You never really learn to swear until you go on YouTube.

Written by

Andrew Millar


July 28, 2008

I almost meet ‘my maker’ during the week.

A driver who thought I’d failed to give way to the right nearly wiped me out. At least that what I thought she thought because the streams of abuse did not exactly qualify as reasoned arguments as to why she felt wronged at having to apply her brakes so suddenly. When I pointed out that she had failed in her obligation to pay close attention to the laws requiring her to bring her car to a stationary position before an intersection when the red traffic light was showing in her direction, this failed to reduce her outburst to intelligible levels.

So we parted company agreeing to disagree that she was a dangerous, inattentive accident waiting to happen.

It was clearly her fault, so why the outrage?

It seems we are all becoming increasingly more and more indignant and impatient. Of course Psychologists in the United States are working to certify ‘road rage’ as a medical condition. (Of course… why not?… Let’s not take responsibility for our own actions; let’s blame something congenital!) It has already been declared an official mental disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. According to an article published in 2006, the behaviours typically associated with road rage are the result of intermittent explosive disorder.

The cause of intermittent explosive disorder has not been discovered so far. For my mind ‘immaturity’ might be a good place to begin the investigation.

But it seems like ‘intermittent explosive disorder’ might not be restricted to road rage. There is a new version of this disorder creeping in to our world. ‘Blogofascism’ is the word that has been coined to describe intolerant unjustified name calling on the net.

The internet is a young media. And it has not evolved far enough to be self critical. So people believe they can write a brand new set of rules.

You don’t need to search far in YouTube to find it rife amongst subscribers… “shut the f—**k up”, “f**—k you, slant eyes”, “F**—k off you fat 4 eyed redneck” etc etc…. And worse is directed at any woman who’s image appears. Irrespective of her looks, most comments are demeaning and obscene. One Youtuber sick of the abuse tried to mount a campaign to get Youtube management to take some responsibility for what they published and he was systematically abused and insulted in the comments column for his trouble.

Now I’m no prude. I could take any celebrity chef on mano e mano with streams of oil rigger language. My problem with all this is that it normalises ‘explosive language disorder’. What is acceptable on line is going to become acceptable in the real world. And as the Y Gens are making this their own world.

To quote Lee Siegel again (see last weeks entry) “’All of the things that plague human nature are still present, even amplified, on the internet. There’s bullying, selfishness and egotistical scribbage everywhere you look’.”

People are simply adapting to the lack of inhibition on the web. And I’m finished now, so f—**k off.