Originally posted by redware at GlockTalk
Seventy Facts I’ve Learned While Perusing Message Boards
I originally posted this as, “Fifty Facts I’ve Learned While Perusing Message Boards.” Since that original posting about four months ago, I’ve added twenty more thoughts that came to me while reading and participating on three or four different message boards. As an aside, I think I’ve personally proved about ten of these little truisms.
1. Every story has two sides and, infallibly, someone will point out this fact.
2. Spelling and grammatical errors are the same thing as a weak argument.
3. Attempts at social control (“Boy the trolls are going to have some fun with this”) seldom keep anyone from expressing a viewpoint.
4. Forty-nine percent of the world loathes authority figures, forty-nine percent believe authority figures can do no wrong, and two percent fall somewhere in between.
5. “Sorry, but…” usually precedes an asinine comment.
6. Having the last word is the same thing as being right.
7. Written verbal pauses (“Uh,” “Ah,” etc.) are effective ways to convey disbelief, sarcasm, or puzzlement.
8. When all else fails, mocking an individual’s profile will provide support for an otherwise shaky viewpoint.
9. Critiquing a poster’s insults and deeming them substandard is an effective way to illustrate how one will not sink to another’s level by immediately sinking to their level.
10. It is perfectly acceptable to post threads or insights without checking to see if anyone else posted the exact same thing.
11. A duplicate posting will spark righteous indignation and a referral to the search function.
12. There is a need to post national, “BREAKING NEWS!!!” with no or limited personal comment as most people do not have access to Fox, CNN, ABC, CBS or any other of the litany of free online news services. This need is doubly important because once a story is reported by a news service it is immediately withdrawn and never mentioned again. Ever.
13. No answer is ever so complete that it cannot be appended with some miniscule, trivial, and tangential fact.
14. Certain 19th century North American conflicts cannot be named or referenced without regionalists jumping in to provide seventeen different and “correct” alternative names.
15. Message boards are great places to get advice on personal matters.
16. Message boards are great places to post information that reveals one’s identity, possessions, and location.
17. Saying that a viewpoint is “common sense” or that one is the “voice of common sense” automatically makes it so.
18. People like to make lists.
19. Personal disagreements are matters of life and death.
20. No one who posts a message about leaving ever actually leaves.
21. There is such a thing as being “internet famous.”
22. Only the strongest of computer jockeys will survive the collapse of Western Civilization.
23. The posters who write insults that would likely get them smacked in the head are probably the same people who received “atomic wedgies” in middle school for their mouthy ways.
24. Reality should never get in the way of a good story.
25. One post provides enough evidence to conduct a complete psychological profile of the poster.
26. A pithy turn of phrase is an acceptable substitute for a lack of knowledge.
27. Sometimes people actually do live up to expectations.
28. That which sparks righteous moral indignation, demands for eternal remembrance, and calls for political action today will be happily forgotten tomorrow.
29. The results of a thousand scientific studies are easily trumped by one personal anecdote.
30. “[Insert any noun here] is/are/a [Insert adjective here] piece/s of garbage/Nazi/pinko/subhuman/liberal scum and he/she/they/it deserve/s to die a slow and painful death consisting of [Insert overly descriptive manner of slow and painful death here].”
31. The world is becoming less genteel.
32. Meltdowns aren’t just for nuclear reactors.
33. Signature lines are never ignored as irrelevant and shallow pulp.
34. When confronted with a situation where compassion might be appreciated, it’s better to appear and act as callous and tough as possible.
35. Being consigned to the ignore list is a fate worse than death.
36. One can reveal his or her strength of character and willingness to look into the face of Death and laugh by mocking the ignore list and asking to be placed on it.
37. If not “A,” then “B.”
38. “Spew” and “tripe” should be worked into as many postings as possible.
39. Like “spew” and “tripe,” “sheeple” cannot be overused.
40. Anyone with an opposing viewpoint is a “troll.”
41. Wishing for the possibility of personally delivered physical violence against those with whom one disagrees (online or off) isn’t tragically pathetic.
42. Writing so as to deliberately convey a regional affiliation isn’t ridiculous.
43. Excepting fur, there is no difference between a firearm and a dog.
44. Come to think of it, there is no difference between a firearm and anything. Given enough time, everything will be compared to a firearm.
45. Listening to overly emotional patriotic music while sticking a plastic flag out on the lawn is the beginning, middle, and end of true patriotism.
46. A smiley face can accurately convey the awesome depth of human emotion.
47. If you happen to possess two “x” chromosomes and regularly post on a message board, you’re either going to be canonized or patronized. Probably both.
48. Those who would deny the rights of others are usually the same people who incessantly call for their own.
49. Posters must show homage to Ronald Wilson Reagan by beginning postings with “Well,…” just often enough for it to be noticeable but not often enough to draw undue attention.
51. Posters with comedic aspirations may opt to forgo number 49 and begin posts with, “So I was...”
51. There is unparalleled honor in posting to threads that are obvious candidates for a “lock” and then announcing the presence of that posting.
52. Because postings on an internet message board carry the same weight as a doctoral thesis, posters must provide irrefutable sources for anything that isn’t accepted as The Gospel. As an addendum, mocking the source a poster supplies as either overly “liberal,” overly “conservative“, or just plain “stupid” is an acceptable debate tactic.
53. Do people like to write declarative statements in the form of questions? You bet!
54. “We don’t have enough facts to make a judgment” is an excellent way to end a debate without discussion. This works because no one is omniscient, no one will ever have “enough facts” to suit those unwilling to discuss a given event, and those who do not want a particular discussion to continue are prepared to wait until time immemorial for the facts to somehow become apparent.
55. A poster’s willingness to believe the veracity of the media as a whole is directly proportional to his or her desire to believe the content of a given story.
56. It is only suggested that thread titles provide potential readers an inkling of an idea of the thread’s intellectual content.
57. Taking an argument or an opinion to its illogical extreme (i.e. “You don’t believe violent felons should be able to legally own weapons. I bet you also want to keep people with parking tickets from owning weapons. Pinko.”) isn’t bizarre.
58. Concocting elaborate and unlikely scenarios in which an average person becomes a hero for drawing and firing a weapon is a fun and educational way to spend the afternoon.
59. “+1” is an intelligent and meaningful contribution to the common discourse. Never before has so little conveyed so much.
60. Copying another’s comments, editing them to alter the meaning of the message, and then declaring the redacted statement “fixed” isn’t childish.
61. Well-known message board members who are banned for any reason can expect tributes that eerily resemble the comments one would hear at a wake.
62. Commenting on the presence of “trolls” or announcing the presence of “trolls” in a dedicated thread (See number 40) might actually be a form of “trolling.”
63. A certain subset of posters who believe a thread is “fluff,” a “waste of time,” or simply “stupid” find themselves better served by announcing their opinion to the world rather than letting the offending thread die a natural death.
64. There is absolutely no place for emotion in a rational person as it is nothing but a roadblock to be scorned on the path to complete objectivity, enlightenment, and happiness.
65. The best legal advice is found on public message boards.
66. An out-of-context quote from a famous individual is a fatal blow in the fight for superiority during an online argument.
67. If one believes in an opinion with all of his or her heart, it turns into a fact.
68. The same posters who desperately want to cast themselves as objective are usually the same ones who don’t want to suffer listening to an opposing viewpoint.
69. There is great honor in immediately, “calling b******t!” when one doubts the veracity of another’s post.
70. Semantic errors indicative of a lack of knowledge regarding firearms(i.e. “Where can I purchase a clip for my semiautomatic pistol?”) will spark questions about the original poster’s fitness to own a weapon, questions about the intelligence of the original poster, questions about the original poster’s genealogy, and, perhaps, one actual answer with a gentle correction appended.
I wonder if he hangs out here?