attack_laurel (attack_laurel) wrote,

I luvz da Intarwebs

...but not for the same reason I love my mother. The Intarwebs rarely gives me money (despite the importuning of Doctor Robert Mugumbedingfield, who has promised me many millions, but refuses to send cash). No, I love the 'webs because on a day when I am not yet ready to write the essay I have had rolling around in my head, but refuse to either witter on about my birthday (all this week! Memememememe!) or do the current meme making the rounds, I can shamelessly steal ideas for posts from other sites.

Like Pajiba. Good reviews, by the way. While I am more forgiving than them when it comes to my cinematic choices, they make sure that I am usually safely steered away from really awful movies until they show up on cable, when I have the freedom to yell anything I want at the screen without having a full popcorn bucket hurled at my head.

My current wholesale idea theft is from Pajiba's current comment diversion about pet peeves. The format is simple - Cinematic, Internet, and Other - but offers so much in the way of foamy-mouthed opportunities for hating. And rolling.

The commenters mostly stuck to one of each, but a few threw out a short list, and hey, it's my journal, and you're not getting your money's worth if I'm not at least a five minute read and one cut for length, so even though I only have a current couple or so for each category, I'm going to ramble on until the bile starts to short out my keyboard.

I love blogging. It's so self indulgent.

Part 1. Cinematic Pet Peeves

1. Unbelievable female behaviour: I am not a chick-flick kind of gal - there are some romantic movies that leave me delighted, but many more that leave me scratching my head and saying "who does that?!". I can't stand weak female leads who are only made whole by a man, and I think the most nausea-inducing phrase in the entire English language is "You complete me". Get a life already.

Ditto with movies where the woman is inevitably saved by a man, or plays second fiddle, or has the one immortal line "come to bed, honey" (though these days she's more likely to be completely unforgiving of the poor hero's need to save humanity, and asks for a divorce because he was too busy saving Manhattan from terrorists to take little Suzy to her Judo class). And don't even get me started on movies where the lush young starlet has to pretend she's all swoony over some gross bloated actor 40 years older than her who not only isn't attractive, but has a slight drooling problem.

In other words, I can suspend my disbelief with quite a bit of skill, but that dog won't hunt.

2. Lack of plot, coherence, and any discernable ending: Explosions do not substitute for story. It doesn't have to be much of a story, but a beginning, a middle, and an end (as my 9th Grade English teacher demanded) does help to make the two hours spent with my feet stuck to the floor by old soda go faster. If I have to check my watch for any reason other than timing my medication, you fail. Movies that fall into this category include Eragon, Happy Feet, House of the Dead, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (I know, I simply adore the play, but the movie drags).

3. Cliched dialogue: If I can recite the movie along with the characters, it's maybe a leetle too predictable. Shake it up a little; instead of the heroine saying "you complete me", have her say "Knock it off with the empty words, Bub; let's see how you are with a diaper". Or, you know, re-write all of George Lucas' scripts so it sounds like actual humans are talking. Even darling Ian McDairmid couldn't pull off some of that dialogue, and he's champion camp.

...But after all that, I usually like most movies well enough. I am looking forward to seeing I am Legend, The Mist, and a couple of others, even though most critics will probably hate them.

Part 2. The Internet, on the other hand...

1. Illiteracy: Yes, I know English is a fluid, ever-changing language. I still find it disturbing to read posts and comments with vast numbers of misspellings. I'm not as worried about typographical errors, because keyboard layout makes one vulnerable to such things, especially when one hand is slightly faster than the other, but the constant mis-use and misspelling of generally rather simple words on the 'tubes makes one look, well... illiterate. It's hard to take someone's argument seriously when they cannot make it through a sentance withot speling most the wurds bad OMGOMGWTF. Text-speak, as someone pointed out in Pajiba's comments, is for texting, when time is money. Your 'webs is freh; not to be needing the lolspeak except in cases of humour or extreme irony, kthxbai.

This is a big thing for me because both my parents are writers, and using the right word at the right time can change the entire feel of a thought. Communication is one of our shortcomings as a species; without telepathy, we are left with the words on the pages of the 'nets. Considering how often people misinterpret what is being said in text form, you'd think we would be more careful of how we write, not less. "You suck!!!!" is a poor substitute for "your point as presented seems unneccessarily antagonistic; perhaps you could explain further so I can get a better idea of whether we agree or not?", and is much more likely to devolve into flaming, which has been proven to communicate fuck all.

Which brings us to

2. Manners, or the lack thereof: I am remarkably blessed in that I have a decent number of readers and at the same time, a remarkably sane and polite comments section. Even without the exhortation of "play nice!", we have managed to keep discussions gentle, polite, and for the most part, very considerate. If only this was the case on the rest of the 'tubes. I am not sure when the fine art of debate ceased to be valued, but it seems that it is impossible to disagree with someone on the 'net without calling them all sorts of rude names. I am continually amazed (and fascinated, as evidenced by recent posts) by the immediate descent into abuse that happens on every conceivable comment board within seconds of a topic being brought up. I've seen flame wars on etiquette sites; it's amazing.

I think the nation's blood pressure would be considerably lowered if people stopped acting like ten year olds every time they hit the 'net; yes, it may be anonymous, with no penalties for bad behaviour (outside diligently moderated sites), but you corrode a little piece of your soul every time you're rude to someone.

...and I write this knowing full well that I have a few rust deposits from my Usenet days. It's easier to be rude to someone on screen, but it still isn't right, and unless you get a real kick out of hurting people (and if so, I can't help you), it's best to phrase even the most vehement disagreement in terms you could accept coming from a total stranger. In other words, do unto others.

3. Leave Britney 'lone!!!!: And all the other celebrities, too. Yuck. The bile towards successful people (whom everyone wants to be) is conducted at such a level that I consider celebrity peccadillos minor compared to the evil that lurks in the hearts of commenters. The anonymity of the Internet is an intoxicant, and some people are mean drunks.

Part 3. Everything else, which covers a lot... I'll keep it down to the three things which disturb me the most in a global but also personal sense.

1. Hypocrisy: Everyone is a hypocrite, on the Intarwebs and off. When other people do something we don't like, they must be stopped at all costs, but when it suits us to do the same thing, and someone tries to stop us, we scream about our rights being taken away. Free Speech is a biggie - and everyone forgets the Rights, as put down in the eponymous Bill, have strict limitations, and are not designed to protect only that speech which you, the average punter, feel is acceptable. Don't scream about how the terrorists must be stopped "no matter what!!!", then complain about being searched at airports. Don't yell about how the internet should be regulated, then whine about LiveJournal removing blogs with "suspect" keywords. You can't have it both ways, and demanding that all the people you don't like be rounded up and jailed will come back to bite you in the butt when someone else decides that they don't like you. If you want things to go only the way you approve, buy a small island, declare yourself an independent nation, and institute a Fascist state.

...It's the only way to be sure.

2. Unneccessary Roughness: The strangers that surround us each moment of our public day all have feelings. As we move into the Winter season that incorporates holidays from many religions (because there is no better way to spend the winter nights than in a great big happy booze-up), it will do us all good to remember that the first response to stress should be a smile and sympathy, not bitching and self-entitlement. The store is out of Wiis, and won't be getting any more before Christmas? Don't scream at the store staff; remember the Toys for Tots donation boxes and think of all those children who won't be getting anything at all - ever. No parking spaces at the mall? Don't honk at other drivers and flip them off; walk a little further and enjoy the fact that you have two legs that work and that you aren't in a wheelchair with two prosthetics and a colostomy bag. Stressed out and inflicting it on anyone who will stand still long enough? Chill the fuck out. Gentleness towards stressed-out strangers comes back to you in unexpected and wonderful ways. Anger simply adds to the sulphuric acid eating away at your soul.

When people talk about "making sure they get what's theirs" and "not letting anyone pull shit on me", it automatically translates in my head to "I am a rude bastard who will contribute nothing to the well-being of anyone else". This holiday, let Ted Logan be your guide, not Ted Kaczynski, and be excellent to each other, dammit.

3. People who cause traffic jams by driving ten miles an hour slower than everyone else in the fast lane: 'Nuff said. You make me want to channel Ted Bundy, so knock it off. 

Oops, there went my keyboard. Vitriol washes out, right?

Dave and Buster's tonight - I can't keep up the hate for long. Wheee!
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