Fear & Loathing on the Internet

10 Feb

Don’t you dare put me on your web page

– or –

Why you will never get mentioned in these pages

 

(Added May 2014)
Read this through the lens of early Internet. in 2003 it was very strange to have a website (the word blog had not been invented yet) and a lot of people still got online with a modem. Heck a lot of people didn’t even have a computer.

Something interesting happened to me recently. I met a lovely and charming lady thru an online dating service. We seemed to hit it off and have plans on getting together again. But that is not the interesting part, per se.

Dating on the internet is completely backwards to how it works out in meatspace.

Little do you know that the hottie you just spotted across the room has (barely) a 6th grade education, works as the night manager at the local Quick-E-Mart, lives with his/her parents
and his/her three year old twin girls. His/Her idea of a good time is demolition derby followed by a night of drinking bad beer at a local biker bar. But you don’t know that. All you know is that he (or she) does something for you and you really want to get to know that person. This is also the reason that Magazines like Playboy and FHM make so much money: physical attraction. I will spare you my thoughts on that.

In internet dating all you have to go on is that person’s ability (or inability) to communicate who they are effectively by answering inane questions.

  • If you could ‘Do Lunch’ with anyone, who would it be?
  • If you could pick one super-human power (such as comic-book characters have) what would you choose?
  • The five items I can’t live without:
  • Most humbling moment:
  • List some of your favorite lines from movies, poems, songs or commercials

I’m not kidding, those are actual questions from popular dating sites.

 

You will also learn someone’s birthday, star sign, height, weight, what they do for a living, if they have or want kids, and so on. You may get a photo of questionable quality and unknown vintage. You also get a little insight into that person. How they think, or more accurately how they express themselves in writing. This is not chemistry. What you are getting is a handle on your intellectual compatibility. You won’t get that standing at a noisy bar yelling in his/her ear, trying to be heard over the music. That is where you get chemistry. So far web pages can’t transmit that.

A long time ago this site was nothing more than a glorified (expanded) version of my match.com profile. A place to send someone who wanted to “get to know be better.” After a while it started being more, a lot more. So much so that people who did not know me got the wrong idea of what I was like in person. I guess I feel like a different person in writing. I am much quieter and introverted in person. Online, I have found out that I am an arrogant asshole and a prick. Nice to know.

I used to routinely send curious women here to this web site. I got some interesting reactions. Some liked it. Some.

The interesting part was what one lady asked. Simply put,

“please don’t put me on your web site.”

It made me think of a couple of exchanges I have had before with two other women.
Women that I never met. Women who were either offended by what they read here or
were mortally afraid that they would be fodder for the mill in
some way that would expose them to public ridicule

tears

 

 mummy One lady seemed genuinely shocked and repulsed. As if there was something inherently wrong with expressing my opinion in a public forum. Or maybe it was the form and substance of those opinions: She didn’t agree with me. Perhaps she was concerned that
I used words like “fuck” without a big red flashing sign warning about “coarse” language.After her emails I felt like some sort of horrible monster who had lured her into my
lair on false pretenses, wrapped her in a mile of old gauze and put her in the tomb next to mine.

 

The other lady was oddly calm (and quite firm) about the whole thing.
She did not find it offensive (or did not say so).
She just said, in no uncertain terms, that we would not be meeting for coffee the next night. “Why?” I asked.
“Because I do not what to end up as the subject of one of the essays
on your web site, that’s why.”

rosie

 

OK I can take the hint

Absolutely no one will ever be identified by name.

Or any other way that would lead anyone to know exactly who I am talking about

Without that person’s explicit permission¹.

I Promise.

 badmanners Heck the last thing I want to do is invoke the
wrath of womankind over some silly comments on some mindless web site!

 

One more thing

(and I’ll skip the goofy clip art)

I have heard all sorts of comments about this web site. from, “this guy has an opinion on everything!” (guilty as charged) to, “How can you live your life so exposed to the public.” To ones calling me a sick bastard, and worse. Yes I have gotten a few interesting emails.

There are a few things to think about when perusing this site:

I am not living my life in the public eye. I have exposed a very few select personal experiences to the public eye. A very few. I have expressed a very select and very small (not to mention lopsided) group of opinions. Some of which I read over and laugh out loud at what a silly git I was. I leave them here as a reminder of what I used to think. Sometimes I edit them to clarify points and remove cringe-worthy passages…

Thinking that this web site represents me, the whole me and nothing but me is, frankly, silly. It would be like thinking Stephen King was some sort of horrible psycho axe murderer after reading The Shining.

Yes I have opinions and sometimes there are quite strong ones. Thanks mostly to Mom and Dad. They were big on having an opinion and being able to support your opinion with logical rational thought. But unlike some people, my thoughts and opinions change over time and when subjected to new facts. If you have a differing opinion, I really want to hear it. Even better, I want to discuss it until I grok your
point of view. Such is the stuff of learning and growing. I may still not agree but you will have earned my respect by defending your position with more than a hearty “fuck off Steve.”

However if you email me about something on this website and fail to say “don’t post this email” you will be considered fair game.

Originally posted before I added WordPress to this site. Published date is approximate.

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