Got a problem on the Internet? The Internet Guy tells you what it is. With two novels he can't sell, a screenplay he'd like to show you, and some "sinister monkey" art that would look great over your sofa, Rick Polito dishes advice with a big spoon.
Dear Internet Guy,
My friend keeps sending me pictures of cute kittens. It started with that keyboard cat five years ago and that was funny for all of five seconds but now I’m getting some LOLcats link in my email every day. Three quarters of her Facebook updates are pictures of her kitten. I like her but I find myself avoiding her, online and in person.
-Frustrated with the Felines,
I feel your pain. I’ve been allergic to cats all my life but my response to the cute cat thing is stronger. My eyes don’t go red but I feel this overwhelming urge to wretch. But the cat thing is obviously working for somebody. Icanhascheezburger gets something like six quadrillion hits a day. From the stats, it would appear dead people are coming back from the grave to download cute cat pics because the 7 billion of us on the planet couldn’t possibly keep up.
For some background, people started keep cats as pets as long ago as 8,000 years. Opinion varies on whether they have been “domesticated” as feline aloofness is often mistaken for intelligence when it’s really just a crippled operating system. Cats look aloof because they lack the brainpower to do much more than lick themselves and shit in litter boxes.
Cat have shown up in art since at least the time of Ancient Egyptians but not annoyingly so until the 1970s, when the “Hang In There Baby!” posters started outselling day-glo hippie posters you had to be high to totally get, man. But “Hang In There Baby,” could be avoided. You just didn’t go in your mom’s sewing room.
What do you do about cute cats on the Internet? Don’t look at them. You’re already doing that. Keep it up. But ask your friend how she’s doing. Start real email conversations. Ask her opinion on whether the Ron Paul campaign is just performance art, or if the Boys II Men reunion tour should be Men II Men at this point?
If she persists, go to her house and scratch up her sofa. Better yet, leave a hairball in her sink.
Is there something wrong on the Internet? Or just with you? Either way, Rick Polito will gladly pretend to care. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo from the George Eastman House Collection