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The Internets

It’s five am. Which I guess makes it really early in the morning and no longer late at night. The things I think about when I’ve hit that level of so-over-tired-I-can-no-longer-sleep are odd. So. Welcome to the shit I think about at five A.M. And the reason why I don’t sleep much. Sorry. This may make you want to drink Draino. You were warned.

I wrote a comment about god on someones blog post recently. It was a really good comment and it was probably the only time I’ve ever been able to really explain my views coherently. And blogger ate it. It’s not something I can recreate, because it will never be as good.
I hate that. It happens with lost blog posts too. Words just disappeared into the void, eaten by the impermanence of Internet, never to be seen again.
Sometimes the Internet seems almost more real than reality. We have conversations here, make life long friends, even meet our future lovers. We change peoples life for the better, or at times for the worse. And it’s all with the words and images we share. Words and images that can spread like wildfire, reaching people you’d never imagined being able to reach. A celebrity you adore might come across a tweet or blog post you’ve created, someone you admire from afar might actually read your words, and for a second, you’ll be connected. You might make a stranger smile today. You might make a friend think. Or, your words might hurt someone. Or, you know, be eaten by fucking blogger and never be seen again.


Speaking of reaching out to people, I’ve started a new project. It is called Strangers With Kindness and it’s about using the incredible magic superpowers that the Internet has given us all to make a difference in peoples lives. It’s about making the world a better place, one person, one story at a time. We will be sharing stories that highlight the good in people. That tell of how total strangers have reached out a hand to a fellow human in need and made their day.
Not only will we be sharing those stories, but we will be making them ourselves. We are going to find people out there who need a ray of sunshine in their lives, and we are going to Love Bomb them.
It’s going to be amazing. You want to be involved. The feeling you get from helping someone in need, for no reason other than to be awesome, is like no other feeling in the world. You want to feel that feeling. Trust me.

I’d actually planned on like, sleeping a bit tonight. But then the vomit fairy made a stop by my place. She’s a bitch, that fairy. She took out the eight-year-old just for the fuck of it. And for no reason that we can discern, other than to torture her, (and her mother) a bit. Thankfully, after seven straight hours of spewing out of all orifices, the worst seems over.
It’s funny how kids seem to be able to remain in high spirits even between bouts of side splitting poop-stravaganzas.
Us adults on the other hand are whiny crybabies, and if my husband catches this and I have to listen to him moan about how he’s never been so sick before in his life and he means it this time, for REAL, I’m probably going to have to smother him with my red throw pillow.
Don’t worry. As long as there is one wife on that jury, I’m getting off.


Kira got a card from her sisters today. At one point Vi writes “I love you and I miss you like heck!”
This kills me. These people are destroying the lives of four children.
I miss them both so painfully it hurts. But Violet, she gets to me the most. Because, Vi, is MY child you see. There’s a much longer story in here, but the abridged version is that she’s mine. She’s not theirs. Me and my ex were separated when she was conceived. I made some, er, unwise choices, being as I was, overcome with grief and rage after my then-boyfriend of five years and father of our then less-than-one-year-old-daughter confessed that he had been having an affair with the only woman I was allowed to have a friendship with. So, I ended up pregnant with Vi, in the usual way, and her “real” father claimed he was sterile and there was no possible way she could exist. And walked out. After cutting my brake lines.
Cue my ex-husbands brothers horrible tragic death in the middle of this Springer-esque drama, and we end up back together. I’d just discovered I was pregnant- eleven weeks or so at that-and I was very upfront and honest about it. He decided he would pretend the child was his and that was that. Everyone in our families knew and this led to his mother getting drunk one night and spending five hours trying to threaten, coerce, intimidate and plead with me to have an abortion. At twenty-four weeks. She also proceeded to tell me about her abortions which started at age fifteen, and how they weren’t so bad. She ended the night by telling me “Well at least she won’t be ugly” after having seen a picture of the biological father.
Anyway, my ex, (let’s call him “Rex” from now on.) threatened me with abandonment if I didn’t let him sign the paternity papers at the hospital. One of his favorite ways to keep me in line was to tell me if I ever tried to leave him or dud X, Y or Z, he’d leave me and take the kids and I’d be fucked, because I had no money, no skills, no job, no friends and no car. All carefully orchestrated by him, mind you. (The very first thing I did during that first split was finally get my drivers license, which, at age 20, I’d never been allowed to do.)
I digress. The point is, he signed the papers though I wanted to leave the birth certificate blank. It was obvious when she was born that she wasn’t his, based on blood type alone.
(He has since claimed he had a paternity test done proving she is in fact his. She’s not. Mathematically, and scientifically not possible. Besides that, she’s the exact female replica of her bio-father. Like EXACT.)
The point is, she is living with people who treat her like shit and let her sister beat the crap out of her, and who have no biological ties to her whatsoever. I’m not saying you have to be related by blood to have a living bond with a child, far from it. But I am saying, Rex, and his mother have made it quite clear that her sister is the favorite and they only keep Vi around to placate her. She’s the one that deals with the full force of her sisters diseases and disorders. She keeps her sister out of their hair, occupies her so they don’t have to.
And the last time she was here, she begged me, in tears to please PLEASE get her away from them, and her sister. Please.
And oh gods, I tried baby. I really did. She was absolutely terrified. The look or horror in her face when I told Rex and his mother what she wanted was pure fear. They both claimed if it was what she wanted they’d support it and then immediately started with the manipulation. They had signed her up for voice lessons, bought her a new bedroom set. Started sending her pictures of her beloved dogs daily, reminding her that she couldn’t take them of course. And once they went home they started grilling them about every second of their time here, twisted every.single.thing. Until the whole trip, in both their minds was a horror story of screaming and suck. The accounts my ex mother-in-law spewed at me of what she thinks happened here last summer were so incredibly fucked up, exaggerated and warped that it’s no wonder the kids “chose” not to come back this summer.
So yeah. My child was kidnapped and is now being mind fucked and abused. And I can’t do a damn thing about it.
She’s on fucking Klonopin to make her sleep. She wets the bed at ten still. She’s on Focalin or some shut for her supposed “ADHD”. Basically, she is drugged so they can control her. She was off all that shut for nearly three months when she was here- and sugar too, don’t even get me started on what these people feed these kids-and she was FINE. Perfect. Awesome and happy.
Fucking fuck. Just…fuck.

And this is why I shouldn’t write at five AM either.

People, I hate to be the one to break this to you, but: No one on the Internet is going to give you free money. That guy is not really dethroned royalty, he’s a 14 year-old from Toledo who just wants your bank account number so he can buy more porn.

You will not get herpeatitus if you don’t forward that chain mail on to eleventy-hundred people in the next twelve seconds.

No picture of Salma Hayek naked is ever going to ever pop up on your screen after you “Pass this email on to exactly 14 and a half people.”

Refusing to repost something as your Facebook status does not make you a bad Christian or mean you hate veteran kittens with cancer.

(This lesson is especially important if you are my mom. Hi mom! Love you! And Zucchini!)

Please, stop forwarding these things.

Unless it’s this.

If you don’t forward this, your cat will get Feline Syphilisatitis and elephantitis of the anus. And it will be all your fault.

Subject: May I Haz InterGalactic Credits Plz?

FROM: LUKE and LEIA SKYWALKER.
NAWARA VEN
REBEL REFUGEE CAMP, BESPIN
REPUBLIC OF CLOUD CITY

Dearest One, My name is Luke and my sister’s name Leia. We are the children of Late General Skywalker the former Director of Military Intelligence and special acting General Manager of the Rebel Alliance (RA). I am contacting you to seek your good assistance to transfer and invest Five million seven hundred and twenty thousand Galactic Credits (gc5,720,000.00) belonging to my late father which is deposited in a bank here on Bespin.

This money is revenues from solid minerals and diamond sale which were under my father’s possession before the civil war broke out. Following the break out of the war, almost all government offices, corporations and parastatals were attacked and vandalized. The RA headquarters was looted and burnt down to ashes, and diamonds worth millions of galactic credits were stolen by the imperial military forces that attacked my father’s office. Many top government officials and senior army officers were assassinated and my father was a key target because of his very sensitive military position and appointment in the RA.

Regrettably, my father was captured and murdered in cold blood during a midnight rebel shoot-out when our official residence on Tatooine was ambushed by Darth Tyranus the notorious rebel leader. My aunt sustained very sever laser injuries which resulted in her untimely and painful death in a private hospital here in Cloud City. Now we are alone in a totally strange country without parents, relatives or anybody to care for us at our tender ages.

Before our aunt died, she told us that our father deposited some credits which he made from diamond sales and deposited it in a bank here in Bespin, and that we should pray and find a trust worthy foreign business partner who will help us to transfer and invest these credits in profitable business venture off planet. She told us to do this quickly so that we can leave Bespin with our droids-C3PO and R2D2 who are here in the camp with us and, then settle down abroad. She gave us the bank document to prove the deposit and then told us that my father used my name as the only son to deposit the money in the bank. She told us that this is the reason why we came to Bespin. My aunt died after wards. May the Force be with her.

I have gone to the InterGalactic Banking Clan to make inquires about these credits and I spoke with the Manager of Interplanetary remittance who assured me that everything is intact and promised to help me transfer the credits to my foreign partner’s bank account as soon as I provide my partner’s foreign bank account for them. However, the manager is very concerned because of my age. I am 19 years old and as such advised that I should look for a matured person that will represent me at the bank. If you are willing to assist us, please let us know immediately so that you will arrange the transfer of the credits to your account with the bank. Please note that we will offer you 20% of the total credits as compensation for your noble assistance in accordance with my aunt’s advice. We are interested in any profitable commercial venture which you consider very good on your planet, and you would also get a school for me and my little sister and droids so that we can finish our education on your planet. Please there is urgent need for the credits to be transferred to your account and I am hoping to hear your urgent response so that I cannot look for another foreign partner. Thank you and may the force be with you and your dear family.

Yours sincerely,

Luke and Leia Skywalker

Don’t be fooled by its high number. These are the most important lessons you’ll learn from the internet. Ever. Until tomorrow, when someone creates a more relevant, funnier cartoon.

1- Here There Be Trolls (AKA:If You Write it, They Will Bitch)

Welcome to the Internet! Are you new here? Let me show you around!
So. Let’s jump right in with today’s lesson. Here’s the thing, if you’re planning on using the Internet for anything other than emailing your relatives annoying chain-mail and creating a vast virtual farming empire, you are going to run into the mystical creature known as the Troll.

Unfortunately, unlike the trolls of the good ol’ days, these are not the seldom seen creatures that really only surface when you try to cross a bridge; in the Internet world, Trolls are everywhere.  They come out when you least expect it and they usually travel in packs. And instead of asking you to pay a toll, their purpose is apparently to piss on everyones Cheerios and indulge in general douchetruckkery-for-the-sake-of-douchetruckkery.
Example:
Want to see a troll for yourself? Simply write about politics, breastfeeding or, inexplicably, how your cats sometimes annoy you-and watch them come out of the woodwork! They will tell you, in no uncertain terms, that you are WRONG and then explain, generally with extremely poor grammar/spelling/random numbers inserted inappropriately and/or with significant abuse of the CAPS LOCK, SO THAT YOU UNDERSTAND THEY ARE REALLY MAD and/or SERIOUS. (Or possibly “srs!”)

Your political thought, idea or party is wrong. The way you breastfeed in public/bottle feed exclusively makes you an “obscene flasher who is sexualizing our youth!!!!/A lazy poisoner who is going to have a fat asthmatic child. The fact that your pets are no longer worshiped completely now that you have kids, and maybe you’d prefer they not rub their assholes on your stuff, it makes you eeeevil, and your baby should die/abandon you in a nursing home.

It doesn’t matter what you say, there is no reasoning with a troll. ( See #3) The best bet is to just accept that they exist and ignore them. Unless you are super-bored, in which case, go write a post about (any) religion and have fun with the replies.

2-Hiding Behind a Computer Makes People Say Shit They Wouldn’t  Ever Say Otherwise

Example:

There’s a corner of the internet in which there exists a category of persons who don’t quite fall into the troll category. They do what they do for deeper reasons, whereas most trolls are just bored or ignorant or righteous (or, most likely, all three). This other entity- for the purposes of this lesson, let’s call them “Ogres”-is bigger than a troll. (Maybe. I haven’t played D&D in awhile.)

An Ogre is not happy with just stirring the pot in some comment section somewhere. An Ogre actually thrives on drama, and craves attention. Usually this type of creature isn’t quite able to write thoughtful, funny, well written blog posts or articles that would draw the large crowd they desire in the usual way, or they are simply too lazy to come up with their own content. So they try to capitalize on other peoples success- in the classiest way possible of course!

By creating their own site, network or club in their mom’s basement, that is solely dedicated to bashing other people. They pick fights with the popular kids. They harass celebrities. Because the next best thing to actually being a popular, well-liked person is to be that persons nemesis. Instead of becoming well known for the good they do, they become well known for the shit they start.

The result is the same. People notice Ogres.

That’s the point, you see.

Most of them claim noble motivations. I.e. They’re just thinking of the children! OMGZ WONT SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN. (This applies in mommy-blog circles and in some celebrity bashings as well.)

They’ll come up with a cause to justify their actions, paint themselves as the misunderstood underdog who’s just trying to show everyone the wrongness of, say blogging about their kid shitting on the floor, or how elitist and racist unicorn cakes really are. They’re good Ogres. Honest.

Like Shrek.

A few are blatant about their choice to go “green”, not even pretending to have layers like an onion. ( Random Shrek pun. You’re Welcome.) They freely admit they are doing it to drive traffic to the blog/forum/their kids treehouse party.

Here’s the thing: In person, Ogres are usually totally normal people in real life.

In keeping with the Shrek comparison, think Fiona, circa the first movie. By day, shes a pretty pretty princess. At night, shes the jealous bitter asshole who’s Tweeting your home address and/or the contents of your last email out to her loyal fans, because yes, they’ve always, always ALWAYS got underlings.

And they are usually illiterate Trolls. It’s theee Circle of Life..er.. Wrong movie. Moving on.

The Ogres “Daytime Persona” or Fiona, is generally a NICE person. So the next time you see that nice lady who lets you cut ahead of her in the line at the supermarket because you have a screaming kid, a candy grabbing “Mom, mom. MOM Can I have this? This? How about THIS?” kid and the kid who is fucking antagonizing  the already-screaming-kid by taking his toy and dangling it just out of his reach and you JUST WANT TO BUY YOUR FUCKING BOX OF TAMPONS AND YOUR BAG OF CHOCOLATE PRETZELS AND A GALLON OF MILK BECAUSE YOUR HUSBAND CAN’T STOP ON THE WAY HOME FROM WORK BECAUSE HE IS TIRED

…erm.. sorry, I think I had a flashback there. Er. Cough. Excuse me. Where was I?

Oh right. That nice, polite lady with those well behaved children who is letting you go ahead of her and totally not rolling her eyes at your obnoxious children-She could be an Ogre. Again, you’re welcome.

3-You Can’t Win At The Internets ( So Stop Typing)

So, what happens when you are happily perusing the internet one day, ignoring trolls and staying away from ogres, and you come across a post that is just so absolutely mind-bogglingly wrong you think you must be dreaming it?

I Know. What that guy just said.. I KNOW. He is WRONG. And RUDE. And WRONG. And, if he would just listen to you for five seconds, just read what you had to say he would understand.

No. He won’t. Ever. No matter how wonderful you think Sarah Palin* is, that troll is not going to suddenly change his mind after listening to your thoughtful, Maverick-y, intelligent reasoning on the subject. And chances are, the more you keep trying- especially if you are in a public forum- the more likely it is that someone else is going to interject with this picture at some point.

And then, twelve more people are going to come in and comment about how not cool that picture is and how making fun of people with disabilities is wrong, and using the word “retard” is even more wrong. (And I will be one of these people.) And they’re right, making fun of people with disabilities IS wrong. And they’re right. Fighting on the internet IS pointless. But you’ll be too pissed at the woman hating liberal elitist cat-rapey-baby-eater who JUST WONT LISTEN by this point to realize that at the end of the day, some things just aren’t worth your time.

This says it best.

(Click the picture to see it entirely. Via Thought Catalog)

Of course, if the original post is like, super, SUPER wrong, feel free to bend the rules a little. Because sometimes douchetrucks totally need a smackdown. Personally, if I absolutely can’t stand it and MUST say something, I’ll say it, and move on-without engaging in any of the after-effects or turning it into an entire THING. Unless I’m really, really bored. Or the person I’m arguing with is really, really stupid. Then all bets are off.

4- Some People Really ARE That Racist/Sexist/Stupid/Etcetera

Yes. Not all of the Trolls and Ogres are playing a part, and not all of the internet assholes are nice people when they are not hiding behind their Mac with their Caramel Macchiato and fabricated indignation.

The wonderful thing about the internet is that everyone gets a voice.

 The horrible thing about the internet is that everyone gets a voice.

Even Racist Fucktards and Pedophiles and For Some Reason This Guy.

Yes. People really do think that way. Say that stuff. Believe that shit. Not just on the internet either, it carries over to real life.

Free Speech applies to everyone. Even Douchetrucks. And as fucking god-awful as some things are, if we start taking away their right to spout their bullshit freely, then we pave the way for a whole fuck-ton (It’s a metric measurement.) of problems. Honestly, I think most of us would silence pedophiles in an instant, given, say, a vote. But how many people do you think would silence, say, sites about homosexuality that are aimed at children and teens? Probably a lot, if it was put to a vote in America. What about religion? Does the religion with the most followers get to silence the rest of them?

Damn slippery slopes and their damn slippery-ness.

5-As Unlikely As It Seems Now-Some People Are Awesome

Now that you have decided to stomp on, smash and then burn your laptop before tossing it in the dumpster as you flee, FLEE from the horrible horrible internet with its trolls and RACISTS AND BEARS OH MY!

 I leave you with this last lesson.

Despite all of the crap, and though there sometimes seems to be an overwhelming amount of it, not all of the people and experiences you will find here are evil and bad. In fact, most of them aren’t.

People set up amazing fundraisers and support groups and technology has brought important issues to the forefront by making them immediately, visually THERE. And impossible to ignore.

More than that though, there is this sense of community that can be found, regardless of who you are, there’s a place for you. Since I happen to be a Mother, and a Writer, I spend a lot of time lurking in those circles, but no matter what you enjoy, what you have been through, there is a place where people will understand, whether its collecting Sporks or finding an abuse survivor support group, there’s a place here where you will be wanted and loved and accepted.

(Yes. Even Trolls and Ogres have their place. See: Facebook and 4Chan)

Take BlogHer for example. This blogging conference for women is a yearly event  and though it’s not something I’ll ever be rich fortunate enough to attend, just reading the stories and hearing about the amazing friendships and inspiring panels that happen during these conferences, renews my faith that there is still good and sparkly to be found in the internet. Still a place where I belong, albeit virtually.

Good Exists.

And GOOD always wins. Don’t you watch the movies?

Or the Unicorns?

        (BlogHer 11’s SparkleCorn Cake By MamaPop)

* Ed Note. This statement does not reflect the opinions of the owner of this blog. And I would never, ever post that picture.