread descend into a flame war between lbh and...everyone else, I'll pop on over to cnn.com looking for some reasoned, intelligent debate to give me some perspective. This week, I was recovering from someone's devastating use of the words faggot and "meh" in describing me, and came upon this article.
The gist of it is that our economy and housing markets are no so ridiculous that we have the largest proportion of middle class, employed homeless in our nation's history. Single mothers and retirees sleeping in their cars, going back to work just to pay for cell phone service so they can talk to their children, etc. All of the glorious trappings you'd think would go along with living in the greatest nation on Earth during its golden age.
And while I was initially going to post about what a staggering achievement that is, and how proud our children will all be of us, I am instead going to draw some attention to the conversation that followed the article, because try as you guys might to crush my spirit, it was the most depressing sequence of statements I've ever seen in text (aside from my Elementary School progress report...a Needs Improvement in manners? With all due respect, fuck you, Mrs. Maska).
To put things in perspective, there are arguments that can be made about why this woman is homeless (she didn't live within her means, she tried to hold onto an expensive house, she raised the kinds of kids who abandon their homeless Mom). But ultimately, I was forced to come to the grim realization they've got all the same commenters we do.
There's the unbridled cynics:
- Her vanity led to her downfall.
- What gives this woman the right to live recklessly and expect us to bail her out?
- Maybe it's time to get rid of her dogs. Get your priorities straight.
- A part time job? Get a FULL TIME job.
- You are cruel, heartless, evil little bastards.
- I sincerely hope something horrific happens to you.
- You can thank a Democrat for this.
- You can thank Bush for this.
The ALL CAPS PEOPLE:
- YOU HAVE ALL UTTERLY FAILED AT HAVING RATIONAL DISCOURSE!
- DID YOU SAY GET A FULL TIME JOB?!
The people who have all the solutions, and yet fail to run for public office:
- More people will become homeless unless we do the following (then there's a list of things that probably wouldn't help)
The people who hate the site but inexplicably spend their time reading and commenting on things there:
- How typically socialist of CNN!
Even the guys who want to look smart:
- These parking lots remind me of the Resettlement Camps from John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath.
If you really feel like getting pissed off, go ahead and read the rest of the thread for yourself. In the end, I guess what I'm getting it is that the whole thing made me kind of proud that over in these parts, we just argue about genitals and TV shows from the 80's. And though I may occasionally stray, in the end I'll always come back to the readers of the Cracked Blog (for the cocaine hookups if nothing else).
Don't ever change, people.
When not blogging for Cracked, Michael imagines the many editing projects he could have done with the raw footage from Indiana Jones 4 as head writer and co-founder of Those Aren't Muskets!