Most of us know that Andy Rooney never spouted a racist, sexist diatribe on 60 Minutes. In fact, here is what Andy Rooney said in 2003 about the infamous "AMEN, ANDY ROONEY!" spam that seems to be making the rounds (yet again):
"Hundreds of people have written asking me if I really wrote the 20 detestable remarks made under my name that have had such wide circulation on the Internet.
Some of the remarks, which I will not repeat here, are viciously racist and the spirit of the whole thing is nasty, mean and totally inconsistent with my philosophy of life."
He goes on to say that the dissemination of this particularly nasty piece of crap has damaged his reputation and that if he could find the person who invented it, he'd sue them. I feel for him. It's apparent that he will never be free of this albatross. If the people who keep this thing going really admired Mr. Rooney so much, you'd think they'd a) realize it doesn't sound anything like him and b) stop making his life a living hell.
Ditto, George Carlin, who had nothing whatsoever to do with the strikingly similar e-mail attributed to him.
It never ceases to amaze me that there are so many gullible people in the world. But gullibility is one thing. What really irks me is the smirking, salivating, flag-waving, FORWARDING jerks who not only believe this crap but apparently agree with it enough to slap it into an e-mail and group-mail it to everyone whose screen name they're even vaguely familiar with.
Thus, the Rooney piece landed in my e-mail box this week, along with several other old Internet favorites, including that picture we've all received at some point from someone who thinks misogyny is a hoot, depicting a nude swimming woman who spouts water out of her ample bottom ... always titled "Save the Whales" or something equally heinous ... and some anti-immigration spam. I opened the mail because I vaguely recognized the sender's screen name from the AOL message boards, only to find that I had been included in a mass forwarding, along with many people I don't know from Adam. I deleted the e-mails, but was prompted to dash off the following "reply all":
Please, please, PLEASE .... PLEASE DO NOT send me any more Internet Spam. I don't want to receive forwarded flag-waving e-mail full of patriotic rhetoric and thinly veiled American White Supremacist jargon. How do I get off this e-mail list???????????????????????????????????
That was actually quite mild compared to what I really wanted to say, but it was apparently enough to set someone off. The following day I found this in my e-mail box, and dammit, it was just too good to keep to myself!
WELL, WHOMEVER THE HANG YOU ARE, I'VE NEVER HEARD OF YOU, YOU'RE NOT IN MY ADDY BOOK, YOUR NAME AND BIRTHDAY AREN'T REGISTERED THERE. SO - WHOMEVER YOU ARE YOU MUST HAVE MISTAKEN ME FOR SOMEONE ELSE or DID A REPLY ALL ICON UPON ONE OF THE PERSONS LISTED IN YOUR ADDY LINES [ \/ BELOW \/ ]. AND I FURTHERMORE DO NOT APPRECIATE YOUR INTRUSION UPON MY SCREEN.
IT IS NOT MY HABIT SINCE I LONG AGO LEARNED OF PEOPLE WHO DISLIKE FORWARDS. I ONLY SEND THOSE EXCEPTIONAL ONES ALONG THEIR WAY LIKE A RARE SPECIES OF TRANSPARENT-WINGED BETTERFLY DISCOVERED IN THE RAIN FORRESTS OF SOUTH AMERICA AND THEIR WINGS GLOW IN THE DARK SO THOSE VILE PERSONS DESTROYING OUR PRECIOUS RAIN FORRESTS CAN CORRECT THEIR ERRING WAYS TO PROTECT RATHER THAN DESTROY! OR ANOTHER RARITY WAS A RECENT PICTURE OF SUNSET AT THE NORTH POLE. IT'S SHAME TO THE HUMAN SPECIES THAT WE ARE DESTROYING THESE FORRESTS AT THE RATE OF ONE FOOTBALL SIZED PIECE OF PER SECOND, ENOUGH BABIES DIE IN THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES DIE AT THE SAME RATE when laid on such a SAME SIZED FIELD. AND GLOBAL WARMING IS MELTING BOTH NORTH AND SOUTH POLAR ICE CAPS. IT IS MY PRAYER THAT YOU UNDERSTAND THAT WE BOTH HAVE MORE PRESSING THINGS WITH WHICH WE COULD DEVOTE OUR TIME, EFFORTS AND THINKING AS OPPOSED TO SUCH CLISED-MINDED (MOST OBVIOUSLY) BIGGOTED PERSONS SUCH AS YOURSELF.
I AM MOST DEFINITELY A PRECIOUS SENSITIVE WITH IMPECCABLE CREDENTIALS, BOTH PERSONALLY AWA HIGHLY TRAINED AND CAPABLE PROFESSIONAL PRIOR TO A GRADE SIX TUMOR FORMING AND ATE UP THE RIGHT, FRONT TWO-THIRDS OF MY BRAIN.
FURTHERMORE, I DO NOT APPRECIATE YOUR SLANDEROUS REMARKS ENDING UP IN MY MAILBOX OBVIOUSLY GENERATED BY POSSIBLY A CLOSED-MINDED BIGOT WITH NO RESPECT AT ALL FOR THE FEELINGS OF SOMEONE SUCH AS MYSELF.
AND BESIDES ALL THESE THINGS, YOU WILL DISCOVER MY E-SIGNATURE BELOW THE TEXT OF THIS EMAIL FOR SIMPLE REASON IS I DON'T REALLY CARE IT SOMEONE KNOWS WHO I AM - AT FIRST ABOVE ALL THINGS ELSE OTHER THAN THESE I LOATHE DESPISE AND DETEST THOSE WHO HIDE BEHIND UNKNOWN, UNKNOWN, USELESS GENERIC USERNAMES. TALK ABOUT BEING PIST OFF, I AM - ROYALLY. "IF" AND I REPEAT "IF" IT MIGHT ENLIGHTEN THEE I WOULDN'T TAKE ANY MORE OF YOUR TIME ATTEMPTING TO EXPLAIN SUCH A THING TO SOMEONE SUCH AS YOU. WHY? BECAUSE I WOULD NEED LANGUAGE ON A BASE LEVEL AND IF I USED MY OWN IT WOULD BE FAR ABOVE YOUR HEAD AND MOST OBVIOUSLY YOUR LEVEL OF INTELLECT AND YOU'D NO DOUBT NEED USE OF A DICTIONARY (POSSIBLY) TO EVEN UNDERSTAND MY REPLY.
FURTHER COMMUNICATION WITH ME WILL BE REPORTED TO AOL AS SPAM.
I love the way she worked in the rare Transparent-Winged-Betterfly (sic), the Rain Forrest (sic), the image of the football field full of dead third world babies, the melting ice caps and the tumor that ate 2/3 of her brain, all while calling me a clised-minded biggot (sic) for asking not to be part of her forward-a-thon of hate speech, and suggesting that I might need a dictionary to understand her. Um. I don't think a dictionary would help.
And really, it's icing on the cake to threaten to report me for spamming.
Boy, was she pist (sic)!