So this morning, I was in the middle of writing up a review, when someone sent me a story about a guy named “Anthony J. Hopkins,” who had spit blood in a cop’s face while telling the cop he had hepatitis C. I thought it was funny, and I needed a quick break from a longer piece I was writing anyway, so I wrote up the story, with a big picture of the actor Anthony Hopkins at the top of the post. At the risk of explaining my own self-explanatory joke, the image I had in my head, of Oscar-winning knight of the British Crown Sir Anthony Hopkins spitting in a cop’s face and screaming about having Hep C, seemed too funny not to share.
That’s what I do here, you see. I share things that I find funny and/or interesting, through words and/or pictures. I tried to put the funny image I had in my own head into yours, as best I could, then explained exactly how and why it was there.
Despite that last part, many of the early reactions to the post (especially on Facebook – it’s always the goddamned Facebook comments) were along the lines of “OMG, what link bait, I can’t beleive u stupped so lo” and “way to slander asshoal, never cummin her agan.”
Here’s a brief recap:
– One of the worst examples of click bait I have ever seen. (three likes)
– I hate that Uproxx is essentially Buzzfeed now. (one like)
– Way to go in order to get some attention on your news feed. Idiots
– I hope he sues Uproxx
– the writer of this, just lost all of his credibility.
– The worst journalist ever.
– Fuck everything about this click-bait. (two likes)
– I can’t believe we’re even dignifying this shit with a reaction.
– Wow. That’s the most unethical thing I’ve ever read. What a douchebag, troll move. Unfollow.
– What did I just read? Why do I even subscribe to this ridiculous site? There’s plenty of nonsense to read on Facebook, no one cares about your sense of humor. (one like)
Of course, lots of people did get it. There are always enough people that get it, that’s what keeps me going (The guy who said “I can picture Vince giggling while he wrote this” – yep, nailed it).
I did sort of expect the shitty reactions. But I didn’t write it TO get a shitty reaction (ie, “trolling”). Trust me, I take zero joy in people not getting a joke. I wrote it because it was amusing to me, and, by extension, hopefully, you. I know I’m not that unique, I basically try to write for the other ‘me’s out there, it’s like my writer’s version of the golden rule. There’s so much bullshit passing itself off as news these days – a quote intentionally twisted to mean something more provocative, the new design of some toy that *may* reveal what FlurpSword looks like in the new Space Queefs movie, a LOL video with a reveal that WILL astound you – that it’s not surprising that people took an obvious use of a misdirect (obvious because it was deliberately so, which was the joke) as an opportunity to scream “LINK BAIT, LINK BAIT! THIS GUY’S TROLLIN’!”
It was easy to recognize and lump in with a larger phenomenon that everyone hates. Internet commenters love thinking they’re the first person to recognize something, even if it was intentionally designed to be recognizable. It’s like being the guy who shouts “first!” on every forum, communicating nothing but your own presence. HERE I AM! I AM HERE! THIS IS ME READING!
The reason I write this note, is that the tone of some of these comments indicates that some of my readers seem to be confused about the writer-reader relationship here. To requote NOFX, as I did in the headline, “I’m not your clown, I’m your dealer.”
It’s from their song “60%,” the following lines of which go “And I’m holding three bindles of bullshit. And you buy them ’cause you are addicted.”
The way I interpret that (and the way I extend the metaphor to this situation) is that this isn’t a public service. I’m not here doing charity work, holding everyone’s hand and making sure they feel comfortable and have their intelligence flattered by every post. I’m here to share my proverbial drugs with you – comedy, stories, amusement, information, diversions, etc. You don’t like the sauce I put on my steak today? That’s a shame, I do enjoy it when we like the same things.
If you don’t, hey, that’s cool, I don’t take much offense. Maybe you’ll like the sauce I use tomorrow. But I used that sauce because I liked it, not because I thought you would like it. If you’re thinking this sounds dickish, like “Fuck you if you don’t like my sauce, bro,” that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying I’m trying to make this the best sauce possible, and I only have my own senses to judge. The minute I try to gear it towards the taste buds of some ambiguous “you,” that’s the minute it’s going to suck. It’s going to be watered down and pandering, if only in some small way. Using myself as a barometer is the only way I can make it specific.
So understand: if you hate my sense of humor, my writing, my news sense, or some other strange idiosyncrasy of mine, fine. But I’m NOT trying to trick you. This isn’t the New York Times, and it’s not some “Ninja Turtles news for bros who like NASCAR!” site tailored to fit some advertiser’s idea of a demographic. Putting up with my best guess at enjoyable reading is the price you pay for not being served discount internet slurry every meal. Think of me as your sauce sherpa. I will guide you on our journey to the sauce mountain. You may die of altitude sickness, but such is the price of sauce.
So there you go. And as long as we’re here sharing things that amuse us for our mutual amusement, I liked Joe Sinclitico’s comment the best:
Vince Mancini has never had ANY credibility and this just proves it. He says he hates April Fool’s but then he April Foolsed all with this. I’m mad. I’m upset. I’m saddened. Unethical journalism on Facebook is unethical. Vince Manicini raped his own mother’s pussy then gave birth to himself whom he promptly molested. This is the type of chicken or the egg pedophilia that the journalism community does NOT need more of.
Funny, right? I thought so.
Thank you and good day.