Seriously, the internet's a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand it provides people with new and exciting ways to be obnoxious douches. On the other hand it's a near-perfect medium for exposing and widely publicizing obnoxious douche behavior, with a side benefit of entertainment for the masses. Al Gore giveth, and Al Gore taketh away.
Pick a way to be an insufferable twerp, and you can track over the last decade how e-twerpery slowly replaced the analog face-to-face kind we had to engage in before you damn kids were born, back in the era of Atari and leg warmers and stuff. Case in point: the rude relationship communique. There are two main subcategories: (1) I'm dumping you/rejecting you, and (2) how dare you dump me/reject you. There was a time where such messages had to be delivered face to face (dangerous), or through intermediaries (humiliating), or left on Rockford-files-era answering machines (unsatisfying), or even written longhand like some kind of goddamed big-shirted poet or something (smudgy). Now, though, it's all clickety-clickety-clack and sent. And with that comes all of the hazards of email, magnified by the raw emotional stupidity of the context: the failure to reflect, the lack of proportion, the fondness for odd capitalization, the tendency to allow Mr. Adrenaline Rush suggest your word choice. Most are banal, but some achieve a sort of douchey greatness.
And, thank God, there are people who collect and document the best and worst of them.
For instance, the Gawker blog Jezebel, which has a can't-look-away-from-the-car-wreck feature called Crap Email From a Dude that features such emails. They're hilarious. Like this one from an Ayn Rand fan, followed by an equally hilarious angry email from said asshole claiming his emails are copyrighted. Or this one from a Goldman Sachs guy. Or this one, which manages to combine entitled with insecure, AND remind the recipient twice of the proper pronunciation of the sender's name.
Seriously. Write it longhand. You'll have time to reconsider.
Last 5 posts by Ken White
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