In Response to McSweeney’s Internet Despondency

January 20, 2012

When sampling some of the articles found on Timothy McSweeney’s Internet Tendency; one may find themselves knee-deep in a state of social misanthropy.  Has technology really given birth to such dangerous ground for creation?  More so, as it would seem in the entry “Internet-Age Writing Syllabus”, that self-definition has become a form of narcissism due to the effectiveness of social networking.  The sad fact of the matter is that people haven’t changed.  Unless you’re a practicing Tibetan Buddhist; you would be just as self-involved with or without four hundred followers on Tumblr (which goes without saying for any number of social networking media).  Although at times mildly jocular, the aforementioned article crosses the border of absurd at points:

“Especially since most readers of books, magazines, and newspapers are elderly and are thus already more likely to suffer from back ailments.”

To be frank, this blogger adores to curl up with any form of printed literature and is acquainted with many a kindred soul in that regard.  Though the main point or “joke” of this pseudo-syllabus is to poke fun at this generation of self-proclaimed “deep” and “1337” (leet) transcendentalists; and certainly no hard feelings are to be had in that respect, the process of weeding through for relevant or even chuckle-inducing remarks can become tedious.  Looking back, there are redeeming qualities beneath the ruins.  While both egocentrism and downright laziness are nothing new to society of today OR yesterday; an important point is made about two things.  For one, the term TMI or “too much information” is not only encouraged . . . It’s the standard.  Whether you’re coming out of the depths of a closet or just plain putting your experience with illegal substances out there:

“There’s no such thing as oversharing when you’re a writer.”

Now that’s a theme I can boogie with, readers.  Time and time again, we learn things about coworkers or even mentors that we just plain do not want to know.  This evil is accepted because their innermost thoughts and feelings are urged from them on Tumblr or via Tweets.  The other more obvious topic of interest is how darned accessible plagiarism has become through copy&paste capabilities.

The second assigned article in the same domain is noticeably more feasible in its humor.  It strikes a little closer to home in terms of truthfulness, as this generation loves to make excuses for its poor behavior.  Being a wordsmith becomes a gateway in sliding through with this mentality.  The joke here is obvious in the downright awful linguists attempting to take advantage of such a system in its anecdote-based foundation.  “College Writing Class Assignments with Real World Applications” plays on these extreme fabricated cases to express a viewpoint on common insincere text excuses and email cop-outs.  It makes for an entertaining piece with a unified theme; and in comparison to length from the first article it exceeds in substance.

See you, space cowboys.


Internet-Age Writing Syllabus

(Robert Lanham)

College Writing Class Assignments with Real-World Applications

(Cameron Dodd)


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