5 Terrible Things We Only Know Because of the Internet
How much do you love the Internet? Statistics I'm making up suggest the answer is a lot. You love it so much that it makes your stomach flutter when you see the Internet across the quad, and you pause and stare and then it stops and flips its hair and your eyes meet and you think, "Ooh, Internet, you got what I like," and the Internet thinks. "010001110101001101." Yeah. That's sexy.
The Internet has taken our lives by storm and changed the world in ways arguably no other invention ever has. It's fucking awesome, and it's full of hilarious gifs and cats and gifs of cats. Look at this!
Satisfying. But the Internet is nothing if not a monkey's paw, the giver of wishes and, at the same time, the bestower of cruelly ironic punishments and other assorted badness. Think of all the wonders the Internet has brought you, and then pause to reflect on all the things you've seen online that made you wince. If it wasn't for the Internet, you'd happily live your life unaware of all kinds of terrible shit.
The Proliferation of Racism
You know racism is a thing. I know it's a thing. You can be damn sure minorities in the Deep South know it's a thing. But would you have any idea how insane it was in 2013 if not for the Internet?
Maybe I'm just naive, and maybe I'm not saying "maybe" for no reason because clearly I am, but I honestly thought, or used to anyway, that we were getting away from hate as a cultural pastime. I thought, with a black president, with the millions of Hispanics across America, with white people actually becoming minorities in places, we were maybe on our way to that serene, Star Trek future where we'll happily pork ladies of all hues, even green. Fuck no, we're not there at all.
Were you aware that they still have segregated proms in Georgia? Black kids have to have their own prom on a different day from the white kids. In Georgia. Which is a state in America in the present. This year in Wilcox County, students held their first integrated prom, which everyone celebrated as a great move toward righting wrongs of the past. Not like the 1960s past, mind you, but 2012. And 2011. And every other year when the idea of a segregated prom went off without a hitch.
Across the pond, our European cousins are demonstrating their social graces in Italy by throwing bananas at their first black minister, and other politicians have openly referred to her as an orangutan. This would be like John Boehner calling Barack Obama a monkey. And while you're not likely to hear too many politicians say that, it doesn't mean other people aren't.
These aren't old tweets -- they're all from within the last month. If that's not enough, when I Googled Obama's name and the N-word to find some material for this entry, I ran across a forum that exists solely for people to be racist. Happily racist, away from the oppression of people who would dare criticize them for being hateful, ignorant dicks. It's hard being a racist, ya know. The forum has over 9,000 members, and they're pretty active -- 318 were online when I dropped in. That's almost as many as were active in Cracked's forum at the same time. Now, Cracked has a ton more users, but Cracked is a massive comedy website that has mass appeal. This was a site that was selling itself on how much fun it is to drop the N-word about all willy-nilly and hate black people.
Head to YouTube on any given day and catch a video from Worldstarhiphop and you'll see comments like this one -- he's not a racist, he just wonders if the world wouldn't be better with no black people! This kind of stuff is all over the Internet all the time.
Dirty Buttholes and Clean Buttholes
How many buttholes have you see in person? I am going to guess that, on average, the number is pretty low. I would say the average American has probably never seen more than three buttholes in person. I feel that's reasonable. Some people are probably up to their elbows in buttholes, but then I bet there are others who will live their whole lives having never seen a single butthole, not even their own. Full disclosure: I've totally looked at my own butthole in the mirror. It was a trip.
Thanks to the Internet, I have seen so many buttholes, I don't even know where to begin talking about them. Yes I do. Dirty ones. Before you flinch and close the window, rest assured that I don't mean like "dirty" dirty. I have no other way to describe what I mean, though, except with more descriptive synonyms. Stained buttholes. Tarnished buttholes. Run-down buttholes. Buttholes that, while they may have recently been soaped and scrubbed, still look oddly cast in pewter. If you look at the same websites I look at, you totally know what I mean. If you don't, well, I'm about to school you -- some people have dirty-looking crappers. They're not really dirty, it's just a pigment on the skin. This leads me to my second point -- clean buttholes.
If it weren't for the Internet, I bet few if any of us would have any idea that you can pay a person to bleach your asshole. People with these chronically dirty buttholes are able to get ass bleaching to give their puckers a healthy, pinkish glow. Did any of us need this info to get through life? Not remotely. But despite that, I'm fully aware of just how common dirty buttholes are, and just how much it'll set you back to bleach it to a new shade of you. South Beach Skin Solutions will charge you $50 for 2 ounces of ass bleach. And don't worry, you can use it on your face, too, if you want to go out and make sure your face and ass are coordinated.
There was a time when porn was peopled only with hairy inebriants and ladies who looked like they breathed scotch. Then came the porn Golden Age, when everyone was pretty, at least everyone with boobs, and they were all clean and impossibly perfect and people complained that porn was not realistic at all. And then came the Internet, and there was nothing stopping literally everyone from humping on camera, and suddenly you could Google up a dirty butthole in under 20 seconds. And there's no closing that Pandora's Box of Buttholes, not anymore.
If you remember back in the pre-Internet and early Internet days, there was a massive nerd stigma in Western society. There are still remnants of it today, at the fringe of the "new" nerd wave, where nerds and geeks are cool. But back in the day, it wasn't cool to be a nerd. It was an insult. Someone was making fun of you if they called you a nerd, and you would get called a nerd for reading comic books, playing Magic: The Gathering, or being into computers -- the kind of stuff that is generally considered cool today (minus the Magic part, that's still nerdy as shit).
While the world has moved on and embraced nerd culture -- Comic-Con is a huge mainstream event, movies like The Hobbit and The Avengers gross billions, and everyone is on a computer all the time -- nerds have not forgotten. Just because their culture has been embraced doesn't mean their awkwardness and nerdy habits have faded away. Quite the opposite. This growth in nerdism has contributed to an equal growth in nerd rage, easily witnessed on any and every message board and social media site out there. Here's someone sounding off on illogical plot points in Star Trek into Darkness:
Here's nerds fighting over a video game:
Here's a nerd losing his mind for 10 solid minutes and more than 200 "fucks" in a game of Team Fortress 2:
Nerds are mainstream now but have no idea how to deal with it. If the Internet wasn't around to allow the spread and growth of nerd hobbies, this would have never happened, and we'd never get to laugh uncomfortably at it. They'd still be stuck in basements and at card shops having low-key freakouts that the rest of us are unaware of because we just assume those nerds are emotionless freaks to mock for our amusement. And by our I mean your. I'm clearly with the nerds. Table flip, bitches!
I don't know what it is about dicks, but man are there a lot of dicks on the Internet. And by that I mean penis. The moment a lonely, horny guy gets some time alone with a Wi-Fi connection, it seems like "Maybe I should show my dick" is the only naturally occurring thought he has. Chatroulette is basically dickroulette. Log in and take a chance on whose dick you're going to see. Want to try out Internet dating? Good luck, it's dick pics. Dudes all have dick pics, because maybe you're afraid it's a lady in disguise or something. Want to talk to your favorite politician on Twitter? Too bad, he's going to sext you dick pics. Big, floppy dongs are slapping you in the face around every corner of the Internet, and there's no sign of it stopping.
Michael Jordan's son tweeted a picture of his wang a few weeks back. Ever heard of the music producer Diplo? His dick was on Twitter. Anthony Weiner spent thousands of dollars to hire a private eye to find out who posted pics of a penis on his Twitter account. Hint: It was him, he posted the pictures on his Twitter account. There are so many penises on Twitter alone, they should consider calling it Dick. I know that's not like a clever play on words, but it's appropriate.
This is it. This is Twitter.
When politicians waste money on a pretend investigation into mystery dicks that aren't mysterious at all, you know the dick situation has gotten out of hand. Back in the day, a perv had to put on a raincoat and then flash his wang at you at the bus stop and then run off. Now that the Internet offers the feeling of privacy (despite not offering the reality of it), everyone with two nuts and a shlong feels like they can share it with the world, no questions asked. Well, questions are being asked, man, and the big question is "Why are there so many dicks out there?"
This is just like the butthole thing, only generally you don't get butthole sneak attacked. Dicks pop out everywhere online, and it's inconsiderate is what it is.
Pop Culture Depravity
This one is kind of a fun mix of everything we've listed up to this point. Dicks and nerds and dirty holes and likely a good dose of racism, and a hundred other things you never wanted to experience. This is the window through which you view the baser dysfunctions of the society in which you live, the sewer in which we all inadvertently tread water when we innocently Google something and run afoul of the most dreadful thing the Internet has wrought -- fan faction.
In fairness, this isn't just fan fic, but that's a huge part of this wanton creepiness. There are also Photoshopped pics of celebrities, porn parodies, and, weirdly, entire fan conventions, all based around perverting something that already has a fan base, be it a celebrity, a TV show, a movie, or whatever, and making it somehow more about debauchery and unwholesome sexual obsession.
I get that maybe you want to fuck a Klingon. That is super. I remember watching The Next Generation and thinking, "Hey, crag-head there has quite the set of guns on her." That's cool, rub out a quick one between commercials. But you don't need to write a 90-page novella about how you're a fresh-faced Starfleet cadet who gets captured by the High Command and used as a sex slave for Klingon women. Because that's what most people call "fucked right up."
Even if you did write a bevy of fan fic scenarios, in a pre-Internet world they'd stay in your underwear drawer where they belong. But now there are whole forums. Whole websites so that, when you just want to know who co-starred in an episode of The Walking Dead, you're met with zombie porn. Really? Is that necessary?
People have a curious affectation of wanting to put their perversions on display. And mostly that's OK -- I'm a foul human being just chock-full of bizarre kinks and quirks, but I tend to prefer mine rooted in the real world. Sex is usually better with a partner who isn't owned by Warner Bros., or who exists in at least three dimensions. The details and numerous fantasies that include characters from popular franchises like Star Trek and Star Wars get to the point where it's no longer kind of funny and sexy and more kind of scary and off-putting. And that's just the mostly normal fan fiction, not delving into things like Harry Potter, where the entire cast was underage for nearly the entire franchise.
If not for the Internet, I'd never know of such a thing as Top Chef fan fiction, in which stories end with everyone tossing aside their cooking utensils and just having sex, and I'd be just as happy. Happier, because the Food Network is not your dirty plaything. Alton Brown would be appalled. But we do have the Internet, and I know that exists, and now so do you. Because Internet.