Being a moron is hard

The world is full of them and the internet gives them a voice. They are a specific breed, not just your everyday idiot, they wait for a target to pass and FIRE their salvos of ludicrous suggestion, usually firing so wide of the mark you wonder if they are aiming at something else.

I really like the idea of Comment is Free. I’ve followed it since it launched, and did proffer a few thoughts in the early days but apparently I’m the wrong kind of person and shouldn’t have bothered. Instead I should’ve been developing my moron persona a little more thoroughly (after all, Gordon is a moron, right?).

This is not as easy as it seems.

Let’s look at a particular case, the one which sparked this entry as it happens.

Anna (littleredboat) Pickard recently published an article on Comment is Free entitled “I love Starbucks, what of it?“. Some would suggest the title is a little provocative and that, given the subject matter, some negative comments could be expected. In the article, Anna makes many valid points and her opinion is offered to all with little force and, as ever, some humour and humility.

As an exercise, see if you can think up some of the responses.

That’s right. Globalisation, death of the high street, better coffee elsewhere, anti-corporation stuff all that kind of thing.

However, the comment stalking moron is made of sterner stuff and in this particular thread there are some breathtaking leaps of imagination. I’ll paraphrase slightly (but not all that much) to try and capture some of the stunning suggestions.

Instead of drinking Starbucks, “try picking coffee beans from before dawn and see how much it matters then”
I’d love to try that but between laying the bricks of my house, slaughtering a chicken to eat at dinner, and plumbing the depths of my back garden for oil.. well I’m a little too busy..

“Go to Italy for a coffee”
“Anyone fancy a coffee?”
“Yeah sure, make mine a macchiato”
“No probs”
[12 hours later]
“There you go”
“Ugh, it’s cold… ”

Addiction to caffeine? “So boring, have a bloody cup of tea, its got us all through worse times!”
Tea! Gosh, excitement abounds! Ohh yes, I can sense the danger of maybe receiving a mild scald from the teabag, the lure and promise of exotic flavours and the mysterious undertones of why those fruity ones are allowed to be called tea at all. Yes, yes, you are right, tea is most certainly not boring. Wow. I’m converted. Thanks. That was easy.

Be concerned for your health for “The coffee itself is not bad, but with all the sugar, cream, and other heavy add-ons that go into each cup, you might as well have ordered ice cream”
Do Starbucks offer ice cream? Even if they did, I’d never go there. We have an excellent local ice cream emporium. Won awards and everything it has. Hang on, who has cream in their coffee anyway?

And the most frequent comment type:
Starbucks coffee is crap
Yes it is. It’s awful, tastes like piss and vomit, mixed with mouldy turds. That’s obviously why so many people keep drinking it.

There are some valid points made in the comments of course, but, for the main, the morons rule.

You have to admire them in a way, it must take an awful lot of hard work, training and dedication to come up with some of those suggestions. Brilliant stuff.

For the record, I enjoy Starbucks coffee. Yes I’ve had better in other places, and it’s not the only coffee place I frequent but, typically, it’s handy, reasonably priced and has an acceptable level of quality IN MY OPINION.

Right, I’m off to create a new profile on Comment is Free. I want to practise my moronic comments somewhere, so I may as well learn from the masters!

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Long time blogger, Father of Jack, geek of many things, random photographer and writer of nonsense.

Doing my best to find a balance.

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Susan Smillie says:

Hey, nice post. But you missed out at least two classic comments in that piece:

“You can’t call yourself intelligent if you’re ponying up money for Starbucks’ overpriced piss-water … Keep drinking the piss-water and lying to yourself about your pointless life.”

and I think we may have wandered into Cif territory on the food blog too:

“None of the above is even to touch on the newly discovered link between starbucks and the american israeli lobby, in the starbucks CEO’s assurance that american foreign policy and aid and weapons transfer continue to blindly favour israel.”

Thanks Gordon.

I think one of the problems here is that quite a lot of people don’t actually read the articles. They read the headline and standfirst at the top – which almost always is written by one of the editors, in many cases with an eye on ‘encouraging a hearty discussion’ and then comment on those alone.

Can’t really say anything else, thank you though.

I loathe CIF the idea isn’t the problem nor generally the articles it the comments, I so rarely read a response that adds to the debate, the commenters mostly seem to be point scoring or trolling. Which wouldn’t be so bad if they were interesting, well written or original but they aren’t.

As for Starbucks – I rather like their coffee and they’ve improved the coffee drinking in the high street experience no end what with the copycats appearing willy nilly.

Gordon – refuting moronic comments with one of your own is not advisable.

“That’s obviously why so many people keep drinking it.”

What? So The Sun is the finest example of investigative and analytical journalism just because it’s got the highest circulation of any daily newspaper? McDonalds is the epitome of fine eating because jasquillions of people eat there on a daily basis?

Starbucks is the McDonalds of the coffee world. The coffee is crap – it’s insipidly weak, served far too hot* and is way overpriced for what it is. It’s as close to good coffee as a Big Mac is to a well hung piece of prime Argentinian fillet steak.

But hey, that doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to enjoy it! Just don’t kid yourself that it’s any good.

*Water used on fresh coffee should never be boiling or it burns the grounds and damages the flavour. The only people who disagree with this are the fuckers who run Starbucks.

Tom – you serious? The preceding sentence doesn’t, possibly maybe, give a hint that I’m extracting the urine??

And remember your “any good” is my “good enough”.

Americans have their coffee with cream and sugar. Even if they have milk and sugar in reality, they always say cream and sugar.

I don’t like the taste of Starbucks coffee. I prefer filter coffee instead of that shot of steam stuff. I will go into Starbucks though. They’re in handy locations.

Think those are bad? You should see the comments in the online Edinburgh Evening News. Terrifying. Scotsman only barely better.

Thanks for nice blogpost idea though. Commenting on comments. Tom has, if I’m not mistaken, commented on a comment on a comment. (And now I’ve… ok I’ll stop there.)

Starbucks coffee isn’t crap. It’s isn’t good either. It’s uniformly middle-or-the-road.

The reason people frequent SB’s is that this MOR-ness IS uniform, you can go into a Starbucks anywhere in the world and get the same, normal, not-good-but-not-terrible, average cup of slightly-too-hot coffee. Saying that Starbucks is the McD’s of the coffee world is hitting the nail straight on the head, as it’s for the same reason that McD’s is prevalent throughout the world. People (as in the majority) don’t want stunningly good coffee roasted, ground and brewed within an hour. They want average, because average is comfortable.

Oh and re Peggy’s comment, Americans don’t have cream and sugar, or milk and sugar, even if they usually say cream and sugar.. They have “creamer” or “half & half”, because milk and/or cream is “bad for you” and has “fat” in it, and Americans always prefer something artificial to something natural, imho.

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