Sham On Whom?
Hi. How’s everything? Have you been called a douche and a jackass because of something you published? I have. Moron that below. (Get it? Moron? Ha!)
HPW HQ FYI
But first, an overdue reëxplanation of what’s been going on at How Pants Work Headquarters: Very little. As reported previously, at the end of last year HPW had an abrupt double-change of editorship. Specifically, we went from having one editor to having two editors to having no editor in the span of about a week. So we decided to close the publication to outside submissions, at least for a while. If you’ve submitted something only to receive a boilerplate email or a rejection without explanation, this is why.
So, for the most part, HPW now publishes pieces only by me (sometimes in collaboration with others) with the occasional piece by one of the writers I established the pub with. And speaking of exactly that…
The Story I Came Here to Tell
You’ve probably seen the most recent piece published. It’s a piece inspired by a tweet of a friend, and it’s one of the pieces (of my own) that I am most proud of. The premise is simple: Someone has wasted his whole life trying to disprove that Michael Jackson walked on the moon. The title of the piece? “I’ve Done My Own Research and Concluded That Michael Jackson’s Moonwalk Was Staged.”
If you haven’t yet read it, you might want to. And I hope you’ll enjoy it. And I hope you’ll recognize that it. is. satire. So, so many people did not.
For reasons unclear at best, this silly little piece started racking up beaucoup views about a week after it appeared. As of today, it has more than 22,000 views. (Fewer reads, but that’s to be expected.)
What I didn’t expect was that a whole bunch of people would read only the title, assume I was being serious, and insult me (and my co-conspirator) on social media, mainly Twitter. It’s more sad than evil, of course. Except for the one guy who accused my colleage of probably being the “whitest person on the planet.” He actually might be, but that’s still not nice.
What I learned—in case you were wondering if this tale has a moral—is that people still worship Michael Jackson, and those people will go to great lengths to defend his legacy, as long as those lengths do not require them to read more than 13 words. It appears that some of these people are even creating Medium accounts just to insult me. You might think that would be flattering, and you’d be correct.