The Bowl, the Barstool, and Bad Apples

John Monday

I hate the majority of the internet. I hate, hate, hate it.  Hate is a strong word, but I feel there is no other word to do my feelings justice. The word ‘loathe’ may suffice but ‘hate’ has got a great punch to it when deciding what the appropriate word is to use.

The internet is a hard thing to hate on a whole. It takes special practice on my part. We have this amazing and infinite source of all information, entertainment, and accomplishment. Years of perfecting computer codes and websites and the concept of email all coming together to form an epic piece of man made invention. How could I hate such a thing?  The answer lies with a site like Barstool Sports Philly.

I had never heard of Barstool before January 29 when an “article” about Malvern Preparatory School was posted on this “famous” blog. The “article,” and I wish I can put more quotations around that word, was in regard to students skipping school to go to Wing Bowl on Friday, January 31. Barstool reprinted a letter written by our Dean of Students, Mr. Dougherty, alerting parents to student’s plans on attending wing bowl and how, in order to be absent on Friday, students needed to have a call from their parent/s or guardian/s. The “““article””” defamed Malvern Prep, calling out Mr. Dougherty for using words like ‘gluttony.’

There are so many points I’d like to make.  I cannot finish all of them right now because I’m too busy not reading the musings of the millions of pointless bloggers and trolls that co-habitate the internet with the rest of us normal people.

I want to say that we have this great invention like the internet, but because humanity is so depraved and because people like the ones who write on Barstool or go to Wing Bowl, it turns into a cesspool of stupidity, playing to the ignorant tendencies of knuckle-dragging frat boys. I want to point out that in scrolling down Barstool’s website, one can be enchanted with stories of Justin Bieber and the hot women of the day. Boy, a website about nothing but pop culture news and attractive women, how truly groundbreaking.

In regard to the Malvern article, what does Barstool expect Malvern to do, let kids go drink freely during a school day and ogle women without so much as saying a word ? That is not what Malvern is about. Not everybody conforms to a standard that lets the demons of society run amok. Some people like to learn about things that are truly creative, funny, subversive, informative – and not people gorging themselves with chicken wings or articles about boobs.

Now do not confuse me as some PC liberal. I am no such thing. I believe every person should write and say whatever they want, but I’ll be damned if I do not have the right to tell you that something you say or do is stupid/detrimental to the greater good when it is.

Barstool makes me really angry, not solely because of the site itself but also because of what Barstool represents. It represents the rest of the dregs of the internet, like social media sites. I hate Buzzfeed, I hate what Twitter and Facebook and Vine represent because these turn the internet – something I cherish and kind of love – into something tainted and populated mostly by idiots, like much of the world. Idiocy marked by the meaningless crap and vapid opinions that get shuffled around the internet every single day, until nothing is sacred or cool anymore. Everything is a fad and a rehashed version of the thing we saw yesterday. Little is ever crafted with ingenuity or style, but much is brought down to the lowest common denominator so to grab the most attention. That’s why we get Buzzfeed lists and Barstool articles. Short, snappy, pieces of monumental crap about nothing that provide a glimmer of shallow entertainment in an ever darkening and more lonely world.

Barstool is a simple minded website that coincides with the rest of the bastions of ignorance, and the article about Malvern certainly falls in line with what the website believes in:  petty grievances, willful ignorance, and downright idiocy. Idiots call people out and ridicule them for using a word like gluttony because it doesn’t have a hashtag in it or refer to some pseudo celebrity. Malvern runs an experiment every day that pushes us to do something good with what we have, to try and carve out something special in the world with our gifts. Barstool attempts to make people who like the comedy stylings of Larry the Cable Guy laugh at some more quality fart jokes and enjoy poking fun at the physically handicapped. You decide who truly wins in the end.

The internet is not a bad thing, and just like the human race, we are redeemed everyday by people living and creating lives that are truly inspiring and awesome. Let’s not let a few bad apples ruin everything for the rest of us.


PS> To anyone at Malvern who reads Barstool, I am not calling you stupid. We all have our guilty pleasures. Also, for those who inevitably did go to Wing Bowl, I would just like to say Wing Bowl sounds great! It is a great way to spend a morning of hedonism followed by a night of self hatred, shame, and regret! Rock on WIP!