Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Things That Chap My Ass About Letters to the Editor…

…or, Who Let These Nuts Out Of The Asylum?


I’ve always read the letters to the editor.

Crazy people are like crack to me, I like to know what they’re thinking.

Or not thinking, as the case may be.

I like to watch the warped and twisted cogs spinning unclutched inside their knobby skulls. Crazy is to me like car crashes are to commuters, I have to slow down and stare. I can’t help it. I find cranks fascinating.

I’ve been watching cranks for a long, long time.  Used to be that in order to be a real serious crank you had to put some effort into it. Not everybody could be a crank, only the most dedicated rose above the general background noise, lone wolves, proud of their crazy, solitary and aloof.  In the old days, cranks had to work at it, they had to prepare, they had to train.  There were supplies involved and planning.  You had to write your rambling outraged complaint down on paper.  You needed envelopes and rubber gloves (to insert the anthrax spores without poisoning yourself). And you had to sneak by the newspaper’s drop box in the middle of the night without attracting security and… Um, well, never mind. Let just say it took real effort, that’s what I’m getting at here. You had to be dedicated.  Writing a fruitcake letter to the editor wasn’t a job for sissies.

Nowadays, crazy is a dime a dozen.

Any idiot with an internet connection can comment on the news.  And folks, there are just way, way too many idiots with computers out there these days. The quality of the cranks has declined.  I miss the old days, the stately crank, alone on the America plains, fortified by strong whiskey and theories about the Lone Gunman.  But as civilization has advanced, as newspapers have moved into the virtual world we’ve destroyed the crank’s natural habit and the barriers that once kept the cranks in check. Barriers that once only allowed the strong to survive.  As a result they’ve bred willy-nilly and prospered and multiplied with abandon, like pythons in the Everglades and alligators in the sewer.  Unfortunately, because the crank gene pool was so small to begin with, many cranks today are inbred. You see them, lurking outside of discount liquor stores and around free WiFi hotspots, one big bloodshot eye, one small, hunched and misshapen, clad only in natural fibers and smelling vaguely of ammonia. Poor unvaccinated second cousins to the great cranks of the past.

If you try to approach one, they snarl and spit and emit a foul oily excretion upon their skins. 

Left alone, they fornicate and form Tea Parties and post strange comments on the electronic broadsides of this new age.


Baaaaaaa! Sheeple.  Pick any article involving the US Constitution’s 2nd Amendment and I guarantee you that within the first three frothy comments you’ll see this term used to describe everybody who isn’t prepared to barricade themselves inside the militia compound dining hall and fight to the death against the illegal jackbooted fascists who’ve taken America away from good God Fearin’ Christians.   But you’ll also see it used by the other side with the same alarming degree of frequency. On the Indy channel, some punctuation challenged hillbilly using an anonymous guest login says:

“He's nothing but a fricking HICK! A plumber running for senator??!! YEEE-HAW! ‘If it ain't gonna go my way, I'm cleaning my guns’ attitude. And you 'sheeple' complain about Bayh??!! Be careful for what you wish for!”

Guest was talking about batshit crazy hopeful Dick Behney, a republican from Indiana who told a gathering of booger eating NRA droolers that if he didn’t beat incumbent Democratic Senator Evan Bayh, that there were going to be some revolutionary hell to pay. To wit:

"I've got news for Barack Hussein Obama and, in my case, Evan Bayh. In 2010, we ain't calling you out, we're throwing you out. Because, if we don't see new faces, I'm cleaning my guns and getting ready for the big show, and I'm serious about that."

Note: When later questioned by the Secret Service after a YouTube video of his statement surfaced on the web, it turned out he wasn’t, in fact, actually serious about that after all. 

Note: the term “sheeple” is enhanced by being used in sentences that contain lots of exclamation points.

Look, bottom line, unless the article refers to a West Texan’s girlfriend, please refrain from using the term “sheeple.”

Oh, yes, one other thing as long as we’re on this subject. Barack Hussein Obama. Hussein. Got it.  The President’s middle name is Hussein. Wow. Profound. Thank you for pointing that out. Again.

And again.

And again.

And yet again.

Seriously, Teabag People, just stop it.  Repeatedly stressing “Hussein” over and over ad nauseum is just about as clever as condemning everybody named Charlie as a Vietcong sleeper agent, or everybody name Karl as a dirty red commie.  Unless you’re prepared to proclaim every Puerto Rican named Jesus as the second coming, please just stop it.

This isn’t news! Why don’t you people report the news? Why is this even important? Why won’t you publish real news? It could be a story about oil prices, or the elections, or Secretary Clinton’s latest overseas meeting with His Royal Assholiness of Bumfuckistan, it could be a note about Glenn Beck’s latest personality malfunction, or an article about how space aliens in shiny Al Qaida propeller hats and suicide belts just drove the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile into the Chase Manhattan lobby with Dick Cheney’s naked carcass strapped to the hood and handed the teller a note demanding Bernie Madoff’s unconditional release and installation as Grand World Bikini Barista for Life – some terminally welfared double-wide dweller from Cousinhumpton, America will look up from his TaterTot and Marlboro salad to complain loudly about the lack of real news.  He never tells you what real news is, but he sure knows what it’s not.

They’re Ruining Our Country Is What They’re Doin’! [Pick your Partisan: Commie Liberals, Fascist Conservatives] are ruining our country!  It’s an outrage! CNN ran a story about Newt Gingrich and how he’s thinking about being President in 2012. Now this is crazy enough as it is, but then in the comments both sides predictably crawled out from under the furniture, waving their little pipe-cleaner arms and shaking their horny fists, and began furiously banging on the keyboard accusing them of stealing the country.

“Liberals are the funniest people I have ever met....LOL...I would take Mickey Mouse over Obama in a heart beat...wait until all these tax hikes start to take a toll on all of you and then you'll sing a different tune. At least I hope you would but many of you appear to be too brainwashed by the "Mesiah's" great oral presence to notice...The guy could talk himself into the White House...Oh wait that's just what he did...”


“WHY WHY WHY do we have to listen to the incessant chatter of Republicans all the time about what they're going to do in the next election, and who's running, etc etc.”

Note: Please, for the love of all that is holey (Hey, I love Swiss cheese), can we please, please, please, stop using LOL to express derision and contempt? In fact, let’s just say that if you use LOL for such things it’s the same as admitting you’re an obnoxious moron who smells of your own excrement. 

Help Me, Lord Xenu! Speaking of people covered in their own excrement, how about the Jeeber Freaks who see every comment box on the Internet as a pulpit from which to witness to the sinful masses? These goofy bastards are like an AmWay salesmen with OCD and late stage syphilis.  Seriously here, does holy water dissolve your brain?  Does devouring the symbolic (but absolutely real) flesh of your messiah give you Kuru, the laughing madness caused by spongiform encephalitis that New Guinea Fore cannibals get from eating people? Because, damn, folks these people make no sense whatsoever. In that same CNN Gingrich story linked to above, some holy roller with Jesus in his underpants says:

Mission to Accountability to the Truth...
Truth is by hearing and hearing is by the Word of God...
Jesus Christ our Savior told us the truth.........
It is proven all mankind is vulnerable to sin and in need of a savior

There’s more, but you can follow the link if you want to read it. This silly bastard wants “all citizens” to acknowledge the “Providence of a Sovereign God of the universe.”  How this relates to Gingrich’s run for the White House in 2012 is utterly beyond me.  The kind of people to whom that cryptic Christobabble makes sense scare the shit out of me.  Seriously, playing a KISS album backward has a more benign message.  These are exactly the kind of crazy fuckers who used to dress up in robes and funny hats and BBQ people at the stake or extract some poor bastard’s entrails with red hot tongs in order to demonstrate their God’s infinite love and blessed  forgiveness. Read the comments under any article about abortion, these people are like something out of a Stephen King novel that involves Kansas, corn fields, jars full of mutated fetuses, and Carnie folk.

OMG!!!!!! That’s so terrible!!!!!!   Look, this needs to stop right now.  Just like LOL, OMG needs to fade into the dusty cached copy archives.  Also, one exclamation point is sufficient, no exclamation point is better.  Of course, anybody who begins a comment with OMG!!!!! will continue by putting themselves into the story.  These people suffer from over-identification with, well, basically everything.  OMG!!!! This is exactly like that one time at band camp when some guy I didn’t know was accidently vaporized by space aliens wearing suicide belts and driving a wienermobile!!! So I totally sympathize with the person in this article who had their lawn-jockey stolen by tricker-treaters!!!!

Or how about Overreactors? This is an OUTRAGE! Kill them all, let God sort it out! I bet they were communists too! Or illegal immigrants! Or Muslim Atheist Terrorists! Or space aliens in a wienermobile! Which, of course, opens the door for The Conspiracy Nuts. Write a national news article about vaccines and Bill Gates and see what kind of woowoo comes oozing out of the internet…

Then there is the story about a dying woman who wanted a real Church wedding.  The poor woman has terminal lymphoma and she’s not going to live much longer, the story explained how her dying wish was to renew her vows with her husband of eighteen years in a church with her two children in attendance.  A commenter offered this helpful observation:

“Victoria, I don't want you to die. I want you and your loving husband to be together for many more years. Sweetie, there is a cure for cancers - it's just been suppressed by the government and 'special interests'. Please, for your life, check out a documentary called "Run From The Cure". A canadian by the name of Rick Simpson has been curing people with various cancers who were very close to death. Please, check it out, and God bless” [sic]. 

Yes. Indeed, God bless you - hopefully with some spontaneous remission instead of smiting you with a big bolt of stupid like this cud chewing moron.

The Ox is slow, but the Earth is patient. On the Cafferty File when Jack asked his commenters if state of the Union addresses even matter to Americans anymore, some goof with an overinflated sense of his own intellect and calling himself The Broker responded with:

"Only the living can still process, analise[sic], that past. And still get it wrong, 50% of the time"

Well that’s just…wait…what?  I get enough of these nonsensical bizarroworld non sequiturs from reading the transcripts of Sarah Palin interviews – any Sarah Palin interview. And speaking of that, meet The 8th grader: Dumbocrats! Fiberals Republitards! Republofascists! Obamacare! Obamanation!!  It’s nice that the kids are participating in the process.  And as long as they’re here, maybe Sally could tell Billy to ask Cindy to ask Becky if she’ll go to the dance with me?

Offended Racists: Under an article about hazing at a Rutgers University sorority some halfwit named mike-a-white pipes up with: 

“Why doesn't the article state that SGR [Sigma Gamma Rho] is an African-American sorority? What are they trying to hide?”

What indeed? You’re certainly not hiding anything, are you, Mike?

And finally, Any Port in a Storm: The guy that’s angry about something totally unrelated to the story and twists the comments to push his own agenda.  Like HOOTWOOTEN who manages to connect an ADN article about a marauding pervert and a rash of attempted kidnappings of young girls in Anchorage to why it’s a dirty rotten shame that the ganja is illegal,

“I am sure that there is a Marijuana growing operation somewhere that will take precedence over this incident... after all keeping Marijuana off the streets keeps everyone safe from everything... right?”

Exactly, Doobie Breath.

Pot: helping focus concentration since…wait, what were we talking about?

Hey! Is that the Wienermobile?



  1. Nick from the O.C.February 3, 2010 at 7:13 PM

    OMG, Jim!!! I was ROFLMAO while reading your rant!!! LOL, SERIOUSLY!!11!!

    Actually, what I like about 1st Amendment rights is that it lets idiots self-identify, so that I don't have to work as hard.

    cemagu = Japanese monster, fought Godzilla and Mothra for world domination. Lost.

  2. Oh like I didn't see that coming.

  3. OMG!! My initials are KGB and my name is Karl! I'm so humped... LOL

    I don't think there are more of them now - it's just that the many minor league ones now have easy access to the intertoobs so they don't have to leave their mom's basements to be heard - the few real major league ones get drowned out in all the heavy breathing noises and sounds of drool spattering - or they get their own radio shows and quit being governor... And what Nick said.

    manill - a malady for guys

  4. I do realize that this was just a good old fashioned rant and that you're not looking for REASONS here. But I suspect that a lot of this doesn't come from actual cranks -- but instead relatively normal people who get bombarded with extremist views compressed into cute little sound bites from their favorite media outlet, and they come to think that this is, in fact, the way to win an argument.

  5. You might think that logic will confuse me, nz, but you're wrong wrong wrong.


  6. There are still quality cranks. At least as of 4 years ago in my area. The original articles are all gone alas, but the take in the link fits my memory of the incident fairly well.

  7. ...or an article about how space aliens in shiny Al Qaida propeller hats and suicide belts just drove the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile into the Chase Manhattan lobby with Dick Cheney’s naked carcass strapped to the hood and handed the teller a note demanding Bernie Madoff’s unconditional release and installation as Grand World Bikini Barista for Life...

    Jim, dear, that has to be one of the most disturbing visuals I've read in ages and here you're worried about what other people are writing? RIIIIIGHT. I'm heading for bed in a few and that may give me nightmares.

    For that phase alone, you win the Internet tonight. Hands down.

    But I do agree with you. The scary thing is most of these crackpots have been around for years. Thanks to Al Gore inventing the Internet we now know about them.

    Two things to note in this vein -
    had not heard Newt had surfaced again and I live in Georgia (just don't have cable so I miss most of the FoxNews & CNN goodies). Ugh. Sorry, maybe if we ignore him he'll go away?? No, that never works. If he runs again I'll head up the Neuter Newt campaign.

    AND, last but not least, just wait until the antivaxers get up to full steaming frothiness because of The Lancet's retraction of the article linking the MMR vaccine to autism. Oh yeah, they are just getting started. Going to be an E-ticket ride folks, strap in and hold on tight, keep your hands and feet inside the ride.

    enionize = for unionized onions

  8. I can't help it, I can't hear the term "Oscar Meyer Wienermobile" and not start laughing.

  9. Nick from the O.C.February 4, 2010 at 7:29 AM

    Not sure if it's still there, but for a long time the Wienermobile was stored in the back parking lot at Penske Motors, located at the interection of the 110 and 405 freeways in LA. I used to pass it frequently.

    No pics, but I tell you the truth.

    anutsl = Mayan term for severe fright

  10. Jim,

    Have you considered endorsing some sort of quality keyboard/viewscreen cleaner? You could make a fortune.

  11. I understand that rubbing sheeple on the affected parts can relieve ass chapping.

    letrat: If you let rats at your ass it will get chapped.

  12. The poor Oscar Meyer Weinermobile never gets an even break.

    My brother was foreman of the crew that built one of them. He said that it was not a sweet drivin' machine, but, oooh, the dogs are good.

    Bravo on the essay. It's sooooo true.

    imenclgo : what the drunk woman said when she was kicked out of the bar.

  13. My brain brain always insists upon inserting a space into "weiner mobile" and I inevitably picture an array of hotdogs hanging from the ceiling.

    At least you're spared the Civil War freaks we get here in the South. On one short article about a troop of boy scouts cleaning up a local battlefield marker, within three comments people were getting frothy about states rights /northern aggression /the Confederate flag isn't racist, etc. The fun part was their screaming at locals who disagreed to "Go home, yankee carpetbagger!" and the like.

  14. -reports in full combat gear- sir i humbley request permission to personally oversee the cleanseing of the ignorant after your apointment as supreame ruler of the universe, i alread have teams picked out who are perfectly suited for this job and it will give us a good reason to re-open gitmo

  15. A few years ago I spotted not one, but two Wienermobiles getting on the interstate here in Atlanta. I hadn't realized they traveled in pairs or occasionally herds.

  16. Wendy, I believe the plural/collective for Weinermobiles is a "pod". (Sorta from whales and/or "Invasion of the Body Snatchers").

    preasker = a sycophantic staffer who is tasked with prepping Sarah Palin for interviews and press conferences. A thankless job since Ms. Palin refuses to participate.

  17. Negative.

    The collective for wienermobile is a "pack," usually comprising ten vehicles.

    The BunMobile also travels in groups, usually of eight, called a "bag."

    Nobody knows why.

  18. Jim, that would be one of the great mysteries of the universe.


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