Lampooning the Masses for Your Entertainment

If you’ve ever visited the “links” page here on the ‘Head, you’ll have noticed the “News & Tech” and “Link Farms” categories. Many of the sites listed are “community-driven”, meaning the [huge number] of a particular site’s members contribute to the popularity of the linked story. When the same story appears on the front pages of a subset of these websites, it’s either fully qualified as an Internet meme, or at least a look into the Internet’s “user generated content” zeitgeist for that particular day.

Take, for example, the following three stories that have appeared on at least three of the “community-driven” sites within the past few days:

1. Top 5 Ways People Waste Money
Everyone wastes money at some point, and everyone hates to think that they’re the one wasting money. You can’t help but read the article and draw your own conclusion: “Hooray! I’m not doing anything in the top five!” or “Shit! I’m four-for-five and poor as hell!” Well, as the title of that website is “The Common Sense Investor”, here’s a distilled version of that famous-today article:

Don’t be stupid and learn the most basic of mathematical skills. With that, I give you:

Top 5 Ways I Waste Money

  1. Hockey – buying tickets, refreshments, etc.
  2. Beers – going out wherever + watching/attending hockey games
  3. Cable television – 500 channels + NHL Center Ice
  4. iTunes Music Store – to listen to on the way to hockey games or on a beer run
  5. Filthy whores

2. Of snakes and rubies; Or why I chose Python over Ruby
Mmm… another one of those valuable “I may not be an expert, but here are the extenuating circumstances surrounding my personal/professional decision to use [something] instead of [some other thing] which serve only to justify the aforementioned decision”. People love those articles. Moreso, people love writing them. I’ve done it, and let me tell you, it’s a self-absorbed purgation of latent guilt and self-doubt like none you’ve ever experienced without professional counselling.

But—really—the types of people who read these diatribes aren’t looking for education or enlightenment. They’ve already formed their opinion, and are only reading it so they can add fuel to one of two fires in the perpetual flame war of [something] versus [some other thing]: “Hell yeah, preach brother!” or “Fuck you, you’re an idiot!”

*sigh* We’re all such petty beings.

Why I Chose Python Over Ruby
It’s real simple. When I started to learn how to write scripts and/or program shit, Ruby didn’t exist, and Python is what the owners of the company wanted me to learn. I will refrain from issuing a big “Fuck you!” to all the Ruby-lovin’ simpletons who slag on Python.

def insult (language):
    exclamation = 'Fuck you!'
    epithet = 'simpletons'
    return '%s all you %s-lovin\' %s' % (exclamation, language, epithet)

def refraining (lang, issue=True):
    if issue:
        return insult(lang)

refraining('Ruby', False)

3. How to handle chronic complainers
Ooh, this one has a title as intriguing as the first! We all know at least one chronic complainer, don’t we? Bitch and moan and moan and bitch and whine and “gaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwaaaaaaugh, just kill me now!” And, really, we’re all just looking for that one silver-bullet nugget of knowledge about how to handle ‘em.

Y’know what? I’m even cool with it if I am that one chronic complainer in your life; that just means you don’t know enough people, because—man!—you’re getting off easy with me.

The solution to this little “how-to” article is just as simple as everything else I’ve written about today.

How to handle chronic complainers? Shoot them in the face with a Taser.

Epilogue: My next masterpiece will be titled, “How to Properly Capitalize Titles for the Web”. It seems to me that this is among the most ubiquitous of many problems facing the Internet masses today.

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