More JD Underground Lulz

In a comment to this post, in which I wrote:

I con­fess that I don’t know who JD Underground’s denizens are. Drop­ping in there is like vis­it­ing a party at which a bunch of doughy masked frat boys alter­nately slap-fight and mas­tur­bate each other. It’s frankly dis­turb­ing.

…JD Underground denizen “patentesq” asks, “Hey, Bennett how about arguing your points on JDU?”

I wonder: what part of my description of JD Underground does patentesq find so appealing? Does he like the doughy fratboys, the slap-fighting, or the mutual masturbation? Or is the whole package what attracts him so much to the site that he thinks I should want to be there too?

Then patentesq’s fellow doughy masked frat boys discuss who Mark Bennett is. Which is funny, first inherently—because if identity were important to them, they’d be identifying themselves—and second because “who Mark Bennett is” is no mystery: I’ve written more than 850,000 words here; I have a separate advertising website; I’m active on Twitter; I’ve got videos online; I’ve been interviewed by various media outlets. I’m very much the opposite of an anonymous commenter.

JD Underground’s anonymous commenters are like lapdogs behind a high fence yipping at the big dogs running free.

Freedom is great, pups. Come on out from behind your fence, and let’s play.

7 Comments

  1. I’m not mortally offended or anything; it’s a really common sentiment from folks who have only run into fraternities via pop culture.

    Also, as with many other stereotype, some chapters insist on living down to their reputation.

  2. While ordinarily I find your posts (including the Fennell exchange) to be interesting, this reminds me of nothing more than two overly macho wannabes facing off and each instructing their friends to hold them back. You want him to come here, he wants you to go to JDU. If you’re going to address him with snippy passive-aggressive open letters like this, why not just go talk to him over there?

    And as for anonymity, many people have good reasons to stay anonymous. He could be one of them. Then again, he could not be. Would it really change anything?

    1. “Bob,” when you go to the zoo and see monkeys flinging their feces at the glass, are you going to get in the enclosure with them? Do you care what they think? Do you want to have a conversation with them? To have them over to your house?

      No, no, no, and no. Of course not.

      JD Underground’s denizens entertain me. One of them demanded my physical stats. Metaphorically impaired, he took literally my description of JDU. The only part if the description that he took issue with was the word “doughy.” So apparently if I’d described him as a buff frat boy slap-fighting and masturbating his fellows, he’d’ve been okay with it. I couldn’t make this stuff up.

      The upside of anonymity is that you get to be whoever you want, in the eyes of those playing your game. The downside, though, is that you get to be whoever those not playing your game want you to be, in their eyes, and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it. Being anonymous, you can’t prove that you aren’t a puppy killer.

      Sure, some people have reasons to stay anonymous online: because they can’t stand who they really are; because they are registered sex offenders who aren’t supposed to be using computers; because they might face social consequences if people in the real world knew their minds. Mostly it’s because they want to be able to behave boorishly without the accountability that being identifiable brings.

      It’s all just one flavor or another of fear, and I feel sorry for people living in fear because they aren’t free…”bob.”

  3. Like you, I’m not a fan of online anonymity — even if the NSA says there’s no such thing. However, where I part ways is that I don’t necessarily believe trolls act without freedom. On the contrary, they are dissolute libertines. They aren’t living in fear — unless they get outed and righteously fired from their day jobs. Anonymity liberates them without blowback, negative consequence or repercussion so they can be rude, mean, racist, sexist, and all-around nasty. Feces-throwing monkeys aren’t funny and neither are unaccountable unidentifiable trolls.
    – Mo

    1. Mo, thanks for your comment. It’s an interesting point, but where the trolls are living is not online. In the real world—the world of car payments, and potential mates, and consequences—they are slaves to their fears of blowback, negative consequence, and repercussion. They can’t express their true beliefs and feelings there.

      A life in which you can’t express your truths is slavery.

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