Fans Of Tearing Things Down

I have seen lots and lots of humor  on the Internet that is at the expense of other people.  Some of it really bothers me.

Most of the sites I am commenting on are relatively popular (otherwise, I probably wouldn’t know about them).


Reasons My Son Is Crying

One thing I can’t stand is people used for fodder of jokes that are helpless and defenseless.  Your kid is not in control of his or her image, or how he or she is portrayed.  By uploading a crying picture and captioning it with something allegedly humorous, you’re basically laughing at your kid, and encouraging others to laugh at your kid.  I suppose one could do it in a non-exploitative way, but the pictures I see up on this Tumblr are getting yuks at the expense people that have no power.  It isn’t funny to me.

I suppose there is also a biological component in me that reacts to this website.  I don’t like to see kids cry.  I want them to be happy and not in pain.  And this is nothing but picture after picture of crying.  Hey, how about you put your fucking camera down and comfort your kid?

I mean, from what I can tell, this website started out as one parent documenting the meltdowns of their toddler.  Yeah, the kid cries a lot, it would appear.  So, this parent takes pictures routinely while their kid is crying.  Is that the go-to reaction a parent should have?

Also, what happens when this kid gets older?  At some point this kid is going to have and WANT to have control of how he is perceived to the people of the world. At the time this child becomes self-aware as a being, there are going to be potentially hundreds of pictures of him crying on the Internet.  Did he deserve that?  Does anyone?


Awkward Family Photos

This site has been around for a while.  I don’t like it either. My main problems of this website is it provides pictures of people as “the Other”.  Look, there’s Heavy Metal Family.  Look, these people are dressed in the same floral print. It’s basically a way of laughing at other people for being different.  How is that funny?

I know that some of the pics are self-submitted. But, for some reason, even that’s not good enough.  I would need a signed affidavit by all parties in the picture before I said, okay, no one is being exploited.



This website is ancient by Internet standards, but it’s the first site I saw that really bothered me.  The whole principle of the site bothers me — essentially a snapshot of something or someone is captioned with “FAIL”.  It’s something an obnoxious pre-teen would say.  Some of the pictures show people being hurt.  Yeah, that’s funny.  TOTAL FAIL, dude about to suffer grievous bodily harm.   This site appears to be have been bought by a corporation, and its original intent has been diluted, and it  has basically become a mishmash of tepid humor.  I suppose you could do an image search of “FAIL” and see the original images that upset me in the first place.


Every Tweet Ever (Twitter acct)

This is not a website, but rather a Twitter account.  It bummed me out seeing it.  Basically, the guy who runs it does a very competent job of distilling many things that people on Twitter do, and by parroting or paraphrasing them, mocks them.  Unlike the sites above, I actually contacted the guy who ran it and basically told him his humor bummed me out.

Why did I do it?  What right did I have?  I guess I didn’t have any.  He blocked me for doing that, but later on we talked and he unblocked me.  When I contacted him, I basically came across as attacking him.  And I guess I did.  I’m sorry I did that. I apologized to him.  There’s no way one can know a stranger on the Internet, but he seemed like a decent guy.

Why did his account bother me?

To me, it seemed to take a huge part of what humanity is represented on Twitter, and ridiculed it.  The thing is, Twitter is this odd thing, where many people drop effluvia from their head that normally they wouldn’t.  “I’m hungry.”  “I’m lonely.”  “I’m bored.”  Yeah, people feel that shit.  ALL THE TIME.  To mock this kind of shit is to mock humanity.  I AM PROBABLY THE ONLY PERSON WHO FEELS THIS WAY.


I don’t wish the guy who created this account ill will, nor do I wish the owners of any the above sites ill will, but I think about this quote a lot, by a very funny person.


“There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”

One thought on “Fans Of Tearing Things Down”

  1. I feel the same way you do about Awkward Family Photos (although, I actually submitted one of me and my family). What I don’t like is that they make fun of people who were seriously trying to capture their what their family means to them. They mock someone’s concept of family. Even if that concept is different from mine, I don’t have the right to mock it…but that picture of me ad my family was hilarious. I guess it’s okay for me to laugh at my own family. Laughter–even inappropriate laughter–was/is often a coping mechanism for me.

    Fail blog also mocks people who are serious. I’m not down with that, though I find some of the photos that aren’t mean-spirited (there are a few) to be funny.

    Oddly enough, Reasons My Son Is Crying doesn’t disturb me as much. If the kid was crying because an anvil just dropped on his foot, I’d say it was inappropriate to take a photo instead of comforting the child. But the kids in the blog are crying for silly reasons. I think it’s the silliness of crying because dad won’t let you play with a knife that we are laughing at, not the kids. I don’t think these kids are in any pain at all–and that’s what’s so funny.

    I would love a collection of photos of the silly things I did when I was little–even if they were all around reasons I cried (if crying was my thing as a toddler). There’s one photo of me (that is now lost) parading around the back yard in a green and yellow bikini and giant green Elton John-esque sunglasses like a huge dork. I’m sure there were more like that at some point in time, and if someone collected them and posted them on the Internet, I’d be super okay with that.

    I think it all boils down to the spirit of the humor in the blog. I think the humor in AFP and Fail Blog is predominantly mean-spirited, but I think the humor in RMSIC is more light-hearted ribbing.

    Just my opinion. 🙂

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