October 28th, 2011

get off the internet

The World’s Most Aptly Named Website

Ever since Al Gore invented the internet, one question and one question alone has haunted the minds of scholars and charged passionate debates among the world’s great thinkers:  which website has the world’s worst comments sections?

Over the years, a number of consensus favorites have arisen.  For sheer number of rock-headed morons per post, it’s hard to beat YouTube; its comments section appears to be populated exclusively by Morlocks.  However, because the comments are so inchoate and incomprehensible, they read more like the ramblings of a barely coherent schizophrenic who was suddenly interrupted by the arrival of an ice cream wagon, and lack a certain quality of determined malice that characterizes the best of the best.  Likewise, IMDB’s posters, who can turn the discussion of any movie ever made into a pig-ignorant festival of race-hate, are perennial front-runners, but the somewhat narrow focus of the site keeps them from straying too far afield and thus prevents their spectacular idiocy from attaining the universal quality it needs to be the worst of the worst.  (This is also why sites like the AV Club, the National Review, and most comics-related websites cannot quality for the crown.  There are dolts in their comments sections who are astounding craftsmen, creating breathtaking examples of human stupidity for the pure love of the game, but they are operating on a boutique level, making product for connoisseurs.  To truly be a player in this game, you have to not only go dumb, but you have to go big.)  Legitimate cases can certainly be made for the likes of 4chan, AICN, and, of course, FOX News, the house organ of the duh-ing classes, but for my money, there is only one true people’s champion of hypnotically stupid comments sections:  Yahoo! News.

So clockwork-predictable is the range, depth and scope of idiocy on display in the comments section of Yahoo! News that I have crafted a sure-fire, can’t-lose bar bet around it:  tell your mark to pick a news story, any news story — be it the latest travails of a pill-fond Hollywood celebrity or a new trade agreement between southeast Asian agricultural producers — and one of the first two comments will feature a hilariously disproportionate amount of racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamaphobia, anti-Obamaism, anti-Semitism, class snobbery, or just pure unhinged craziness not connected to any specific worldview.  You will win this bet every time.  Do not let yourself be distracted by the fact that it proves that 50% of the population can be counted on to have an absolutely insane opinion about any randomly selected issue; just sit back and collect your free martinis.

As proof, I went through every single featured news story on Yahoo! News at 1:30 PM CST, Friday, October 28, 2011.  I didn’t proved links, because the comments are dynamic and the first two will not be such within five minutes of my posting this, but the principle is the same; if you don’t believe me, go see for yourself — don’t pick a specific news story, just pick one at random, because any one will do.  You can pay me next time you see me.

  • NEWS STORY:  Kelly Clarkson insists she is not a lesbian during appearance on The View
  • FIRST READER COMMENT:  “When did she get so fat?”
  • NEWS STORY:  AIBA wants female boxers to wear skirts during Olympic exhibition matches
  • SECOND READER COMMENT: “I disagree with the skirt rule.  Let their wear shorts.  These women pretty much look like men anyway.”
  • NEWS STORY:  Women’s clothes that accentuate your figure
  • SECOND READER COMMENT:  “I gotta a tip for ya… Go to the #$%$ gym!!! Go for a walk!!! Geez… Just MOVE!! It isn’t that difficult”
  • NEWS STORY: Joe Buck pays tribute to his father with World Series call
  • SECOND READER COMMENT:  “Yawwwnnnn.”
  • NEWS STORY: Edible spray paint allows you to change the color of food
  • SECOND READER COMMENT:  “This seems cool, but it has alcohol in it, so nevermind. :P
  • NEWS STORY: American Idol contestant loses 25 pounds
  • FIRST READER COMMENT:  “Uhhh yeah, no. That girl is still NO ‘small and extra small. She is a Medium to Large at best.”
  • NEWS STORY: Hot new high-tech gadgets for the holiday season
  • FIRST READER COMMENT:  “I’d rather a book.”
  • NEWS STORY:  Fan makes deal with player in exchange for home run ball
  • FIRST READER COMMENT: “For once they didn’t give the ball to some snot nosed bratty kid!”
  • NEWS STORY: Support waning for Obamacare
  • SECOND READER COMMENT:  “Socialism didn’t make America rich, Capitalism did.”
  • NEWS STORY: Changes coming to rules governing British monarchy
  • SECOND READER COMMENT:  “Now you know why we split form that place and went to war………what a bunch of racists, you can’t marry a Catholic but you can marry a Muslim extremist. I am so glad we got out of the rat hole of an infestation.”
  • NEWS STORY: Facebook building server farm near the Arctic Circle
  • FIRST READER COMMENT:  “Fascist book has to be everywhere. Soon people are going to regret this, I can’t believe how utterly fascist it is to have almost a billion people registered into one thing and how much personal information it has on each one. Information you would never give any corporation or government agency, yet people throw it right on Fascist book. When the police states break out all over the world will everyone be so thrilled about facebook and the secret police when they knock on their door?”
  • NEWS STORY: Detroit high school girl becomes prep football star
  • SECOND READER COMMENT:  “Ok, peolpe, that agree with me. Listen up. We’ll do this in a military manor in response to this post. On the command of excution puke of ready puke, All Human beings, just bend over, and stick your forfingers  down your throat and discharge all the matter to come out. That was the talk through method of instruction. Ok Real AMERICANS. ( thats moral minded people who is against ANROGYOUS RETARDATION) Remember READY is the preportory command, And puke is the command of execution. READY,  PUKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! “
  • NEWS STORY: Tips on reducing food waste
  • FIRST READER COMMENT: “here’s an idea…stop shopping at Target everyday and get a life, that will help.”
  • NEWS STORY: Best buys in large sedans
  • SECOND READER COMMENT:  “I think the Japs own PM.”
  • NEWS STORY: Young workers off to a rough start in the uncertain economy
  • SECOND READER COMMENT:  “Heres an idea, dont get a #$%$ degree in womens studies and expect that ur first job isnt gonna be 100k.”
  • NEWS STORY: Athletes dress up for Halloween
  • FIRST READER COMMENT:  “Love the double edged swords in this country. Dwayne Wade is allowed to dress in ‘white face’ but if a white athlete dressed in ‘black face’ there would be a riot in the street. Just saying. “
  • NEWS STORY: Texas handgun trainer refuses to teach Muslims and Obama voters
  • FIRST READER COMMENT: “This is true America like it or leave, all you bleading hearts out there that think you can make a country with people that think far left and far right can agree on anything get off your unicorn and put down the pipe. This guys stand is what makes this country what it is. F all you conformist prius driving sheep.He needs to open his eyes on Mexico that is the real problem.”
  • NEWS STORY: Sports gear with incorrect championship listings donated to poor countries
  • FIRST READER COMMENT:  “Whoa whoa whoa… Armenia isn’t poor, that’s so closed-minded. They don’t even pay attention to American sports.”
  • NEWS STORY: Sex scenes from new Twilight movie cut for being too racy
  • SECOND READER COMMENT: “he is a vampire with super strength the sex scene has to be R rated right?!”
  • NEWS STORY: Lady Gaga sports new beehive hairdo
  • FIRST READER COMMENT:  “This ‘woman’ makes me Ga Ga GAG!”
  • NEWS STORY: Kate Middleton sports scar on head
  • SECOND READER COMMENT:  “she banged her head on the ROYAL BEDPOST!! WHY TO GO KATE!!!”
  • NEWS STORY: White House feuds with New Yorker on phrase sourcing
  • FIRST READER COMMENT:  “Everything OBOZO does is leading from behind”
  • NEWS STORY: Twin sisters feud over Occupy Wall Street
  • SECOND READER COMMENT:  “Smart people make money, stupid people work for smart people or not at all. Thats just the way it is. I work for somebody, I’m just sayin. Your potential to do anything in life depends on how hard you work to get there. If you go to college and just get by so you can party, you are still stupid. Look at GW and Barak Obama, you get my point? Both college graduates both stupid. And for most of you people out there that dont have a job, its probably because you really dont want one. Dont disagree with me, you know Im right. NO job is beneath you.”
  • SPECIAL BONUS:  Third reader comment is “I’d do them.”
  • NEWS STORY: Technology is causing job losses in key economic sectors
  • SECOND READER COMMENT:  “You can work for Target as a cashier, that’s never obsolete.”
  • NEWS STORY: Undersized player makes varsity college football team
  • SECOND READER COMMENT:  “I’ve heard there is a new Football league, its called the MNFL (Midget National Football League) Now everybody can join including Asians and Latinos =)”
  • NEWS STORY: High school player charged after pricking the hands of opponents after game
  • FIRST READER COMMENT:  “Gee…he sounds like a perfect person to join the protests around the counry…has absolutely no common sense or what in the world he was hoping to accomplish…he should be leading the protests”
  • NEWS STORY: Man opens fire outside US embassy in Bosnia
  • FIRST READER COMMENT:  “……………….Wishing a world without Muslims and cancer…………..”
  • NEWS STORY: Democrats criticize GOP for light legislative schedule
  • FIRST READER COMMENT:  “democrats whining, whining about Republicans. Is this supposed to be news?”
  • NEWS STORY: Syrian troops fire on protesters
  • FIRST READER COMMENT:  “Good job, but not enough. Everybody going in or out a mosque should be shot, or even better the mosques should be bombed when all these whole, half and wannabe terrorists are inside.”
  • NEWS STORY: Mike Tyson shoots video spoofing Herman Cain
  • NEWS STORY: Chinese artist unable to attend his own art exhibit due to political persecution
  • SECOND READER COMMENT:  “Is Occupy Havana is full swing yet?”
  • NEWS STORY: Cleveland couple accused of giving away toddler
  • FIRST READER COMMENT:  “My ancestors would’ve scalped our neighbors for offering us their child – go Indians!”