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5 Things The Internet Is Trying To Ruin For Me

I love this crazy online world. I spend most of my time here, it makes me laugh constantly, and it’s also how I make a living. It does, however, have its downsides. I’m not one to get all “the sky is falling,” but there are some things the internet is doing that really worry me.

1. Sports

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Everything I could ever want to know about any player/game/sport at any time ever is now available at my fingertips, and that’s not a bad thing. I would hate to live in a time where my main source of sports information would come from the box scores in the sports section of the paper, which would only give me numbers on the other teams and no real evaluation on how the actual games went, but the problem with the proliferation of sports information is that it’s now overshadowing the actual sport itself. During the NBA Finals, I caught myself checking /r/NBA and Twitter multiple times to see what the funny/smart sports people were saying about the game I was watching. This is fine for commercial breaks, but I was also doing it during gameplay, which is completely absurd. In what world is someone’s pithy tweet about a small thing that happened on the bench during a timeout somehow more worthy of my attention than the ACTUAL GAME BEING PLAYED? Sports media and online interaction are great, but it bothers me how much time I actually invest in those things. The most important thing should always be the game itself…unless there were a hot chick in the front row, in which case, please run that footage back.

2. Bacon

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I love bacon. A lot. I eat it by itself, wrapped around other meat, sprinkled like pig confetti — basically, every way you can eat bacon, I do. But fucking shit, internet, can we chill out on bacon for a hot second? Yes, it’s one of the tastier treats out there, but it’s not a silver Zeus’ dick, for Christ’s sake (two deities and a dick joke — that’s next-level shit, my friends). If the internet had a religion other than porn, it would be bacon. And enough is fucking enough. Yes, bacon is good, but it’s not omnipotent or self-aware. If a future race goes back through our records, they’re gonna think that something must have happened in our society around 2009 that somehow elevated pork-fat meat to medicinal status. So when space archaeologists wrongly assume that we thought bacon cured cancer, I’m blaming you assholes.

I’m also now reserving the right to develop a movie about space archaeologists. It’ll be Indiana Jones meets The Jetsons. In theaters 2018.

3. Sex

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Yes, I’m about to be the billionth person to comment on pornography’s influence on our sexual culture. Listen, I’m a big defender of porn’s positive impact on the adolescent mind. Now, I realize that there are a lot of fucked up things about the way porn is presented (especially in its depiction of both women and handjob technique), but overall it’s showing the basic mechanics of sex to kids, which is helpful later as a guide for their embarrassing first encounter not to be as awful and bumbling as it could be. However, the constant availability of porn can be problematic. I often spend my days thinking of ways that I can improve myself solely because I’d like to be more attractive to the opposite sex. Then, later, porn and personal time happen and in the aftermath, my thoughts are almost always, “Why would I do any of that shit? It sounds super hard, and I don’t even like sex right now.” The refractory period is a hell of a drug.

4. Hyperbole

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It’s the worst. It’s the best. It’s fucking everything. I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT I DON’T KNOW HOW TO EXPRESS MY LOVE/HATE FOR THIS THING OTHER THAN DEFINITIVE ADJECTIVES AND CAPS LOCK. Hyperbole was once a simple literary device that shitty English teachers would mispronounce to their students (I swear to god, my sophomore English teacher called it hyper-bowl), but now it’s become an entire worldview. Stuff you like isn’t good or cool, it’s the best fucking thing that’s ever happened to you. Things that aren’t so good are now travesties and life ending. And of course, everyone you mildly disagree with is now a useless human being or literally worse than Hitler. Look, I enjoy a fun exaggeration for the purpose of humor just as much as the next impoverished online humorist, but can we take a chill pill with the bipolar endorsements/condemnations? It’s literally sodomizing the place in my brain responsible for happy thoughts.

5. Writing style

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I’m aware that I have a certain authorial voice. One could probably call it “eloquent vulgarity.” It’s the result of wasted higher education dollars combined with an unhealthy obsession with action movies and absurd comedies, all distilled through a filter of self-aware pretentiousness in the service of crafting jokes about male genitalia. I will never make the mistake of thinking that I invented this voice, nor that I’m the best at it. The problem is that many writers with this style fancy themselves dot com-era Hunter S. Thompsons. Which is laughable, but relatively benign. The worse version of this are the hordes of people who believe that because they once read a Tucker Max or Chelsea Handler book, they could easily do the same thing, because hey, they like to drink, fuck, and swear and they know how to use a thesaurus! That’s how we’ve ended up with so many blogs and YouTube channels with people trying to pull off intelligent scatological humor that are somehow missing the key ingredient: intelligence. The fact is, there are no more or less people with the ability to craft a story/article/book/video than there have ever been in history; it’s just that the democratization of media and access (which is overall a net benefit to society) has given every self-proclaimed fratirist and woogirl wordsmith a voice. Not only are those voices loud, but they often say horrible things.

Or even worse, they say nothing at all.

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Randall J. Knox

Randall J. Knox (known colloquially to his friends as "Knox") left his native Texas a few years ago, and moved to Los Angeles in his '03 Buick Regal named LeRoi to write movies with his jackass college buddies. His favorite things in life include bourbon that's above his pay grade, mix CDs, and Kevin Costner films. He isn't sure what "dad jeans" are exactly, but he knows he wants a pair.

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