This girl doesn't want your acceptance, just the attention the perfectly forgettable rest of her couldn't do without that godawful hair. While I'm not one to go around dispensing life lessons like some sort of haywire lesson-dispensing machine (non-haywire lesson-dispensing machines probably don't consider eating an entire Crave Case and writing Internet comedy articles “a Friday evening well-spent”), I think it's important for people to know that they'll have to recognize their own shortcomings at some point. This is where I feel I can leave an impression on the world. Since I am an Internet comedy writer, as well as a member of the SA Forums, I am well-versed in the ways of criticism. They're in my blood. I can look at a picture of a supermodel for a fraction of a second and write a 12-page dissertation on how her left eye is slightly lower than her right, all the while absentmindedly scratching my crotch and trying to figure out why my keyboard smells like sun-ripened clam chowder. Life in the Ivory Tower would be great if there weren't mysterious yellow stains on all the doorknobs.
In this sense the Internet is a great learning tool. Not only does it show people their spot on the human food chain, it gives me a venue to wax critical on every droopy eye and extra pound that comes into my purview. It is also a lot safer than say, a bus stop or the local Wal-Mart, where facial hair indicates gender as accurately as a stretch-marked gut peeking from the bottom of an “NWO 4-Lyfe” T-shirt. Within the confines of the Web I can call a fat person “fat”, a stupid person “stupid”, or Bob “BobServo” Mackey “a stupid, fat person” with little fear of physical retribution. This is the way it should be.
Keeping this in mind it should come as no surprise that females bear the brunt of the Internet's critical gaze. This is not because they're more flawed than their junk-endowed counterparts, mind you, but because their feelings are easier to hurt. Take me, for example. You can call me ugly. You can call me lazy. You can say I look like I haven't shaved in two months and I smell like a rotten pumpkin full of stagnant deer urine. These things don't bother me. I'm fully aware of my foibles. Females, on the other hand, are pretty little balls of breasts and vaginas and insecurity. Shoot an unstable girl a sideways glance and she's instant damaged goods. It doesn't matter if she has great hair or the blue bubbles in her cellulite match her good eye. It's very easy to strip a young lass of her confidence, just like what that housefire did to 90 percent of her skin when she was a kid.
As you've likely gathered, I feel using a a pseudonym to anonymously destroy a girl's self-confidence through a computer network is a beautiful, natural thing. It's like high school, except there's no homework and nobody ever has to walk away from a fumbling, awkward boiler room makeout session sniffing their fingers between hushed sobs if they don't want to. This is the power of democracy. Without this power America would be a terrible place, a country where women with the general shape and consistency of oatmeal-stuffed trash bags went around uninhibited in tube tops and short-shorts. In case you haven't noticed, a majority of Georgia is still without Internet connectivity. Much like what my dad's favorite T-shirt says about the amount of beers in a 24-pack and the number of hours in a day, this is hardly a coincidence.
Here is where we run into problems. While any sane person understands the value of a good e-thrashing and the positive effects it can have on an impressionable young female, there are others who feel the Internet should be a kinder, gentler place. While I hate to make cliché generalizations about Internet users, this is likely because the closest they've ever come to sexual contact with a female was when they discovered lipstick worked well as hand decoration and lubricant. These, kind readers, are Internet White Knights.
To the Internet White Knight nothing is more enticing than the thought of a distressed female. If they remove the cause of the distress, they reason, they can then engage in sexual intercourse with the female in question. It doesn't matter if one party is in New York and the other is in California: The Internet White Knight firmly believes he could trip, fall 3,000 horizontal miles, and land dick-first in a pile of chubby Internet pussy.
Naturally this mentality causes a lot of trouble for people like me on the SA Forums. No longer am I Pantsfish, the guy who insults people really well, or Pantsfish, the guy who bans people on a whim if he suspects they might possibly make a negative comment about one of his articles. No, I am Pantsfish, the girl-hater. The misogynist. Let that roll off your tongue: Miss-ohj-uh-nist. Fairly unnatural word, right? Pretty hard to spell, too. That's because it was never meant to be written or spoken. As a rule of thumb, if a word has a “Y” where an “E” or “I” should be it was created to piss sane people off. NO I AM NOT DRACULA YES I DO NEED MY FACE PUNCHED IN
The Internet White Knight's inability to touch women and penchant for spending hours a day defending them online are eternally intertwined, much like the Yin and the Yang. “The last word” is an alien phrase to a white knight. He will argue until he is out of breath – not from talking, mind you, but from typing so furiously the Cheeto dust on his keyboard dislodges and aggravates his asthma – to defend the virtue of his fair Internet maiden. No argument goes unchecked. No criticism goes unscrutinized. If the web is his steed the white knight's sword is his penis, and every pissing match, no matter how small, is as important as a presidential election, the Super Bowl, and World War III combined.
To accomplish his goal a White Knight will engage his enemy in a war of attrition and vernacular. No matter how ugly, no matter how goddamn horribly dogged a female may be, she still has a vagina. This is all the encouragement a white knight needs. After he has murdered logic and buried it deep within the folds under his lady's stubbled armpit, he will employ his stunning use of vocabulary to win the battle. They are designed not only to make his opponent look like an idiot, but to score brownie (or in this case, tuna) points with the woman he defends. If you ever find yourself wrapped up in a fierce war of words with an Internet White Knight, please find the nearest shotgun and pray to christ your big toe is flexible enough to operate a trigger. If that fails to work for whatever reason, feel free to consult this list of common terms:
“Nice eyes”: On the off chance there's still a female or two reading this article, I'd like to note that if you ever post your picture on the Internet and someone compliments your “nice eyes” you're better off displaying them through holes in a paper bag. A full-body paper bag. Preferably a full-body paper bag that creates the illusion of a shape that isn't “sphere”. Internet White Knights are incredibly adept at finding positive things about repulsive people, and if all they can find to compliment are your eyes chances are even he wants to take an ice pick to his.
“Curvy”: Fat. Internet White Knights fail to discount “curves” that bend outwards. Be careful, though: If she has scoliosis he may be talking about the curvature of her spine. If she's cocking her head (or the upper half of her torso) in her photos, you may want to concede this point. If you poke her in the back she should turn around and slap you, not fall down and have a seizure.
”Soft features:” The girl is like a memory foam mattress covered in coins, crumbs, toy cars, and other things she picked up laying on the couch. Ricki Lake's face is more angular than hers. With some practice she may be able to fend off attackers by catching their fists in her pliable flesh, much like the T-1000 in “Terminator 2”. The average monster truck would get hung up if it ran over her.
“Has a great sense of humor:” Apparently God does, too.
“Very Friendly”: Often said in the same tone as embarrassed dog owners hosting a dinner party. Has to convince you she is worth your time instead of the other way around. This is not a good sign. Likely works a receptionist/secretary job. Has survived three stabbings by disgruntled employees. Goes out of her way to explain ensuing scars are not from C-sections.
“Open minded”: Will do anal. Will likely cheat on you with a black man. Possibly a black woman, depending on how “open minded” she is. The woman will be horribly ugly so don't get your hopes up. Had so many penises inside her at once her vagina resembled an overstuffed quiver with a butterfly tattooed on it. Now it looks like a canned ham someone dropped off a building and stomped with a pair of cleats for good measure.
While that list may sound horribly misogynist in and of itself, it's only fair to point out that these are the types of female an Internet White Knight will defend. It doesn't matter what is wrong with the girl, he will argue for her virtue until his face is as blue as his sodium-swollen ankles. This is because the Internet White Knight's sense of morality is almost as skewed as his sense of indignity. To them, seeing a guy ripping on a girl, no matter how haggard she is, is like watching an ogre stomp a defenseless baby. A baby he could potentially defend and claim as his own. Even Zack “Geist Editor” Parsons drew a shitstorm for this excellent article, from people who honestly believed the girl in question was “beautiful in her own way”. I guarantee you half of her would-be guardians fought for her because her face strongly resembled a second vagina.
If you've noticed a lot of anger towards the SA Forums in this update it's because a small number of forum members (known as “Goons”) are big idiots. Ha! Just kidding. All goons are idiots. The minority I'm talking about are idiots with no standards. This is a huge distinction. The average goon may post a thread saying “If this reaches 1,000 posts I'll solder my genitals to a pewter statue of Jesus”, but he wouldn't put that same solder-scarred package anywhere near the kind of a girl an Internet White Knight would defend.
While I don't necessarily agree with spotlighting specific forums threads for fear of stirring up drama, this little beauty is exactly the kind of thing I'm talking about. You can read it without a forums account. Go ahead, I'll wait. When you're done reading the first post I have a little quiz for you. Here it is: Ah, a beautiful Internet maiden, fresh-picked from the local CD shop and ready to talk for hours on end about her period. Behind those novelty oversized sunglass and dumb, lifeless eyes is a spark of intelligence. Or hunger.
When looking at this picture, which most closely matches your reaction?
If you answered any of the first three, congratulations. You're not an idiot. If you read the thread and thought the fourth option, however, you are. We realize 99.9 percent of women aren't supermodels. I'm engaged and I don't spend my weekends flying off to Milan to vacation while my fiancée does Covergirl shoots. Really, that isn't even the statistic we should be talking about: The number we're looking for is 30. For you math-challenged types that's the girl in the oven's body fat percentage.
Of course, I did my best to show our fledgling young orca the error of her ways, and of course most goons backed me up. Just as surely, the vocal contingent was there, too. By the second page of the thread they were everywhere. They said a guy doing the same thing wouldn't catch near as much torment. They said we were oafs and misogynists for having the gall to make fun of a girl who posted a picture of her lumpy, shirtless body on a forum with nearly 90,000 members. We, they said, were animals. Assholes. Then, finally, another forum member (who will remain unnamed for fear of summoning him into my kitchen, where he would unhinge his jaw and swallow my entire refrigerator like a morbidly obese nerdsnake), popped in with this little gem. And yes, before you ask, the picture is really him.
Not every person who got in on the fight looked like a hive full of collagen bees descended on his splotchy, basketball-sized face. The girl's douchebag boyfriend (who stopped wearing those mirrored sunglasses when his lady looked into his eyes and turned to stone) jumped in the fray, calling me “really disrespectful”. To this day I'm not entirely sure what this phrase means. Maybe I didn't pay his woman tribute by rolling her on a back and spraying the moss off her stomach when I addressed her. That's the best I can figure.
But I'm not here to argue my point from long-dead message board flame wars. I'm here to say that, as horrible as it may sound, some girls just aren't worth defending. If she has one mediocre trait, an Internet White Knight is willing to overlook a thousand downright bad ones. She likes anime? Great, it doesn't matter if she always wears sweatpants and leaves the stench of cigarette smoke and rotten fish on every surface she sits on. She might spend most of a first date talking about her Myspace friends and ask you to wear her dad's suit jacket when you take her to bed, but at least she listens to cool music. If she plays video games it doesn't matter that she asked you to indulge her rape fantasy and then called the police on you when you were done, even if she tried to give the cop a handjob as he hauled you off to the squad car.
In the end, I suppose it's a matter of perspective. Rational people give shit to people who deserve it, Internet White Knights think people should be given an idiot pass by virtue of having a vagina. I'm not about to liken women's rights to their struggles on the Internet. Any sociologist who has looked at a message board for serious study needs to be beaten to death with his own degree. The Internet is a mean place for mean people to get together and make mean comments about people. Also for corporations to make billions of dollars in sales and advertising revenue, but I'm guessing my SA money accounts for about a ten-billionth of a percent of that so we won't go into an economics lesson. I just want to make fun of ugly chicks without “SirSpoge611” jumping my case for being a so-called misogynist.
That, and who really thinks it's worth standing up for a fat girl who posted a picture of herself crawling into an oven? I could say something mean, like “she looks like the Pillsbury Doughboy fell into a gamma ray oven” or “bitch ain't got dumps like a truck, she a semi”, but I'm off to catch a plane to Milan. Later, plebes.
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.