>>> Text-Heavy
By staff writer E.E. Southerby
June 20, 2004

“This column is also, by association, frightening and distasteful.”

Now Playing: “Devils and Angels” by Toby Lightman

I'm one of the youngest people of the generation that remembers a time before the Internet. I still remember using my 2400 mbps modem to dial in to a BBS run by a sysop who lived in his mom's garage, so I could play Trade Wars for hours while my parents yelled that I was tying up the phone line for 11 straight hours even though nobody was going to call us anyway because we're Jewish and it was Friday evening. A lot of you younger readers out there probably didn't even understand a lot of this paragraph, and have by now stopped reading and gone on to illegally download the latest Steely Dan album or whatever the hell you kids listen to these days. In any event, the Internet today is very different from when I was a little boy, and I'd say it's changed for the worse. “How,” you ask naively as though I can hear you. Well, here's what happened:

-Every time I get a spam email for an adult website that says “Never pay for porn again” I always wonder: Who's the idiot who's paying?

-I guess the biggest problem I have with spam emails is you can't screw with the sender the same way you can with a telemarketer. Like when a telemarketer calls me and asks if I'd like a long distance plan and I tell him I don't because I use calling cards, and then he asks me “isn't that expensive?” and I say “not really, I just steal them from Wal-Mart.” But if I reply to a spam email with “who's the idiot who's paying?” all I get is more spam email.

-Recently I read an article in the newspaper (actually I was in my living room, the article was in the newspaper) that said that 50% of the Internet's resources are used for spam emails. I can only assume the other 50% is dedicated to that video of the cat caught in the ceiling fan, trailers for the Bang Bus, and creating software to calculate that last statistic so they can put it in the newspaper. Oh, and also this column.

-Have you seen the Bang Bus videos? Only on the Internet could someone get away with this kind of crap. First of all, it's not really a bus at all. It's a van. It should be called the Bang Van. Secondly, this site, which claims to be 100% authentic, has a bunch of douchebags driving the Bang Van around the streets of Miami, picking up “random” Hispanic girls off the street, and then having sex with them in the van while another guy videotapes it. And the worst part is I know people who still believe this isn't staged. Look, try it for yourself: Drive around town with a video camera and try to have sex with random girls in broad daylight and see how quickly the John Police intervene. Go on, try it. Heck, go rent a school bus and see if you can make some videos that way. Offer them candy. What? THAT'S going too far?

-Quote of the Moment: One of my friends, Don, who also happens to be a comedian tells me, “You know Emmanuel, when I was your age life was a lot tougher. We didn't have the Internet. We also had to walk 5 miles in the snow, every day, UPHILL, just to see a video of a midget blowing a rhino.” Us kids today have it made.

-It amazes me that with all the efforts to stop the distribution of child pornography on the Internet nobody's ever said anything about the makers of Girls Gone Wild. You know these videos, where a guy walks around a nightclub with a video camera and asks girls to flash for him? (Pretty much every video on the web begins with this premise, apparently.) Basically, he finds the drunkest, sluttiest girls in the club and offers them a t-shirt in exchange for some skin (everybody loves t-shirts). Here's how every single Girls Gone Wild segment goes: “What's your name?” “Kandy.” “And where are you from, Kandy?” “Georgia.” “Are you going to flash for us, Kandy from Georgia?” “Tee hee, no. I wouldn't do that. I'm a good girl.” (She downs another double-vodka-cranberry.) “I'll give you a t-shirt.” “Well, ok then!” (She flashes.) “Thanks a lot Kandy. You're beautiful. Now how old did you say you were?” (Awkward silence, quick cut to Snoop Dogg music video.)

-Thanks to the Internet it's now easier than ever for hate groups to publish their wishes of peace and love for people of the same skin color and religion as themselves. Klan rallies are a dime a dozen on the Internet, and every single one of these websites is a wonder of web design, with their gratuitous use of animated gifs, retinal-damaging orange background wallpaper and a MIDI file of the first five seconds of “America the Beautiful” repeating incessantly. Visiting a typical KKK website is the Internet equivalent of peeping inside a Shriner's circus tent. Actually, when you consider the number of black and Jewish Shriners out there, stepping inside one of their circus tents is a lot like attending a Klan rally as well.

-Who the hell are these losers who post on message boards? Holy God I've never seen a more depressing lot of prepubescent nerds in my life. What sort of existence have you carved for yourself when the highlight of your day is writing a 3-page flame on why Dragonball is better than Dragonball Z and then hitting the refresh button every four seconds for the next hour to see if anyone replies? Hey board users, I've got a message for you: You're all st00pidz and ug133z and I had a wild night of intercourse with your mom omg ROTFL!

-Off Topic Corner (in Technicolor): Why do local television stations run commercials for hotels located in the same city as the station? Has anybody ever been watching the local news and seen a commercial for a hotel downtown and thought to themselves: “Gee, I should stay there sometime, assuming I'm not staying, oh, I don't know, at MY OWN HOUSE.” My only guess is that they're appealing to the untapped demographic of people who's homes are regularly fumigated for termites.

-And, finally, since this is still technically a column on the subject of college, I'd like to point out that I feel really sorry for people who hand in a paper they printed off the Internet and get caught trying to pass it off as their own. Especially if they forget to remove the URL header from the top of the page. Kids, there's only three (3) ways to get caught plagiarizing by your professors: 1. You copy a paper that was written by the prof himself. 2. You copy the first page that shows up when you Google the term “free essays.” 3. You hand in the same paper your roommate did for another class, and then complain when you get a lower grade than he did. Steer clear of these pitfalls, children, and you'll be in the clear (provided you can figure out how to wind up “in the clear” when you intentionally steered away from it). Peace out lolllzzz get down wit da clownz.