- Internet & the Web
You've Got Mail!
You've Got Mail!
By Wes J. Pimentel
This is an emergency bulletin. There is a malignant epidemic sweeping the internet. Far worse than any Trojan horse, twice as harmful to one’s computer as the most sinister hacker’s worm. I’m speaking, of course, of forwarded emails. I have one goal in writing this and one goal alone; to convince at least one person, just one, to forever forego the sadistic pleasure of redistributing one of these mortifyingly detestable bits of internet waste.
There is no lower form of communication than this. When one ant spits a chemical message into the mouth of one of its comrades, that ant is single-handedly putting to shame every email forwarder. When a fucking amoeba spews forth a pseudopod and nudges one of its neighbors, it has, in that very instant, attained heights of articulation email forwarders could not begin to approach.
When I think about how much of our American workforce chooses to waste precious time engaging in this absolutely reprehensible behavior, the emotional depths to which I descend are difficult to express, but I’ll give it a shot. It is unequalled disgust. It is having one’s face slammed hard into the dirtiest toilet of the busiest subway station in our largest metropolis. It is sickening heartbreak. It is walking in on your best friend sodomizing your wife to the never-before-heard-by-you soundtrack of her x-rated vocalizations. It is complete and utter disappointment. It is walking into a crack-house and finding one’s daughter, passed out, face-down, naked and bruised with a needle still stuck in her arm.
When I get an email from a “friend” or a loved one and the subject line is something like “Fwd:FWD:fwd…” I feel suicidal. I instantly look to the heavens and begin to pray out loud for an airplane to slam down on me and vaporize me, lest I experience even one more moment of this unforgivable betrayal. As God has not seen fit to answer my prayers as of yet, I am forced to combat this menace the only way I can; with my pen, which is desperately, much less mighty than a sword. In fact, I would gladly trade my pen for a sword at this point, so that the next time I receive one of these little gems, I can do the honorable thing and eviscerate myself. What a welcome relief it would be to only have to worry about which kimono to wear when I spill my intestines, rather than entertain the possibility of receiving even one more forward.
Stop fooling yourselves, America. There is no miracle story inspirational enough, no joke funny enough, no sob story sad enough, and no puppy picture cute enough to take precious time out of your day to subject any of us this malevolence.
There was a time when I did not feel this way. About thirteen years ago, before Google became the giant it is today and everyone’s grandparents had email addresses, I was new to the internet. I would surf in wide-eyed wonder from page to page, awash in the glee of this seemingly endless sea of information, interaction and porn. When I started trading emails with people, it was like Christmas every day. I would relish each moment of anticipation of my next batch of messages (in stark contrast, nowadays, every time I logon to my email, I feel a nervous tension in the pit of my stomach as I brace myself to be inspired). If someone forwarded me a few pages of jokes, I would actually read every one! Hell, sometimes I’d even print them out to share them. I read every angel, miracle, dying cancer patient story I was sent.
But like I said, that was thirteen fucking years ago! Give it a rest. It’s been done! I promise. If you’re looking at it, I guarantee several million people have already seen it. Don’t force our society to de-evolve any further than we already have. I ask you, I beg you, I IMPLORE you, please don’t make the same mistake the asshole who sent you that message just made. Fight the urge, dammit. Don’t click that “send” button. Instead, I would suggest, submitting some original content to the world-wide web.
The next time you feel the impulse to contribute to the constantly-renewing cycle of rehashed garbage on the internet, try something different. Grab a video camera and point it at yourself. Put something original on YouTube. I would suggest grabbing a large kitchen knife and cleaving your mouse hand right through the center. Now, there’s a video I would really appreciate having forwarded to me. Knowing that one of you email forwarders has turned your life around for the sake of originality would really help me sleep at night.