Hadley Freeman writes about fashion, popular culture, and whatever else strikes her fancy for the Guardian This graph comes from a piece called The Elan Gale internet hoax sums up all that is rotten about our online lives:
Gale is a TV producer from Los Angeles. He is also the proud winner of "Most tragic display of attention-seeking neediness of the week", beating even Kate Moss posing in Playboy with a pom-pom pinned to her rear end – so you're already getting an idea of the depths of idiocy here. Last Thursday, while many Americans were trying to escape their families and digest their Thanksgiving turkey, Gale entertained them by live-tweeting an encounter on an aeroplane with a woman called "Diane". He described how he avenged Diane's rudeness to the air stewards by telling her to "eat my dick", and the internet cheered. Thinkpieces sprouted up instantly, some asking why the web was so casually misogynistic, others asking whether so many would have been supportive of Gale's vigilantism if he'd been anything other than a Caucasian man. Most simply claimed Gale had "won Thanksgiving" (sorry, pilgrims). And then it transpired on Monday night, after several days of self-defensive self-righteousness from Gale, that he had made the whole thing up. Incidentally, Gale is 30. Not 13. Thirty.
When I read about this, I immediately smelled a rat in troll drag. Lots of folks were taken in, but why someone who was rude to defend politeness briefly became a "hero" on the interwebs is beyond me. Having been in retail for many years, I hate it when someone demeans a service industry worker, but stooping to their level is not something that I find attractive or appealing. It's certainly not "heroic" since being a tweeting smart ass doesn't remotely rise to the level of heroism. It makes you a mobile couch potato with a smartphone that is being used very, very stupidly.
Make sure you read Hadley's entire article. It rocks and she rules. That is all.