I Hate the Internet

captain americaYou might have seen that idiotic video that is being passed around on Facebook and shit in which people apply for “the world’s toughest job” and find out that the world’s toughest job is…being a mother. Fuck you. What a load of cynical, pandering, tearjerking claptrap. Did you fall for this crock of shit? Go jump off a cliff. Maybe I’m not totally serious, but it’s hard for me to put into words just how deeply this video offended me. I’m not even going to link to it. It basically said that no matter how difficult your life is, you can take comfort in knowing that your mother still loves you. No, you can’t. When I’m broke, unemployed, and desperate for a leg up, I don’t need to be reminded of whose vagina I was pushed out of, I need a fucking job. Wasting the time of people who were so in need of work that they would respond to that ad is only fair if you follow it up by writing them a big, fat check and landing them an interview for a high-paying job for which they are totally qualified. Something tells me the numbnuts who made this video didn’t do that. No, they just wanted to make a viral video that would make the people who sob at Hallmark cards and buy Thomas Kinkade pantings feel good about themselves. Fuck the world. I hope you all die.

I think what really pisses me off here is the implication that having a job and being a mother are the same thing. No, they aren’t. My mother had a job in addition to raising us. My father was a stay-at-home dad for my first couple years, but as soon as that was done, he fucking started work again as well. It is possible to have both a career and a family, and I think it’s telling that this video is about mothers and not fathers. Women, as we all know, are all warm and nurturing and shit. Dads go to work and bring home the bacon, just like in the 1950s and the minds of Fox News pundits. We need to stop revering parenting as if it is the highest aspiration that anyone (especially women) can have. I don’t plan on having children. I have friends and colleagues who do. Good for them. But I can’t stand the little bastards.

What do applying for a job and being a mother have to do with each other anyway? I fail to see how the two are even connected. It makes no more sense to me than if I ordered something from Amazon and they sent me an empty box with a note inside saying, “Think of all the wonderful things your mother bought you!” No, I’m not going to do that. I ordered a thing, why didn’t you send it to me? If I ever see someone get violently raped, I’ll tell them to think of all the hard knocks their mother took in raising them rather than calling for help. You think I’m taking this too seriously, don’t you? No, I’m not. There is a deep undercurrent of misogyny to this whole thing. I can no more endorse it than I can listen to “Blurred Lines”.

I am sometimes asked how I define empowerment. For me, it is not about endorsing everything that every woman does. It’s about asking people if they’re doing something because they really want to, or because they think it will make people like them. The internet feeds on our insecurities. Social media makes us obsessed only with how many likes, shares, or whatever else that we get. This is not news. I am not breaking new ground by saying this shit. But every now and then, you have to unplug and go do something that doesn’t involve looking at a screen. So I’m going to do exactly that and write the rest of this when I’m good and ready.

I’d like to throw my lot in with the people who say Captain America: The Winter Soldier was the best Marvel movie yet. The Avengers is one of my favorite popcorn flicks of the past ten years, the first comic book movie I’ve seen that actually looked like a comic book, and Winter Soldier, through its use of human drama, slam-bang action, and not-too-heavy-handed contemporary political commentary, surpassed it. The biggest reveal—the identity of the Winter Soldier, which is hardly a spoiler since all of the marketing reveals it—was already ruined, but otherwise, I went out of my way to learn as little about the film as possible, not even the basic premise. If you haven’t seen the film already, see it immediately. I’m already wondering if I should wait for the DVD or see it again in theaters.

I’m not opposed to optimism, but you have to understand that even positive outcomes still have consequences. If your solution to a problem is to return everything to the way it was before somebody else changed it, you have nothing to contribute and should really just retire from human society. Change happens for a reason, and there is a difference between reminding people that sometimes there is a better way out and just blind ignorance. And it all has to do with the takeaway. Don’t just say, “It’ll all work out”; take steps to make that a reality. And when you’ve said everything you need to say, move the fuck on already.

In case you can’t tell, this whole thing has been a stealth rant about Doctor Who. Because I really have hated the last few seasons that much. And I’m not ready to let go. On the contrary, I want to murder Steven Moffat with my indifference.

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2 thoughts on “I Hate the Internet

  1. The article that you linked to on my FB page where the “toughest job” video was sent to me by my daughter had a lot of great points. I think my glass is generally half full, and the video was just another way for one of my kids to say that she appreciates me being in her life. I don’t think the intent of the video was anti-feminist. I think it was to drive sales of Mother’s Day cards, for Heaven’s sake! I wonder if there is anyone who saw that video that really believes motherhood is the toughest, most important job out there.

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