An emoticon says LOL: a snippet from one of the Evil’s nightmares.
For years—years—Evil thought the “LOL” appended to the end of certain email messages meant “lots of love.” It would never have occurred to him that it meant “laugh out loud,” which still doesn’t make much sense to him. Are you saying you laugh out loud as you forward a joke? Or are you commanding the recipient to laugh out loud?
Not that “lots of love” made any sense, either. In fact, the Evil was perplexed at to why distant acquaintances, forwarding him humorous anecdotes or video snippets, would offer him such heaping quantities of affection. Though he really appreciated it. Yes, that was a golden time for the Evil—he thought dozens of people he barely knew were pining for him every time a Swift Boat joke wormed its way through the internet. Even when he received a mass email, the Evil assumed he was being swept under a wave of group-love unheard of since the flower children wilted. It felt like the dawn of a new era of hope, of tenderness. The return of the Age of Aquarius, that’s right.
Then he learned the truth. And yes, he was crushed. Turns out that friend of a friend of a coworker did not love the Evil—not only not a lot, not only not a little, but not at all.
The Evil has recovered nicely, of course. (His trick? Remember that love is a battlefield, after all, and that you don’t plan on being one of the corpses littering that battlefield. No: you plan on being the guy driving a tank through Love City, running down Love’s fleeing infantry, firing explosive rounds into Love’s headquarters, and planting your conquering flag in the heart of Love Nation.) Since then, however, the Evil has always cringed a little when he sees “LOL” slapped on the tail end of an email.
And the emoticon—! :), ;), :(, :o, 😉 . . . when these lil’ bastards first started appearing in emails, Evil feared the senders had suffered strokes and slumped over their keyboards; thus the strange strings of nonsensical punctuation. After a series of panicked phone calls, the Evil learned the truth, but the terror remains.
And how about “IMO?” Two problems with this one. First, “my”: the Evil talks about himself in the third person, so naturally that’s right out. Second, “opinion”: Evil doesn’t deal in your silly “opinions.” Every word you read here is quenched in the fires of unvarnished FACT.
Damn it all, those linguistic shortcuts used to mean something! FUBAR: fucked up beyond all recognition. MILF: mom I’d like to fuck. GILF: urghh . . . never mind. Any use of the ALL CAPS used to herald a sly sidestep of the rules and conventions of society’s hypocritical niceties. They were like a roll call of veiled obscenity! But now . . . what? Is the tyranny of the QWERTY keyboard the worst thing we have to rebel against?
Is anyone with the Evil on this? Is anyone else disgusted at this feeble war against grammar and punctuation? No? . . . anyone?
Fine. Fuck it.
Now, now—before you start blinking away tears of anger, know this: if you are an LOL’er, an emoticonvict, or an IMOite, the Evil forgives you. You’re still welcome here. Or at least tolerated. Because you can’t spell “live” without “evil.” And while two wrongs don’t make a right, you do need two “evil”s to spell “live and let live.”
LOE, the Evil.