When Rep. Gabrielle Giffords made a surprise appearance on the floor of the U.S. House to cast her vote in the debt ceiling debacle, the moment sparked a memory of the days following the unthinkable tragedy that made her recent appearance such an important milestone. It also sparked a politically heated debate about the nature of our discourse and whether unchecked anger fueled the fires that led to such a horrific, blood-stained spot on the calendar of our nation’s history.
Even though anyone with any modicum of sense could tell that the shooter was already “cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs” and couldn’t even comprehend orders to kill whether it was from a TV pundit or a dog that can barely say “I love you.” Trying to link a cold blooded killer to a hot blooded hothead isn’t unreasonable, it’s impossible unless the two exchanged emails or swapped notes in study hall that read “Put a bullet behind her ear and check out this remix video of the sneezing panda farting out Obama’s birth certificate.”
This faux-debate got a lot of people thinking about how we’re debating instead of what we should be debating and if the Internet is any indication of our national discourse, then it’s only a matter of time before we’re forced to vote between The Angry Video Game Nerd and The “Leave Britney Alone” guy/girl or as they’ll be known in the future, “the sane choices.”
Here are five angry Internet celebrities who need to tone it the fuck down…
1. Drinking with Bob
It might surprise you to learn that a guy with the word “Drinking” in his name is more unhinged than the door on a 1980 Ford Pinto.
And it’s not his choice of views or whether he skews to the left or the right that makes me question the way we’re discussing the issues. It’s his tone and temperament. Every discussion is a loud, one-way screaming match of spittle spewing fury that takes off and lands with the same annoying, meaningless catchphrase designed to give Cafe Press one more reason to stay in business. And every opinion, no matter how big or small the issue, is given the same amount of rage as if raising the debt ceiling deserves the same amount of outrage as giving the homeless radio DJ guy a career.
Debating an issue or a person shouldn’t focus on how someone says something. It should focus on what they say. Casey Kasem could stand at a podium for 30 minutes and read a selection from Oprah’s Book Club from cover to cover and it wouldn’t improve your IQ or broaden your scope of the world. The most it would accomplish is a felony incitement to violence charge against Mr. Kasem.
2. The Nostalgia Critic
I’m probably one of the few people who should be critical of a guy who mines the childhood subconscious of the Me Decade and Generation X and Y. I’ve also made a pretty decent living that way (see here and, if you dare, here. And it’s not the content of the debate or opinions that are troubling. It’s the concept.
The Nostalgia Critic, a tie sporting, no collar shirt wearing angry guy, spends his very bitter moments looking back at the best and worst of cartoons, movies and TV shows of his childhood (primarily the 1980’s and 90’s) and in his defense, he actually gives some very funny positive and even glowing reviews to things that don’t suck. The ones that do, however, are subjected to a torrent volcano of unrelenting rage, snide comments and threats that may or may not involve weapons. They don’t go over the edge unless the target is unquestionably horrible, but why direct any anger at something so old that there is no way to change it unless we can break the laws of time and space. It seems like a futile gesture to waste any ounce of anger on how bad “Super Mario Bros.: The Movie” was if it’s not in theaters or even on home video or DVD. All he does is remind me how bad it was the first time I saw it when it was in theaters. It’s the equivalent of screaming at a wormhole (the geophysical kind, sicko).
It’s hard to find humor in a kid who is just trying to use YouTube to vent his explosive hormone fueled rage on the Internet because every human being has been through that awkward age and wishes they had something like YouTube to express their white hot anger. The problem with the pasty face behind CopperCab is that he keeps giving the world a reason to keep laughing at him.
The “Gingers Do Have Souls” kid first popped up on our computer screen after “South Park” aired the first “Gingers” episodes and turned every red-headed stepchild in America into figurative red-headed stepchildren as long as pop culture exists. CopperCab took offense to this and taped himself screaming at his video camera, thereby launching himself into Internet meme stardom. He has since taken to the Internet to discuss such important issues as why “South Park” shouldn’t make another “video” about red-haired people, whether or not he’s dead and if he’s really an actor. Every time he makes a new video, it’s filled with full-throated screaming and punctuated by bellowing curse words in between the world’s creepiest full face camera pauses that make you think he really does believe he has a soul along with the others he keeps stored in mason jars in his basement.
He claims he’s doing these videos in order to find peace by bringing people of all skin pigmentation together and maybe he is since we’re all laughing at him together.
4. Scott Adams
The creator behind “Dilbert,” the newspaper comic strip that gets stuck to cubicles all across the country in place of suicide notes, doesn’t have a YouTube channel or Internet video network but if his blog rants ever came in digital video form, they would probably sound like a strange mix of Bobby Riggs, Bill Gates and Evil Ash from Army of Darkness.
His Internet musings as of late on his blog have taken on a strange “men’s rights” movement that considers any attempt at female equality as childish, immature and easier to ignore in order to “save your energy for more important battles” and questions why men’s natural, biological tendencies for “tweeting, raping, cheating and being offensive” are shunned by modern society. It’s hard to see someone like Adams worked up in a rabies lather about men not getting their fair share in this world since he looks and sounds like every office IT guy who ever lived (Editor’s Note: Not The Smoking Jacket’s IT people though! <3) but his shocking consistency on gender equality is so thorough that it’s hard to deny his passion for it, even if he doesn’t stand on the top of a college observation tower and scream about it at the top of his lungs.
5. Reacting Hitler
It’s safe to assume that Hitler was a douchebag from just about every conceivable level (personally, emotionally, rationally, hypoallergenically which isn’t a word but he’s was probably low on the scale on that one too).
Humanity’s natural inclination to posthumously humiliate mankind’s biggest bastard came from the German movie Downfall in a key scene when Hitler, played by Bruno Ganz, learns about his crushed defenses and goes on a blind tear with members of his personal staff that Naomi Campbell probably uses as a training video with her household help. The scene, done entirely in German, was uploaded on YouTube until another user uploaded it again with new translations in subtitles where Hitler expresses his rage on everything from Michael Jackson’s death to the hard truth about the existence of Santa Claus (see above).
However, even Raging Hitler’s temper reached a fever pitch when a copyright claim from the film’s production company forced YouTube to take down all of the videos and sparked its own Reacting Hitler video, which just made Reacting Hitler seem twice as angry by comparison.