Thursday, September 13, 2007

Surgeon General's Warning : Internet Douchebags are Harmful To Your Sanity

A couple of days ago, I made the mistake of posting a comment on a youtube video. More accurately, a Youtube video where a ‘debate’ was going on.

Basically, a couple of months ago, I discovered that youtube was actually a fairly good place to find hands-on reviews. On the off chance, I searched for the new clip I ordered. As always, you can never watch just one youtube video, and one leads inexorably to another.

So, obviously searching for a rifle part, I soon found myself watching videos on ‘The top ten rifles of all time”.

I made the bonehead mistake of correcting a few people…

Despite the fact that everything I said wasn’t ‘opinion’ but fact… the response was visceral. One commenter insisted that World War 2 started in 1943 when the Germans attacked Pearl Harbor. Another insisted that American forces didn’t fight in Europe but purely in Japan.

I should also point out that I wasn’t even a smart-ass about it. I just made my points politely.

Of course, mention World War 2 when Americans and Brits are in the same room and you get a lot of “Hey, we saved your ass!”

So, in answer to that, I tried to be diplomatic and point out that the Americans didn’t win WW2, but the Allied Forces did. You know…it was a team effort. You know, pointed out that the Brits, Canadians etc also took part in the D-Day landings. That it was Russia that took Berlin.

Like I said…big mistake.

My second mistake was setting Youtube to forward comments to my inbox, so over the past few days I’ve been inundated with comments with really intellectual, well thought out counter arguments such as “STFU fag!”

One guy even said the Russians were cowards because they only got involved in WW2 after they were attacked, and that the Americans ‘could have stayed neutral’ but chose to fight from the start. I won’t even bother explaining what’s wrong with that.

What I’d like to know is: What is it about the internet that makes everyone an instant expert on everything? Just as “Anonymity + Audience = Douchebag” it appears that:

“Debate + Internet + Something you heard from some guy in the pub = Instant Expert”.

1 comment:

Bridget - from SL - remember SL? said...

It is truly amazing how many times a day you are called a fabulously articulate guy (fag).

It's great, isn't it?