Which Stinks More: Opinions or Ellipses?

They say opinions are like @$$holes—everyone has one. However, only @$$holes with broadband internet access can force their stupid opinions on masses of strangers. It’s a peculiar quirk of the age of Web 2.0 that any old Tom, Dick, or Harry can tell me what he thinks the appropriate criminal punishment for a crime he read about in a 300 word news report should be. Also, if Dick happens to be sentencing someone named Jorge or DeShawn, the punishment will likely involve death and/or testicular trauma. Also, Dick is appropriately named.

I read an article this morning about a man names Jorge who made an Alford plea in the death of his girlfriend’s child. The article was so short, that I have already told you pretty much everything that was in it except the demographics of the where and when of the case. There wasn’t enough information in the article to know anything about what actually happened. But, internet comments being what they are, a random internet “gentleman” still felt that he knew enough about the case from that short article to pronounce judgment: In his view the appropriate punishment for Jorge was the death penalty. Also, he felt that “all those people” should be deported.

Clearly Dick knows better than the court systems and is also clairvoyant. He could see right through Jorge’s feeble attempt to cover up his willful wrongdoing by making an Alford plea because only a guilty person would do that, right? Never mind that there isn’t a single piece of actual evidence presented in the news article to indicate what actually happened. Dick is clearly correct that Jorge needs to die for his (unspecified) crime. Also, his name is Jorge. Guilty.

Methinks that if Dick had read an identical article in which Tom had entered an Alford plea, his response would have been different (or more likely non-existent) since Tom doesn’t represent an entire group of people. God forbid we judge Dick based on Tom’s actions. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not defending Jorge. I don’t actually know what happened. Jorge could be a total raging abusive f*ckwit. Or he could have been innocent, which is what his plea indicates he believes. The point is, I don’t know anything about the case because the article didn’t say anything and I’m not a mind-reader like Dick.

It’s pretty clear from the context here that I am calling Dick out for being a racist . . . Dick. That’s hardly a new topic for discussion nor is it particularly newsworthy in and of itself given what’s been going on in the U.S. for, well, forever. What gets me is the comments that get posted on local news websites in response to articles that literally have no information in them that would allow for an honest assessment of a criminal case. Folks like Dick are handing down punishments via web comments without any information whatsoever. Is Dick aware that he is basing his death sentence solely on a bias against the way the accused person’s name sounds with no foundation in any facts whatsoever? Is Dick aware that he is a racist? Does Dick know that he is an ignorant redneck? No offense to intelligent rednecks.

I’m sorry that a child is dead but I don’t know enough about Jorge to judge him worthy of the death penalty. Dick, on the other hand, apparently knows a lot more than I do because he can read between the lines. I’ve been taught to just read the actual words. I guess I’m not as hip to the news as Dick.

In summation, using Dick’s method of pronouncing judgment based on only a few sentences, I pronounce judgment on Dick based on his short, fact-free comment: He’s forever limited to 28.8k dial-up internet access.