Monday, August 1, 2011

ApLOLalypse Now

Occasionally, I'll chat with somebody on Facebook or Gmail or whatever. I don't chat a bunch. In fact, the last word I'd use to describe me is "chatty". But when I'm talking to a friend that I thought I knew and they suddenly spring the dreaded L-bomb on me, they become a complete stranger.

And no, I don't mean 'love'. Or 'lymph node cancer'. I mean 'LOL'. Or 'lol'.

These people are blissfully ignorant on how bullshit this is. So let me help.

First off, I used to write 'lol' all the time during chats. This was years ago when I was much dumber than I am now. But here's the kicker. When I was typing 'lol' during conversation or a post about a muffin I thought about buying, I actually wasn't laughing. Now that I think of it, half the time I wasn't even smiling.

It wasn't until I was talking to my buddy Craig that I realized what I was doing was no different than say, what dumb people were doing.

Now, before you get all insulted and everything, I'm not saying that only dumb people use 'lol'. I'm just saying that none of my smart friends do.

Here's my idea of who uses 'lol':

- Teens, Tweens, and Sheens
- Drug Addicts (see: Sheens)
- Illiterates
- Shitheads
- Social Elites
- Drunkards
- Really Old People Whose Grandkid Told Them What 'LOL' Stands For
- Racists
- NASCAR Web Engineers
- People Who Haven't Grasped What The Internet Does Or What It's For
- People Who Haven't Been Told How Stupid It Comes Off As
- Your Relatives
- People Who Aren't On The Internet As Much As I Am
- Humourless People
- Others

Remember, this is just my personal list. I've yet to actually embark on a survey to figure this out. But if you want to get a good idea of who uses 'lol' regularly, just search it on Twitter. What comes up is a shocking amount of unfunny things. Things that no human should laugh out loud about. Are you doing this? It's a fucking asylum! Here's an ACTUAL example:

"Alicia keys needs to go on tour soon lol haven't seen her in like 2 years"

Wow. Someone call the William Morris Agency! I think we just found the latest Oscar Wilde over here.

Now listen. I have friends who use 'LOL'. Some good friends. And I consider them intelligent. But when I chat with them, and they 'lol' at something, I'm thinking, "Whoa. What's up?" It's a social stigma. It's like smoking. Or public defecating. It's something that a lotta people do and are addicted to it. They don't know how else to convey that something -- or NOTHING -- is funny.

LOL is the new 'love'. Or 'hate'. It's just an expression. It can mean nothing or something. It's powerless. Ineffectual. Pointless. Insincere. DUMB.

Think of it. Could you imagine Albert Einstein in this day and age, tweeting: "Just figured out the theory of relativity, lol!" No! He was a genius! It doesn't make sense!

How about this: "Just dropped my gf's Blackberry in the toilet, lol!"

You see what I'm getting at here?

And what's with people who lol with a question mark? Who laughs inquisitively? Or a period. "Going to Des Moines. LOL."


Picture someone with a blank face, laughing humourlessly. That's what it is. Creepy, weird, dumb.

Knock it off. Get an education. Learn basic skills.

And to the ROFLMAOs, are you really doing that? Are you rolling on the floor with your laptop, typing this stupid abbreviation?

You might wonder, "Well, how else am I going to let my friend know that I'm not laughing at what they said? Oh, wait. Never mind. Gotcha."

See? You are smart. You figured it out.

"What if I'm really laughing?!"

If somebody says something that's funny, why not just tell them that you're laughing? "I'm laughing so hard right now." Or even a shorter: "So funny." Guess what? When someone says that to me, I believe 'em. When someone says 'lol', it's total insincerity.

We're addicted to LOL. It should be LWJ. Laughing Without Joy.

Knock it off. Stop LOLing and start laughing out loud.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Alternate Ending of Shirley Jackson's short story "The Lottery"

Editor's Note: For those unfamiliar with "The Lottery", written by Shirley Jackson, it is a story centred around a small town that honours a year-round tradition of drawing slips of paper. The family that draws the slip of paper with the black spot on it enters the second round of The Lottery. The Hutchinsons, who drew the black dot, then had to draw again. It was Tessie Hutchinson, Bill's wife, who showed up late to the lottery, who drew the black slip. It is then that Tessie is stoned to death by the town's locals as a sacrifice to ensure a good harvest.

The story in its original form got a lot of negative criticisms among readers. Many cancelling their subscriptions to The New Yorker, in which the story debuted. It was even banned in the Union of South Africa. However, what The New Yorker had neglected to tell the world is that Shirley Jackson had written a far worse ending in an earlier draft. It has not been seen by any eyes other than the author and editor of the publishing. That is, until now.

"It's Tessie," Mr. Summers said, and his voice was hushed. "Show us her paper. Bill."

Bill Hutchinson went over to his wife and forced the slip of paper out of her hand. It had a black spot on it, the black spot Mr. Summers had made the night before with the heavy pencil in the coal company office. Bill Hutchinson held it up, and there was a stir in the crowd.

"All right, folks." Mr. Summers said. "Let's finish quickly."

Although the villagers had forgotten the ritual and lost the original black box, they still remembered to use stones. The pile of stones the boys had made earlier was ready; there were stones on the ground with the blowing scraps of paper that had come out of the box.

Bill looked at Tessie with sad eyes. She looked at him and nodded. It was tradition.

"Let's get this over with," spat Delacroix.

The locals gathered around Tessie in a circle.

Tessie let out a small sob. "Okay," she said.

She picked up a rock, the size of a softball, and whipped it at Old Man Warner. "Yow!" He exclaimed. Tessie threw another at Mr. Summers. "Gah!"

Over the next forty hours, Tessie threw rocks at the villagers as they stood around her. One by one, each member of the community fell dead. Clyde Dunbar's left eye was knocked out by a sizeable chunk. Mrs. Delacroix ended up choking on a pebble that Tessie threw. A tall boy bent down to help her. "Let 'er be!" Old Man Warner demanded, before being brained by a giant hunk of limestone.

It was Mr. Adams who suffered the worst fate, getting hit over and over again in the testicles. It got to a point where he longed for death, but it did not come quick enough. He pissed his pants to further his humilities before he passed.

Forty hours later and the last man standing was Tessie's beloved husband, Bill. "I'm so tired," gasped Tessie. "I know," Bill answered. "But...the crops." Tessie nodded. She pelted him with granite, basalt, pumice, and even the deadlier quartz.

Finally, after being pounded in the chest by a large marble (that her very own son had selected, unbeknownst to her), Bill fell. Dead.

Tessie fell to her knees and cried.

"Waaaaaah!!!" She wailed. "Waaaaaahhh!!! Boo hoo hoo hoo! (Sniffle) (Choked Gasps) Bwaaaaaaah haaaah haaaah haaaaaah!!!!! Boo hoo! A-boo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo! Wah!"


Editor's Post Note: Gene Kravitz, the man who published the piece had read this very manuscript and telephoned Shirley Jackson at her residence. Kravitz informed her of a few problems that he felt needed to be changed. For one, if this was an annual tradition as mentioned within the story, then how would it be possible for there to be any villagers currently? Kravitz advised Jackson that it might interest her in maybe switching it up a little. That is, having Tessie stoned to death by the villagers, as opposed to the villagers being stoned to death by Tessie. Kravitz also found that Tessie's sobbing monologue could use some trimming. Some.