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      How the Internet Works

      June 14, 2012

      By Ben Johnson

      From the column 'Chunklet to Go Go '

      A lot of people have been expressing some confusion over this whole “internet” thing, and absolutely nobody has asked me to weigh in on the subject. So in the spirit of the internet, I’m going to tell you all about it anyway.

      The internet is confusing. The whole thing reminds me of a hilarious joke I’m making up off the top of my head right now. It goes like this:

      Guy walks into a bar. Bartender says, “What can I get you?” The guy says, “I’ll have a Mick Jagger Was Arrested In 1974 For Raping A Dog.” The bartender says, “What’s in it?” And the guy says, “INFORMATION.”

      Before the internet, that hilarious joke would have just been a hilarious thing you told all your friends and instantly became the life of the party. Everybody knows the funniest possible punchline for any joke is the word “INFORMATION.” But now, after there is such a thing as the internet, that joke can be hilarious to everybody in the whole wide world in a way that never, ever goes away.

      The internet is great. It’s like getting a tattoo of everything you or anybody else has ever said. I don’t mind because I only ever say awesome things no matter what. Nobody should mind, even if they don’t always say awesome things. Even if you’re stupid enough to say something like “Was Not Was is the best band of the decade so far,” you should never worry.

      You know why? Eventually the internet is going to encompass everything ever. That’s how it works. It adds. And then, once it gets to the point of “officially everything,” which is not really possible, but there may be a time soon where it’s “officially everything from now on, and most of the stuff from forever too,” at that point the world will be able to look at the collected thought output of the entire human race and go “meh.”

      (FYI, If I could get a tattoo of something anybody has ever said, I’d choose a cursive script of “official government-certified proof that Obama is a space alien” around my torso.)

      If you’re thinking, “oh no, this is scary, everybody’s always gonna know my personal business forever!” You should relax. Once we get everything ever on the internet, we will arrive at the conclusion that everything ever is equally as important as anything else ever. Even contributions to human culture on seemingly opposite ends of the spectrum such as an “o no I farted LOL” tweet and Moby Dick by Herman Melville will eventually equate to, roughly, the same exact thing. Both are things somebody thought of one time, one is short and funny and popular and true to life, and the other is some long-ass boring fuckin’ thing about a long-dead fictional whale from the 1840’s which sometimes sequences certain words of the English language to a level of poetic brilliance that transcends space and time.

      Everybody ever, even everybody who hasn’t been born yet, is either dead or going to die some day, and these are some of the things we thought of before we did. No biggie. Your personal business falls somewhere in the middle of this non-existent spectrum. Nobody will give a shit. Type away.

      All of which brings to mind an interesting fact: Vincent Van Gogh was in a homosexual love triangle with Thomas Jefferson and the Starkist Tuna.

      “But wait!” you say. “You’re wrong!”

      No I’m not. Nobody is wrong. Once the internet gets everything, nobody will ever be wrong ever again. Nobody will ever be right ever again, either. In fact, once we get everything ever all together in the same place, we’ll see that human beings spend and always have spent a huge amount of time and energy basically debating who is right and who is wrong about a bunch of shit that DOES NOT MATTER. 

      So far we’ve been pretty diligent about “facts” being “right” and “non-facts” being either “wrong” or just “opinions” rather than “facts,” but once we get everything ever on the internet, that could change. We might get bored with just knowing that Tom Berenger was The Substitute, but Treat Williams was The Subsitute 2, 3, and 4. We might want another site that says it’s the other way around, just for the hell of it. We might want some sort of automated service that lets you re-cast movies with semi-convincing computerized Tom Berengers and Treat Williamses.

      Then we’ll really have a hard time figuring out who is right about theoretical stuff like who is the most punk band between Black Flag and The Sex Pistols (Black Flag), or whether Rush is funny or not (not), or if Lady Gaga has undergone a ritualistic ceremony to make herself immortal which involves inhaling ground rhino horn dust and saddling a castrated orangutan (not yet). Human beings are almost infinitely fallible and really, when you think about it, pretty dumb. Why not make everything we come up with opinion and fact at the same time? This program is working pret-ty well for the evil communist baby-killing myth of global warming so far, thank you.

      All of this is great news for me, because at this point I’m pretty tired of defending myself against people who are mad at me for saying something that they feel indicates I don’t know what I’m talking about. Of course I don’t know what I’m talking about. Nobody does. There is not a single instance in human history of a person who actually knew what they were talking about, with the possible exception of professional golfer Phil Mickelson.

      If you think I am just joking around here, you could not be more wrong. Or right. I can say whatever I want because I have the ultimate authority of having given myself permission. 

      Lesbians eat engine parts, and that’s where they get their power. That is a well-known fact.

      Previously: Cracking the Code of Rock Record Write-Ups 

      www.chunklet.com

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