Sunday, December 14, 2008

Welcome to the Internet, Please Fuck You

My favorite part about the internet is the colorful people that reside therein. The "greater internet dickwad theory" is old, so I won't bother reposting the image here, and will instead settle on the random image seen to the left that turned up on page 23 of Google Image's results for 'angry face' (?). Anonymity is a powerful thing, though, and turns otherwise meek individuals into raving racist homophobes, ready to kick anyone's teeth in the second they cross some imaginary line. Maybe it isn't even the anonymity of it, but just the fact that you're physically removed from said encounters, and who can resist making fun of the barking dog that's safely chained just 6 inches out of range? Ventrilo is pretty common these days, and while I still come across people that claim they have a 'broken microphone' (I've managed to make it through 33 years on the planet without ever breaking any of the many microphones I've owned), many will freely speak their mind on any number of topics. Perhaps too freely?

I had an old post over at NA that detailed how I would grief people on my Xbox during football games if I discovered they were assholes. Usually, I'd just play, but the instant they started calling me a 'nigger faggot bitch' after they got an interception, I'd happily drag out each down for 15 minutes or more. I'd still eventually make plays to keep them on their toes, but these people wouldn't quit outright because there was some magical internet score attached to their magical internet xbox live name, and they would refuse to tarnish it with an incrementing number in the magical internet "loss" column.

Fast forward to today where I have a magical internet blog. Writing at NotAddicted used to feel kinda 'official', since they had their own URL and they paid someone way too much actual dollars to design the site's layout. Back when I came aboard, there were about 5 people writing stories in rotation, and then eventually it was just me. It wasn't my 'own' site, though, so I always felt like the people that went there just went to read NotAddicted, and I happened to be the one posting stuff. Trolls would come and crap all over the comments, but for the most part, that was half the fun. Flamewars are fun, and if you aren't being a dick to someone else on the internet, then why bother being on the internet at all? The only comments we actually ever removed were V14grA ads or obvious spam that was posted by a bot.

For the last three or four stories I've posted here, though, there's been one special person that makes a point to come by, read my drivel, and then leave a little note to tell me to die and that they hate me. At first, I *almost* deleted one, because it was kinda right in between two insightful comments that were posting on related topics. It was such a non-sequitir that it irked me, and then I thought a little bit about it, and realized I liked it for that very reason. The randomness of it was my favorite part about it.

I have a piece of plain blue A4 paper in a frame, hanging on my wall at home. The text and images on it are the illustrated death throes of some laser printer from two jobs ago. I sent it a spreadsheet to print, and what came out was just random lines of text in various fonts and random strings of ascii symbols, sometimes even right on top of one another, like it was so busy creating this for me that it forgot to continue moving the paper forward in the printer. Then, about 2/3 of the way down, is some ominous gradient-filled shaded box, and just a big black... bar. Most people would have just thrown it away without a second thought, but I like to think that the printer created something beautiful for me, and I'll always save it. There was an interesting exchange of dialog between Will Smith and the android in that movie 'AI' where Will Smith is saying a robot can never create a masterpiece of art, or compose a symphony, to which the robot asks him "oh, can you do that?", to which Will Smith promptly S-es T F U : )

I will always have Anonymous comments enabled, because I love the randomness of the internet at large, and empowering people to leave their mark (no matter how ridiculous) is a huge part of what the internet 'is'. The second it becomes static, or unilateral, is the second is ceases to be the internet. You don't get to leave comments at the end of a book you just read (well, you could write them there on that last blank page they always include I guess), but the internet allows us to do just that. Plus I enjoy seeing what some random person happened to come by and say, rather than making someone who wants to say "right on, I feel the same" jump thru ten hoops and click stupid links in their email inboxes first.

Rock on, Angry Internet Ixxo Hater. I'm glad you stopped by, and look forward to seeing you again in the future!

17 comments:

Skeeley said...

I came to the world of nerd rage late, having spent the early years of my professional career in education, going to the tech sector now. And in that short time I have created the personal opinion that the random word puke is not quite as innocuous as Iso says it is. The reason I feel this way is the power of the nerd. Nerds are the most powerful members of modern society, the witch doctors of the digital age. They can control the movements of the world with their esoteric, yet essential knowledge. The movement from being shit on early in life to being the center of the working world leads to a propensity for self importance. The reason I feel that the random, irresponsible comments that our particular troll leaves are bigger than they seem is because I know too many nerds that take that approach into their professional lives. This behavior in most sectors would eventually lead to lack of promotion and firing, the lack of understanding that most decision makers have about the nerd world gives them a certain power. While it is probably a good thing to get the professional world to quit taking itself so seriously, it is important to remember that this world is what keeps us fed and clothed, and most of all, validated the time we spent working on computers in high school. If people who use the anonymity of the internet to behave without responsibility take this into the working world, as they would be able to do due to the relative untouchable quality of the modern techie, it lowers the standard of expectation a little bit every day. And one day we may find the little niche that our witch doctor know how dug for us has disappeared because the suits are no longer willing to deal with our shit.

Ixobelle said...

and yet... I behave like an asshole online at the drop of a hat, but am pretty subdued for the most part offline. There's a certain callousness that comes with being online, and I think it must be terrifying for the noobs of the world to venture out in their first day online to find 'dicks' and 'niggers' as far as the eye can see ('as far as the wheel can scroll'?).

I've had more than enough conversations during raids pertaining to what Michael Jackson and caviar have in common ('they both come on little crackers'), to people explaining how during the holocaust black jews had to sit in the back of the ovens... while I can laugh out loud at the first, and roll my eyes at the second, I'm not going to log off in self righteous disgust at either, and I'm certainly not going to try and start a debate concerning the holocaust or apartheid during Naxx. Everyone knows they're just being stupid, and while I imagine the people in my guild don't log off then run off to Klan meetings, it's generally accepted that 'this is the internet' and judgement is suspended.

It's hard to get the 'vibe' across in text on a written page, but I feel like I know these guys enough to know they aren't serious. One guy in a PUG raid on the alliance capitol cities recently said something stupid, got called out for it, and then responded with "i'm racist on the internet because it's funny". The internet is SERIOUS BUSINESS 100% of the time, and the instant you actually take that to heart you're doomed.

In the same vein, though: maybe last night when you were drunk, making fart noises with your armpit was the height of comedy gold... but taking that into the board room the next morning trying to break the ice before the big presentation is just stupid. keep it separate.

Khatib said...

I take offense to people taking offense.

Anonymous said...

Khatib, you are a hypocrite.

I, for one, am impossible to offend.

Anonymous said...

Offtopic, but since this is not a message board, I will just post it here.

I no longer play the game, but when I did, I used the Nostromo, which I bought after reading your recommendation on the NA website.

The Nostromo helped greatly, especially with you recommendation of programming the direction pad with ctrl and alt keys.

Still, I felt I did not have enough ability to control enough actions. So I am thinking that when I do play WoW again, I want to incorporate foot pedals. Either use them as shift/ctrl modifiers for the nostromo, or maybe just have certain spells bound to them, like the PvP kind that you really need to get off accurately and while moving.

PvE is pretty easy, as you can mostly stand still, but as a hunter in PvP, when engaged with a melee class, I always found myself running for my life, kiting like crazy, running sideways and in all sorts of directions, and I just needed to be able to reliably hit Disengage or Wingclip or Freezing Trap and so forth, and I found myself stopping my running sometimes in order to position certain fingers properly. Maybe I need to rethink my mappings, but ideally, having six or so pedals, three for each foot, would be about right and manageable and would just solve this problem completely, but I have not seen any devices for this purpose.

I am thinking that just for the handicapped players out there, there has to be stuff like this. Have you ever seen anything that would be good in this regard?

Anonymous said...

The meerkat or suricate Suricata suricatta is a small mammal and a member of the mongoose family. It inhabits all parts of the Kalahari Desert in Botswana and South Africa. A group of meerkats is called a "mob," "gang," or "clan". A meerkat clan often contains about 20 meerkats at a time, but some superfamilies have had 50 or more. Meerkats have an average life span of 12-14 years.

metrogamer said...

Ixo, you should probably put a warning when you plan to hit a few comedy gold lines.

I had a hard time stifling my chuckles in front of the boss and the CEO.

Then again, why am I not working? Oh, life.

Anonymous said...

Let us not forget that the meek shall enhieret the earth.

Goshon said...

I liken the shit that people spew on the internet to be people playing their roles of Knights of the Keyboard. Ted Williams coined that phrase about the Boston media in the 1940s in reference to the near slander that they printed about him daily. However, I feel that the term still holds weight today.

People in general are mean little zilches in their normal everyday face-to-face interactions. The only time they feel bold anymore is when they are able to randomly pop up on some blog, message board, or feedback section of a website.

This phenomenon isn't new or original, just a hell of a lot more noticeable as Joe "Every Man" Blow is able to boot up his computer, and type in a URL, giving him access to spreading his hateful thoughts, for no better reason then to bait someone into an argument. Hell you cannot even read an article on CNN anymore without reading the feedback where people get into racial, religious or political battles for no better reason then others can read their crap that comes out of their shit-laden minds.

Ixo your entries from NA and now blogger.com are gold, I've enjoyed reading you so much over the last couple of years so much that I've created my own blog to let my own thoughts be known.

I'm glad that you don't edit the douche that likes to harass you, its good to see that something in this day and age is not getting censored, even if it is against you the author.

PLETUS said...

Anonymous said...
Let us not forget that the meek shall enhieret the earth.

December 15, 2008 6:29 AM

spelling aside LOL at quoting the bible at ixobelle...
a good post, though I can't stop being annoyed with people defending jethro tull on the youtube message boards!!! FAGGOTS! LOL.
-PLETUS

Anonymous said...

OMG WTF BBQ

Fuck you Ixo hihihhihi

lub ya

Anonymous said...

spam
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvzaXPqvR7E
kewl
i rule
u not

Kevin said...

BY GOODNESS THE OLD NOTADDICTED IS BACK!!!!

NICE WORK ISO!

- Gaston

Godstorm said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edaJP3Lp0Gg

Hone Melgren said...

Dear Mr ixobelle

I love your assholeness

Please have my babies :D

Love , Bluspacecow

Hatch said...

Deer Ixo,

die i h8 u

<3, the interwebz

Hatch said...

"Michael Jackson and caviar have in common ('they both come on little crackers'), to people explaining how during the holocaust black jews had to sit in the back of the ovens.."

Those are actually funny jokes! Way more interesting than just using a racial slur because someone thinks making other people mad (who shouldn't be taking things too seriously in the first place) is funny.

One thing people who actually act like racists and homophobes in WoW forget is that it alienates them from a bunch of other people, often those who are the best players. And I don't mean just people who get stupidly butthurt over jokes. I mean people who can find those jokes funny, but don't think real racism is funny and don't take the internet seriously enough to get mad. Those people don't say anything, they just put the racist on ignore. Similar to what you did on xbox live.

That's fine in PvP, but it really sucks for him when he wants to run a heroic and all the strongly anti-racist tanks and healers on the server have him on their ignore lists.

But hey, at least he's still friends with xseferothx, the Night Elf melee hunter in ungemmed +str gear who begins and ends every sentence with "lol". That guy never gets mad when he's racist.