Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Time to remove the ranting rabble

By Matthew M. Robare

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Rants. I can’t stand them at all. Some blowhard has some uninformed opinion about some topic that nobody knows about – much less cares about – and just mouths off about it without even thinking things through. I just don’t understand what could possess someone to come up with one. Maybe a lifetime of armchair quarterbacking or yelling at the TV whenever the news is on.

I mean, come on, nobody wants to hear or read some uninformed person going on and on about one thing. People like stories and conflict and drama. Rants are fine for the Internet when nobody is listening. But some people like to rant about their pet peeves or unthinking political opinions or whatever idiotic shtick they have that week at parties. That’s just plain annoying, some dolt just emitting hot air without a single original thought. Run for office, buddy.

You know the type. Probably drink too much, smells like he hasn’t showered that week, works someplace that has no bearing on your life, but thinks he’s a big shot. Sad, really. Almost pitiful, but their ability to annoy you far outweighs their circumstances. If you are really unlucky, it can feel like only a very tenuous bond called “society“ is preventing you from strangling them right then and there. If they sound like Chris Matthews, your lawyer can use the “doing a service to humanity“ defense at your trial.

Thankfully, it’s autumn and that means football and basketball. Instead of harping on about everything, they’ll focus exclusively on those sports and we’ll enjoy some peace and quiet while they obsess over ESPN and Fox Sports most of the day. These two sports attract the most stupid, drunken, most annoying and smelliest sort of ranter. Simple games for simple minds, I guess. Not that everyone who enjoys football and basketball is a ranter. In fact, probably only about 10 percent of stupid, drunk, annoying and smelly football and basketball fans are ranters.

But the absolute worst thing about ranters is that when they blog, they cannot spell – a trait they share with another annoying group, bad fan fiction writers. No decent spelling at all. I suppose that‘s one of the problems with the Internet, not having editors, but it is also indicative of the ranter’s laziness. Most Internet browsers have some kind of spell check and it isn’t as if it’s too hard to make the effort to type “The Patriots were awesome Sunday! They dominated Tennesee!” instead of “teh Patz wuz good sinday!!!11!! tenisee sux111!!“

By the way, how many of you just went, “OMG. LOL!“ No reason, just asking.

Anyways, what can be done about this terrible social disease? Short of radical and immoral actions like internment or genocide, I mean. Well, in my view, the best thing we can do is ignore them. While many of them might not rant for any real reason, they do enjoy the attention. While it might be a while, ignoring a ranter will almost certainly result in them no longer ranting to you. The worst thing you can do to an annoying person is ignore them. I swear, if 100 million people ignored the most annoying government agencies (the Internal Revenue Service or the Department of Homeland Security, take your pick) eventually they’d have to give in. We could probably call it a revolution too, since the government would be doing something people actually want. Ignoring rants is bliss. Sorry.

Now, another way to stop ranters would be to subject them to the opposite of ranting: the boring story with no point. You know the type: a person with a monotone voice lists every single insignificant thing that has happened to them in the past 24 hours. “I got up at 6:28 a.m. because I had to use the bathroom, which was really a good thing because not only would I have slept in if I hadn’t gotten up I would have had stomach problems because the night before I ate corn because I forgot that corn gave me an upset stomach…“

I can barely type it, though I have unconsciously told stories like that before. But I have never ranted. Ever. Not in billions and billions of words spoken or written have I ever engaged in as sickening and self-important activity as ranting.

Once the boring people drive the ranters to silence through shear long-windedness, we will have the problem of a lot of boring people. The way to deal with them will be to cultivate our singing voices or any instrument and abandon prose for song. But the death of prose will be a topic for another column.

Matthew M. Robare is a Collegian columnist. He can be reached at [email protected]


2 Responses to “Time to remove the ranting rabble”

  1. muad'dib on October 22nd, 2009 5:16 am

    Speaking of pointless ranting, why is a pointless rant still rated the most popular article on the Collegian website?


  2. Pac Man on October 22nd, 2009 12:08 pm

    For some reason, I don’t think Matthew quite understands that what he is complaining about is the purpose of the Ed/Op section.


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