Sunday, March 27, 2011

What's Wrong with the Internet No. 49,306

Most of you know my particular hatred for the sentiment porn that goes around in the form of email chain letters. They used to be distastefully tinged with religion. Now, they're just weirdly threatening.

I got this one in my inbox this morning, and I thought I'd share with you all the spectacle of a letter offering you good luck in decidedly sinister terms. (The letter and poem are in italics, any bolded emphasis is mine.)

READ Alone..... Especially the POEM

I believe whatever is in store for us will be for us.

Obvious. Also, whatever happens to us will happen to us, and whatever we eat will be eaten by us. Have I ever stated my theory that all of these emails were actually written 60 years ago by Criswell?

The poem is very true, unfortunately.

Make sure you read the poem!

And what exactly makes this poem so important? Well, here are some examples.

CASE 1: Kelly Sedey had one wish, for her boyfriend of three years, David Marsden, to propose to her. Then one day when she was out to lunch David proposed! She accepted, but then had to leave because she had a meeting in 20 min. When she got to her office, ! ! she noticed on her computer she had some e-mail's. She checked it, the usual stuff from her friends, but then she saw one that she had never gotten before. It was this poem.. She simply deleted it without even reading all of it. BIG MISTAKE! Later that evening, she received a phone call from the police It was about DAVID! He had been in an accident with an 18 wheeler. He didn't survive!

Whoa, BIG MISTAKE!

See, I remember when these emails used to tell you that you'd have bad luck, or even that you were some kind of selfish bastard. Now they tell you that if you don't forward them right away, you or someone you love is straight-up going to die horribly. What sick mind creates these goddamn emails? Someone who saw The Ring and thought scaring superstitious people with a cycle of death and loss seemed like a lot of profound fun?

Yes, the coming poem is so powerful that not even reading it will cause your loved ones to die.

Classy.

CASE 2: Take Katie Robinson. She received this poem and being the believer that she was she sent it to a few of her friends but didn't have enough e-mail addresses to send out the full 5 that you must. Three days later, Katie went to a masquerade ball. Later that night when she left to get to her car, she was killed in that spot by a hit-and-run drunk driver.

Wow, poor Katie. She was killed by the universe simply for not having enough friends. It's not enough that you have to try to live your life to fulfill your own needs, but you also have to have enough friends to abuse with a lame email forward, or else the poem will murder you simply for being unpopular. But popular enough to go to a "masquerade ball," because apparently this is 1790.

CASE 3: Richard S. Willis sent this poem out within 45 minutes of reading it. Not even 4 hours later walking along the street to his new job interview with a really big company, when he ran into Cynthia Bell, his secret love for 5 years. Cynthia came up to him and told him of her passionate crush on him that she had had for 2 years. Three days later, he proposed to her and they got married. Cynthia and Richard are still married with three children, happy as ever!

This one seems the most obvious bullshit to me. I mean, this is like the Wizard giving the lion some courage--oh, see, she had a "passionate crush" on you all along, and you didn't have to do anything to win her heart except read some poorly-written poem and forward it to your friends. Success!

It's actually even less work than The Secret, and The Secret is basically clicking your heels three times and wishing for good stuff to happen.

This is the poem:

Around the
corner I have a friend,
In this great
city that has no end,
Yet the days go
by and weeks rush on,
And before I
know it, a year is gone.
And I never see
my old friends face,
For life is a
swift and terrible race,

That last stanza especially reads like this was written by a middle schooler who's just read Tolkien for the first time. Does this poem offend your eyes as much as it does mine?

He knows
I like him just as well,
As in the days
when I rang his bell.
And he rang
mine but we were younger then,
And now we are
busy, tired men.

Wait, you rang each others' bells? Oh, I get it. So you were gay lovers when you were younger, but now you're caught up in the "swift and terrible race" of having jobs and being corporate stooges... well, that's kind of sad, but that's no excuse for your terrible cliches and tortured phrasing.

Tired of
playing a foolish game,

Ugh, there's another one.

Tired of trying
to make a name.
'Tomorrow' I
say! 'I will call on Jim
Just to show
that I'm thinking of him.'
But tomorrow
comes and tomorrow goes,
And distance
between us grows and grows.
Around the
corner, yet miles away,
'Here's a
telegram sir,' ' Jim died today.'

A telegram? Were you really good friends with this Jim? Because if you didn't even rate a phone call, and yet you lived in the same "endless" city, Jim probably didn't like you as much as you like him. I'm just saying, that's some pretty cold shit right there.

But here's my favorite part: the finale.

And that's what
we get and deserve in the end.
Around the
corner, a vanished friend.

We all deserve for our friends to die because we're out trying to make ends meet?

What?

Like, really, what?

Again, you have to accept that the people who write these things really seem to take comfort in the idea that life will take away everything you have simply because you're not spiritual, popular, or apparently idle enough. Yeah, sorry I don't have time to whittle with someone I barely knew in high school and talk about our deep reservoir of feeling, but I've got to work 60 hours a week so I don't lose my house just because I wanted to take my baby to the hospital instead of letting her die from an easily preventable disease. You're right, my priorities are all fucked up.

Remember to always say what you mean. If you love someone, tell them.

Because when you decide that it is the right time it might be too late...

Seize the day. Never have regrets.

Hold on tight to your dreams and win one for the Gipper and such. Random cliched sentiment that douchebags think is profound and important.

And most importantly, stay close to your friends and family, for they have helped make you the person that you are today.

Of course, so have your enemies, your rivals, and anyone else who provided an obstacle to overcome. Really, aren't they the ones who make you try harder?

You must send this on in 3 hours after reading the letter to 10 other people. If you do this, you will receive unbelievably good luck.

Whoa, wait a minute... 10 people? What happened to 5? I distinctly remember that what's her name who was popular enough to get invited to a masquerade ball got murdered by the poem because she didn't even have 5 friends.

The more people that you send this to, the better luck you will have.

What do you gain from this, poem? Other than the possibility of more victims? Is that really all it takes for you?

SMILE, even through your tears!!!!!

And grit your teeth through intense, searing gas pain!!!!!

2 comments:

Jaquandor said...

That poem is decades old, maybe even a century old or more -- hence the telegram reference.

I have a friend who forwards me EVERYTHING, which can be annoying, and I often end up deleting a lot of it unread. What annoys me the most are the ones that start off seeming innocent fun, and yet somehow manage to tie an anti-Obama reference in at the very end. I hate 'stealth politics'.

Nathan said...

I believe whatever is in store for us will be for us.

Obvious. Also, whatever happens to us will happen to us, and whatever we eat will be eaten by us.


It doesn't necessarily happen in that order, though.

I DID have ten friends, but then I sent them this poem, and now I'm down to less than five.