Google Something Clever 2.0: Enough With the Freakin' Petitions, Already!

Nov 14, 2013

Enough With the Freakin' Petitions, Already!

Or, How Change.org is the worst thing to happen to the internet.

How many petitions have you been asked to sign in the last month? Did you sign them all? Did you actually give a shit about the goal? And most importantly, do you think they will actually work?


I'm all for petitions when necessary; necessary being the key word. Let's say Pepsi starts putting crack in their products, because they totally think we'll love it. And we start a petition asking them to stop. They have, oh, I don't know, let's say one billion customers. We get 800 million signatures. There you go. Now Pepsi understands that they will lose a significant amount of business if they choose to put crack in their products, and hopefully, they won't. I mean, if they want.


Here's the thing: Pepsi doesn't have to do anything they don't want to do. It doesn't matter how many people clicked "I agree" on some website; you are not the boss of them. Even 100,000 of you are still not the boss of them. A petition is useless if it's nothing more than a collection of people whining on the internet.

I have three examples for you. Hooray!

A concerned citizen has called on Victoria's Secret to hire transgender model Carmen Carrera. This is completely asinine. Wait, don't jump to the comments section just yet! I have no issue with transgender women. Or transgender men, for that matter. I actually don't care about any models, never mind what organs they may or may not have.

The reason that this is asinine is that Victoria's Secret is a business, and they do not have to hire someone just because a few people on the internet make some noise. They're in this for the money. How would a transgender model affect their sales? I'm not interested in lingerie fashion at all, so I won't even try to speculate. I'll just say, if it's good for business, they will hire her, and if it's bad for business, they won't. Duh.

I also have to point out just how clueless the petition writer is by mentioning that he hopes the hiring of Carrera will show "that Angels are selected because of their character and talent." Seriously? Is Victoria's Secret really trying to give people the impression that they hire their models based on character? I don't think so, honey.

Also weird? The arbitrary amount of signatures the petition "needs." As if this dude struck a deal with Victoria's Secret. "Sure thing, weird guy on the internet, if you can get 50,000 people on board, we'll totally do whatever you say, regardless of how it affects our business!" Okay.

You want another? Here's a good one. On October 16th, Jimmy Kimmel (yes, he still has a show) aired a skit where he interviewed children about how they proposed to solve the issue of our debt to China. One kid suggested that we "kill all the Chinese people" so we didn't have to pay them back. Oh my stars, he's the next Hitler! No. No, he's fucking not. He's a little kid, whose concept of "killing" does not extend beyond video games.

So maybe they shouldn't have aired it, because some people are bitchy, and they love to play the victim every chance they get. Okay, fine. Jimmy Kimmel apologized. ABC apologized. But that still wasn't enough. Now some jackass has started a petition on WhiteHouse.gov (because that's a thing they let us do now, yay freedom) demanding that President Obama "investigate" the show, which I guess means "watch it." He also wants my pal Barack to "cut the show and issue a formal apology."

The leader of the damn free world must now stop what he's doing (leading the free world, in case you forgot), in order to watch a clip from a third-rate late-night TV show, cancel the show (because he's also the president of ABC in his spare time), and apologize for something he had absolutely nothing to do with.

And yes, I do mean he must. Because if any petition, and I do mean any petition, on WhiteHouse.gov can manage to get 100,000 signatures in 30 days, the White House must respond. Those are the rules. Yes, this means that if we all got together, we could probably force the President to do the robot on national TV. But we won't, because we're responsible citizens, and we know he has more important shit to do, like having dinner with his family and playing basketball with that guy from "CSI: NY."

Want one more? Okay. "John Doe" of Arlington, TX is demanding that Google change YouTube's comments back to the old format. Because, you know, this totally free site that you don't have to go on if you don't want to is infringing on John's constitutional right to anonymously call strangers n-words and f-words below videos of kittens. Fuck you, Google! 

Ugh, you know what? I just can't.

So what's my point? People are idiots. That's almost always my point. Hope you had fun!