The Internet is a Playgroundby Published 01 Jan 1970
|The Internet is a Playground.pdf|
The complete collection of articles and emails from 27bslash6 such as Overdue Account, Party in Apartment 3 and Strata Agreement plus articles too litigious to be on the website.
"The Internet is a Playground" Reviews
Please do future readers a favor by placing a warning on the cover of the book. The warning needs to state something to the effect of: "Warning. Do not begin this book if you have anything important scheduled in the next several hours. Also, do not begin reading this book in a public place where you may be the victim of scorn for laughing so hard you snort. Please do not read this book at bedtime, as loss of sleep will result. Further, please do not read this book if you have no sense of humor as this could cause uncomfortable body tremors and, for you, unusual happiness."
Thorne's humor is decidedly hit or miss. His shenanigans with religions demagogues and a pompous blowhard of a coworker (who demands he makes a logo. With pie charts. For free) are laugh out loud funny, but many of the pranks are juvenile, crass, mean-spirited, or just simply not funny.
Personally, I'm not a fan of humor had at the expense of others if it's easy. Someone who satirizes power, like Colbert in his now infamous 2006 White House Correspondence Dinner address, is brave. Someone who picks on the haplessly stupid is just lazy. Much of Thorne's dubious humor falls into laziness, poking fun at naive neighbors, a worried woman asking for help her missing cat poster, and putting down his victims with all sorts of unsavory and unoriginal inquiries on their masculinity or sexuality. In one story, he uses his young son as a prop to accuse another of being a woman or gay -- as if that's an insult that makes any sense if you're not sexist or homophobic.
I'd say skip buying it, but some parts are worth skimming through a friend's copy. By the last third, all the stories are played out and additional content just feels like rehashing of the beginning of the book. Probably good for an hour's worth of amusement, but not much more. Skip altogether if crude he-man (and somewhat mean-spirited and juvenile) humor is something that makes you cringe. Tucker Max fans and devotees of Thorne's website ought to find this amazingly funny, but I suspect that for most others, the jokes fall flat at best, or display something ugly about the author's sense of humor.
mid-read: So hmm. This very well illustrates one of the big issues with the blog-to-book phenomenon. David Thorne is a hilarious dick, and he's known mostly for these ridiculous email exchanges he (supposedly) has with actual hapless morons, like the Blockbuster clerk, the volunteer chaplain at his son's school, his new neighbor, his building manager, etc. And as short quick standalone pieces, these really are awesome (provided you don't think too hard about his poor naïve prey).
But the publisher I'm sure could sense that having them all chockablock like that would dilute the humor, plus of course you have to have some new stuff for the book that's not on the blog—otherwise why would anyone buy the cow when you can get the milk for free on teh internets? So they've interspersed the seemingly effortlessly funny emails about piecharts and missing cats with a lot of little listicles and essays and things, most of which feel forced and therefore not very funny.
Plus anyway, even with the added variety, it all begins to feel a bit samey, all these short pieces illustrating that David is very funny and fairly cruel and not at all someone you'd want to spend much time with. He's a troll, is what, which is funny for a little while but not that long.
So I dunno. Probably I will finish it? But I think I'll take some time off and read something a little more substantial first.
before reading: I want this now. Have you heard of this guy? He does this hilariously cruel website, www.27bslash6.com, where he has email correspondences with awful, demanding, idiotic people. I have no idea if they're real or imagined or some combination thereof, but oh god they are delicious. Did I say I want this book now? Now, dammit!!
In case you are not convinced that this crazy man is a comedic genius, here is a random few sentences where he talks about why he does not miss living in Australia:
The four seasons in Australia consist of "Fuck it's hot", "Can you believe how fucking hot it is?", "I won't be in today because it is too fucking hot", and "Yes, the dinner-plate-size spiders come inside to escape from the heat. That is a fucking whopper though." I hate spiders. If I am reincarnated as a spider, I will bite myself and not seek medical assistance. I have actually only seen one in the entire time I have been in the US and it was the size of a well sucked on m&m. I flicked it into the sink. In Australia, the presence of a spider involves combat gear and improvised weapons.
1. Some people deserve to be messed with, and some don't. A person doing their job and collecting an unpaid bill, or a cop doing due diligence, or a cat owner who is worried sick...I'm not sure there's any reason to be so self-congratulatory about making their lives miserable.
2. Speaking of self-congratulatory, the entire book could just say "I'm really proud of myself" over and over, and it would have had the same effect.
3. While many parts are funny, and Thorne knows how to write, cleverness doesn't always equal comic genius. I'm shocked that so many Goodreads folks love this book, as the quality of their reviews tends to be more heady. But I guess you wouldn't be interested in it if you hadn't been into his equally as inconsequential website. Either way, Thorne writes one way, with a finite set of humorous devices that follow the same pattern over and over. It's just lazy writing and even the people he's emailing just seem to get bored with it.
4. Sounds like he sure is encouraging his kid to become a real dick?
There's good stuff to read and this isn't one of those good stuffs. Move along, everyone.