Five years ago, my father told me to give up. In the near future, everyone would be qualified as a writer because everyone would have a voice. As the world changed I’d be left behind to knife-fight bums for single kernels of stale rice.
Thank God he was wrong. Reading your thoughts is a little more fun than nailing my tongue to a trash compactor. Everyone has a soapbox, but most people don’t get past wearing it on their head. This is the best job security I could ask for. All it cost me was the ability to take anyone seriously.
We don’t have too many writers. We have too many parrots. I don’t know who taught birds to type, but it’s the worst thing to happen to letters since the Church figured out paper was even more flammable than young women and the mentally ill. I encourage religious zealots to return to this tactic. We’d have fewer toothless ideologues today if a Tumblr post risked having your laptop charbroiled.
If you have a blog, consider deleting it. The ratio of insight to worthless dross is high enough that you can safely assume that you’re part of the problem. This might sound extreme, but my first draft called for you to donate your fingers to science. At the venerable age of twenty-three, I’m finally starting to moderate my views.
You might have your doubts. They are wrong. If your blog has a ten thousand word dissertation on Doctor Who’s left testicle, you can delete it. If it’s a collection of month-old moral panics, you’re better off without it. If it’s a collection of reposts of reposts from bloggers with even less vision than you, less than nothing has been lost. If your blog is part of the Gawker media group, please save us all and attack the server room with a fire axe. Take out as much of the editorial staff as possible on the way out. You’ll be remembered as a martyr.
I could blame my break from the internet on other projects or personal issues. But these are excuses for the fact that it no longer seemed worthwhile. I was content to leave everyone to Five Racist Cats You Won’t Believe Love Beyonce. It seemed like the hell society had earned and deserved, until I remembered my hero.
Most people with a cultural memory better than a mushroom have a hero. My brother’s hero is Jackie Robinson, a trailblazing athlete that inspired a broken community with positivity. My hero is Juvenal, a maladjusted reactionary that ruined his own life and career with his acid tongue. He rebuilt his life as a poet vindictive enough to inspire the modern word for being an unapologetic assclown. The lows and highs of his late life were defined by the strength of his insults. I can’t think of a better way to live.
Juvenal inspired the Sith tradition of satire. This branch is about laughing at you, not with you. This is the only sane reaction to the quality of writing today. In the name of the Sith, I’m back to shouting slurs at the ocean. Which leaves me about five minutes to renew this domain.
This is not about inspiring change. Steve Job’s nation of bloggers is here, and traditional media has responded by stooping to their level and continuing to dig. The second you were able to tweet to a major news network, Hunter S Thompson came back to life just to shoot himself. If there’s a more constructive answer than mean-spirited laughter, I’m not interested. Positivity is for other people.