Horseshoes and Hand Grenades: Joel Johnson Spank Us All for Supporting Crap

Illustration for article titled Horseshoes and Hand Grenades: Joel Johnson Spank Us All for Supporting Crap

Gizmodo editor emeritus Joel Johnson is back, and if you thought he was doling out noogies before, wait til you get a hold of his first column where he scolds you, the Giz writers, the gadget makers, and you, dear readers, for supporting the disgusting cycle of gadget whoring. Just like the obscure route that your marijuana money takes into the Al Qaeda pocketbooks, by reading, writing, and buying shitty gadgets, we're just as guilty as the people who build them.


Consumer electronics are a joke. It's everyone's fault but mine. You assholes.

These guys want me to write a weekly column, but I hate consumer electronics, I hate marketing, and I hate you people, because you're all so dumb. If you're lucky and I need the money, I will.

I gave up two years of my life writing about gadgets for this site. Waking up every morning at 5 AM, chewing up press releases to find the rare morsel of legitimate information, chasing down "hot tips" that ended up being photochops of iPods with reflections of genitals in the touchscreens. Oh, and the worst: fielding emails from PR parasites eager to suck away precious time in a half-hour phone meeting while the Senior Vice-President of Smoke Blowing tells me about how his company's software—based on an idea cribbed from Google—is going to change the way I look at something I didn't care about in the first place. (Inevitably, "forever.")

And you guys just ate it up. Kept buying shitty phones and broken media devices green and dripping with DRM. You broke the site, clogging up the pipe like retarded salmon, to read the latest announcements of the most trivial jerk-off products, completely ignoring the stories about technology actually making a difference to real human beings, because you wanted a new chromed robot turd to put in your pocket to impress your friends and make you forget for just a few minutes, blood coursing as you tremblingly cut through the blister pack, that your life is utterly void of any lasting purpose.

Then you had the audacity to complain about broken phones, half-assed firmware that bricked your gear, and winner-takes-nothing arms races between the companies whose gear your bought and the hackers who had nothing better to do than try to fix it. Do you realize how ridiculous that is? Programmers with free time did more to help you get quality products than you ever did by buying the broken gear in the first place.

Stop buying this crap. Just stop it. You don't need it. Wait a year until the reviews come out and the other suckers too addicted to having the very latest and greatest buy it, put up a review, and have moved on to something else. Stop buying broken products and then shrugging your shoulders when it doesn't do what it is supposed to. Stop buying products that serve any other master than you. Use older stuff that works. Make it yourself. Only buy new stuff from companies that have proven themselves good servants of their customers in the past. Complaining online about this stuff helps, but really, just stop buying it.


You want to know the punchline? The average Joe that makes up the market is smarter than you saps. The market-at-large waits until a clear leader emerges, then takes a modest plunge. You may think you're making up the "bleeding edge" of "gadget pimpatude" but you're really just a loose confederation of marks the consumer electronics industry uses as free market research and easy money. "Give me the latest version," you coo, hiking up your skirt another inch over your exposed wallet. "Point Oh One upgrades make me so hot."

And for god's sake, Gizmodo, stop giving this stuff such a free pass. Stop using terminology that they've programmed into you by puking it into your eyeballs via press release after press release. What is this "unleashes" horseshit, Deleon? You're not in marketing. Don't write like you are. This is obviously a not a real product, Frucci. Did you even read the site you linked? Are you actually writing boosterism-filled copy about products that don't actually exist? Oh my god, Wilson, you're writing about that house-printing machine? I wrote about that almost three years ago. (You get a slight pass because I couldn't find my old link in Google because of Gawker's inexplicable "Wheel O' Permalink Syntax," but still, you guys are supposed to be well-versed experts about technology. You should know about this stuff. The C in "Gizmodo" is for "some fucking context," which you should provide, even if you only get paid per cock joke.)


While we're on the subject of your torpid, irresponsible copy, stop calling stuff "*tastic." Especially "geektastic," your slackest-jawed portmanteau. Would you drop that bon mot to a woman you were trying to hit on in real life? Of course you would, because I know you guys, and you're dorks.

Get it together: every single one of these consumer electronics companies should be approached as the enemy. They work for us. Hold their feet to the fire when they say their product is going to change even a small part of our lives. Circle back again in six months when they're shilling the incremental upgrade and ask them why the last version didn't cut the mustard. Step out of your blogging trench and ask yourself what your responsibility is to the tens of thousands of idiots who are reading this site right now to determine what they should spend their next paycheck on. They've already proven they're too imbicilic to make any smart purchases on their own. (Remember, Gizmodo was a nexus of debate over which MP3 player was going to "kill" the iPod two years after Apple won.) If you write like another stupid fanboy who ricochets a pillar of spunk off the roof of his gaping mouth just because something is glossy and uses electricity, you're just doing the work of the companies trying to get rich selling us broken promises.


Ah. I feel better. Didn't help a thing, but I feel better, and I'm what's important here.


Brian Ashcraft

Hooray! My favorite ginger-bearded bastard is BACK! :)