The Election We Want

     I do so love hypotheticals.
     As I’m sure you’ve heard, Donald Trump said last week that if Hillary Clinton were a man, she wouldn’t get 5 percent of the vote.
     I don’t know about that, but it does bring some fascinating possibilities to mind.
     For example, if Hillary were a man, then he’d be in a long-term gay marriage that began when such things were illegal. He’d be the second gay president and his husband wouldn’t have had a Lewinsky problem.
     Of course, he might have had a Barney Frank problem …
     And what if Donald Trump were a woman? What percentage of the vote would she get?
     Would she have someone do her makeup to take care of that skin color? Would she still hate women so much that she’d become the first transgender candidate?
     Imagine an election contest between gay male Hillary and transgender racist and misogynist Donald Trump.
     Go ahead. Close your eyes and imagine it. It’s better than the real thing.
     Trolls. What are we going to do about the Internet?
     Hardly a day goes by that we don’t hear about someone being harassed or defamed on the Internet by anonymous people saying awful things. Lawsuits against anonymous Internet trolls are filed every day.
     By now, you’d think we’d have learned to ignore barrages of Internet shaming and criticism. Why do we overreact to grumpy people with computers and nothing better to do?
     The abusers are a tiny minority of the population, right?
     But we still freak out over what they say.
     You’d think lawyers, of all people, could take a little abuse. They’ve been absorbing lawyer jokes for centuries.
     But they sue too.
     Last week, for example, a Los Angeles lawyer sued “Does 1 through 25” over reviews on, a website where employees can review their bosses (or former bosses).
     Apparently there were a lot of bad reviews — with titles such as “Deceptive, Unethical, Poorly Managed, No Sense of Direction” and “Working Here Is Psychological Torture.”
     My favorite passage from the complaint is this one: “Finally, the review states, ‘Pete and George are narcissistic egomaniacs who need psychiatric help.’ This is false.”
     Of course that’s exactly what a narcissistic egomaniac would say.
     The suit asks for $1 million in damages. I’m guessing some unemployed rejected lawyer sitting at a computer in his/her underwear with nothing better to do than troll doesn’t have a spare million, so I’m having trouble understanding why this lawsuit was filed.
     What good is it going to do?
     The complaint prays for an injunction ordering Does (assuming someone figures out who they are) to “remove from the internet all posts about Plaintiffs, as well as any and all identifying data that would cause such posts to result from a search for Plaintiffs.”
     Ummm … does the Internet work that way?
     This plaintiff may be disappointed to learn that not anyone can erase the entire Internet. The Does may be able to delete some posts from some sites, but not everything — especially not everything that’s been copied and unleashed through the electronic universe.
     If they could, the Internet probably wouldn’t be there anymore.
     There’s another reason a lawsuit like this may be a bad move. What if some journalist or whimsical columnist decided to report this story and use the plaintiff’s name?
     (NOTE: It doesn’t say “Pete and George” in the complaint. I decided I’d rather not be trolled by the real guy who filed the suit.)
     All those bad reviews are in the public record.
     It’s a bit counterproductive.
     So what should you do about Internet negativity that you can’t bring yourself to ignore?
     There are a number of possibilities, but the obvious one is to create a barrage of positive reviews. If the bad reviews are false, there’s no reason for the good reviews to be factual either.
     Fight fire with water.
     Some nude photos will distract people, too.

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