“This child is possessed by satan. Exorcism needs to be performed.”

April 18, 2008 at 12:33 pm | Posted in Misc. | Leave a comment
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Over at Slate, Michael Agger subjects himself to the awfulness of reading all 57,840 comments on a Youtube video of a laughing baby. Perhaps inevitably if you’ve just read nearly 60,000 inane outbursts, he starts detecting trends:

Armchair pediatricians: Many people think that Laughing Baby is sick: “The baby is very sweet, but he sounds asthmatic. They should have him checked out.” Even better: “I read a scientific study that had to do with dopamine levels in toddlers and how they affected their personality. This little guy obviously enjoys the dopamine ‘high’ he’s getting out of laughing this much. Unfortunately, children like this have very high rates of drug use later in life. Strange, but true.” The armchair pediatricians also declare a persistent belief that people can die from laughing too hard.

[…]

Mean: The occasional commenter will get provoked by all the cute remarks and say that Laughing Baby has a “bigass forehead” or that he’d like to see Laughing Baby laughing “while engulfed in flames.” These comments typically set off little wars, such as, “Don’t hate on the baby,” “You obviously have no life and no children,” and so on.

Religious: Some commenters speculate that Laughing Baby might be the voice of God. I assume this is not meant literally, but rather that Laughing Baby was sent to YouTube by God to make us all happy. One commenter suggested that Laughing Baby “must be a jewish baby” (because he has a sense of humor?), while others assumed he was Buddhist, while still others asked that Allah make him a Muslim.

These commenters are all around us.  They could be our colleagues, cousins, partners and friends. They walk our streets, work in our offices, live side by side with the rest of us and we’ll never know who they are. I think that’s reason enough to, just this once, resort to a worried WTF.

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