Friday, December 15, 2006

If you don’t open this your family’s private parts will be gnawed upon by wolves

I can’t stand it anymore! Aren’t you tired of getting emails and Myspace bulletins with some kind of attention-grabbing subject line and you end up having to read something weird that somebody’s trying to pass off as non-fiction?

You know what I’m talking about: Internet rumors and chain letters. I don’t want to know about some possibly fictitious African country where the leader has been disposed and the government desperately wants to dump millions of dollars into my account. I don’t need to find out about some kid who supposedly has a pity-inducing and extremely debilitating cancer and will somehow get monetary donations if I pass on a chain letter. And I don’t care about what random and unnecessary beauty product they’re testing on Nummy Muffin Coco Butter and the rest of her cute rabbit family.

Let me give you an example of a bulletin I got two days ago. In this bulletin a person claims that “Starbucks are for terrorists.” Let’s read, shall we? (Original syntax and spelling intact.)

Recently Marines in Iraq wrote to Starbucks because they wanted to let them
know how much they liked their coffees and to request that they send some of it to the troops there. Starbucks replied, telling the Marines thank you for their support of their business, but that Starbucks does not support the war, nor anyone in it, and that they would not send the troops their brand of coffee. So as not to offend Starbucks, maybe we should not support them by buying any of their products! As a war vet writing to fellow patriots, I feel we should get this out in the open. I know this war might not be very popular with some folks, but that doesn't mean we don't support the boys on the ground fighting
street-to-street and house-to-house for what they and I believe is right. If you feel the same as I do then pass this along, or you can discard it and no one will never know.

"Semper Fidelis."
Sgt Howard C. Wright
1st Force Recon Co
1st Plt PLT

Now, does anybody believe this in any way? Be honest, I won’t make fun of you. After all, it does have the proper items to make it a successful Internet rumor, (successful in that though it was created years ago it still gets circulation.) What are those proper items, you ask? Let’s break it down.

1. It’s written in letter form. Doing this makes it seem as though the person writing it has first hand knowledge of the events described within the letter.

2. It takes advantage of current events. Writing about the war in Iraq, what’s more up-to-date than that? Not to mention that the war is a very polarizing issue, you’re going to have an opinion of it one way or the other. Having the rumor seem patriotic will always help.

3. It attacks a huge, faceless corporation. Everybody hates huge, soulless corporations, and we all believe that they secretly hate their customers and do everything they can to steal our money while giving us inferior products. So everybody will love to see their beliefs confirmed in the rumor.

4. It uses truth and fiction combined. Mixing in real things with blatant lies will help make the lies more acceptable, especially if the lies confirm pre-held notions the readers might have, (see number three.)

5. It calls people to come together to fight. People like to feel like they have the power to change things.

6. It has a vague timeline. Without any details as to when something specifically happened, you can make it sound like it happened yesterday or three years ago.

7. It has a name. Throwing a name in the letter implies honesty. I mean, who would sign their name to a lie, right?

Of course, this bulletin didn’t give the whole story. If you want the whole story you have to go to one of my favorite sites, Which will lay everything out for you. It just goes to show that you should never trust anything anybody ever says. Ever!

As is often the case, I’ve been inspired by this whole phenomenon, and I’m going to make my own Internet rumor. It will incorporate all the things above and will make absolutely no sense. But it’ll be just weird enough that people will believe it. Not only am I going to put the rumor here, but I’m also going to send it out as a bulletin, in a two-pronged attack. Feel free to copy the bulletin from here to make it your own bulletin, or pass it along if you get the bulletin from me. I think it’d be hilarious to see just how far it’ll go. Maybe it’ll be spread around, maybe it’ll die a horrible death. Either way, I’m bored enough to try it.

Here goes:

Nuns get the shaft from government

When I heard about this I was shocked at how backwards in time some people still are! We’re in the 21st Century and we need to teach our children everything to ensure a future for our country!

A few months ago, at the St. Rose High School, in Tonganoxie, Kansas, the county school board decided to put three teaching nuns on administrative leave for teaching children about other sexual positions besides the “Vatican approved” missionary style.

“We can’t just have teachers in our school system who refuse to teach children in the manner prescribed to them by Our Lord and the state department of education,” said Croyden Missider, spokesman for the Kansas Department of Education. “It’s just something that Our Lord doesn’t approve of.”

That above quote was taken directly from Mr. Missider by members of the Kansas Committee for the Separation of Church and State (K.C.S.C.S.) That group, like all right-thinking Americans, are trying to keep Neo-Con and outdated modes of thought out of the school system.

Help support KCSCS in their effort to keep the minds of our children open to ideas that will help them become well-rounded and vital members of America’s future. Please repost this bulletin (with the subjectline: Nuns get the shaft from government) around to help create awareness for what the Kansas Department of Education is doing. If we are all aware, we can make a change!

Thank you!
Dr. Richard Brakeston, M.D.
Topeka, Kansas

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