Pardon the seemingly non-sequiturious title of this morning’s Muse. It’s an experiment in targeted advertising. You see, yesterday with my post having “gnome” in the title, the book of faces decided to display ads for garden gnomes, a brewery with gnome in the name, and this creepy ass game about child gnomes I hope I never, ever actually stumble upon.
“But…Simian Soda Quarks? Did you just randomly pick some words?”
Inside joke, but…yeah, pretty much. We’ll see what the tome of profiles does with this. Though, technically I suppose ANY product they display would contain quarks…
Rainy start to the day here. I was planning on mowing, and now I can’t. Oh, darn. Can’t you feel the disappointment. The whole day is shot. Guess I just have to settle for doing anything other than getting bitten by mosquitoes while grass clippings stick to my sweaty hair. However will I manage.
It’s quiet, too. The teens have not yet returned from far away places, and the eight year old has chosen to sleep in instead of putting on another show of dramatic couch flopping. It’s just me and the cat. And, of course, the internet.
Ah, the internet. Usually I have a few sites I visit, a few pod casts to listen to while checking in on social media and news outlets, which, in my opinion, are becoming one in the same. Sometimes, though, I’ll find myself getting sucked into the rabbit hole and going where no one should ever intentionally tread: the user comments section.
Hoo baby, you want a real, harsh look into the souls of humanity? Scroll down after a news article and read what the “average Joe” has to say when there are absolutely no consequences. Now, internet comments seem to fall under a few categories.
First you’ve got rational comments about the actual article. Usually these are either thumbs up or thumbs down style, with brief reasonable explanations for the poster’s standpoint. This is what the “comments” section was supposed to be all about. Way back when the ‘net was new, someone dreamed that one day it would become a forum for the exchanging of rational dialogue between people from all walks of life, a way of broadening individual outlooks and adopting new ideas.
…dude, stop laughing. It’s not polite. That person really, truly believed that’s what the “comments” sections would be all about. Oh, that naive fool.
After the rational comments, which make up about 5% (+/-5%) of all user inputted blurbs, you’ve got all the other forms of crazy that humanity can display in written communication form, with most of the crazy being directed back at the handful of rational thinkers.
The third type is…well, I guess that’s it, isn’t it? Sane and crazy, with crazy being the bulk.
I don’t actively participate in these debates. I used to when I was young and bored and didn’t know there was no possible way in the world I was actually going to change opinions. I’m jaded enough now not to even bother. Internet commenting is a young man’s game. However, sometimes I just can’t help but read them and shake my head.
This morning I watched an innocuous little morning show on YouTube. They run every morning, about ten minutes or so of talking about random stuff. The people are funny and likable, and it’s only 10 minutes, so doesn’t really require any commitment on my part. The episode I watched today was about different moon landing conspiracies.
I can tell by the rolling of your eyes and the loud groan that you see where this is going.
As we all know, there are thousands of seconds of film footage taken from the Apollo missions that made it to the moon. And as we also know, every single one of those seconds has been picked apart by people who cannot, for whatever reason, accept that human beings landed on that dusty orb. There are hundreds of hours of documentaries exploring all the conspiracies out there that “prove” people have only walked on Earth, and I’m guessing many, many websites devoted to the subject as well, though I didn’t bother “googling” in case my google overlords and masters start offering me other conspiracy sites when I try to search “potato pancake recipes”. Hey, I’ll get sucked into user comments, but I do have certain lines I will not cross on the internet.
Anyway, the show this morning was just talking about some of the most well known conspiracies about the moon landing being a hoax, not supporting them. At the end of their little segment, they said, “Leave your opinions on the matter in the comments section below.” Well, that was a red cape and I was the bull. I scrolled down and ended up in a world I wish I didn’t know existed.
Look, I’m not saying there aren’t valid conspiracy theories out there. Now, I’m not talking about the moon, because that is simply ridiculous to argue. You can buy a telescope in fricken Walmart that’s powerful enough to see the debris and junk we’ve left up on the moon. There’s a flag there. Ours. There’s a giant mirror bank to reflect lasers. Ours. There are footprints and poop bags (Yes, four of them. On the moon. Because we’re humans, and muckin’ up nature is how we roll, even on other celestial bodies.) and landing gear and cars… We turned the moon into a trailer park lot, and we can see it. Easily. Clearly. With very little effort.
Aside from the moon, though, I have heard a few compelling conspiracies about different subjects. I honestly DO think that there have been times and instances where governments or religions or other ruling bodies have intentionally pulled the wool over our eyes, or misdirected our attentions. And I support the whole process of conspirizing. I do. I think it’s extremely healthy to look at something from every angle and try to see the entire picture, not just simply what you’re told.
However, it is a very slippery slope. There’s a difference between finding the truth, and creating a new false truth. Often people are looking so hard for there to be subterfuge that they create instances to prove their theory, and become blind to actual facts.
This brings me back to the moon landing, and the user comments section. Here are a couple actual, unedited, real comments pertaining to the moon landing that were left under the video:
“Didn’t happen. fake.”
Short and sweet and to the point. Why bother with all the hullaballoo of actually explaining yourself?
“If we went then we’d still be there now. Don’t make sense.”
I went camping when I was a kid. I am not still there now. I don’t really get what this person means.
“I believe the moon was 100% real, but 9-11 was staged.”
Attention! We’ve got a thread hijacking in progress. Please stay inside your vehicles and lock your doors.
“It was fake and NASA just making up reasons to prove us wrong I’m sorry but if we can’t cure cancer HIV/AIDS to this day we didn’t go to moon I’m sorry that’s how I feel.”
Well, you should be sorry, mystery poster. That’s not only grammatically abysmal, but the whole crux of your argument is stupid. We didn’t reach the pinnacle of competency in one aspect of science, so there’s no way we could excel in any other? That’s like saying that cavemen didn’t know about germs, so they couldn’t create hunting spears. Idiocy.
“You can’t see a flag you lying f**k. There are no clear photos of the flag on the moon and you’re buying the bulls**t you c**t.”
Oh wow. I never looked at it like that before. The use of profanity has swayed me like no “fact” ever could.
“Stanley Kubrick did it there’s evidence in The Shining.”
So now they are using a fictional movie as their scientific thesis? I bet you right this very minute the American Astronomical Society is frantically searching out this genius to offer him a chance to write a paper they can publish in their next journal.
“All photos have black and white but 1 is in color!! Someone screwed up.”
I have a photo of my great grandparent’s wedding, before color photography, that has been colorized. CONSPIRACY. But, while we’re on the subject, there are color photographs of WWII. ‘NOTHER CONSPIRACY!!! When will it stop?? HOW DEEP DOES IT GO?????
“No possible way we landed on the moon. My iPhone has more technology than what was available in 1969! Wake up!”
Yes, wake up…and realize that after we went to the moon, the US public lost interest and killed funding because it really was just a big, boring rock. No aliens, no hip intergalactic parties going on, nothing to keep the attention of the American magpies who are easily distracted by shiny objects. We crippled ourselves for space travel by voting to cut the money needed to…
“NASA don’t need funding there NASA stupid.”
Oh. Well, then, I guess I’ve been told. Forget my snarkiness about the lack of funds. Apparently NASA don’t need it.
Look, everyone’s got an opinion. It just kills me that one day, legitimate intelligent life from another planet may intercept our broadcasts to learn more about us and find…this. I don’t know about you, but I would be utterly mortified.
I guess the moral of the story is: Always be careful about what you post on an internet comments board. Some day, your words may serve as representation of the entire human race.
Thus concludes the Morning Musing for Friday, August 22, 2014. I’ll be sure to let you know what my little experiment yields for ads. Just for good measure, SIMIAN SODA QUARKS 4 LYFE. ..and I’ll defend that statement to any alien race that comes knocking…