First things first. Let’s just take a moment and thank the Internet for its wonderful bounty, shall we? Seriously. Bow your damn heads. Just marvel at the magicness of the Intertoobs. Sure, okay, it’s a septic mire of pornography and viruses, I grant you. But it’s also a wealth of information — useful and useless alike — just waiting to be accessed with but a few clumsy key-presses.
For example? I wanted to know how to spell “shillelagh” for the attached photo I was posting to Flickr. So I said to the Internet, “Dear Internet, please tell me how to spell this crazy word.”
The Internet responded with, “Hey, fuck that, Wendig. I’ll do you one better. Did you know that Irish dudes have their own martial art where they beat the king piss out of each other with cudgels?”
“I did not know that,” I replied. “Tell me more, Internet.”
“It was called bataireacht, and it’s Irish stick fighting. Irish gangs — called ‘factions’ — would whip shit out of one another with their shillelaghs. They may have been drunk, because they were Irish, and Irishmen are all rotten drunks.”
I clucked my tongue. “Internet, that’s a bit prejudiced.”
“Fuck you,” the Internet said, and then spit in my tea, which I thought was extraordinarily rude. But the Internet didn’t stop there, oh no. “Don’t you know all I’ve given to you? The wealth of information? I let you plumb my endless depths time and time again, and I don’t ask you for a thing. You basically rape me for information night after night, and I don’t squeal a peep. I can call the Irish drunks if I want. I can say the Jews have gills, or that black people are made of clock parts! I’m the Internet, bitch! Go ahead. Turn me off. I dare you. Where will you get your recipes for walnut-and-mint sweet-cheese ravioli? How will you tap the Twitter vein? What about all the lesbian porn, or the FAQs on how to field dress a mountain goat, or where to find the best Tibetan steakhouse in Toledo? You need me! I’m King Kong! You ain’t got shit on me!”
I was going to say something in return — maybe a well-thought out argument about the dangers of prejudice, or maybe just a cleverly uttered “Nuh-uh” — but what can I say? I need all of that stuff. I need my recipes, my maps, my FAQs, my Twitter, my porn. I need my shillelaghs and my drunken Irish stick fighters.
Well-played, Internet. Well-played.