Friday, August 19, 2011

In Which I Am Not a Cyberbully

Perhaps you remember "I-Hannah," the pre-teen who inexplicably made a Youtube video decrying government-mandated healthcare by awkwardly singing a Michael Jackson song featuring the lyric, "All I wanna say is that they don't don't really care about us."

I have zero interest in tormenting "I-Hannah"; at best, anyone who does is a poor marksman or a poor person, shooting at wounded game in a restricted reserve. Making this stupid girl feel stupid is a job left to her, education, time and a mirror. That she should not be a target doesn't mean that she's not interesting.

After all, how does a kid who hasn't yet discovered boys, glittery Trapper Keepers and awkward conversations about becoming a woman find the impetus to make an anti-Democratic, anti-progressive, pro-Glenn Beck music video with bad overdubs? The badness seems self-explanatory — this is a kid, after all — but the energetic life-denying worldview seems anomalous.

How does a kid come to hate the idea of a government mandating that people should have a right to not die? You can't expect pre-teens to understand economics or irony. Parents feed their children great unassailable truths about who will prey on them, who will sneak away their futures for momentary predatory gains. Nobody rehabilitates the Boogeyman; no child in his or her right mind is ever bent on pursuing the Boogeyman's perspective to ensure a fair record.

So it seemed to be Dad's fault. Or Mom's fault. God knows the poor kid couldn't have conceived of such an enthusiastic level of life-denial on her own. Kids re-write song lyrics all the time, but they do so with the words "fart" and "turd" and "butt." Like, "Ameributt, Ameributt, God farts his turd on thee." Feeling a need to re-write a black dude's songs to address how Obama and Pelosi "didn't care about us" smacked of ugly interventionism.

I couldn't help myself. I wanted to know how this happened. A few friends subscribed to her Youtube channel, and someone else read her Twitter. Eventually, this video happened:

It explains a lot. If I were a teen in a Southern California private school with a pool membership, access to horses whenever I chose and an ability to shoot on dozens of locations with dozens of different outfits, I might think that taking money from me to preserve poor people from death was a bad deal. Sparing everyone in the country from the harsh elements by giving them rough cotton shirts probably sounds shitty when it means having your ermine taken off you. This poor, privileged, pre-fucked kid. Her head's been scourged of all humanity before she even started.

Once you reach the credits section, you realize the purpose of this video was spiting a former boyfriend (on top of, I guess, wasting money before anyone else could get their hands on it). I sympathize; in high school, a friend and I recorded long wandering videos of each other, with extemporaneous never-delivered speeches to girls we were interested in. We did these things because wanting to be with somebody who desires you is the fundamental crawling, wrenching undercurrent of being a person.

Then again, when you crush on someone, politics totally vanish. Few people in high school spend any time thinking about political issues, because they're consumed by the need to develop themselves and the need for other people. Clothing every American citizen is a nice idea; you may agree; but you handwave it away. Not now. You just want that one person to see you, want you, validate you. You live daily on the turn of their brows and mouths. You die when they scowl, because that is all you have with them. Two seconds with a stranger amount to more than the rest of your life.

And because you're so inchoate, so desperate for completion in the arms of someone else, it's easy to be expansively empathetic. It's easy to be a nice person in a kind of vague, conceptual way about mankind. Then again, your brain is still not yet fully developed; hormones surge through you and fuel an incomplete machine. It's easy to embrace your inhumane superhumanity and indifference. This is how you can simultaneously reach out in desperation for someone else, feeling the weight of abuse, loss and suffering from mere words, yet wholly endorse telling poor people to go fuck themselves.

Teenagers are sociopaths.


  1. Uhh, the video is actually ABOUT the horse, not her boyfriend. If you look closely, you can see the horse is in restraints and not an actor. All the Things in the background are things Hannah likes that the horse has never understood about her. It's all explained in the credits. If you read hoorse code, you'd know that already.

  2. id

  3. Hey (I don't know where else to ask this) but do you accept unsolicited awesome shit (in prose form) for consideration of running on your site?
    -The Caliph Ali

  4. Sure, provided it actually is awesome. My contact info is in my blogger profile:

    No attachments, please. Just include whatever it is in the email itself.

  5. this article is nothing short of beautiful. now im going to go read the wikipedia page on Marxism.


Et tu, Mr. Destructo? is a politics, sports and media blog whose purpose is to tell jokes or be really right about things. All of us have real jobs and don't need the hassle that telling jokes here might occasion, which is why some contributors find it more tasteful to pretend to be dead mass murderers.