Photo Boy On Anton Yelchin And Bullshit Internet Speculation
Anyone else getting a Murderous Penguins That Killed Brittany Murphy vibe? No? Well, fuck you.
Yesterday, Fish and I had a bit of a spat over what I viewed was rampant knee jerk speculation about Anton Yelchin’s Jeep Grand Cherokee and whether or not his death was a result of the same transmission malfunction the vehicle has recently been recalled for. And when I say “spat,” I mean we Gchatted insults about each other’s dick size a few times before moving on to discuss Angelina Jolie’s implants. Fish maintains that actual journalism includes finding angles like the Jeep recall and chasing them down, and I feel like there’s no real story there until an investigation links that specific mechanical problem with Yelchin’s death. So, I went on a pissy rant about how bullshit stories like that one (in my opinion) lead to noting but endless, inane internet speculation and Fish went, “Write that down, dummy. This is our job.”
Here’s an example of what I’m already using way too many dick joke-less words to get at. As soon as the first Orlando reports broke, the internet couldn’t wait to broadly speculate on Mateen’s motivations – his upbringing, his past and present relationships, and his social and political ideologies – which are all, of course, valid pieces of the puzzle. But they’re each singular pieces of information that couldn’t possibly explain what makes a human capable of such a monstrous act. And yet, each singular piece of information became a battle line: “He said homophobic things in the past,” or “He pledged allegiance to ISIS on the 911 call,” or “He was hooking up with dudes on Grindr!” And instead of waiting for these pieces of information to be gathered into a real investigation that combines the facts and evidence of the crime with a psychological profile of the perpetrator, the internet solved it a hundred different ways then argued about it on Facebook while the news cycle flung every piece of speculative chum it could find into the hungry mouths of comment thread warriors. I understand the horrible feeling the question of “Why?” leaves – especially for the families of the victims – but I can say with certainty that not one single eulogy in Orlando is going to include Omar Mateen’s voter registration or whether or not he was actually still on a terror watchlist when he purchased the guns he used in the attack.
And before anyone accuses that admittedly apples-to-oranges comparison of being the same old “How can we concern ourselves with this bullshit while this bullshit over here is going on at the same time?” argument, it isn’t. Well, not entirely. See, yesterday, while the internet was solving the mystery of Anton Yelchin’s death – whether it was determining that he was a pussy who didn’t know how to tear apart and reassemble his Jeep transmission or that he was the victim of a giant, evil motor company who relishes in watching their customers die instead of shipping recall parts to dealers – Congress had four gun control bills on the floor. None of them passed. There were two Democratic and two Republican proposals, each seeking in some way to limit access to people on terrorist watch lists and to broaden background checks. There has to be a reason for this failure to once again move in the tiniest forward direction on a social issue that a vast majority of the country seems to agree on. And maybe it’s because the issue of gun control gets the exact same kind of toothless comment thread rage as Chekov’s freak accident death or Amber Heard’s text messages.
What I’m saying is while we spin our wheels endlessly debating shit we’ll eventually find out when professionals have enough time to complete their work, the vehicle that’s stuck in place is progress. And I’m not saying that if all the Anton Yelchin noise yesterday was aimed at the vote on the Senate floor instead, there could have been a different outcome, but maybe? We’ll never know because can we even differentiate what makes us more frustrated?
I write all of this knowing full well what we do here, which is hyperbole at best, and shamelessly shoving boob photos into any possible topic at worst. My question is: Why the fuck does everyone else do this? I mean by all means, please keep reading our bullshit and clicking on the photos — our livelihood literally depends on it — but know that we’re aware that we’re using a turd stick to stir the shit pot. There is nothing at stake here. Even when we’re discussing gun control or how partisan politics has buttfucked this country into a Donald Trump candidacy, know that we’re only doing this because we somehow haven’t been forced back into the service industry. The second that happens, I’m sure my world will be filled with the same impotent social rage that drives millions into the endless void of the comments. And maybe I’ll start stockpiling memes to share on Facebook or join in some hashtag activism, but until then I’m actually getting paid to post boobs and shit on whatever I feel like shitting on that day. And today it’s the entire internet. The whole goddamn thing and its inability do anything but armchair quarterback the problems of society until they’re approached with the same level of importance as a fucking brownie recipe on Pinterest.