Revisiting the Work: Confessions from the Comments Section
Original Book Synopsis:
Internet comments sections are the Roman coliseums of the Information Age, filled with noisy spectators desperate to be heard and slobbering to be satisfied. They may try to blend-in with the crowd by employing fake usernames, but we all know what kind of people they REALLY are, once they start to trumpet their relentless opinions!
Without regard for others, folks like the All-Caps Idiocy Maximizer, The Yelp Whelp, The Drunken Ranter, and The Puppy Suckler feed like a ravenous zombie-horde upon the putrefying scraps of our bloated pop culture. Clamoring for attention, characters like Rhonda the Reasonable, The Garden-Variety Idiot, The Big Word Hurler, and The Special Snowflake fuel the great, ongoing war between The Smarts and The Stupids. True identities may remain hidden, but in the jungle of internet comments sections, people reveal far more than they think about their secret lives … and why civilization is heading for a spectacular crack-up.
In ‘Confessions from the Comments Section: The Secret Lives of Internet Commenters and Other Pop Culture Zombies,’ humorist Jonathan Kieran shines an uproarious and irreverent light upon 33 different “types” of internet commenter, exploring issues like religious hypocrisy, narcissism, and celebrity obsession while probing the hilarious depths to which human behavior will plunge when people think they are anonymous online. Read it and laugh or read it and weep … especially if you happen to recognize yourself.
MANHATTAN BOOK REVIEW of Confessions from the Comments Section
Obi-Wan Kenobi once said you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy than the Mos Eisley spaceport. Then again, I doubt Obi-Wan spent much time in the comments section of any website, news article, or YouTube video.Confessions from the Comments Section is Jonathan Kieran’s valiant effort to catalogue the seemingly endless parade of trolls, nuisances, know-it-alls, martyrs, and maniacs that contribute to the fetid cesspool known as the average Internet comments section. From racism and self-righteousness to idiocy and borderline illiteracy, he covers all the bases, doing his damnedest to bring into sharp relief just what makes each of these subcategories as distinct as they are irritating. And although there were fewer chuckles than I’d hoped for, Kieran makes many worthwhile points about the self-delusion behind many of these archetypes.While most of the included comic strips and illustrations didn’t do much for me, the Adventures of God were a delight, lampooning the idea of the omnipotent, but disinterested, lord of all creation.Whether you call it a scathing takedown of humanity’s most vocal and ignorant or simply the first stirrings of Internet anthropology, Confessions from the Comments Section is well-executed and rarely off-base.
—Glenn Dallas, MANHATTAN BOOK REVIEW
LOOKING BACK TODAY:
What else can be said about this tempestuous excursion into the exploding world of internet comments sections before the phenomenon of “woke” really grabbed the nation by a stranglehold it has yet to loosen? The whole endeavor is not quite a rant; it’s a calibrated and take-no-prisoners look at different types of personalities that might be discerned beneath the anonymity of any online comments cesspit. It’s definitely funny, though today’s humorless Victorian prudes of the “over-enlightened” persuasion might not think so seven years later, as culture swirls at last toward the Goodbye Forever Chute of the Existential Toilet. I rather think the whole thing was prescient, in its way, and my discernment instincts were in full swing … my Satirical Phaser set to VAPORIZE. Eh, it got some great reviews and sold pretty well. I can live with that.
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