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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!”



Oct. 29th, 2011 07:36 am (UTC)
" 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. “

I feel this is a legitimate point.
Oct. 29th, 2011 10:10 am (UTC)
The question then comes, was this mentioned in the article at all? = P I get hypnotized into read Yahoo news comments pretty much to wonder how people extrapolate the things they do from otherwise-innocuous articles. While it's a valid point....did they say anything about whiteface in the article?
Oct. 29th, 2011 11:58 pm (UTC)
Ha, you're probably right. I do know Wade dressed up in whiteface recently but it may not have been mentioned in the article.

Racism rarely needs a logical trigger.
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 29th, 2011 09:11 pm (UTC)
>>the late 1970s, at a time when there was rising support for the fascist National Front who wanted all white people deported from Britain

This was pretty much the plot of an episode of The Goodies: blacks were the majority, the queen was black, and the party/government (details are sketchy to me, as I saw it when I was around 9 or 10) had an incessantly repeated slogan of "Keep Britain black."

You, sir, have my vote for "Winning the Internet" today.
Oct. 29th, 2011 11:56 pm (UTC)
Racism is racism no matter the source.

Attempting to justify racism due to being of a minority or a historically discriminated against ethnic grouping merely provides ammo for those in the majority that seek to continue their discriminatory ways.

The only way to end it is to end it universally.
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 30th, 2011 12:23 am (UTC)
One, I haven't stolen anything from you.
If my neighbor stole something from you and you responded by robbing me, you'd be wrong.

Two, there was a time when Africans held white slaves. We can go back and forth about who did what to who and when but it won't fix here and now or help establish true equality.

Three, I'm mixed eace but my "white" portion is Scots-Irish, we were routinely paid shit wages to do the jobs that were too dangerous for slaves. If an Irishman fell off your roof and died, you gave his family $5...slaves were worth more than that.
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 30th, 2011 12:35 am (UTC)
One - You are the one clearly missing the analogy, ie the way in which I corrected your BAD analogy. I never enslaved anyone or wore black face. You're claiming I should suck it up over someone being racist towards me because racism occurred on the part of another white person at another time.

Two - You also ignored my statement about slavery having gone the other way in the past. You can use hot words like kidnap, torture and rape and I can just as easily apply them to acts committed by those victimized in turn.

Three - You're wrong. And clearly not interested in any iota of an actual dialogue on the situation. You've declared yourself the eternal victim with carte blanche to do any bad thing you choose because of crimes you never even suffered.
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 30th, 2011 12:43 am (UTC)
Oh, so you're the voice of the oppressed PoC when you're not even of color? That just makes you silly. Nevermind that telling me to fuck off just proves your unwillingness to actually discuss the issue.

Kennedy's election was just as questionable as Obama's. Would/could America dare succeed at electing a papist, a mick, an Irishman? They did and 50 years later, America turned around an elected another man who couldn't have had the job decades prior.

I never claimed oppression, I never even brought the subject into the discussion. I simply stated something was racist and had an implied double standard that was not useful or beneficial to making a more equal world.

My non-Scots/Irish half is Native American. You don't see me throwing rocks at the douchebags in Halloween head-dresses.
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 30th, 2011 12:47 am (UTC)
Claiming the victim when nobody has kicked you in a very long time is a good way to remain a victim and thus not have to improve your lot in life.

It's a weak man's choice.
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 30th, 2011 12:53 am (UTC)
I do appreciate how the name calling really contributes to the validity of your points.

There is obviously still racism and it needs to be fought daily.
On the part of ALL parties.
Oct. 30th, 2011 01:39 am (UTC)
Sorry, man, but your whole argument below just lacks legitimacy, for any number of reasons. Let's take a look.

1. First, let's look at the actual specifics of the situation, which no one has bothered to do yet.

Blackface is almost always, on its sheer surface, an ugly, racist attempt to denigrate and dehumanize blacks. Look at pretty much any version of blackface, and what do you see? Black makeup looking more like a devil than a person. No makeup on the mouth, to imply thick lascivious animal lips; no makeup on the eyes, to imply the cowardly comical child-like bug eyes. An afro wig to hammer home a stereotype and look more animalistic. The behavior is clowning, subliterate, faux-Ebonics to make blacks seem stupid and borderline retarded. It is, in almost any situation you can find it, a clear signal of racism, dehumanization, cultural oppression.

What, to the contrary, did Wade do? He put on a little foundation makeup and dressed like Justin Timberlake. He sang Timberlake songs and danced Timberlake dances. He was, in other words, pretending to be a universally admired celebrity entertainer -- one of whom he himself is a fan -- and paying tribute to him, using the 'whiteface' only as a visual cue to tell people he wasn't someone from New Edition instead. It didn't mock or exaggerate any stereotypical behavior of white people. It wasn't meant to denigrate or dehumanize white people in general or any single white person in particular; quite the opposite. It was, in other words, completely the opposite of what blackface has been, in both intent and execution, since it was invented. To claim one is the same as the other is absurd on its face.

2. Even if there was some kind of racial animus behind this example -- even if it were Wade getting up in public in actual whiteface and going "HEY, CHECK ME OUT, I'M A WHITE GUY, LOOK AT HOW NERDY AND ARRHYTHMIC I AM, COME WATCH ME LYNCH SOME BLACK PEOPLE", that would still be a different animal than when white people dress up in coon drag and say "HEY, YESSA MASSA, I A GOOD NIGGA, WHERE ALL THE WHITE WOMENS AT". Why? Because while it's all well and good to say 'all racism is the same (bad) and should be opposed' -- and more on that later -- you are confusing a theoretical objection ("All racism is bad") with a practical one ("Anti-black racism has been an intrinsically problematic part of American culture since the nation's founding, and has caused malignant, institutional problems that still exist today"). Black Americans have been fucked ten ways to Sunday in ways neither you or I can even imagine; white Americans, conversely, have enjoyed becoming the richest, most privileged people in human history. So even if this was an example of a black man doing the exact same thing as white people do when they engage in blackface -- which it isn't -- it still wouldn't be as bad, because of the vastly disproportionate cultural and historical factors at work. White people are in a much more comfortable position to suck it up if and when some genuinely racist black person yells "Cram it up your ass, honky" than black people are to chuckle with good humor when someone pins a chimp doll with a noose around its neck to their locker at work.

3. Which reminds me: good job on patting yourself on the back for hating racism in all its forms. It's a fun position to take, because you get to think about what a hero you are to hate ALL racism and not just the kind that actually causes problems in reality 99% of the time, unlike those jerks who choose to focus on anti-black racism. Plus, you get the moral satisfaction of making a stand for something everyone in the world supports -- super brave! And welcome to the people-of-mixed-race club; we're glad to have you, and I'm sure you'll enjoy the snack bar. But please remember, you don't win any dumb argument points just because you're part of an oppressed minority. And even if you did, you would have lost them when you implied that white people are not allowed to point out racism against people of color. Finally, if you honestly believe Scottish and Irish people ever had it as bad as blacks in America, you are out of your goddamn mind.

Edited at 2011-10-30 01:40 am (UTC)
Oct. 30th, 2011 02:43 pm (UTC)
Jesus. Thank you.
Oct. 31st, 2011 11:24 pm (UTC)
Yet again, Leonard wins the internyet.


flavored with age
Gun-totin', Chronic-smokin' Hearse Initiator
Ludic Log


Leonard Pierce is a freelance writer wandering around Texas with no sleep or sense of direction. If you give him money he will write something for you. If you are nice to him he may come to your house and get drunk.

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