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Reviewing the Comments to CNN's Article on the Poop Cruise

In response to Unleashing the social media id:

Id, yes, but the id in service of the ego.

This seems on-point: James Lilies reviewed the comments in a CNN thread about the Poop Cruise. His major takeaway was...

how the internet reveals the astonishing quantity of pinch-souled mediocrities who daily refute the million-monkey theory: there's not a single CNN comment thread that would generate the poetry of Shakespeare, no matter how long it ran.

I clicked on a CNN thread, which I imagine was the one he had waded into.

Among the comments were some genuinely informative people. For example, did you know that when there's a power failure, the electric/key-card doors in any non-high-security building default to the open position? It's a fire-code requirement. I didn't know that. Interesting.

But a large number of people had nothing to say -- and so they turned to Topic A of the internet.

Topic A of the Internet is simple: I'm better than you.

When people run their mouths with little apparent purpose it's interesting to ask Why? If they do not seek to communicate knowledge or considered opinion, then what do they intend to communicate?

Nine times out of ten, the Person With Nothing to Say Who's Saying It Loudly Anyway has a rather simple and juvenile message: I know more than you; I'm better than you; I have suffered more than you (and hence am a better person than you); I have experienced more than you.

Most of the comments that Lileks calls out as being less than worthless (less than worthless, as they tend to subtract from the net value of humanity) are of this precise type. He calls it "cramped sympathies" for those on the cruise.

I don't see it that way, not precisely. I see the "cramped sympathies" as expressing the I'm better than you cry of the heart. All the people knocking those on the cruise for being rich people who never suffered so they should just shut their pieholes? Those comments say I'm better than you.

On the other hand, all the comments knocking these stupid poor people for taking a cheapie vacation and expecting to not swim in their own filth? I'm better than you.  If you don't want to wade in sewage, don't go on discount cruises, Plebe.

Comment after the comment, the main purpose of communication was the cry of the infant: I exist; acknowledge me; tell me I'm special.

Now, if you don't believe me (and why would you? I lie an awful lot and I'm not ashamed to say I enjoy it), I present this remarkable comment, a truly outstanding exemplar in even in a sea of other I'm better than you comments.

To protect the commenter, I'll avoid using her name. I don't wish to over-personalize this. We've had quite enough of that already.

I call this remarkable comment, I'm better than you because, war.

No, accidents happens, unless Carnival had a magic wand to fix the engine, there is nothing they could do. We have become a society of spoiled rotten people who can't have any inconveniences in life.

These people are spoiled rotten because when they paid a grand and planned perhaps their only week off for the whole year, they expected sun and fun, and not swimming in human waste?

But she's just getting started. Let her explain the ways in which she Feels More Than You.

I have a challenge, try living in a country where there is a civil war going on. Try being locked in your house every day, going out only to get food which is being given out by the military. Try worrying every day if this is the day that the rebels will defeat the army, storm the city and kill the foreigners, their preferred method was using machetes because it wastes no bullets. Try hiding under a car while the army and rebels are shooting at each other. Try sleeping at night while hearing the sounds of gunfire and bombs going off in the distance, that's what I went through in a war torn country for a year.

Without doubt, a horrible situation.

But, if I have the thesis correct: If someone signs up for a cruise, pays a grand for the privilege, and does not get bait-and-switched into a year in a wartorn country, they should just shut up and count themselves lucky?  Any travail less than your own quantum of suffering is not worth a drop of sympathy?

 Are you attempting to claim the prize in the Internet Suffering Exposition?  When was this announced?  Is there a car at stake, or a trip?  And if it is a trip -- would it be on a cruise?

It's good to have perspective... but not "Too bloody much," as David St. Hubbins said. And I really don't think this post is offered in the spirit of suggesting some perspective.

I think it's just one of a million other comments screaming out into the electronic void the same boring (and self-refuting, incidentally) shriek:  I'm better than you. I have won this particular ego-point in this ridiculous game that only I'm playing.  Goooooal, b!tch!


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