Winning! Internet Arguments

As many of you know, internet assholes are everywhere, and they exist in many different varieties. From the dopey douche-bro who can reach no higher than schoolyard insults, to the smug pseudo-intellectual who insists that scolding and belittling amounts to a “discussion,” you’ve got quite a motley crew out there, just waiting for the opportunity to feel superior to you. Once you let them in, there’s no escaping: you’re locked in an exhausting battle of wills that will only end when one of you gets bored. There’s no face-saving in a situation like this, and even though nobody cares but you and the person you’re dueling, odds are that you’ll end up feeling pretty bummed and strung out when it’s all over.

Well, folks, I have good news for you. I have solved this problem. Next time someone comes at you with cocky, smirking arrogance, wave them away with a tactic they can’t possibly get past: the Fortune Cookie Defense.

Yes, the Fortune Cookie Defense. It’s a surefire way to frustrate and annoy your opponent, while making you look transcendent and unflappable. Please observe the following example:

  • Random Asshole: What a mindless and vacuous comment.
  • Me: Your high-minded principles spell success.
  • Random Asshole: lol your videos are stupid and nobody likes you
  • Me: If you refuse to accept anything other than the best, you very often get it.
  • Random Asshole: btw is that you in your picture? ugly fuck
  • Me: Your shoes will make you happy today.
  • Random Asshole: wtf is that all you can say.
  • Me: People enjoy having you around. Appreciate this.
  • Random Asshole: whatever

No asshole can puncture your ego if you just read him his fortune. If he replies, just give him another one. Repeat until he stops. Acknowledging an asshole without really acknowledging him shuts him down very quickly. The beauty of the Fortune Cookie Defense is not only its impenetrability, but its effectiveness as a reversal move. It makes you into the troll, while turning your enemy into an increasingly ineffectual, yapping chihuahua. The angrier he gets, the stupider he looks. Your internet pride is invincible with the Fortune Cookie Defense, so get out there and start trolling, folks!


People I Will Never Be Friends With

A partial list.

  • Anyone who says, “Sup, bitches.”
  • Women who think it’s cute to roll their eyes in pictures.
  • Those who think turn signals are optional.
  • People who find a way to bring Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump into any given conversation.
  • Anyone who uses an anime character for a Facebook portrait.
  • Guys who hate cameramen for catching criminals in action (it’s always guys).
  • People who write horror stories and call it “creepypasta.” You can’t call it creepypasta if you’re writing and submitting it to a website, okay? You can only call it that if you copy it from, and paste it to an image board! Otherwise it’s just more bad horror fiction.
  • Mud runners.
  • Men who despise women for expecting decency from men. True, such women are idealistic, but you don’t get to despise them for it.
  • People who share details of any kind about their digestive habits.
  • Anyone who uses chat acronyms in everyday speech.
  • A person who says “I’m on fire for God!” Well, a person who says he or she’s “on fire” for anything, really.
  • Those who treat YouTube as a career option.

Think Outside the Hug-box: Inkvite

I love Inkvite. I’ll keep saying it until the day another portable, online, collaborative writing iPhone app breaks onto the scene.

Some folks are mad at me though. I gave their Inkvite entries 1 star, and they felt compelled to send me messages telling me to get off my high horse, and that maybe Inkvite isn’t for me, and such and such, and such and such, and blah blah blah.

I know how it feels. I had thin skin once myself. Hell, I still do, if you can find the right spots on me. So, if anybody is curious (though really it’s just to kind of lay out the system for my own benefit), this is how I rate entries in the Inkvite library:

1 star: This goes to attention whores and whiners. Any story whose title includes “CONTEST!” or “All About Me!” or “Plans for my next story!” gets this. Childish complaints about poor reviews or app faults get this as well. These are not stories. These are self-serving blog entries, and they get in the way of the good stuff. The people who post these wastes of time will argue that they’re “appealing to their fans,” but I think they’re just young ‘uns making the same mistake all young ‘uns make: overestimating their size in the Internet ocean.

2 stars: This is a rare one. I don’t usually give this rating. If I do, it’s to those stories written with budding, rudimentary skill. The last thing I want to do is damn a writing sprout with faint praise, though, so I’ll usually just avoid rating their stories at all.

3 stars: The teacher’s rating. I’m no English major, but I’ve read enough to know when a story’s got technical problems. Missing commas, run-on sentences, inconsistent tense (this is a big one), and conflicting collaboration can put serious drag on a good story. I give three stars to stories that have the engine of creativity chugging inside them, but which glare with niggling errors, like a muscle car with a bad paint job.

4 stars: This is my most common rating. It goes to stories that are written with skill, thought, and care. I know that the limitations of the app make writing a masterpiece a rarity, but when a writer has fun putting together a good story, the reader can tell. Those writers always get 4 stars from me.

5 stars: I give five stars to stories that do things I can’t do. There’s a lot of things I can’t do, so I give these out a lot. I greatly admire the writer who makes a story laugh-out-loud funny, or end with a clever twist, or develop into a unique scenario. Such admiration supersedes any other gripes, so even if a surprisingly smart story has grammatical problems, or ends with a sickening plea for followers, I’ll still give it a 5.

I know. Getting a bad review for anything can hurt. I know that. So here’s my ironic solution: don’t read ’em. Have fun writing, make good stories, and if that isn’t reward enough for you, the fans and followers you’re hoping for will still show up eventually. But you have to trust that your work will speak for itself. We can’t all be PewDiePie – and by God, what a horrible world it would be if we were – so you really shouldn’t waste your energy putting brand before production.

That being said, I still believe in speaking one’s mind. The world – and that includes me – still has to speak up about what it likes and what it doesn’t, so I’m going to keep putting up my reviews. You don’t have to agree with them. You don’t even have to look at them. I don’t mind. After all, my true philosophy is that we should really just be happy doing what we love to do.