Random Thoughts

Netizen's Nemesis: Caveat Lector and Pooper-scooper law

Every net surfer knows that there are many web pages, which were generated with incredible effort, eagerness and enthusiasm, like the calf love of a teenager in pubertal heat, which now lie abandoned like an unwanted baby in some Romanian orphanage. I do not wish to pick on Romania and could have just as well have said Los Angeles subway tracks or a Japanese roadway built as a construction boondoggle to stimulate the economy or an accidentally pregnant former flame. 

The e-zines often start with regular timely issues and then seem to have unpredictably irregular gaps, before they fade and vanish like the menstrual periods of a woman going through menopause. Let me get off this simile track before some riled rabid feminist starts asking why I am having these hot flashes. The point I was trying to colorfully emphasize is, that the roads of the internet often lead to dead ends, in more ways than one as "Dear Abby" would put it.

This terminal let down would be more bearable if the time and effort to reach the depressing result were short and small respectively. There are however, so many potholes on the path, like advertisements, links, distractions and disconnections, that the journey is slow, strenuous and circuitous. The information obtained is incomplete, inaccurate and even misleading, as a recent report in JAMA (on searching for medical guidance for asthma and breast cancer) showed. 

This is the reason for my warning "Caveat Lector or reader beware".

What compounds the felony, as I would say, if I were a prosecuting attorney is that the path, far from being primrose, is littered with poop. You are astonished and in total disbelief. I can see the knowing cynical smirk strewn over the reader's visage and the whirring wheels and clicking levers in the brain saying in silent soliloquy "Always knew that guy was a cholesterol crystal, because you could spot the top corner missing from a mile away". Nothing could be further from the truth and before your interest fades and fickle nature makes you flee from any further frivolity, 

I will reveal my secret discovery. I have found not one but three distinct varieties of poop on internet sites.

The first is the commonest, ubiquitous F. commonalis or plain poop, which all of us are guilty of polluting with. It is seen predominantly in the chat room, club, caf' or coffee house and is a harmless commensal and constitutes the bulk of our short non-sequitur postings. It is also prevalent in short laudatory and critical comments. This bug occasionally becomes malignant, when infected by a phage and then in its virulent strain is only seen when the medium has been previously fermented or is basically of a putrid culture.

The second is F.pretentious or pretentious poop. It is also seen at all sites, but is more common in poems, book clubs and discussions and occurs in articles, columns and comments. It can be identified by characteristic large chunks (of bombastic words) in pseudo-meaningful pattern, which are essentially word salads like those used by aphasics of the Wernicke's type. They pretend to convey some profound truth or fact but are basically verbose jargon. To put it in more earthy terms, it smells good because of generous dollops of large perfumed words, but is basically just poop.

The third is F.pompousassus or pompous ass poop. It is seen only in articles, columns, comments, book clubs, less commonly in chats, clubs, cafes, coffee houses and almost never in poetry. It is flecked with big names and quotes and largely devoid of originality and substance. It can be an editorial favorite. In earthy terms, it looks good because of the scintillating brilliance of scattered big names and famous quotes, but is still basically undiluted poop.

My fellow travelers on these treacherous roads, I warn you not to be deceived by this carefully camouflaged and concealed crap, as it will contaminate us all and continue to be a curse till we are cleansed of it, mind, body and soul. It would be a dastardly deed, if all I do, is leave you in unrelieved fear and terror of this daunting detestable dirty turd and give you no hope or means of escaping its evil enveloping and embracing encounter. 

I regret the idea is not original, but it is borrowed from the great minds that ran the Big Apple. Let us swear to see that the Pooper Scooper law is enforced to the letter. Yes, I know the law was on the books and should have been enforced. Unfortunately the guardians of the law viz. The editors, whose sacred duty it was to enforce it, have been falling down on the job. What? You do not believe me, well, then check it out yourself. I assert to you, they have been falling down on the job and wallowing in that muck for so long, that even their eyes are brown and in some cases even their hair has been colored brown.

I rest my case! 

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I do believe that it is inevitable that you will unanimously bring in the verdict of guilty and pin the scarlet letter on the Editors. 


More by :  Gaurang Bhatt, MD

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