Why I Hate the Internet
Volume I Issue 2 Editorial

Here we sit, bleary-eyed on a January day in the year of our Lord, nineteen-hundred and ninety-six, and ponder the fact that a recent Gallup poll revealed that more Americans today have email than indoor plumbing. The information age has truly come to the masses. So, in the interests of keeping up with the times, we here at Xero have something for you wireheads to try the next time you're up at four AM being irradiated by your monitors instead of doing something productive, like sleeping. Just point your Web browser to http://xpg.com/~xero and see what happens. In fact, feel free to try it right now-we'll wait.

No, it's not a problem with our server; there is no such Web site! You see, we here at Xero, after long and sometimes acrimonious debate, have decided that the most appropriate way to bring Xero to the Net is to use the most minimalist of approaches. But before you Netizens start believing us a bunch of barbaric, benighted neo-Luddite heathens who belong in the dark ages, let me explain. It's not that we have anything against the Net per se; it's just that most of the people on it are, in the words of my friend Tom, a bunch of "beetle-backed, split-toothed, spindle-necked, ratchet-headed geeks." C'mon, fess up. How many of you Net weenies spend more than an hour a day downloading nekkid .GIF files of Sandra Bullock or pretending to have sex with someone who's pretending to be a sixteen-year-old girl named Buttercup? I thought so.

The Internet, that sprawling wasteland of flame wars and Senatorial subcommittee members, is the single most democratic society in all of recorded human civilization, which means that its content is determined almost entirely by the interests of its many citizens, which means that most of it really isn't very interesting at all. Oh, some bits of it are cool-the nekkid .GIF pics of Sandra Bullock, for example-but for the most part, cyberspace today has all the intellectual depth of cottage cheese without nearly as interesting a texture. The cold, bitter, and heretical truth of the matter is: Shooting pool, having sex, climbing cliffs, blowing up bridges, publishing magazines, and plotting the violent overthrow of every Western democracy are all more fun than talking about any of these things-and are certainly more fun than downloading fuzzy, low-resolution pictures of other people doing these things. The emperor has no clothes. And while the cozy, abstract world of the Internet doesn't carry with it much chance of running out of condoms or blowing your fool head off, anything with no risk is worth precisely nothing. The world is more interesting than the Net. So there.

 

-fwv 18-Jan-1995


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