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Hate on the WWW

By Devin D. O'Leary

DECEMBER 29, 1997:  Another big worry that our overlords--I mean our legislators--seem to have about the Internet is the proliferation of "hate" propaganda. For a while, it looked like every politico in the country was up in arms about all the militia, Nazi, KKK and other numskull bigotry sites floating around the World Wide Web. Then somebody remembered all that pesky crap in the Constitution about "freedom of speech," and they shut up for a little while. What all these cause-seeking Harvard types have been missing is that the Internet is loaded with hate. Not just your garden variety racial/religious hate, mind you, but specific, petty and highly pointed hatred of people, places and things. Folks are using the Internet on a daily basis to air their deep-seeded, long-brewing personal loathings--and damn is it entertaining.


Bert is Evil

(fractalcow.com/bert/bert.htm)--Here's a guy who not only hates Bert (you know, Ernie's anal-retentive roommate on "Sesame Street"), but is firmly convinced that the unibrowed muppet is truly evil. To support his contention, this site's creator has furnished several incriminating photographs and documents. There are (unretouched) photos of Bert in the company of Adolph Hitler, attending a KKK rally and dragging a shocked Ernie to a downtown strip club. Documents include "An Intercepted E-Mail Correspondence With Jeffrey Dahmer," "The O.J. Connection" and the scandalous essay "How Did Mr. Hooper Really Die?" (apparently Hooper caught Bert and special guest Richard Pryor smoking crack behind the store). This is certainly a lot of effort to slander the life and career of a single muppet, and I fully support it. The funniest of the batch.


Slap a Spice Girl

(www.urban75.com/Punch/spicebelt.html)--The Holy Trinity of hatred on the Internet consists of The Spice Girls, Hanson and Barney the Dinosaur. These three entities have inspired more hate sites than any other. Here is the original site (sponsored by hip Brit mag Urban 75) for "Slap a Spice Girl" (which has spawned dozens of imitators). Download the Shockwave game, and you'll be treated to a computerized version of the arcade classic "Whack a Mole." Instead of moles, however, the Spice Girls pop out of the holes and you are encouraged to "slap" them with your mouse pointer.


Assassin

(www.users.fast.net/~wadef/assassin.html)--This one's a pretty low-tech hate-mongering toy, but it's vaguely funny and not too bad for relieving your aggressions. Basically, you start by clicking on the person you hate. There are a number to choose from (from Barney to the Olsen Twins to "Family Circus" creator Bil Keane). You are then given a weapon (from a pistol to a rifle to a flame-thrower) to dispatch them with. Click on their photo and you'll be treated to another picture with appropriately-placed bullet holes. Crude, but slightly satisfying.


I Hate Worf!

(www.itsnet.com/~blh/I_Hate_Worf.html)--Now here's a pretty specific hate site. The fella seems to dislike the burly "Star Trek" Klingon with a pink and purple passion. Included are several quite cogent arguments as to why we should hate him, too. "Why Klingon Food is Gross," "Why Cookie Monster Should Replace Worf" and "Stupid Things Worf Has Said" are just a few of the documents contained herein. This site's owner has even included addresses for Paramount Television so you can mail your hatred directly to the source. In the interest of fair play, though, the author has also included his own e-mail address, so rabid Worf-loving Trekkies can flame him if they see fit.


Things I Hate

(www.capecod.net/~cfinegol/hate.html)--Now here's an ambitious Web site. Some fool is actually attempting to gather top 10 hate lists from every state in the Union and some 21 separate countries. Right now, he's only got 21 states, and Spain, Malaysia, Argentina and Norway are the only other countries to weigh in with their hatred. You can e-mail your personal list directly from this main page. Scrolling through the dozens of lists can be fairly entertaining. Top hatreds seem to include the Olsen Twins, AOL and Bush (the band, not the former president). Oddly enough, this site manages to foster a sort of universal harmony and understanding. It's refreshing to find out that a guy in Malaysia hates the Spice Girls and Jonathan Taylor Thomas just like you. Isn't it nice to know that it's our hatreds that bring us all closer together?


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