Sunday, September 10, 2006

In case this is your first time taking a ride on the Information Superhighway, allow me to tell you which websites you should try your best to avoid: Crazy Jim’s Balloon Extravaganza is unsettling. Aretha’s Animal Attacks is particularly disturbing. Stephen Glober’s Wonderful World of Aborigine Australian Culture is sort of boring. But most of all, the #1 most horrible, hideous place on the web is known as MySpace.com. For the unfamiliar, MySpace bills itself as “A place for friends”, when in actuality it’s more of “A place for teenagers to waste time and act like they really want to be molested”.

On it, easily-persuaded teens create their own personal “spaces”, on which they post long surveys about themselves that no one reads, leave terribly-punctuated comments, and post hundreds of pictures. Their main picture is the one most commonly associated with their name on the website, and thus must be a real prize. So most users either head down to the local photorium or stand in front of their bathroom mirrors to capture that one definitive snapshot. Allow me to describe them to you.

There are three, and only three, types of photos used by males:

1. If the male thinks he is particularly good looking, then his photograph will be of himself partially nude. This is likely the one picture out of 400 in which his abs are semi-defined.

2. The “hilarious photo”. This is used when the male feels he looks like a horse’s backside. Don't be fooled by the term "hilarious" in the title, because these poorly edited pictures are anything but funny. The user will attempt to mask his hideousness by pasting his face onto another's body; or another's face onto his limp body. Additionally, "silly" faces can be used to the same unfunny effect. These are usually a good way to determine that the user is a complete idiot and will likely eat a bowl of hair if it means people will look at him.

3. Underage drinking. These don’t really make much sense; seeing as holding a bottle of liquor doesn’t say anything about the person other than “My parents are over 21 and own bottles of alcohol. I have hands and am able to pick them up.” If I were to take a photograph of myself lying in a pile of cocaine under a waterfall spewing vodka while eating a salad made of dollar bills and tobacco leaves, the only conclusion to be drawn would be, “This moron thinks he’s really cool. And he has access to a lot of cocaine.” The picture wouldn’t prove that I snorted the cocaine, drank the vodka, or ate the tobacco. It would only prove that I live in South America and really want people to think I’m cool because I could be potentially engaged in illegal activity. I might as well photograph myself not wearing a seatbelt or tearing the tag off of a mattress.

Females also seem to favor a certain style for their images:

1. A picture that depicts at least two people, only one of which is the page's owner. This is a clever ruse used to confuse potential mates into thinking that one of the other females is the owner of the page, when in fact it is the cow sitting in the dimly-lit back corner doing her best to dodge the camera lens.

2. Being “outrageous”. These pictures feature the user, usually with her friends, being a wild and crazy kid. Some examples are: dressing up in obnoxious clothing, being a jackass in public, or making a face at the camera that tries to say, “I’m funny,” but really says, “I hate myself and often wish attention were available in a liquid form so I could stop the nonsense and just inject it directly into my arm.” A close relative to the male “hilarious” photo, these usually make the page’s visitors want to smack the girl with a ruler, put her in a dress, and tell her how to behave herself in public.

*Note- the male themes, especially the underage drinking motif, are also used by females to the same effect.

In addition to these main photographs, users can, and do, post hundreds of other useless pictures for everyone to see. And after they see these additional shots, the user’s friends are usually compelled to leave comments under the pictures. These comments are as utterly useless as the pictures themselves, seeing as all of them are very transparent, generic “compliments” that are likely copied and pasted onto hundreds of photos at a time in order to obtain maximum commenting efficiency. No matter how ugly a lady is, her friends are always quick to dish out a, “So cute!” hoping that her self esteem is inversely related to her waistline. Most users seem to have misunderstood the phrase “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” as, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, start making things up about people with the hope that they may eventually consider you nice enough to be their friend over the Internet.”

Located near the main picture on someone’s Space is a quote of their choice. More often than not, these are taken from movies that weren’t funny in the first place, and when taken out of context are even less funny and usually don’t make much sense. Maybe they would if users took the time to spell the five words in the sentence correctly, but I guess grammar is for children. And as apparent by their wacky pictures and drinking habits, most users are anything but immature.

MySpace users must not actually go to their own pages, because if they did they would probably notice how awful they look. Whoever the first idiot was to use a tiled picture of a bikini-clad model as their background needs to be smothered to death with repeated pictures of bikini-clad models and flashing text so he knows how my eyes feel. I actually just visited a page that had a non-stop flashing, bright, multi-colored background. Yes, the same sort of thing that got that episode of Pokemon banned in 1998 for causing seizures is being used by someone as the background to their “place for friends.” Because nothing says “friendly” like epilepsy and nausea.

Speaking of which, I also have to conclude that MySpace users don’t visit any other websites; because if they did they would likely see that black font on a dark grey background doesn’t fly elsewhere on the information superhighway. Notice how other web pages go for the standard black-text-on-white look. Not the hot-pink-on-black or your favorite college’s color schemes. Ever wonder why they do this? It’s likely because those websites aren't run by colorblind teenage douche bags.

The music chosen by MySpace users is yet another fault of the system. Here’s a fun fact: If you have a MySpace page, you listen to shitty music. And here’s a fun fact about said shitty music: No one wants to listen to it. And especially not while their eyes are already being molested by your horrid layout. Try not to turn your MySpace page into an audio/visual gang rape.

It seems that videos are appearing on more and more pages by the minute. And just like the crappy music, no one finds whatever stupid video someone showed you on YouTube funny. And they especially don’t want to watch whatever two-year old crappy attempt at humor you post. Here’s a piece of technological information for you: When MySpaces feature music, the music plays automatically (which doesn’t make sense in the first place, because what kind of lunatic looks at MySpace pages with his or her speakers on?). And when you post your imbedded YouTube garbage, this also will play when clicked. So there lies the conundrum. Two different streams of horrid audio are being pumped through your page simultaneously, which will cause the page to slow down. And when looking at something as terribly designed as a MySpace page, the last thing I want is for it to be any slower than it already is thanks to the 400 pictures posted on it. Allow me to simplify my techno-babble: The Internet is a series of interconnected glass tubes filled with molasses. Information is pulsed through the goo by means of electro-magnetic pulses, known as “zeepers.” When a website, such as a MySpace page, farts too many zeepers at once, the molasses becomes full and starts to drip much more slowly that it would have with a lower zeeper count, thus taking longer to reach its final destination: the viewer’s computing device. In short, crappy videos being played over crappy music is like having actual crap rubbed in your eyes and ears at the same time.

Have you ever noticed that little clickable sentence “View all blog entries” in the upper right-hand corner of a MySpace page? Ever noticed that it usually leads to a page that says, “This user has not posted a blog.”? No, you probably haven’t. Because no one cares about MySpace’s blog feature, which is actually a very good thing. Because if you own a MySpace page, chances are you don’t know how to write a complete sentence. And nobody would care about your poorly phrased opinions or “outrageous” stories anyway.

A line all too common on MySpace pages is located in the survey most people choose to fill out and post but nobody reads. The question is: “What are your favorite books?” I don’t know why this question is included in the survey, considering the obvious illiteracy of most MySpace users. Nevertheless, people choose to answer this question with yet another attempt at blistering coolness: “Wutz a book? Lol.” As that response is neither funny nor appealing, I often wonder why users bother answering it at all. The question should be replaced by something to the effect of “Are you a complete idiot who thinks acting like a moron is cool, and that reading and trivial things like grammar and the English language are reserved for toddlers, old ladies, and other stereotypically boring people?” Most users would probably reply with: “Wutz a book? Lol.”

“This profile is set to private. This user must add you as a friend to see his/her profile.” Known as the bear-trap of the Internet, this message is one of the most annoying things a user can stumble into while browsing people’s Spaces. Nothing kills the mood more when MySpace-hopping in the wee hours of the night than having that nonsense pop up to remind me that I should be doing something else. What exactly is the point of running a MySpace page that can only be accessed by “friends”? Can’t you communicate with those friends in other ways like, you know, talking? Do people put up the blocks to prevent potential molestation? Odd, considering half of the female population on MySpace appears to have “Get taken advantage of sexually” at the top of their To-Do lists.

Exactly what is the point of these “friends” anyway? Must MySpace users have a pictured list available to them at all times in order to remind them that yes, in fact, people do exist who might actually like them? Actually, scratch the “do exist” part from that last sentence, because my calculations say that roughly 60% of the people included on most “Friends” lists have never met, and will never meet, the person who they are supposedly close enough to exchange links with. So those calculations led to a hypothesis that was evaluated through use of the scientific method to lead me to a procedure that led to data tables that led to the conclusion that the only reason the “friends” list exist is for users to stretch, measure, and compare their e-penises. It seems a better and more direct approach to this matter would be for users to just post pictures of their actual penises on their pages. And they might as well plop their donguses on a triple-beam-balance and teabag a graduated cylinder so viewers can cut to the chase and just figure out which user is better by the density of his Johnson.

On the subject of fake MySpace friends, another incredibly irritating sight to witness is the conversation of two users held through comments left on each other’s pages. For those who partake in these festivities, here’s something for you to think about: That same “conversation” you had on your MySpace page over the course of three weeks could have been accomplished in 10 minutes on the telephone, or one minute in real life, in which one person would notice how heinously ugly the other is and exit the talk with a cockney excuse such as “Sorry, I’ve got to go. I don’t talk to ugly chicks who edit their picture on MySpace to appear semi-attractive. And you smell really, really terrible.” Also, in case you hadn’t noticed, the “conversation” is publicly posted on the page, but only half of it can be read. I say that because nobody is interested enough in your conversation about how awesome you two are and how badly you need to hang out to actually click on the other person’s picture and see their side of the story.

For more information on the quality of MySpace.com, please visit www.MySpace.com and start clicking on things. Within 30 seconds you will see and experience the factors discussed here.