Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Internet Hoaxes (and the Vulture that loathes them)

Like most Americans, I receive a LOT of email every day. Some of it is mail from friends and family. Some of it is "subscription" email: updates from news sites, notifications of new column availability from one of the columnists I follow closely, etc. Some of it is "necessary evil" email: newsletters you receive because you signed up for some software or registered some product. Some of it is spam -- Satan's own way of tormenting us. No, I do NOT want to try your product for "male enhancement", thank you.

And then there's the stuff that absolutely drives me nuts. Glurge is one of those things. No I will NOT send this POS to 12 of my closest friends so that they can be as annoyed with me as I am with the asshat who sent me the crap in the first place.

But top of my list is Internet Hoaxes. You know what I'm talking about - "the government is going to tax every email", "such-and-such drug contains poison", "'in God we trust' has been removed removed from the dollar coin", etc, etc, etc, ad nauseum.

So you can correctly surmise that I was none too pleased when I got this ancient nugget in my inbox yesterday.


CBS discontinued 'Touched by an Angel' for using the word God in every program. Madeline Murray O'Hare, an atheist, successfully managed to eliminate the use of Bible reading from public schools a few years ago. Now her organization has been granted a federal hearing on the same subject by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Their petition, Number 2493, would ultimately pave the way to stop the reading of the gospel, our Lord and Savior, on the airwaves of America .

Please press 'forward', and forward this to everyone that you think should read this. Now, please sign your name at the bottom (you can only add your name after you have pressed the 'Forward').
My head exploded. This little "nugget" has been around F-O-R-E-V-E-R (the original version first appeared in 1996). And the copy I received had 2,118 signatures. 2,118 asshats who fell for the BS! I "replied all", with the following:
This may be the second longest-lived Internet hoax of all time, trailing only "Bill Gates will give you cash to forward this email to all your friends".

Here are the clues: Touched by an Angel was canceled years ago (2003), and Madalyn Murray O'Hare has been DEAD for even longer (1995).

Okay, a little terse, perhaps. But Judas Johnson Methusalah! It takes less than 5 minutes to fact check this s****! And Snopes ALWAYS has the real dirt - at least check Snopes before sending me that crap!

This morning, I got an email from the sender (whose identity I'll protect; he didn't sign the thing and I'm sure he sent it more-or-less on a lark), saying, in his inimitable tongue-in-cheek way, "What a killjoy! All those people hoping to bolster Chritianity and you shower them with cold water.....shame."

Yeah, I'm a real bastard.

But, here's the thing. I wonder, when I see stuff like that, if people even READ that crap before they forward it, or if they bother to run it through their BS detectors -- or if they even HAVE BS detectors. Maybe because mine is S-O-O-O-O sharpened by following politics the way I do, I have expectations for the general populous that just don't jibe with reality. Or maybe we, as a general population, have become such sheeple that the merest hint of authority (the reference to Dr. James Dobson) is enough for the credulous to fall in line.

And they wonder why McCommie is able to sell himself as a conservative and "666" is able to sell herself as a moderate...