Friday, December 3, 2010

Comments, the Internet, and China

Last night on "The Office" there was a subplot about an argument between Michael and Oscar regarding China.  Michael had brought a magazine to the office after a visit to the dentist, an issue of Newsweek with the cover story "China is on the Move" and started alerting the workers to the threat of China.  Oscar replied with a more sensible approach, taking apart many of Michael's arguments in a manner I found somewhat familiar.

The politics of the show weren't important (it's "The Office" and I don't expect them to have a fair discussion about China, although they did have a more reasonable approach than you'd find on Fox or likely even CNN) but one thing I did find amusing was the cover of the Newsweek issue Michael had brought back.  It looked familiar, and judging from the dentist office connection I guessed it was going to be old.  You can see it in the screenshot of the clip below (which also has an amusing political angle in Michael's fear) and maybe it looks familiar to you too.

I wanted to find out how old, exactly, that issue was, so I did a little internet searching and found a Newsweek story from 2005 with the headline "China is on the Move."  Ha!  Five years old!  I felt pretty good finding that meta joke within "The Office" and thought I would show off my awesomeness by leaving a comment on the Hulu page for this episode.

Now, I've only commented a couple of times on Hulu, and have found that generally it's a barren wasteland of commentary, so I figured my little link to this old story would stand alone.  Imagine my surprise when I found fifteen pages of comments, mostly arguing about China!  Even on Hulu, even on a silly show like "The Office", there are people viciously calling each other names and spreading fear.  It was a real surprise and, to be honest, a bit of a downer.

So rather than leave a comment there, I thought I'd come here.  Man, people really do like to argue, even over ridiculous things in ridiculous places.  Seems like there's nowhere for a guy who remembers some magazine cover from half a decade ago to find friends anymore. :)

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