Blah, blah, blah. People like talking, and the internet openly facilitates this like. Feeling crappy? Got some things on your mind? If you’ve got no one else to turn to, at least the internet can’t make fun of you to your face if you post something dumb on your Livejournal (does LJ still exist?). Type any question into Google (“Can you get an genital warts on your fingers?“) and you’re bound to find what you’re looking for.
Still, openness does not moderation make. One of the forum world’s biggest pet peeves is the new user who logs on and asks a question that’s been asked a million times, prompting an angry response from the mod: “HAVE U HEARD OF SEARCH?” Question services like Topix and the infamous Yahoo Answers have made it so that desperate people who are desperately looking for some answers can get some, but in most cases, they’re really bad and funny; like the guy who fooled around with a hooker and now he’s gross stuff is sprouting on his fingers, and his wife’s asking questions, but he’s also a chef, so can this weird infection be transmitted through food?
So who to turn to when you’ve got questions about you taxes? TurboTax Hell looks at all the lovely people in the world who are seeking out answers to their toughest tax problems. Put quite siccintly on their homepage, “You can learn a lot about how miserable people’s lives are by the questions they ask the TurboTax Help forum.” And, oh boy, can you! A one-page scroll caused me to go from giggly to nervous breakdown and back in about 2 minutes.
Oh, jesus, that reminds me. It’s almost tax season again, isn’t it? Can I deduct Comme des Garcons? I bought it for work.
Jessica Carroll is the Toronto Standard’s editorial assistant. Follow her on Twitter at @jssckr.