What Was the Worst Thing on the Internet This Week?

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The Internet is a wasteland — or, if you’re feeling more glass-half-full, a haven — for trolling, pandering, and self-aggrandizing, whether it be in innovative or particularly reductive ways. Every day there’s at least one or two obnoxious things that is deserving of our hate-click, and our temporary outrage only brings the unnecessary attention to such ridiculata. Yet we can’t help ourselves from promoting it, now can we? Join us in this new feature, where each week we nominate the worst Internet-based events of the previous five days, and determine which of the nominees is, in fact, The Worst.

Sinead O’Connor wrote an open letter to Miley Cyrus yesterday, advising her to avoid prostituting herself for the male suits of the music industry. On the one hand, it was good to see O’Connor take to her own space rather than comment to news outlets who called her about Cyrus’ assertion that the video for “Wrecking Ball” was an homage to the video for “Nothing Compares 2 U” and, sure, feminism. But also: pretty slut-shamey! And then Cyrus made fun of O’Connor for her history of mental illness. And then O’Connor got mad at Cyrus on her Facebook page. Is life like high school, or is high school just like life? (Kinda makes you think, huh???) Meanwhile, Amanda Palmer joined the fracas with her own open letter to O’Connor, because of course.

Speaking of totally bullshit letters, perhaps one of your friends shared the story of the man who wrote a scathing letter to his daughter for disowning her gay son after he came out. Look, I’m sure this has happened once or twice; occasionally grandpas do take breaks from wearing cardigans and doing crosswords and smoking out of pipes to drop some truthbombs about tolerance and love. But you guys, this letter is obviously fake. What bigoted woman, following the disowning of her own son and the shaming for said behavior by her father, would say, “Yeah! You’re right. I’m terrible. Better post this online to prove I learned my lesson!” I guess it’s just a total coincidence that a company that sells empowering T-shirts with phrases like “Don’t be hatin’ on the homos” happened to find the letter, place its trademark branding on it, and post it on its Facebook wall, enabling it to go viral!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vras_ia6nlc]

In other gay news, YouTube personalities Tyler Oakley and Davey Wavey sat next to each other in front of a computer to list off 25 ways to know you’re gay, because “you are a man who wants to have sex and a relationship with another man” is insufficient — and because “you like to put a Sharpie up your butt” is high comedy these days. I know it’s super-refreshing to have such a broad look at the LGBT community represented by these two young white guys with YouTube accounts, but I have to say this bit was a lot more clever back in 2005, in that scene from The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

I’m not one to complain about TV spoilers posted on Twitter and such, but maybe you shouldn’t reveal the ending of a very, very popular television show mere seconds after it ends? That would make you a monster.

Finally, it’s worth pointing out possibly the grossest politicization of yesterday’s events at the Capitol. While everything that went down is still a little fuzzy, Arkansas congressman Tim Griffin took the time mid-crisis to put leading Democratic players on blast for their “violent” rhetoric — you know, while actual shots were being fired outside and the Capitol building was on lockdown. The shutdown is really bringing out the best in all of us, huh?

THE VERDICT: While it’s super easy to just assume that whatever Amanda Palmer has done is clearly The Worst, I’m hesitant to declare her as such. That’s how she wins! We can’t let her have this one! So I’m going to go with FCKH8 for continuing to make money off the gay rights movements by pandering to the LGBT community with lame T-shirts. I H8 your tank tops!