This started out as a tweet and then exploded into a rant the more I thought about it. Sorry about this.
Most of you are probably aware of the story coming out of Miami of a man hopped up on the bath salts who somehow got himself and another man nude on the street, and then he ate the other guy’s face. In case you somehow missed it… Yeah. He freaking ate the dude’s face.
Now, I would wager that probably 99% of us in the world have never heard of that kind of thing happening before and that we were filled with both confusion and fascination on one level or another—which isn’t a problem. Something happens and you read up on it. That’s how it works. And then there are those of us who were so puzzled by the incident that all we could do was laugh at it. I myself find it hilarious that reputable sources like Reuters had to find a way to—with a completely somber tone—deliver the line, “Police shot and killed Eugene when he refused to stop eating Poppo’s face.” That’s just a statement I never imagined I’d read, and I got to it and laughed out loud because…well, they wrote it. Someone had to struggle to write that and others had to edit and print it. Think about that a while!
Well, of course, black humor is not appreciated by everybody, and there are those who are well meaningly making Facebook posts saying things like, “That could’ve been someone you know! How dare you!” To which my answer is cynically, “No it couldn’t have been. I don’t know any homeless guys in Miami.” But I’m told I’m a jerk for replying to things that way. I agree. But that’s not the point… The point is, I understand why some people think it’s not right to joke about this kind of thing—but come on. This is a HUGE rarity. We all find our own ways to contextualize these things, and people like myself and 99% of the Internet laugh at them. In our defense, it’s basically a coping mechanism. You cope with bad things by making fun of them. It takes away their power. It’s the same basic response as watching a scary movie. Something jumps out and you scream, then you laugh your ass off—because for whatever reason, those two emotions seem to be pretty closely connected in our brains.
Anyhoo… I got to thinking about the Internet, and I realized that the Internet is basically a fickle society with a very short attention span. There is a good chance that, at roughly 325 words written so far, some of you have already grown bored by this very post. And that made me think back over the past year or so… Everyone agrees that a guy eating another guy’s face is a big story, and some people are “insensitive” about it and others are self-righteous and scolding…and that’s how the Internet is… Even if neither side were right or wrong, there’d still be a hell of a lot of pointless “unfriending” going around on Facebook—because it’s easier to terminate a “friendship” than to have a discussion these days.
In proof that the Internet rapidly joins and abandons causes on a regular basis, I now present a list of things that the Internet at one time agreed were big deals, which you probably haven’t heard about in a while. Now some of these are very good causes, and we were right to get behind them or to argue about them or whatever. I’m not belittling that…all I’m saying is, I haven’t recently seen anyone hashtag one of these things. And I think the Miami Cannibal (which I just realized is a great potential name for a new rapper!) will soon be among these things. My point, if any, is that if you’re high and mighty and mad about the zombie jokes going around…give the Internet a week. It’ll move on without you.
For example…remember when we cared about…
- Trayvon Martin
- Kony 2012
- The earthquake in Haiti
- The earthquake in Japan
- Occupy Wallstreet
- The BP oil spill
- Casey Anthony
- Chris Coleman
- Team Coco
- Rebecca Black
- The Knockout Game
- The Joplin tornado
- The St. Louis Good Friday tornadoes
- Joe Paterno
- Metta World Peace
- That guy who ate the other guy’s face (oops…gun-jump…)
…and come to think of it, when was the last time anybody got Rickrolled?
Be honest…how many of those did you have to Google? How many can you not remember the details about? Some of those are ongoing concerns that are VERY worth your time to keep up with…but then a new story came along and the ease of access to pointless information that the Internet has given us made you shuffle your priorities almost immediately. I’m not judging you. I do it too. All the time.
Soon, shocking and disturbing as it is, the Miami Cannibal will be on the same level. That doesn’t devalue the lives of the men involved or the bizarre reaction of our society to it…but it does kinda make your high horse a little smaller. And mine. Mine’s a damn Shetland right about now.
Sorry for the rant…just needed to get it outta me. I’ll try to be funny in the next post. Or at least I’ll try to be what I think passes as funny. Whatever that is…
- A bunch of Queen
- Sharon Van Etten – Tramp