Stories of the Internet

The Internet is full of self-referential folk-lore, stories and jokes on how people have found in the Internet a whole new way of expressing themselves. Or, at least, expressing their frustration at not being able to work their computers as they would have liked to.

There are anecdotes from the frontlines of tech support, struggling to make sense of the inquiries of the users. There are lists of emails that people have sent to one another because of their humorous or thoughtful contents that nobody can remember who originally wrote them. And there are excerpts from discussions on on-line chat fora, people telling stories from their everyday life, joking and being bored together.

The last link is to, also known as the Quote Database. All over the world, people are communicating through IRC chat channels, discussing all sorts of things. Usually, these conversations aren’t saved or remembered, but once in a while people will compose spur-of-the-moment witticism that deserve to last.
With the Quote Database, these people have a place to submit these quotes to. Imagine if in the course of all the conversations that you’ve ever had, any participant could have had the option of cutting a segment of that conversation out and saving it, otherwise out context, for posterity.

Even if you aren’t the new Oscar Wilde or Groucho Marx, you would still have enough material for a reasonable stand-up comic performance. I picked a few from that I found quite funny (they have a ranking system, so you don’t necessarily have to wade through all the teenaged computer trash talk that is also submitted):

DaZE: at my school.. the cop from DARE passed around 3 joints to show everyone… and he said “if i dont get all three of these back this schools getting locked down and everyones getting searched till i find it..” and like 30 minutes later when everyone got to see ’em and they got passed back the cop had 4…

beser: Today my History class took a feild trip to the Museum of Tolerance. Its a museum showing kids not to be prejudice and all that good stuff.
beser: Anyways, one exhibit is two doors next to each other. One door has a sign hanging over it saying “Those with prejudice walk through this door” The other door’s sign said “Those without prejudice walk through this door”. Obviously the door for people without prejudice isn’t openable because as the tour guide says “Everyone has prejudice”.
beser: So, I start tugging on the door and say “What the hell is wrong with this damn door, did some damn Jew make this?” and the tour guide kicked me out and i had to sit in the bus for 15 minutes.

Being able to record folk-lore and word-of-mouth with such ease is really interesting, and new material is being generated and made available all the time. It is worth exploring, and often quite funny, too.

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