> Jim NewellSeptember 11, 2013
The Internet got off to a great start this week! It killed a man. Saw, acknowledged, then scalped him. He is dead, for now. We can all rest. The era of Pax Dickinson being-employed-while-having-an-offensive-Twitter is over.
Pax Dickinson, the erstwhile chief technology officer of hotcakes Internet website Business Insider, was—as you may have heard by now—a classic “bro.” To be fair to bros: there’s a strain of bro that’s inoffensive. These bros enjoy the simple things—beer, “the ladies,” Big Ten college football, whatever. We can all agree, their loyalty to fellow bros is a noble trait.
The darker strain of bro, the fundamentalist sect of bro theology that taints the entire pool, is that to which Mr. Pax is an adherent. Let’s describe these bros as young—or youthful in spirit—white males with strong priors.
Over the course of years, Pax’s Twitter feed (we’re just calling him Pax now, because it’s a funny name and pretty much any underworked dumb joke involving it is still funny) showcased the mind of a fella who didn’t have much time to consider the sensitivities or basic humanity of women, minorities, and the poor. Perhaps he was working too hard at his powerhouse Internet upstart to grapple with modernity. Anyway, this Twitter feed got him shitcanned Tuesday. A few morsels of Pax’s TRUTH:
This election will be decided by single women. It's an epic battle between "Jungle Fever" and "Daddy Issues".— Pax Dickinson (@paxdickinson) October 12, 2012
aw, you can't feed your family on minimum wage? well who told you to start a fucking family when your skills are only worth minimum wage?— Pax Dickinson (@paxdickinson) August 29, 2013
Who has more dedication, ambition, and drive? Kobe only raped one girl, Lebron raped an entire city. +1 for Lebron.— Pax Dickinson (@paxdickinson) July 13, 2010
Now here’s a guy who, in his own mind, really “gets it.” Some cold truths that “we were all thinking,” right?
Yeah, probably not.
But onto the most exciting part of this or any Internet story: The Killing! In this case, specifically, the Internet killing a bro named Pax.
Here’s a guy, our Pax, who’s been emitting such nauseating microbile regularly for at least a couple of years, just trashing every demographic that didn’t include him as a member, and no one really notices. Then Valleywag scribe Nitasha Tiku notices him.
Have you been reading the new Valleywag, the recently relaunched Gawker Media tech gossip site? Oh man, it’s fantastic. Like in the good ol’ days of Gawker sites, before all the reporting and graphic design and stuff. The main writer, Sam Biddle, finds a mid- or high-level asshole somewhere and makes mean jokes about that person once or over a series of posts until that person’s life is hopefully ruined. Check it out.
So Valleywag embeds some of Pax’s dumb tweets into a post and is like “look at this asshole from Business Insider,” and then all of Twitter catches on, and by the next morning Pax is sent paxing. Within 24 hours, the man who operates the switchboards for a website (or whatever a CTO does, I have no idea how machines work) and runs a terrifying Twitter feed on the side becomes a relatively high-profile fucked-for-lifer of most notorious disposition, when a blogger notices him.
Which is fine, screw that guy. And he may have some prospects yet. In these situations, Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller website usually swoops in right about now and hires them to be its lead columnists or CEOs or whatever. If he plays his cards right, our Pax will be a United States senator soon.
Still, the Internet is scary as shit, isn’t it? The speed of things, you know? I haven’t been in the daily-blogging grind for the past year or so. I forget this, then I am reminded. Earlier this week there was another Internet thing that happened quickly. A golf course in Wisconsin published a newspaper ad offering special rates ($9.11 for 9 holes, etc.) to “commemorate” the twelfth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. I’ve always found commercial plays on 9/11 to be modestly humorous, if harmless, so, for a laugh, I shared the photo on Twitter, as did other Tweeters. Within a day the proprietors of the golf course were choking back tears telling national and local news services about all the death threats they were getting. Reportedly, the police will be stationed at the golf course all day.
Well done, Internet. Now we rest.
Jim Newell has covered politics as a staff writer at Gawker, an editor at Wonkette, and a contributor to the Guardian.