My New Favorite Website on the Internet About the Internet

By Ben Johnson

This will tell you everything you need to know about the internet. To summarize, it’s a Tumblr somebody set up for capturing ignorant Twitter responses to the announcement of this year’s Coachella lineup’s headliner: the Stone Roses. Logistically, that description is very internetty. But that’s not why it’s the best synopsis of all things interweb. I am not editorializing in any way by calling these Twitter responses ignorant. They are professions of ignorance. That is an objective fact. These people don’t know who the Stone Roses are, and they are telling the world about it.

Now, I don’t care that anybody doesn’t know who the Stone Roses are. There are reasons to not know the Stone Roses. Their last proper studio album came out in 1994. Their gigantic breakthrough album they’re known for came out in 1989. That is a full person’s amount of time. That is two children of 19 and 24. They’re a band from the UK. Their songs are not played on American radio, now nor ever. While they were in existence as a band, they were dickish about how good they were, making ridiculous claims, and then they crumpled under the weight of their own success and couldn’t repeat their achievements as a creative entity. Kind of like Oasis but from even longer ago.

You guys remember Oasis? You’ve heard the name? It’s OK with me if you haven’t. It’s not one of those things you’re supposed to always know and remember like slavery, or the Holocaust, or killing all the Indians, or how women couldn’t vote until 1920. It’s actually OK with me if you don’t know those things either. It’s maybe a bit irksome if you don’t know those things AND don’t care, but I digress. Not knowing who the Stone Roses are is perfectly fine. If you’re also interested in Coachella, though, there’s a good chance you’d be into them. Their debut album is pleasant in a way you’d probably like. Put in Coachella terms, they’re like a cross between Pearl Jam and Beach House. And yes, I just got a big kick out of describing them that way.

The great thing about that Tumblr I just linked to is the people whose tweets are in it did an amazing thing. They typed “Who are the Stone Roses?!?!?” into their Twitter account compose window and then clicked “Tweet” instead of typing the EXACT SAME WORDS into the Google bar located five inches to the northeast of where they were presently laboring. In other words, the desire to share their ignorance about the Stone Roses was greater than the desire to solve their ignorance about the Stone Roses, or, you know, just kind of continue to not give a shit about not knowing the Stone Roses. This decision is based on the assumption that broadcasting ignorance of who the Stone Roses are would be of more benefit to their current imaginary (a.k.a. real because they’re participating) social positioning than adopting any other posture regarding the Stone Roses. It’s a magnificent display of solipsism. It’s like a solipsism floral arrangement. Of Stone Roses, if you will.

I’m not saying these people represent the entirety of internet users. I wouldn’t say they even represent themselves. They just had a thought, and typed it, and by a cruel twist of fate (Twitter is searchable, this is a funny idea for a Tumblr) that thought is the world’s now instead of just belonging to their Twitter followers. But: This is representative of the astonishing fact that the internet, humankind’s compendium of all knowledge useful and not, is being used as a tool to promote willful ignorance in a way that presumes social advantage.

This fact, boiled down to the degree it is here, and admittedly filtered through a totally unimportant subject such as the Stone Roses headlining Coachella, might say a thing or two about human beings. If we let it. You know, if we ignore the whole “these fucking idiots want to go to Coachella and create tee pees made of human shit in Port-o-Johns in order to sit through the Red Hot Chili Peppers, so we can probably remove them from the whole ‘implications about humankind’ pool and just lump them in with the ‘notwithstanding a certain number of idiots’ portion of the equation.”

Still, though. I mean, the Google bar is RIGHT THERE, you guys. You were so close to me not making fun of you. I don’t even WANT to make fun of you but you make it so EASY. It’s like you NEED it. I eagerly await your comments about how I’m a “hipster douche” and a “troll” because I believe in the idea that curiosity is rewarded. I’m not talking about “you’re an idiot for not knowing the Stone Roses,” so much as “WHY WOULD YOU TWEET THAT WHEN YOU CAN DO THE SAME EXACT THING AND THEN KNOW THE ANSWER LIKE RIGHT AWAY?!” Come on! We’re people! There’s a lot of us out here! Join us! Or at least keep your idiot mouth shut, OK? Or: at least let us make fun of you without taking yourself seriously. Something. Please God, something.

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