I was talking to a friend yesterday* (that’s right, A FRIEND!) about the hot topic chestnut that the Internet is somehow making people dumber, or weirder, or less socially capable, or whichever of the developmental bogeyman that has captured the imagination on that particular day, and how I think all of this is bullshit. (The conversation started when my friend explained that she had been watching an old episode of Gilmore Girls, naturally, and wanted to find out what happened to the show’s creator, obviously, but when she went on the Internet all she found were My Life Is Twilight-style GG message boards, about which she commented “no one knows how to live anymore,” and to which I replied, “no one ever did.”) My basic point/feeling about these matters is that the world has always been filled with plenty of dumb dumbs and creepazoids, but we just have more EVIDENCE now. Because no one seems to be able to ever KEEP THEIR MOUTH SHUT. It’s not that the Internet has made anyone any weirder, but it’s given all the weirdos a much easier way to publicize what makes them weird in the first place, and for some reason, all of them are jumping on it. (Similarly, I got in an argument with my dad once, who was bemoaning smart phones and saying that 30 years ago you saw couples at dinner talking to each other, but now you just see them checking their email on their phones, to which I replied that 30 years ago there were still plenty of unhappy couples, and when they couldn’t check their email they probably just stared at the wall. Take your imaginary straw man happy couple whose lives have been ruined by phones and get OUT OF HERE.) What I’m saying is: the Internet doesn’t ruin people’s lives, people USING the Internet ruins peoples lives.

All of this is, naturally, leading up to the United States’s triumphant deportation of two stupid British kids who just wanted to party in the land of the free for making Family Guy references on Twitter. GOTCHA! Nice try, Osama Bin Laden’s ghost. From the Hollywood Reporter:

Leigh Van Bryan and Emily Bunting were intercepted by American Homeland Security officials upon their arrival last week, after Van Bryan tweeted that he was going to “destroy America” and dig up Marilyn Monroe’s grave.

The tweets in question, spotted by authorities weeks before Van Bryan and Bunting’s arrival, appear to have been made in jest. Read them here. Speaking with the U.K.’s The Sun, Bunting said: “We just wanted to have a good time on holiday. That was all Leigh meant in his tweets.”

The first post allegedly used the term “destroy” as British slang for partying, while the second quoted an episode of Family Guy. “3 weeks today, we’re totally in LA pissing people off on Hollywood Blvd and diggin’ Marilyn Monroe up!,” it read.

Van Bryan, 26, and Bunting, 24, were held and questioned for five hours before being placed in jail for another 12 hours. Ultimately, they were flown back to London via Paris. Since the incident, Van Bryan has made his Twitter account available to followers only. If he ever hopes to return to the U.S., Van Bryan will need to apply for a visa.

“It’s almost funny now,” said Van Bryan. “But at the time it was really scary.”

I love that these two dopes were questioned for five hours and STILL sent back to England. Like, I’m pretty sure in the first 30 seconds of the interrogation it would have been clear that no one was DESTROYING AMERICA. “You going to destroy America?” “Oy! Birds! Fish n’ wankers!” Although, I bet when the authorities got to the Marilyn Monroe tweet that there actually was an unshakable cloud of suspicion hanging over the two men because who would admit in a situation like that that you were making a fucking FAMILY GUY reference? The only thing lamer than making a Family Guy reference on Twitter is making a Family Guy reference on Twitter that gets you arrested at the airport and deported. REMEMBER THE TIME YOU WERE DEPORTED? In such situations, it’s best to just pretend that you really did intend to dig up Marilyn Monroe’s grave. Mum’s the word. “It’s almost funny now.” No, it’s not. You doofus.

Stay off the Internet, you guys. I’m not kidding.

*Admittedly, I was “talking” to this friend OVER CHAT, which is the basis for most of our friendship. So basically everything about this blog post is perfect and should hang in a museum at a university.
Comments (42)
  1. I’m glad to know our tax dollars are being used to keep those International Family Guy fans out of America.

    Great job HS!

  2. I mostly agree with you. What the internet has helped me do is procrastinate longer and better. However, I was always a procrastinator but now I just do it better and more efficiently.

  3. When asked if he felt this was a waste of time and tax money, Ryan said, simply, “Yes.”

  4. Could you get Emily Bunting

    • LOL! Massive typo. But seriously, could you get her?

      Hope that doesn’t get me pulled up into some kind of interrogation situation. “He said on the internet that he wanted someone to GET Emily Bunting!”

  5. I’ll take your internet theory one further, Gabe. Not only does it provide an outlet for weirdos to publicize their weirdness, but smartphones actually make it easier to spot the narcissistic assholes. You know that “friend” we all have who never talks to anyone at get-togethers because they can’t get their fucking nose out of their iPhone all night? That guy always existed before, but now he can be more easily identified. Thanks, technology!

  6. Get me Seal Team Six, this Limey bastard is tweeting that he’s coming to America to have sex with birds!

  7. When I first saw that there was a story about British slang and a mix-up with Homeland Security, I was certain it was going to involve a suitcase full of fags.

    • This reminds me of that that story years ago about the Brits plane-spotting in Greece not too long after 9/11. The Greeks were like “yeah right Brits, watching and identifying planes is a ‘pastime’.” The Greeks could not even remotely fathom why anyone would watch planes for a hobby. My point is it’s always the Brits!

  8. There have always been weird creeps, but the internet helps them find each other, and perpetuate their creepiness. Before Craigslist, do you know how many people were out there, wanting to be adult babies, or to be the person that takes care of an adult baby? They had no way to connect, so their dreams went unfulfilled, and we were all better off for it.

  9. “Since the incident, Van Bryan has made his Twitter account available to followers only.”

    Not sure that’ll stop the U.S. government, son.

  10. The internet makes it easier to be weird whaaaat? That is madness.

    Now if anyone is interested in my Tilda Swinton appreciation sockpuppet tumblr, feel free to shoot me a tweet!

  11. I think you’re all missing the takeaway from this: there is a job out there that requires a person to sit around reading tweets from foreigners all day. Someone gets paid for this! It basically sounds like what I do for free already!

  12. I think the main thing for me (cool start of sentence) is that the mode of communication perpetuates the downward cycle. So we keep on going further down the rabbit hole, using less and less words, more abbrevs, and slowly lose our ability to communicate, which pushes us even further down. I don’t think we’ve always been socially incompetent. But we have trended that way over the years. People start getting fired over emails, phone calls with respect to courtship* resemble marriage proposals if they’re not preceded by text messages, and internet comments become ways to express feelings. This all just making us creepier, dumber, and less empathetic. Happy Tuesday to you too.

    *What you’re supposed to do, Ladies

  13. I agree there have always been antisocial people out there, but I chalk it up to shyness. It’s hard to overcome, and I think technology is an easy place for the shy to hide. It’s a shame really. We might be missing out on someone great. But then, that’s what is so nice (and kind of addictive) about sites like this. There are all kinds in here. It’s less scary, maybe?, to interact in here. (maybe not lol) But there are great people like this all around, so every now and then, talk to the weirdo right next to you.

    • Mrs. Connaboy… are you trying to seduce us?

    • I live in Hollywood, and when I talk to the weirdo next to me, I often find the weird goes all the way down. Yesterday I waited for the crosswalk light with an elderly man who struck up a conversation about Camel cigarettes and how important they are to him and how he knows a guy who sells them for $1.35 a pack. He went on to say that he’d just bought a pack for someone underage and he was glad to see the next generation get into Camels, which really are the best cigarette.

      I told him I once had a roommate who loved Camels, and he looked at me like, “What the fuck are you talking about? That makes no sense.”

  14. Ah… so they have the internet on computers now.

  15. I would leave my phone at home if I went to dinner with you Gabe

  16. My dad resisted getting a cell phone for the longest time. he reads like, 6 books a week, does the crossword puzzle every night when he gets home, runs marathons, etc. He’s very active. My mom’s had a phone to keep in contact with my sister and I since 1999. Dad finally got a phone about a year ago.

    Now I get texts from him where he uses ‘da’ instead of ‘the,’ ‘cya’ for ‘see you,’ and has on one occasion wrote ’10q’ as ‘thank you,’ which I needed explained to me, to which he responded “What’s 5q + 5q? = 10q. You’re welcome.” Me: “Kind of defeats the whole purpose of abbreviating that, doesn’t it?”

    Most recently he texted me wanting to know why I sent a picture of my new apartment to my mom but not to him (they’re still married, and at the time I sent the picture I KNEW they were sitting in the same room, or at least were both home). His text read, “How come u no send me pikcha uv u room?”

    So I guess what I’m saying is, ‘uv’ is not a good replacement for ‘of.’ It’s still two letters, and I hate this predicament.

    • I feel your pain. I almost got caught in this trap, but I was able to avoid it by refusing to answer any texts or Facebook friend requests from my parents. They got the hint eventually.

      • I accepted my mother’s request years ago. Recently, she told me she never actually visits my page. She is too afraid she will discover evidence that I am leading a secret life she’s better off not knowing about. Like I’m probably way into cocaine or hobo-killing I guess?

        Anyway privacy is important in my family. People get cancer and don’t tell anyone. So this is not a huge shock.

    • My mom just learned how to text. She sent me “Hi Fatima its your mum love mum” (she “signs” all her texts just in case I don’t know who it’s from). I sent “Wow! You text now?” and 3 days later got a reply “Yes I am a texting machine love mum”. It took her two months to figure out how to add characters or numbers, and then one day I got “I FOUND THE PUNCTUATION!!!!!!!!!!;..:’@ love mum” My point is, parents with technology are the best.

  17. Marilyn Monroe isn’t even buried in a grave. She’s nestled in a crypt. I think Hugh Hefner bought the spot above her but I think someone else bought it out from him or something? Its been a while since I have been to Hollywood and anyway, I’m glad these people were sent home for just being plain old stupid.

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