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Monday, November 26, 2012

Crazy People on the Internet, as Discussed by Smart People on the Internet

Posted by on Mon, Nov 26, 2012 at 9:31 AM


Dear everyone: If you haven't already, please take 20 minutes and have your mind blown by Cienna Madrid's feature about people who lie about having terrible illnesses to people on the internet. Then read the comments. A sample:

This was extremely interesting, thank you. It also explains why my sister was turned away from an online support group she tried to join when she was diagnosed with a disease not normally seen in people until they 50 years older than her. She told me they said they didn't believe her, and I was so sad for her. I thought that they were so horrible, I guess they were just protecting themselves from something that really does happen. Posted by ScienceNerd on November 21, 2012 at 1:01 PM.

There's another great thread discussing Cienna's feature over at Metafilter, including this impressive bit:

I saw Ferris Bueller's Day Off recently, and I found the character completely unpleasant. The fact that Bueller is faking a serious illness for sympathy, and that the town is running fundraising activities for him as a result, made me feel quite disgusted. I kept expecting that this would come out, and he'd be shamed, but this doesn't happen during the movie. I can't understand why that movie is so popular - don't people see what an awful person he is, and once it comes out that he was never sick, why the town will never again come together to help a person who really is sick? Posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:03 AM on November 24 [9 favorites]

Read the instigating feature here.


Comments (19) RSS

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Um, Ferris Bueller is a juicebox. If that movie has any edge at all, it's the faint discomfort of identifying with a raging male id (in a PG-13 kind of way) that sails through life taking what it wants without a thought for the consequences.
Posted by Prettybetsy on November 26, 2012 at 10:01 AM · Report this
badstone 2
The whole movie is Cameron's fever dream. How else do you explain the musical dance number?
Posted by badstone on November 26, 2012 at 10:03 AM · Report this
I got the same thing from "Bueller". But a lot of successful films detail the lives of people you would hate IRL. That assclown fro "Saturday Night Fever"? I think Prettybetsy @1 has it about right - 13 YO id
Posted by frankdawg on November 26, 2012 at 10:06 AM · Report this
reverend dr dj riz 4
i subjected myself to ferris bueller when i was near death and home sick with the flu. wanting to turn it off in the first 20 minutes, the fever wouldn't let me get up to turn it off i called a friend ( my now husband ) to come and turn if off but he couldn't he was in northgate doing something. the movie remains as one of the worst cinema experiences of my life. up to this moment i thought i was the only person who hated it. my faith in humanity is restored.
Posted by reverend dr dj riz on November 26, 2012 at 10:10 AM · Report this
Uh, Ferris Bueller faked a minor illness to play hooky.

The joke was a bunch of dumb, gullible chumps imagined it was a far more serious illness, like some game of telephone.
Posted by GermanSausage on November 26, 2012 at 10:18 AM · Report this
badstone @2, I hope you're right.
Posted by Prettybetsy on November 26, 2012 at 10:24 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 7
Great article. But I'm conflicted. People who send money and gifts to people they don't know, are pretty sorry themselves. And also, those stories about multiple tragedies don't sound real either. So part of the problem is the gullible people who will believe anything.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on November 26, 2012 at 10:34 AM · Report this
Speaking of crazy people online, and David Schmader, ...

From Schmader's Last Days column:

" the Middle East, where today, after months of intensifying Palestinian rocket fire, Israel commenced air strikes on Gaza."

Now let's take away the reframing, and edit that phrase to make it more truthful:

" the Middle East, after random murders by IDF troops against Palestinians in Gaza, and a very recent assassination of a Hamas leader, immediately after he signed a pact with the Israeli government, factions within Gaza finally responded with rocket fire against Israel, after decade upon decade of Israeli war, both physical, economical, and psychological, on the Palestinians as well as the Israeli long-range plan of depopulation, formulated back in the 1960s, and Israel commenced air strikes on Gaza."…

Truly, if Schmader wishes to represent himself as either a journalist of some sort, or a future reporter, he should aid for at least a half-assed job of it!
Posted by sgt_doom on November 26, 2012 at 10:41 AM · Report this
Dr_Awesome 9
When resident Slog crazy-person 'Sgt Doom' says "Speaking of crazy people online..." the irony becomes unimaginably high.
Posted by Dr_Awesome on November 26, 2012 at 10:55 AM · Report this
keshmeshi 10

I wouldn't say it's ironic. Obviously, he has firsthand experience.
Posted by keshmeshi on November 26, 2012 at 11:07 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 11
Just the name of "Ferris Beuller" made me want to step magically into the movie and choke him to death. Just so much wealth and entitlement revealed by that name. If he were real, he would have gone on to running a ponzi scheme or been instrumental in creating the mortgage crisis.
Posted by Matt from Denver on November 26, 2012 at 11:53 AM · Report this
Backyard Bombardier 12
@7: You might be surprised how easy it is to be taken in by someone with Munchausen's or another factitious disorder.

They don't usually start off with the multiple tragedies; the lies start out small, believable, and unverifiable. They gradually build on them, all the while exploiting their target's sympathy. After all, even if the story sounds just a little hinky, who would really say - to someone who just disclosed a cancer diagnosis - "Hmm. Interesting. I'm going to have to see your medical chart before I offer my condolences."

Eventually they get you to a point where you have swallowed so many little lies that you develop a sort of belief-inertia. It becomes more psychologically difficult to call out the next lie - and admit to yourself that you've been duped for months - than to swallow it.
Posted by Backyard Bombardier on November 26, 2012 at 11:55 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 13
@9: My favorite part about Sgt. Doom is if you challenge him (does not often happen, even newbies and tourists know not to answer to that dreck) he starts flinging insults like a petulant little child.

Kind of like how that Malcolmxy guy would devolve into fits of rage if insulted or challenged. Whatever happened to that guy?
Posted by Theodore Gorath on November 26, 2012 at 11:56 AM · Report this
Crimes committed by Ferris Bueller during his day off:…
Posted by I Got Nuthin' on November 26, 2012 at 12:35 PM · Report this
I know, right! Sgt. Doom is constantly claiming the Earth is round, what a douche..... everyone on the Slog knows it's flat as a pancake.
Posted by Spindles on November 26, 2012 at 12:37 PM · Report this
@11 Any bets on what Ferris Bueller is doing right now? Screaming at CNN? Cycling rapidly through his pet interjections, "Money!" and "It's all good!" and "Good times!"? Telling Mia Sara and the kids on the phone about his business trip while trying to interest a stripper in the VIP package? Whatever it is, he's guaranteed to be the loudest person in the room.
Posted by Prettybetsy on November 26, 2012 at 12:41 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 17
@9- What's kind of crazy is he actually makes a solid point and it's fairly well written. He's C&Ping from someone much saner than usual.

@- The Ferris Buelleur haters- Yes, Ferris is an entitled jerk, much like the protagonists of most comedies. Now just lay back and say "Oooohhh yeahhh, chuck, chuckachucka, bow wow womp.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on November 26, 2012 at 12:45 PM · Report this
@12 I think this is where it helps to have zero interest in discussing medical problems, my own or anyone else's. Unless I share money or insurance with you, how can it possibly help to talk about it? If it's somebody I care about and they're in distress, that's one thing, and if it's a weird enough illness to be fascinating that's another. But I no more want to hear about a stranger's cancer than I want to see the contents of her toilet before she flushes. If you do want to hear it, well, maybe you got your money's worth in entertainment. Personal medical crises are not something that can be solved by private charity.
Posted by Prettybetsy on November 26, 2012 at 1:04 PM · Report this
yelahneb 19
God help us if he ever watches "Weekend At Bernie's".
Posted by yelahneb on November 26, 2012 at 1:46 PM · Report this

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