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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 26, 2006 / 26 Teves, 5766

Simple rules for making a fool of yourself on the Internet

By James Lileks


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Washington Post had to suspend comments on the ombudsman's blog because flame-belching trolls overwhelmed the conversation. Apparently she made the mistake of writing something contrary to received wisdom, and was strung up and burned in virtual effigy.


Disclaimer: The ombudsman, Deborah Howell, is a former employer of yours truly; we go way back. Ms. Howell, it should be noted, could dress down the drill instructor from "Full Metal Jacket," so the fact that the blog commentors are still breathing is a testament to the anonymity and distance the Web allows.


But why the surprise when dissent took such a nasty turn? Potty-mouthed jerks have been part of Internet discourse since they hooked two UNIVACs together and the second accused the first of being a !$&(\;? John Bircher. Great swaths of the blogosphere are rich and smart and civil, yes. Other areas are infested with people whose hatred for George W. Bush is so intense they keep a squeegee by the TV to wipe the spittle off the screen.


Ever since Bush imposed martial law and shot the cast of "The View" -- sorry, since Bush won the last election, hard-left nuttery seems more mainstream. Bob Dole did not post on bulletin boards that claimed Bill Clinton would soon use FEMA to herd everyone into U.N.-run camps where everyone would get Mark of the Beast bar codes on their necks. John Kerry, on the other hand, has posted at the Daily Kos, whose neck-vein-popping contributors seem to think Bush spends his nights getting hammered and ordering Halliburton to poison Iraqi water so he can get kickbacks from the Pepto-Bismol Crime Syndicate.


The good news is that you, too, can be like Kerry, and rant as you please in unmoderated comment sections. But you have to ask yourself, punk: Do you have the chops to truly make a fool of yourself to disinterested observers? Well, do you?


Here are some rules for being an idiot on the Internet. Clip 'n' save:

  • Make Up Funny Names. If a right-wing figure's name starts with K, like Kate, by all means call her KKKate. Everyone on the right probably shares the values of the Klan, anyway. Especially if they're against affirmative action and don't believe in judging people on the color of their skin. (This goes for the other side, too: Hillary Clinton is so much funnier as "Hitlery." Wanting single-payer health insurance, wishing to enslave Europe under Aryan yoke -- what's the diff?) Remember: Boil down the object of your hate to a single phrase that betrays your incomprehension of the fundamental issues, but lets others know where you stand right away.

  • Swear angrily. Not just the classics, but the ones relating to excretion and genitalia. Nothing shows you're a serious thinker like a torrent of obscenities. It's the reason Courtney Love is invited to speak to the U.N. so often. Added bonus: Lots of cursing means no one will suspect you're a Christian. If you are a Christian, you'll be one of the cool ones who listens to Howard Stern spank lesbian midget strippers. Which automatically means you're pro-choice, so whatever with the G-d thing.

  • Hyperbolize everything. Granted, everyone punches a little too hard sometimes; everyone throws too deep. Feisty debate is energizing. Nothing is more boring than the torpid droning you get in the Senate, where solons are duty-bound to call each other "my good friend" even if they were stabbing each other with Bic pens in the cloakroom five minutes before. But the pestilential keyboard pounders had best realize they're just screaming to the choir. Persuading the middle means acknowledging that the opposition is not composed of subhuman Moorlocks who hope global warming drowns coastal-dwelling gay stem-cell researchers. People on the right may be wrong, but it's quite possible they don't actually want a fascistic corporate state where the elite tour the country in giant hovercraft, vaporizing Wal-Mart labor organizers with microwave rays. You could treat them like fellow human beings. But where's the fun in that?


Now go out there and give Google something vile to cache for your kids to see someday!

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor James Lileks is a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Comment by clicking here.

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© 2006, James Lileks

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