WBEZ | internet commenters http://www.wbez.org/tags/internet-commenters Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en 'All of civility depends on being able to contain the rage of individuals': civility in the modern day http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-06/all-civility-depends-being-able-contain-rage-individuals-civility <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/199093272_a5282e771e_z.jpg" style="float: right; width: 300px; height: 225px; " title="Even just ordering food at a drive-in can be overly frustrating for some. (Flickr/Billy V)" />It&#39;s so easy to get irrationally angry on the internet that sometimes we forget that people do the same thing in real life. Writer Randall Colburn brings us several tales of individuals getting more than a little upset about things going wrong when ordering fast food. Things that perhaps they don&#39;t need to be quite so upset about.... Read an excerpt below or listen above.</p><p><em>May 29, 2012. Huber Heights, Ohio:</em></p><p><em>Michael Smith just wanted a taco, and as Monday night bled into Tuesday morning he found himself, like so many before him, pulling into a Taco Bell drive-thru. He ordered into the crackling box, pulled around, paid for his meal, and drove forward, likely fingering open the crumpled bag and glancing inside as he did so. Moments later, Smith backed his truck up, directed it towards the fast food restaurant&rsquo;s entrance, and hit the gas. Sheets of glass collapsed into crystals, plaster cracked and split, and, assuming the dining room was open and in use, diners reacted with a slew of shocked spit-takes and comical burrito-squeezes as Smith backed away and drove home. &nbsp;</em></p><p><em>Smith wasn&rsquo;t hard to find. <a href="http://www.thesmokinggun.com/buster/taco-bell-rage-578231">According to </a></em><a href="http://www.thesmokinggun.com/buster/taco-bell-rage-578231">The Smoking Gun</a><em>, his damaged truck left a shimmering trail of fluid behind it, leading police to his home, where he was promptly arrested.</em></p><p><em>You may ask why Smith would cause such damage to public property, upset happy diners, and heap untold amounts of carnage on his own automobile? According to law enforcement officials, Smith &ldquo;did not get one of the tacos he ordered,&rdquo; a fact the 23-year old admitted when questioned by cops.</em></p><p><em>He could&rsquo;ve just turned around and complained. Or let it go, the taco was only 99 cents. But he didn&rsquo;t. And, naturally, I&rsquo;m reminded of Nobel Prize-winning molecular biologist Joshua Lederberg, who said, &ldquo;All of civility depends on being able to contain the rage of individuals.&rdquo;</em></p><p><em>And he&rsquo;s right. So we keep it repressed. We keep it on Facebook. We keep it on internet comment boards, where we can be anonymous. Until we don&rsquo;t.</em></p><p><a href="http://thepapermacheteshow.com/" target="_blank">The Paper Machete</a><em>&nbsp;is a weekly live magazine at the Horseshoe in North Center. It&#39;s always at 3 p.m., it&#39;s always on Saturday, and it&#39;s always free. Get all your</em>&nbsp;The Paper Machete Radio Magazine&nbsp;<em>needs filled&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/paper-machete" target="_blank">here</a>, or download the podcast from iTunes&nbsp;<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-paper-machete-radio-magazine/id450280345" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p></p> Sat, 09 Jun 2012 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-06/all-civility-depends-being-able-contain-rage-individuals-civility H8ing on the famous and non-famous, on and offline http://www.wbez.org/blog/claire-zulkey/2011-09-15/h8ing-famous-and-non-famous-and-offline-92032 <p><p>Several years ago I learned an important lesson: don’t write anything about a person online that you wouldn’t feel comfortable saying to his or her face. I was typing up a review of <em>Dancing with the Stars</em> for a newspaper and criticized the show’s co-host, Samantha Harris, whom I considered inept. I wanted to compare her to another TV host who people seemed to loathe yet embrace at the same time. Originally, I went with Ryan Seacrest, but my editor said, “People seem to like Ryan Seacrest. How about somebody else?” I can’t remember if she suggested Seacrest’s replacement or if I came up with his name, but I subbed in the name of another good-looking TV host, one who is related to a former President or two.<br> <br> Imagine my surprise when this host saw my piece and dropped me an email, calling me out on my snark. I was shocked: I couldn’t believe that anybody famous read what I wrote, nor could I believe they’d care what I think. But moreover, I was embarrassed, because I didn’t really mean what I had written. &nbsp;It would have been different had I made an accurate criticism of this person that I could back up, but I couldn’t really defend myself. I’m a critic, and I’m not afraid to criticize people even if it means getting some blowback (you should check out the comments <a href="http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/showtracker/2011/07/so-you-think-you-can-dance-recap-bad-romance.html">here</a> when I suggested that it’s possible that Lady Gaga was over-the-top this one time). But ever since that incident, I try my hardest not to say things on the record that I don’t believe are fair or that I couldn’t defend.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-15/kim k h8r.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 327px;" title="Kim Kardashian and host Mario Lopez confront a 'H8R'"><br> <br> Being a person who writes online, I’ve had a fair share of rude things said about or to me from anonymous sources, usually based on really important topics like what I thought about the last episode of <em>Saturday Night Live</em> or something like that. So I’ve been on the receiving end of blowback from anonymous people who are bored and just want to be mean and probably don’t give a second thought about what they say. This is an interesting topic, anonymous drive-by rudeness, and so there’s a nugget of valid interest in the new upcoming show <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/13/arts/television/in-reality-show-celebrities-confront-detractors.html?_r=1"><em>H8R</em></a>, wherein celebrities confront the people who’ve said mean things about them online and try to convince them that they’re all right.<br> <br> However, the show seems like it goes about this phenomenon all wrong. I chose to write online and having to deal with the occasional mean comment is part of the territory. I don’t love it, but I’ve learned to deal with it and ignore it or get over it when I have to. People like Kim Kardashian and Snooki have chosen their h8r-intensive careers in a much more dramatic fashion: their jobs are contingent on people watching and talking about them. Their job, basically, is to be talked about. If people didn’t have strong opinions on them, they’d be out of a career. If, as a piddling freelance online writer, I’m willing to take a certain amount of guff from the peanut gallery, surely a person who makes hundreds of thousands of dollars for appearing on-camera to do nothing but be herself has to have made some peace with the fact that not everybody loves her--and you know what they say about good and bad press, anyway. It seems like the pinnacle of egotism to be rich for being infamous and then also demand that everyone love you as well.<br> <br> The bigger issue with me is that <em>H8R </em>says that it’s an anti-bullying, anti-hate kind of show, and that’s why I hope it crashes and burns (I’m h8ing on <em>H8R </em>before I’ve even seen it, so I guess I’ll probably end up on the show). The reason why bullying and anti-bigotry has become such a more high-profile topic lately is because of stories about kids who were emotionally and physically traumatized, kids who were drawn to suicide or murder or who were attacked and filmed on cell phone cameras. These are the victims of bullying that anti-bullying laws and the Its Gets Better Project have in mind. Not rich girls with extensions who are mad that some middle-class single mom in the midwest wrote a rude comment about her on Perez Hilton’s website.<br> <br> I am all for encouraging people to think before they type (and that includes myself.) But for any celebrity involved with <em>H8R </em>to say that he or she has been “bullied” is a slap in the face to anyone who has actually been victimized and moreover was helpless to do anything. You’re famous for being on a reality TV show or a sex tape and you’re angry that people say rude things about you on some blog? Turn off your computer. Go on vacation. Start a new project. It is not the same thing as being forced to face your attackers every day and not being able to do anything about it. To suggest so actually makes you legitimately h8able.</p></p> Thu, 15 Sep 2011 15:25:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/claire-zulkey/2011-09-15/h8ing-famous-and-non-famous-and-offline-92032