Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Loser and Craigslist

Losers often underline their loser qualities. They honking at women while driving. They sabotage the work of others. They start rumors. They take advantage of the inebriated.
While The Complete and Total Loser may revel in his loserdom, he has always refrained from these things. They are the actions of losers who think they're winners. It's bad enough to be a loser. Why magnify it?
Then there is craigslist.org, the cyberdock for fleets of losers lost at sea, in search of a harbor full of listeners to their loser rants and raves. In the Loser's home town, a large northern city, craigslist's rants and raves board teems with racists. To them, life would be a series of enjoyable events, with free money and lasting love around every corner, good health and fulfilling careers for all behind every door, if only ... black people went away. They sound trumpets to warn of the dangers of the dark skinned, publish links and paste essays on the inferiority of the African peoples, smear illustrations and poorly structured sentences not seen post 1950 outside the bathroom walls of a Mississippi boys room on their blank computer screens. Blacks are dirty. They spit on sidewalks. They litter. They kill. They -- gasp! -- undertip.
While they decry the problems of the race, not one has mentioned solutions actually possible in a democracy. As in most cities, this one has an active Big Brothers association, where men with free time can take a boy to a sporting event, an art museum, the zoo. He can tell the boy what he does and how he did it, encourage a love of learning, and be on the lookout for signs the boy is headed down an dangerous path and intervene if necessary. But that, to the craigslist racist, would be work.
The Complete and Total Loser, i.e., me, refuses to post negative things on craigslist save for his posts opposing exhortations of violence and meanness.
He gets each year the Zen Calendar, a collection of 365 quotes fitting the Zen view. He posted them on craigslist daily. A year or so after starting that, the Loser had a minor operation (hernia) which required general anesthesia. The morning following the operation, small poems on minor and major topics (pets, current events, death) flew through his head. He jotted them down and, perhaps still addled by the drugs, decided to share them them with the craigslist crowd. It became a challenge to him, like doing crossword puzzles to others, to publish one a day. He did so for about two years. Always after lasting fame and glory, he decided to publish them not only in his town but on the boards in New York and Los Angeles.
The reactions puzzled the Loser. He received over the years several complimentary emails. Yet on the board reactions were vituperative and vulgar, often encouraging him to commit suicide. They reacted as though they'd been mocked and duped, yet the Loser never failed to label his posts. Improved screening to prohibit posting in multiple cities put the kibosh on his efforts and he now only posts the Final Jeopardy! answer/question each weeknight in his home town and New York City.
A sample poem (you were wondering how bad they were), from May of 2008:

Squirrels

Squirrels are the rodents smartest,
They’re clever little creatures.
If they could talk they might be artists,
Painting, directing features.
Many say they’re big-tailed rats,
Both the girls and the fellas.
’Tis a notion spread by cats,
All of them insanely jealous.

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