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An Open Letter to Online Commenters

The comments sections of online articles are where discourse goes to die.

Photo via Flickr user Mike Mozart

Hello, sir. I’m addressing you as such because you’re a man. I mean, I could be wrong (as I'm sure you know, I often am), but statistically speaking, you're probably not a member of the fairer sex. Ah, but look at me! Not even a paragraph in, and I'm already generalising. Does that upset you? I bet it does.

You don't like me. But then again, you don't like most people. Or things. Or worldviews that don't align with your own. You thrive on being a contrarian. Contrarianism is, in a way, your religion. Because you sure as shit aren't a Christian, or a Muslim, or a Jew, or any of those sheeple who believe in a higher power. You're higher than that high power. You're the highest. You, and only you, are the way, the truth, and the life.


You hate, with a passion, that Lindy West broad­–y’know, the one who’s always flapping her gums about who-gives-a-fuck over at that Jezebel rag. You think she’s fat. You want her to know that you think she’s fat. So you tell her that she’s fat. Un-rapeably fat. Geez Louise, ain't she fat? Where does she get off, being so fat?

You resent the website you’re reading, even though you continue to read it. You hate click bait like this but nevertheless click it, increasing its page views and thus the likelihood of more articles like it being published by the website you resent yet still read on a daily basis. And by “read,” I mean “skim, if that, then immediately register your disgust below based primarily on the headline.” I’ve seen the analytics. I know that the likelihood of your reading to the bottom of an article is the same as your finding happiness: not bloody likely. I wrote this for you. But why did I even bother? You’re not reading this. I may as well be typing into the void. I can type whatever I want right now; it doesn’t matter. I know where Joseph Kony is hiding. I can lead you there right now. Wanna come with me? Let's get him, gang.

Photo via Flickr user Pat Williams

You’re tired of being persecuted for your privilege. It’s not your fault that you’re white. Male. A member of the middle-class. You’ve worked hard for everything you have–the Nissan Altima, the two-bedroom ranch-style home in the suburbs you live alone in, the 50-inch plasma TV, the Pittsburgh Steelers season tickets. No one helped you with a goddamn thing. You, sir, suckle at no teat. There is no room in your life, in your world, in your heart, for people who don’t pull their weight.


You wish you were a fuckin’ minority, y’know? Or a woman. Or a gay. They have it so much easier than you. I mean, society never persecutes them. They’re too busy giving them jobs and letting them into universities, unwarrented. Fuckin' quotas, am I right?

You comment because it makes you feel like you have a voice. At work, you don’t. You want to tell Trevor, your supervisor, to go fuck himself. Because, well, fuck Trevor. That smug little prick. He’s your boss only because his dad owns the place. But you can’t tell Trevor to go fuck himself. Otherwise you’d be out of a job, and in this economy, you’d be up shit's creek without a proverbial paddle. But when you’re online, the whole world is a Trevor. And you can tell it to go fuck itself as much as you want. So, naturally, you do.

Photo via Flickr user Ryan Quick

You like Adam Carolla. Really, really, like Adam Carolla. Why do you like Adam Carolla so much? I don't get it. But I get why you get it. Not only is he funny, but he’s not afraid to call the rest of the media out on their shit. He speaks the truth, and as a truth-teller yourself, you appreciate his candor. The same goes for Howard Stern. Those Opie and Anthony guys too. You tweet at them all the time. You tweet at a lot of people, actually. You’re really into creating a dialogue, I guess. And you look out for your own, blindly attacking anyone and everyone your favourite tweeters put in their cross hairs. Because those people, like me, don't get it. So fuck 'em.


You think I don’t know what I’m talking about. Wait - I mistyped. You know I don’t know what I’m talking about. Arguably, it’s the only thing you do know. It is the passion that drives you, the hatred that makes your motor run. You're fuelled by energy drinks, nutritionally deficient fast food, and hatred. Your digestive tract must be a nightmare.

You are adrift on a vast, endless sea of righteous indignation. Don’t you get tired of being upset all the time? Is indignation your second job? Do you have a clock you punch before you go online?

We can all agree that racism, sexism and homophobia is bad. Or can we? I’m stomping all over your civil liberties, you say, whenever I imply that you should act civilly. Have I heard of the First Amendment, you ask?. I have, I answer.

I’m ashamed to admit it, but you’ve hurt my feelings. That was, of course, your intent when you told me I was a dumb bitch who doesn’t know what I’m talking about. When you called me a hipster fuck. When you called me a racist pig. Congratulations. Mazel.

You didn’t actually read this article. And yet you’re still upset. So why don’t you fuckin’ tell me all about it? Please, tell me. Use your words. They're all you have.


Some Dumb Bitch Who Doesn’t Know What She’s Talking About

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