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Tales From the Internet!

September 16, 2008 - Wes Burns
Strangers: what I am about to say in no way relates to you. Just sit back and enjoy the mockery of usual.

Try and ban them, shun them and shout them down but the internet crazies will reign. Given a chance to anonymously post their ideas about any given subject the internet will always produce some top flight crazies who are more than willing to try and explain why the article about little league baseball is just another ploy to try and get people to forget the lessons of 9/11.

What? Exactly. Now I know I don't have to explain this to The Strangers out their, my ever loyal and devoted fan base of technoratti and high minded freedom lovers, but to those new to this "Interwebs" all the kids are talking about let me explain. Posters (people who post on message boards) will invariably hijack the topic to discuss whatever matter the neighbors dog is telling them to address. Got an article about recycling? No you don't, you have an article about liberal Canadians hating America. City council meeting minutes? Don't you mean conspiratorial cabals plotting to overthrow the American way of life? Immigration? Not even worth mentioning what these articles turn into, needless to say its usually in poor taste.

Some net crazies have the common decency to tell you up front that they have an agenda and whatever you have written is merely window dressing. Here at the venerable TR we have a common poster named REPEALTHEBAN. In a recent article about two Obama campaign representatives talking about veterans issues at the Vets Home REPEALTHEBAN said that he/she wanted to be able to smoke anywhere on the Vets Home's grounds. Way to stay on subject REPEALTHEBAN; also fantastic name.

On a side note: the comments started out with REPEALTHEBAN having a nicotine fit and ended with someone claiming that we're going to go to war with Pakistan. To reiterate the article was about funding veteran's programs.

Maybe its just the political articles? Hardly. The front page of the TR today had an article about closing a railroad crossing in a residential area. No political fodder here right? First post I see: WELCOME TO NAZI GERMANY.

Bit over the line, no? The poster, unfortunately named "Lilbeaver" for reasons passing understanding, seems to think that closing this crossing under the asupices of protecting children is tantamount to invading Poland. They're talking about shutting down a crossing, not attempting to exterminate a race of people. And to be fair you were much more likely to be hurt on the inside a Nazi train than on the outside.

The next guy, same article mind you, has chosen the name "10waman" in what can only be taken as a direct insult to generations of English speakers. This etymological nightmare seems to think that this is a class issue, stating that "hillbilly brain trust" had chosen a better spot to construct their "high society Y(MCA)" then the crossing would not be an issue.

There is no such thing as a "high society Y". I can assure you. The current Y has TVs by the treadmills and some practice rooms for martial arts and dancing and a pool. The current Y does not have a billiards lounge, monocles, an on-staff phrenologist, or any of the other amenities one would consider to be "high society". No building that is classified as "high society" contains a Gatorade machine.

Feel like Super-sizing your crazy? Hit up the editorial page. After a recent editorial inexplicably endorsing wiretapping and a curtailing of privacy for the sake of national security (was this written by journalists?) the message board was alive with comments about collateral damage in Pakistan. Pakistan again? And I think that the whole "Bush is a Nazi" analogy is a little played. It didn't work for the M-towners that want the railroad crossing moved, why would it work for the President?

I'm going to leave you with a Marshalltown institution for anonymous complaining, one so old that it predates the Internets. Its now called "Talk Back" but children of Marshalltown know it as "Tell It Like It Is". This is a 24 hour anonymous comment line that allows the Luddite crazies to make obscure comments about broad subjects and leave names that greatly surpass any kind of message board handle you could imagine.

Case in point, and remember, this is verbatim: "You get more like your relatives every day. Just remember, what goes around comes around." Who could that possibly be addressed to? And why would they know it was about them? And the named signed to this pointed criticism? Relatively Speaking. God bless anonymity.


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