I’ve been appalled lately at the popularity of sites like Regretsy and People of Walmart. Websites whose sole purpose seems to be to make fun of other people, in a very personal way, by singling them out for public ridicule. Like one might do in 7th grade or something.
I will admit, some things on Etsy are appalling. But some things that Regretsy makes fun of are just simply things that don’t appeal to the owner of Regretsy – that doesn’t make them horrible. I browsed today while pondering this post, and found the author making fun of a Faerie hoodie – and also of the spelling “faerie.” Now, I’m not in that community, but it is my understanding that Faerie is a perfectly acceptable spelling (spellcheck certainly has no problem with it). And so the jacket isn’t my personal style, but it appears well-made and might appeal to others. But the owner of Regretsy has apparently decided that he or she has the final say on what is and is not acceptable on Etsy.
People of Walmart is supposedly a collection of nonstaged, nonPhotoshopped pictures of people at Walmart. Most of them are fat and with fat rolls hanging out. I’m in favor of dressing appropriately… but I guess I think it crosses some sort of line to take a picture of someone and, without their knowledge or consent, post it online for the sole purpose of making fun of them.
Both websites just rub me the completely wrong way.
Then I think about my favorite blog of all time, the “Blog” of “Unnecessary” quotation marks. Is that any different? It is still making fun, but the making fun is removed from the person – it’s making fun of bad grammar, not of people. It’s not “these people are so tasteless, can you believe it,” it’s more “isn’t this sign funny when you take into consideration what those quote marks mean?” Also, there’s no way to trace it back to where it came from – and purposefully so. Any identifying marks are blurred out. Maybe I’m just hiding behind high-brow excuses, I don’t know. I still think they’re different.