An Open Letter to the Smiley Face Following an Insult

You know that thing people do, when they stick a :) right after a rude comment? Yeah, that's just about the most annoying thing ever, huh? :) Over at McSweeney's, Jade Ologunja spoke her mind.


Dearest :) ,

So there you are, just smiling directly at me immediately after an unfriendly statement has been typed. As if my crushed spirits are suddenly supposed to be lifted because you decided to suddenly emerge out of nowhere. You're meant to reside directly behind mean statements so as to reduce the impact of an insult.

"Your shirt is very ugly." :)
"What happened to your face in this picture?" :)
"Wow, you are not photogenic." :)
"You're a douche." :)

Smiley Face, you normally have a stupendous reputation. You're able to turn someone's frown upside down right? Or give someone the slightest hope that everything is going to be okay? They say, "A smile a day keeps sadness away." But in your case, I beg to differ. By appearing behind an insult, you upset me rather than cheer me up. You manage to turn my smile upside down.

In fact, I find myself even more pissed off at you than the insult itself. I don't mean to take my anger out on you, Smiley Face, but you are even worse insult than the insult itself. You make people think that it is entirely okay to offend someone as long as you are there right after the period. Well, you're absolutely wrong. The mean statement doesn't come off more affable just because you've been added to the ending.

You know what? Seeing you at the end of an insult is like rubbing salt in the wound. I'm sure you have a variety of other positive jobs, but showing up behind a rude statement should not be one of them. You don't reduce the impact that the insult has had on me. If anything, you are just allowing more room for hate. And I believe in saying "No" to hate.

Maybe you enjoy appearing at the conclusion of insults. Maybe you like confusing the victim of the insult. Maybe you adore all the attention you steal away from the insult itself. Wow. What do you expect, Smiley Face? I'm just supposed to forget about the insult and put all my focus on you? Wow, Smiley Face. Now I understand.

You good for nothing,
Egocentric,
Exasperating,
Attention seeker. :)

With All Due Respect,
Jade Ologunja

An Open Letter to the Smiley Face Following an Insult

McSweeney's is an independent publisher based in San Francisco that publishes books, a quarterly fiction journal, a quarterly film DVD magazine, a monthly culture magazine, and a daily humor website. The McSweeney's iPhone app is available through the Apple store. For more information, visit mcsweeneys.net.