Sometime in the last 12 months, the Internet became the section outside of a college campus's dining hall full of sweaty people desperately trying to get you to sign a petition to save or arrest or eat the children.
Do you agree with the Occupy Wall Street movement? There's a petition for you to sign. What about the act put forward in Congress that would result in censoring the Internet? There's a petition for that, too. Whitehouse.gov has a petition to ban Skyrim. When it was announced that Nickelback was going to be playing the halftime show for the Lions/Packers Thanksgiving game, a petition was created demanding their replacement. Want to legalize weed? There are literally thousands of online petitions. What's that? NBC's decided to shelve Community?! Balderdash, sign a petition! The White House is now asking for petitions from everyone, about everything, so of course there's a petition petitioning that the government take petitions seriously.
What are we doing? (Other than, of course, cheapening the strength of a successful petition by proving that we will petition just absolutely every freaking thing.) I don't know what it is about 2011, but suddenly everyone decided that petitions were the only way to get your point across, and that everything warranted a petition. Seriously, when was the last time anyone has given any amount of shits over who plays the halftime show of a Detroit Lions game? I'd wager that the majority of the Internet couldn't tell you from memory who played the last five Thanksgiving halftime shows, but suddenly it was important for those same people all over the country to stop that goddamn Nickelback from playing this year!
We're no longer fighting for causes that we're passionate about, we're just saying "A thing happened? Let me round up thousands of people to support or condemn it!"
There is an article on Cracked by David Wong about what he calls the Monkeysphere and here I am going to paraphrase it for you, poorly. It refers to the idea that our former monkey biology keeps us from "caring" about people outside of our close monkey pack. Which is to say, we are biologically predisposed to not giving a shit about more than, say, 150 people. Any more than that, and it's just hard for our monkey brains to fathom the importance, because they are not our family or friends or mailman or any of the 150 monkeys we would consider to be people that affect us in our everyday monkey lives.
It's just something we have left over, and it's definitely more prevalent in certain people than others. But it is something in our DNA that exists, and now that the Internet is here, the 150 monkeys we know have skyrocketed into millions and millions of fucking monkeys. Our community is the whole planet now.
This Monkeysphere condition is at the root of the problems being protested by the Occupy Movement. It lies at almost all of the problems our planet faces: poverty, war, racism and so on, until it's all boiled down to "people are jerks, man." Because people are jerks, man. Just look at [anything]. It's due to our terrible monkey brains.
And even though people are incredible jerks on the Internet, I think the Internet will help us turn our Monkeysphere into a peoplesphere. It connects us so quickly and effortlessly, and it makes progress exponentially faster. One day our constant interconnectivity will cause more people to be able to say, "Oh, hey. I'm not the only person here. Oh. Hey. There are, like, tons of fucking people here. Oh. Hey. Let's share more, and like each other better, because at least we're not filthy fucking monkeys, covered in each other's shit thanks to us just literally throwing our own shit at each other." Figuratively, too, I'm sure.
Also, yes, sign this fucking petition to save Community. The show, not the word.
#SixSeasonsAndAMovie #ButReally4SeasonsWouldBeFine #BecauseThatIsHowLongCollegeTakes #AndEvenThenCommunityCollegeTakes2Years #OccupySomeStuffToo #InFactOccupyAllTheThings
I'm not sure if I'm mad at how annoying this word is or the phenomenon itself. No, I didn't need to know that Brett Favre's pubic hair looked like that. No, I don't think Anthony Weiner should be out of Congress because he likes to sext his bulge to teenagers. No, I don't like thinking that in the future all of our awkward flirting will be kept in a permanent electronic record that can be used against us later.
And no, you didn't need to invent a cutesy new word just because "sex" and "text" share a two-letter combination. People used to have phone sex, and you know what we called it? Phone sex. We didn't make respected news anchors look into the camera and say the word "Teleboning."
There's a term for these clever mash-up words: "portmanteau." Every time I hear somebody use one in a conversation, I imagine some douchebag high-fiving himself for having thought of it.
"He's a friend who I frequently clash with! He's a frenemy!"
"I'm taking a staycation next month!"
"I just ate some turducken and now I'm afraid I've sharted!"
Oh, fuck you.
As in "totes" (short for "tote bags"), "deets" (a corruption of "DET," the code for Detroit City Airport) and the ever-popular "abbreves" (not sure what that one means).
Example: "Will the deets charge me a carry-on fee for my totes?"
"Totes" has actually been kicking around for a while, but it was only this year that I started noticing that it's apparently OK to do that TO ANY WORD. Many's the night I am awakened by a text from one of the Cracked writers telling me, "Totes probs. Tomorrs vids subs & creds r abbreves." I usually just send back one of these guys: <3
No one can stay mad at those guys! Except Jack O'Brien, who was quite angry about the abbreves creds, whatever they are. I just sent him one of these bad boys, though, so I think we're cool: <333
That's the triple-decker! It's like if you had two extra hearts on top of your one heart, or an ice cream cone made of butts, or something that was less than the value 333. Obviously, this was a diplomatic masterstroke on my part. A dips mass, if you will. See? Fun!
As a writer, you might think I'd rail against the corruption of language and laziness represented by this trend. You'd be comps wrong. As a lover of words, I enjoy nothing more than seeing them twisted into new and exciting arrangements for my amusement, like so many Swedish Olympic Nude Writhers (keep those prayers comin', folks!). Shakespeare invented words all the time, so why not? Near as I can tell, foreigners do it nonstop whenever they open their weird mouths.
See, language is all about communication -- the successful transfer of thought from one mind to another. So if elevs discs can be accomps more efficiens with a lits comps of wos, I reals don's ses ths probs, franks.