First of all, you probably mean “biased”. Second of all, journalism isn’t a term that means “stories you agree with”. Third of all, fuck you.
It seems like every so often the comments at Gizmodo fill up with entitled, half-witted thinkers, like a boil taut with ignorance. Even the least pointed opinion by an author ruptures it, leaving us dripping with wet bitterness. It’s time to give the commentariat a good lancing.
Let’s get to weeping.
You Don’t Get To Call Us Unprofessional
There’s a reason this came to mind first: This little gambit has really been getting my goat lately.
It goes like this: 1) We put up a post you don’t like. 2) Rather than ignoring the post and enjoying a different post – or in the worst case decided you do not enjoy the mix of stories of Gizmodo any longer and going somewhere else – you decide to express your dissatisfaction. 3) You accuse us of being unprofessional, typically without any clear indication by which standards of professionalism we are being judged.
To be fair, you are very stupid. When presented with something that does not match your very rigid preconceptions of what should entertain you this very second, you lash out with the all the weaponry at your disposal, spitting flechettes of feeble cruelty at the slightest provocation. If you could, when presented with your french fries on the left side of the plastic tray and not the obviously superior right side, you would reach across the counter and give the cashier’s nipples a hard twist. And then call him unprofessional.
I try to allow for this, especially when presented in the “But you call yourselves journalists!” package. I know that most of the people attempting to define and discard our opinions have the media comprehension ability of an especially contemplative elk. Still, consider this in a scrolling, flashing, graphic set overtop an exploding marching band: “Journalism” is an act, a process, not a role nor a duty. Sometimes, despite all inclination to the contrary, journalism is practised at Gizmodo. Sometimes we summarise or respond to journalistic works of other outlets. And sometimes – most of the time – we’re just talking.
There, I’ve said it. Our secret is out. While most of us blogging at Gizmodo really like electronics, internet culture, and, you know, all the other topics we stuff in between the cracks; and while we think we know a little bit more about these topics than the average person, if only by dint of being steeped in it all day long for years at a time, when we write a review we’re not pretending to have come down from on high with the only opinion, the canonical perspective.
Nope. We’re just telling you the same thing the same way we’d tell a friend if they asked us about a gadget in a bar. “Hey, should I buy that new thing?” “Eh, not really.” “What’s the best thing I should buy?” “Buy this one.”
I understand why you think every review should have fifteen pages of statistics and never mention any other products or competitors: You’re a weird geek. That’s OK. I’m pretty geeky about some shit too. You should here me debating the merits of differing 4×4 trucks when really most are as good as another, or hear Matt tell you exactly why one method of coffee extraction is better than another.
But don’t forget that you’re not the only one that reads this site. And that ultimately, we may just not be geeky enough for you – or geeky in the direction you prefer.
If only there were other sites on the internet that wrote about gadgets and technology.
But what is never, ever an acceptable tactic is trying to knock out our podium from underneath us. For one thing, it’s just dumb: The boundaries of what and who and how is or isn’t or ain’t journalism is endlessly fascinating and very nearly always endlessly useless. And if you’re a twerpy little internet chump trying to decide whether to get into a dick-slapping contest on Gizmodo or jerk off to Reddit Gone Wild, you haven’t exactly earned the right to ask others to watch you jerk off about the travails of modern media. Especially not when we own the fucking podium.
“Bias” Is a Spectrum and We’re All On It
Apple, Google, Microsoft and Sony all make some excellent products. Well, maybe not Sony.
The worst case scenario, the sort of nightmare ideascape that keeps so many of you evil little drips blowing snot bubbles of ire, is that we might actually like a company’s products. Or maybe even like a company!
We are not robots. And unless you really are autistic instead of just playing one while standing alone in the corner at a party, neither are you. Brands, products, experiences – they all mix at different points in time with different contexts. And they change.
But saying someone’s opinion is invalid because they have an opinion—especially when they’ve never pretended otherwise – is such a joke. And you know it when you type it. Or maybe you don’t. But you will when you grow up.
And for fuck’s sake, use the right word. “This is the most bias article…” or “How can you be so bias?” is not proper English, even if you typed your response by strategically drooling on each key.
You Go Personal, You Go Home
So I was raped when I was a kid by a parent and I wrote about it. In case you’re wondering: It fucking sucked, but I’m much better, thank you.
But when I got into a scuffle with some commenters last week they decided to take something I’d written about that experience and use it to suggest to Brian Lam that I have anger issues. They were concerned for me, you see. They suggested therapy for my unresolved issues.
I do have anger issues, you dumb, cruel, entitled, tunnel-vision shit eaters. My anger issues are with you, because you are so foul, so unable to use the internet as a thoroughfare for human compassion or – Christ – even just a civil conversation. It’s so far beyond your comprehension that perhaps you are rude or simply wrong that you’d dredge up something that has absolutely no bearing on – wait for it – arguments about gadgets.
You Have No Rights
Having written here and on other sites for years, it has been my pleasure and honour to get to know several people in real life and online through interactions in comments. I think it’s amazing when you have conversations in the footer of an article that ends up changing your perspective.
But it’s still my article. And nothing you can do – be a commenter for years; be civil in the past; even be right – gives you an excuse to be disrespectful or even impolite in the comments of an article or in an email to an editor. I mean, you can be a spurting gash of venom as much as you want. But you can’t do that and then expect to get any sort of respect back.
You don’t like Gizmodo? You think we’re the tabloid dregs of the technology world? That’s great. I bet you’d be surprised how many criticisms you have of the site and of various actions with which editors of this site would agree. (We’re debating this shit all the time, which is one of the reasons that I actually like working at this tabloid. Until we do something I disagree with, at least.)
But while you’re free to have your opinion and rage about it to your heart’s content, you aren’t free to do it here. There’s plenty to criticise about this site from institutional issues right down to individual posts, but presenting those critiques like an arsehole and then gasping when we don’t listen to them is so, so weak. And unless you’re the sort of twat who, when invited to someone’s house to hang out, starts every sentence over a beer with “You fucking suck. (Bias.) Pass the nachos” then you already know that doing the same in the comments or in email is chump behaviour of the first order.
Piece: said. I feel better. Now get out there and prove how miserable and dumb I am with reason, veiled sarcasm, and faux timidity. Those are tactics to which I am not yet inured.