Hey, want to see how quickly a person can lose their job by saying something stupid? Answer: However long it took to type this sentence ...
If that doesn't make sense to you, let me put it in context. Late Monday night, Patton Oswalt made a political joke. This guy responded with "Oh (bleep), the little troll has an opinion again," and not satisfied with being only a partial dick, followed up with "I'm a psychic and I am channeling his wife's opinions." He's talking about Oswalt's wife, who passed away not even a year ago.
The thing is, Oswalt has 3.4 million followers on Twitter, and most of them are more than just fans. He's a fellow geek who made himself a damn nice career, so he's a pretty big inspiration for us. "Big" as in fat. Ha! Suck it, Patton! Anyway, a group of people looked at the profile of the guy harassing Oswalt and found out that, "Holy shit. This is his goddamn business account. There's the link to his employer's website. I wonder ..."
Within minutes, the guy's customer review page was being flooded with people warning clients what kind of person he was. Several people contacted the company itself to let them know what was going on and how much of a shitcock this guy is. By sunrise, all of his social media accounts were deleted. He was wiped clean from his company's site. He was just gone.
I'm not going to dive into the morality of that. I have my own thoughts on whether that's right or wrong, and I know you give as much of a shit about my opinion as I do about yours. I want to talk about how someone can be mentally vacant enough to use a professional account to post something that stupid. It's more common than you think.
Cracked editor Katie Goldin was a lab assistant for a university study, much like this one, which found a correlation between altruism, and planning a future that doesn't suck for yourself. These studies have also explored the link between the part of the brain responsible for empathy, patience, and self-restraint. In other words, people who lack empathy also lack the ability to foresee personal consequences for their actions. So if they decide to smash a handful of shit into someone's eye sockets, all they're thinking about is how funny and gross it's going to be, and not about the eventual punishment, jail time, loss of a career, or even their own hands smelling like Piers Morgan's ego.
It's why when we wrote an article about Gamergate in 2014, our Facebook page was peppered with angry men saying things like "Fuck that cunt. I hope she gets raped" and "She needs to just kill herself." And not just saying those things, but saying them from their open, personal accounts. Accounts with avatars of themselves and their kids. Accounts that showed where they worked, where they lived, where they went to school ... every piece of information you'd ever need to make their lives a living hell, right down to their fucking pets' names.
But they didn't care. They couldn't care. I'm in no way saying that we should feel sorry for them. Self-control is a skill you acquire through practice. And I'm definitely not going to give a how-to guide about ways to protect yourself when using a person's tragedy as a petty insult. Fuck those people and their shoes. I'm just saying that there's more to it than simple stupidity.
I used to be that guy, by the way. I still feel urges to just open up and vomit flaming bile onto anyone who even slightly pisses me off. It's taken decades of learning to get to my current state, and I can't really even say that I'm happy with where I'm at, mentally and emotionally. But goddamn, you have to make some sort of effort to exercise the "empathy" part of the brain -- if for no other reason, ironically, than to protect your own ass. It's not worth losing your livelihood over a two-second line of trolling.
Think Nana and Pop-Pop's loving 60-year monogamous relationship is quaint and old-fashioned? First off, sorry for that disturbing image, but we've got some news for you: the monogamous sexual relationship is actually brand new relative to how long humans have been around. Secondly, it's about to get worse from here: monkey sex.
On this month's live podcast, Jack O'Brien and the Cracked staff welcome Dr. Christopher Ryan, podcaster and author of 'Sex at Dawn', onto the show for a lively Valentine's Day discussion about love, sex, why our genitals are where they are, and why we're more like chimps and bonobos than you think.
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