You spend the first few minutes of your day choosing from your five identical GAP sweatshirts that are crumpled on the floor, next to your bed. You slip one on and feel that sweet, sweet urge to be incredibly irritating coursing through your veins. You continue wearing the grey sweatpants you slept in.
Breakfast consists of grabbing multiple handfuls of Cap’n Crunch Berries while you do your first scroll through Reddit. Memes are your true sustenance. Black coffee is consumed during those mornings when you can feel your eyeballs shriveling up from staring at various screens for all hours. You refrain from properly hydrating because it makes you think rationally.
You start your ritual of morning stretches as you go through your list of targeted websites. The ones with writers who have original thought and opinions, the ones that can’t figure out how to moderate Disqus, and YouTube videos. You crack all of your joints because it’s definitely going to be a long day and you can’t get a cramp in the middle of sending a writer hate mail (anonymously). The likelihood of you leaving your basement and seeing daylight or feeling fresh air is nonexistent.
You delicately line up your supply of Monster Ultra Blue and revel in the sound of cracking open your first can of the day. You inhale the familiar smell of gasoline and poison, and take a huge swig—with the theatricality of a cowboy swigging whiskey in an old western film. You kinda are like a cowboy, aren’t ya? You smile warmly to yourself.
As your computer starts up, you close your eyes and do the Internet Troll Meditation. You breathe in deeply, and while you exhale, you quietly chant to yourself: “My opinions on other people’s personal experiences matter the most… My opinions on other people’s personal experiences matter the most… Ohmmmm…”
You begin with the personal essays. They are your favorite to target. You have about 3-5 specific writers who you feel like you would hate if you met them in real life only because their names sound annoying or their author photo is too small for you to confidently say they’re not that hot, so you peruse their recent articles—essays on family and love and loss—and mindlessly comment absolute garbage. Because free speech. Everyone needs to listen to you. Ulysses sounds like it would be your favorite book if you actually read it. Your opinions matter the most.
Upon wreaking havoc on those essays, you transition into news articles. The Daily Beast, The New York Times, The Onion articles on Facebook that you assume must be real because they are on the internet and satire is fucking confusing and dumb because it doesn’t explicitly say it’s satire. Like, no disclaimer or anything.
Everyone who reads anything needs to also read your thoughts and feelings on the subject. That’s what free speech is all about, you think to yourself as you tell the writer to “shut the fuck up.”
A personal essay writer just replied to your comment. Excellent. You shotgun a Blue Hurricane Four Loko for special occasions such as this. You scream while looking into a mirror for five minutes before responding.
It’s officially that time of day to start making things unnecessarily personal. What power you hold. You are a fucking modern-day cowboy.
Thus, with your stomach lining burning an acid hole in your stomach and your tongue an unnatural shade of neon blue from the energy drinks, you shoot off half a dozen or so emails from your fake gmail account to whoever wrote the most opinionated headline you scrolled by today. You call them a hack, you tell them their writing sucks, you say that they’re lazy and banal because they lured you in with a relatable list which made you feel some sort of human connection with them. Damn it, you could’ve read Infinite Jest if you bothered, how dare this writer trick you with numbers.
You snap a No.2 pencil in half to remind yourself that you are strong and authoritative.
You’ve successfully turned the comments section on an article about a woman’s personal experience with her ex-boyfriend into a full-fledged war zone about how sexist the writer is.
You eat a frozen burrito (that you didn’t actually heat up all the way, so occasionally when you bite into it, it is very much still frozen) as you admire your work unfold into a minefield of foulmouthed and unnecessary trolling that completely takes away from the articles you initially commented on. You watch the number of commenters rack up from tens to thousands. You shoot approximately four finger guns at your monitor. Mission accomplished.