Yeah, so much for National “Write something every day on your blog” Month. Good thing I made that up because I can now say there was a typo and “month” should read “week” (darn my clumsy fingers) and I exceeded the minimum by a fair margin.

I will have more to write shortly. In the meantime I have added a very exciting “Currently” listing so you can see what stupid forms of entertainment I have chosen at the moment. Enjoy!

How to prove you are dumb on the Internet

A year ago CBC decided it would be nifty to give the public a voice on its news website by allowing user comments. As shocking as it may seem, a lot of the comments are belligerent, ignorant and dumb. I know, I know, it is hard to believe that people with extreme (or Xtreme!!) opinions would leap at the chance to share their idiotic views with a large if anonymous audience.

Let’s take a random sample.

In today’s news, there is a story titled Federal New Democrats want complete overhaul of EI system. There are 247 comments as I post this. The first and last paragraphs of the story read as so:

The federal NDP says it’s time the Conservative government made it easier for people to get employment insurance benefits.


The federal NDP is asking the government to eliminate the waiting period for EI, reduce the number of work hours needed to qualify, expand eligibility to include self-employed workers and encourage retraining.

Here is the first comment:

can’t come quick enough !

Okay, a little weak on the whole capitalization thing and in his or her excitement there is an errant space before the exclamation point but this person has expressed a viewpoint in a concise and non-controversial manner. But this is the first post, so pretty much a fluke. Let’s dig a little further…

By the fifth post we have KooteneyForestryGirl saying:

Its already such an abused system, you don’t need to make it even easier.
Personally I’d rather just keep my own money and be able to invest as I see fit for tough times. I hate being “babysat,” I think the whole program should be scraped. If people don’t have the foresight to plan ahead then tough luck..

Without saying why, she claims the system is abused, but hey, no need to back up an opinion, right? She perhaps doesn’t quite understand how EI actually works, but if we just scrape the program then, I dunno, maybe scientists can gather a sample to examine and figure out how to make it work better! Now here’s the important thing — KFG has staked out a position that EI is bad and thinks it should go away. She has 43 agreeing but 146 disagreeing. No surprises there. The groundwork has been laid for a nice fight.

Bi Polar Bear uses breathless hyperbole to make his case in support:

I’ve known dozens of people who don’t like their jobs – so they quit … then expect to get EI. It doesn’t work that way folks. If you don’t like your job – get another job.

Yes, he knows dozens — that is to say, at least 24 or 36 people — who have quit their jobs specifically to collect EI. He must hang around dumb folks to make himself feel smart. I’ve never known anyone who quit their job thinking they could get EI (you can’t). Obligatory slam at the NDP:

The NDP would gladly tax us to 95% if they could.

Because all socialists want to tax people into ruin because that’s what they do, amirite?

Irrelevant potshot at current government that has nothing to do with the actual news story:

It’s time to overhaul the federal government too; that is, give Harper and his neo-clown posse the boot all the way back to Cow Town!

And on it goes. This story is actually a fairly mild one in terms of the user comments but it’s still kind of depressing. The average person who posts just seems kind of ugly and uncaring. These are not people you really feel like sharing a coffee with at Tim Horton’s.

Tonight we spring forward, tomorrow we wake up cranky

Tonight begins Year 3 of the “even earlier daylight savings time” in which PDT stretches from March to November. This means we are on daylight savings for 3/4 of the year now, all the better to help farmers. Farmers who apparently do not have electricity and can only work under the steady glare of the sun. Yeah, I don’t get it, either.