Comments, Politics, and Entertainment.

Dear Imaginary Friends,

I have an unhealthy obsession. I’m a little ashamed of myself actually. I just can’t seem to stop… reading the comments online.

I know I really shouldn’t but there’s a weird fascination to seeing the worst of humanity interacting. I’m fascinated, repulsed, and I feel a little gross after.

My particular weaknesses are looking at comments on stories relating to Doctor Who, Captain Marvel, CW’s superhero shows, and Canadian politics.

Comic Showing an archaeologist looking at Egyptian hieroglyphics and saying, “I should know better than to read the comments section.”
Comic from Rhymes With Orange

The comments are a squirming cesspool of humanity’s worst qualities and worst arguments. One that I’ve heard a lot lately is that there’s too much politics in entertainment. Make me think of the old Peanut Butter cup commercials, “You got peanut butter on my chocolate.”

Unlike chocolate and peanut butter (yummy), the idea that you can have any form of entertainment devoid of politics is laughable. Even when you think something isn’t political, it is.

The reason most people don’t notice is that the politics align with theirs. If you’re a straight, white, cis, middle to upper class person, you won’t notice any politics in something like Friends, Big Bang, or How I Met Your Mother. You might glance over the commentary on sexism or classism in those shows as just normal everyday stuff. Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there.

I can hear the “Well actually, it’s more blatant” and that’s bullshit. If you’re one of those people who thinks old shows didn’t make political comments, you weren’t listening. Star Wars, Diehard, North by North-West, all had political messages in them. It’s nearly impossible to separate politics from art because it’s impossible to separate belief from creation.

Those complaining that things have become too political aren’t complaining about politics. They’re complaining that they aren’t seeing their politics reflected back at them.

Later Days,

Éric

Top Five Ways to Argue Like a Toddler

Hello my Imaginary Friends,

This could easily be an article about how to argue on the internet but it’s not. I’m here to teach you the valuable skill of arguing like a toddler.

5. Where is…

I was prepared to answer why, what, whom, and even how… but repeated instances of where, I wasn’t ready. Here’s the way it typically goes.

Dragon: Where is Granny?

Me: At home.

Dragon: Where is Granny home?

Me: Same place it always is.

Dragon: Where?

Me: *Says address*

Dragon: Where is that?

Me: If we go down the street and turn left it’s at the end of that street?

Dragon: I can’t see it. Can you show me?

The trick with this is to keep asking the same question no matter how absurd it sounds. Really throws people through a loop.

4. Scream louder

Trying to talk to my wife from another room is now followed by, “Don’t yell at MUM!” the same thing happens if my wife replies; “Don’t yell at PAPA!”

If I say something to her sternly my daughter sometimes counters with, “Don’t yell at me.” Then she yells louder over me, ignoring what I’m saying.

This is advanced, and definitely common online. The goal is to just keep saying what you’re saying while telling people to stop being mean.

3. Walk away and pout

When she knows she’s done something wrong but doesn’t want to admit it, she’ll pout and walk away. Stand in a corner or just glare at us from across the room.

Me: Please pick up your toys before dinner.

Dragon: No.

Me: Please pick up your toys.

Dragon: No.

Me: Now.

Dragon: *Walks away and pouts*

You wouldn’t think this was useful in adult life or online, but suddenly turning around and ignoring someone throws all the power to you for a small amount of time.

2. Ask again… and again and again

She normally does this if she really wants to eat or do something. She’ll say, “I NEED candy!” I’ll reply with, “Not now” or “no.” She then says, “Can I have candy?”, “Candy?”, or she’ll repeat I need. The less attention we pay to her the louder and more repetitive she gets.

This is similar to 4 but more insistent. When using it, make sure everyone knows what you want. Over and over again.

1. Because Yes/No

This is quite possibly the hardest possible thing to argue with.

Me: Why did you throw your teddy bear?

Dragon: Because Yes.

Or

Dragon: I NEED orange!

Me: You just ate 2 oranges. Do you really need another one?

Dragon: Because yes?

Because Yes and Because No, will stop the conversation and make the other person question why they’re arguing with you. It’s a wonderful way to argue when you don’t really care about educating but really want to annoy.


Okay so arguing with a toddler is very similar to arguing online. I think I might start using #1.

Later days,

Éric

Trolls, Broflakes, and Troglodytes… Oh My!

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

The internet is a vile cesspool of intolerance, sexism, racism, hate, and many other horrible things. I’ve come to accept that in an almost Zen like fashion. (Except flat-earthers and anti-vaxxers; they still incite red hot rage.)

Once you accept that there are hateful people everywhere and that they seem to flock to the internet’s comment section, or Nazi Alt-Right politics; you can start feeling joy in their pseudo-righteous anger.

the-comments-section

**IMPORTANT** Some people are not beyond reason. There are some that are genuinely ignorant of the issue or misinformed.

This Sunday, the BBC announced Jodie Whittaker as The 13th Doctor. My first reaction was excitement that my daughter would be able to grow up with a Doctor that looked like her. My second was pure joy at the anger and frustration the internet’s comment sections would have. I may have cackled…

When the same feces-maelstrom erupted over John Boyega being a storm trooper, I was angry and frustrated and lost hope in humanity. Now I’ve seen the Ghostbusters hate, the Gunslinger hate, the Rey can’t be a Jedi hate, the Wrinkle in Time hate, the Wonder Woman hate… Etc Etc etc.

Humanity has some shining examples and some terrible troglodytes; I’ve accepted that.

Now down to business:

Dear Troglodytes,

Since Doctor Who has been utterly ruined a woman Doctor, violated beyond measure and so on… I in my infinite generosity will gladly help you dispose of your Doctor Who memorabilia. I won’t even charge you for the time and mental anguish of association with that horribly defiled pile of stuff.

Sincerely,
A Real Fan.

P.S. If you need help with your Star Trek items, I’ll make the same sacrifice.

Later Days,

Éric