Saturday, January 2, 2010

Fwd:Fwd:Ignorance

I have many pet peeves such as, wire coat hangers, people who use the word “oftener,” but these pale in comparison to the idea that a large percentage of Americans will believe anything that is sent to them in an e-mail forward. It is an electronically-perpetrated act of widespread stupidity and since there is no intelligence prerequisite for receiving an e-mail address, it is unlikely to subside anytime soon.

Below, I have a sampling of statements that were circulated via e-mail forwards in the past two years. Since political targets are most popular, I have categorized the first few by subject.

Barrack Obama

· Barack Obama has been endorsed for President by the Ku Klux Klan.

· Barack Obama was a Black Panther.

· Barack Obama was sworn into office using the Quran.

· Native Americans dubbed Barack Obama “Walking Eagle.”

· Barack Obama will legalize marijuana if one million people call a designated phone number.

George W. Bush

· He once described rapper Eminem as “the most dangerous threat to America children since polio.”

· He was caught trying to get Stevie Wonder’s attention by waving at him at the March 2002 Presidential Gala.

· The three hurricanes that hit Florida in the summer of 2004 damaged only counties that voted for George W. Bush in the 2000 presidential election.

· He accidentally referred to a fetus as “feces” during a right-to-life rally.

· Canada has arrested George W. Bush and charged him with war crimes.

Bill & Hillary Clinton

· They are charging rent to the Secret Service agents assigned to protect them.

· Native Americans have dubbed Hillary Clinton “Walking Eagle.”

· The pastor of the Clinton’s church was convicted of child molestation.

· Hillary Clinton’s relative was a horse thief.

· Bill Clinton was the first pardoned felon to serve as a US president.

Miscellaneous

· Dolphins that were trained by the U.S. Navy to hunt terrorists were washed out to sea by Hurricane Katrina and are now missing.

· Scientists drilling in Siberia went too far and ended up punching a hole through to Hell.

· The voting rights of Black American citizens will expire in 2007.

· You can purchase human meat through a company called ManBeef.

· The governor of Florida asked residents to reduce their electrical usage during Ted Bundy’s execution.

· The Titanic carried a cursed mummy in its hold.

· Marines in training must murder a pet dog or family member to be admitted to the Corps.

· Fidel Castro was once given a tryout by the Washing Senators baseball team.

· Bananas will be extinct within ten years.

· The plastic strip embedded in U.S. bank notes enables the Federal Government to tell how much money you have on you.

Laugh if you will, but every one of these has been widely circulated as fact and cataloged by urban legend site snopes.com.

If you are an enterprising young curmudgeon and wish to proliferate ignorance, there is a template for these e-mails that must be adhered to:

1. Always preface the message with an ambiguous and unverifiable claim of personal authenticity such as, “my uncle’s mistress’s cousin’s ex-chiropractor used to work at the White House and overheard this.” This should easily overwhelm the relatively non-existent protest of your reader’s common sense.

2. Mentally assemble a control group of the initial twenty-five recipients. They should be both electronically promiscuous and blissfully unaware that half of their contacts blacklisted them eight months ago due to their superfluous use of the forward button.

3. Fabricate an outrageous statement that caters to your control group’s pre-existing negative image of a person, place, or corporation. For example, if you know that several members of your control group dislike Baskin Robbins; your statement would read something like this:

“Baskin Robbins forces disabled South American orphans to shove new ice cream flavors into the mouths of puppies in order to determine the purity level of the product.”

4. Close the message with a battle cry of moral indignation, a swift call to action, and an unrealistic result of said action:

“This travesty must be stopped!!! Type your name at the bottom and forward to everyone you know. Once we get 10,000 names, the CEO of Baskin Robbins will be publicly executed in front of a Bed Bath & Beyond!!”

The finished product would read as follows:

This is important!!!! My sister’s friend’s dad works for a dairy import company that is based in Salvador, Brazil and one of their clients is Dunkin Brands (who owns Baskin Robbins Ice Cream.) About a month ago, local authorities discovered a sweatshop disguised as a charitable camp for disabled orphans. The children were being forced to administer different products to animals taken from a local shelter (some of them puppies) and catalogue the reaction the animals had to each one of the substances. Although the operation was shut down by the police, it turns out that the land the camp rests on is owned by Dunkin Brands and some of the products tested were experimental ice cream flavors. Baskin Robbins has paid large amounts of money to local government authorities and media to sweep this under the rug!

Please take just a few minutes out of your day and put you name at the bottom of this e-mail. If we get 10,000 signatures on the bottom of this petition, the US district attorney’s office will open an investigation into the charges and bring this greedy corporation to justice!!! Forward to as many people as you can you that these orphans can find justice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks,

Frank McStankle Jr.

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