Are you an asshole on the internet? It’s possible. I’ve certainly been called that before and they’re not wrong. The way I see it, there are two types of assholes on the internet (this statement is 100% false as there are actually millions of different types of assholes but for the sake of this rant, just pretend it’s all black and white).
1) The people who say obnoxious things into the ether as either jokes or as provocateurs. These things are generally about people and things that person has no personal ties to and , in reality, don’t matter. The aim is to make a joke, for better or worse. I fall firmly in this group. Nothing I say on the internet really matters. Nothing I say on the internet is even that serious. These very words I’m writing right now included.
2) People who say shitty things of no comedic value directly to other people online when no one asked them for their input but they do it anyway cause…well…they’re bored or just contrarian assholes. Things like “You suck” or “I fucking hate you” you are examples. These people, in general, lack any creativity in their asshole-ic ways and serve only as frowny faced trolls to the entire internet around them.
Now, this is something I’ve harped on before so my apologies if I sound like a broken record. But I wanted to focus on one particular barb that I seem to get with some regularity that truly makes my blood boil. Not cause it hurts my feelings but cause , when a person says it, they’re just simply being lame as fuck.
Here’s what happens.
I make music for a living. This has been established. I also spend a decent amount of time online joking around. It’s fun for me. I enjoy it.
I write a tweet or a status update on facebook. This is always a dumb joke or maybe something slightly more observational. Regardless, it’s generally as harmless as a new born faun.
Then I get a response like this:
I read this and think of how I should respond. The correct answer is “Not at all” but I’m simply not that strong willed a man. So, I consider writing “FUCK YOUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!”. However, That’s a bit harsh, considering I know this persons intent wasn’t to elicit that response. In fact, I know that person is just busting my balls and, at the same time, strangely telling me they want to hear more music. (Side note: The dude who wrote this tweet and I exchanged a few tweets and they were totally cordial so , please, don’t be an asshole to him or whatever. I merely used his tweet as an example cause it’s the most recent “Why aren’t you making music constantly!?” related tweet i’ve gotten). Still, as someone who likes making jokes on the internet, being told to shut up and make music, as if both aren’t simultaneously possible is pretty fucking annoying. Especially considering I’ve been pretty prolific over the last few years and even have a new album finished at this very moment. If my joke/tweet wasn’t funny to you, fair enough. I’d rather someone write “Not funny” (which, by the way, would still be unnecessary and shitty to do) than to patronize me like I’m some worker bee that can only sit in a studio cranking out music 24/7 and do nothing else whatsoever. By the way, that’s not how making music works. Turns out, when you make music for a living, there’s tons of downtime. Why do you think every time you see a musician in the studio, they’re playing with their phones? but I digress.
This whole thing bothers me. Not cause it hurts my feelings but cause the person who’s writing it is 100% always and forever just being shitty. Without fail.This is not to say they’re bad people. This isn’t even saying that their intent is to piss me off. In fact, I’d venture to say that people who write that sentence are brain farting right back at me. But, you gotta understand…it’s shitty and shows a really poor instinct to be “That guy”. The guy who feels the need to respond to everything ESPECIALLY when they have nothing of value to add. This particular type of comment is missing the point on so many levels it’s hard to even begin to explain it. It’s like when a person asks a musician “Why can’t you make an album like your first one again?”. To truly explain that would take so much time, it’s never worth it. In the same note, for me to explain, in 140 characters or less, why I’m not making music all the fucking time and wasting my time writing a tweet that took 8 seconds to think up, is simply not worth the breath. In reality, 9/10 times, when I respond to these types of comments , with something snarky, the writer responds in a completely apologetic tone. Surprised I’d even respond in the first place. As if I don’t read my own twitter feed and have real human thoughts. In reality, they didn’t even mean to be shitty, They seemingly got caught up in a moment and couldn’t help themselves.
I’m not writing this as a “Leave Blockhead alone!!!” manifesto. Cause, truth be told, this is a minor annoyance at best. I’m more saying this to maybe make people stop and consider what they’re adding to a discussion when they write petty, short sighted and pointless remarks lacking any humor or value. It’s really that simple. Unless you have something constructive or funny to add, why are you talking?
The faceless nature of the internet has got us too comfortable. It’s like the world is one big youtube comment section. With twitter and facebook, people have access to musicians, actors, politicians, etc like never before. I could literally tell the president of the USA to eat a bag of dicks and dog shit right now if i wanted to (I would never do that though). It’s THAT open. While I do see some good in this kind of open forum, motherfuckers still should know their role. If I’m a celebrity that did something crazy…like Justin Bieber or Chris Brown. I’d fully expect a shit storm in my mentions on the regular. Same way I’d expect tons of support from fans and naked pics from underaged girls in my DM’s. It’s really par for the course. But if I’m me…a niche musician with a small fan base who’s biggest offense is making an album you didn’t like and making bad jokes on the internet, what’s the point of needlessly pushing my buttons? I mean, I see why people do it (trolls are called trolls for a reason)…but really…why? Is it fun? Hell, maybe it is. I’ve just never been the type who purposely says petty shit to people I don’t know with the sole intention to be getting their attention. It’s like the people who feel the need to correct grammar on twitter. It’s fucking twitter! Much like there is no crying in baseball, there are no grammar rules on twitter. It is the Deadwoods of grammar. Lawless. God forbid you have a typo! But if you see a grammar error, a typo or you just wanna be one of those people who vocalizes every stupid thought you have in your head directly at a person who has not addressed you even remotely, at least make it funny. Cause, otherwise, you’re just another voice from the peanut gallery saying something of no constructive value for the sake of hearing your own voice (or reading your own words, in this case).
If you’re offended by something I said, then I get it. I have it coming. Even if you are being an overly sensitive pussy about a joke…I get that. You ride razor scooters and I made a joke about them so you’re taking offense. That’s fine. you’re standing up for your razor scooter lifestyle. Do you! But , otherwise? Stop it. That’s my entire message. Stop it. In fact, I could have saved a lot of time writing this whole thing and just had those two words under the header but I’m a sucker for long winded explanations. Oh well, too late. But seriously, next time you (not anyone in particular) get the urge to write something shitty to someone else (be it a celebrity on twitter, a “friend” on facebook , a niche beat maker or President Obama) online, ask yourself “What good will this do?”. If the only answer you get out of it is “It will annoy the person I’m writing this to” then either don’t write it or accept that you are, in fact, an asshole who is shitty to people on the internet…and not that awesome first kind I described earlier either. you’re the second kind. Shame on you!