“Ben Schumin believes his life is very interesting. He’s wrong.”

3 minute read

November 29, 2007, 7:11 PM

Do you remember back in April when I inadvertently stayed up all night because I had too much coffee at Daily Grind? Well, while messing around on the Internet, I discovered the latest person making an attempt to be witty at my expense. This would be a person going by the name “Javier Magnante” (more than likely not the person’s real name), who runs the blog Today’s Special Is Pain, which dissects my Journal entries in a style similar to Mystery Science Theater 3000. He takes a bit of text from my Journal and reposts it in a light gray color, and then he makes sarcastic comments right below it in this salmon-colored text.

His style is rude and crude, as he portrays me in his profanity-laden commentaries as someone who is constantly eating large quantities of ham and paying no attention to personal hygiene, while simultaneously having sexual relations with my digital camera and laptop computer. Needless to say, cheap shots are in no short supply. Frank Wade should go see this guy for advice on how to take cheap shots at me.

What gets me, though, is the apparent contradiction between the way he markets his blog and how he behaves on it. He calls his blog “Today’s Special Is Pain”, and has for a slogan, “Ben Schumin believes his life is very interesting. He’s wrong.” It’s been seven months since I first discovered this blog. And based on what he’s posted, he’s been at this commentary business for more than a year, initially on an unnamed discussion forum, and then it’s been in blog format since March. For someone who thinks my life is dull and uninteresting, he’s certainly taken a strong interest in what I have to say about what is apparently my dull and uninteresting life. It leads me to question whether he really believes his own slogan, as he appears to be having a grand old time playing back-seat driver to Schumin Web.

Of course, he’s not the first one to devote a large amount of time and energy to a site that he apparently doesn’t like. There was SpinnWebe (twice!) in 2000, and Sandra Polifroni in 2001, as well as various other sites. But this would be the first one who has devoted more than a year’s worth of effort to writing about me, and my Web site that he apparently doesn’t like, on a regular basis. And of course, let’s not forget that he only has about four jokes that he is constantly reusing. Ham, hygiene, sex with electronic devices, and “Loretta” (don’t ask). SpinnWebe at least branches out into a lot of different topics. In fact, I’ve enjoyed reading SpinnWebe for like ten years or so, starting out with the DFC and being genuinely disappointed when it went offline, plus I find some of Spinn’s adventures kind of amusing. In fact, I enjoy reading the site – except when he’s making fun of me, of course. “Today’s Special Is Pain”, however, is like a one-gimmick character. The same jokes over and over again get old after a while.

And of course that brings us to the bottom line: What causes people like “Javier Magnante” to dedicate so much time, making entire Web sites to bash other people’s activities? Like the schoolyard bully, it seems that the only way he can get satisfaction in his own life is to put others down. I almost feel sorry for the guy. What a dismal existence. If I died today, what would he do? After all, he wouldn’t be able to pick on me with every Journal entry that I post. And the fact that he has followers who seem to thrive on his site is an even sadder commentary on things. It seems there are a lot of people with lives so unfulfilling that they need to be sure that others are being put down. Makes them feel big and bad, I suppose. And if that’s what makes them happy, more power to them, I suppose, but it’s certainly not a situation in life that I’d like to be in.

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Categories: Netculture, Some people