I just checked, and I can’t believe I don’t have any Yelp reviews. What’s going on, people? Sure, emailed death threats are nice and all—I mean, keep ’em coming—but no one else can see them. How are people looking for incisive, thoughtful political commentary going to know to run screaming from this page if you’re not reviewing it online?
May I offer an example: “The Shredder is horrible and cowardly and refuses to put its name to its scandalous screeds. Every time I read it, my blood boils so furiously I can cook bacon on it faster than Ted Cruz’s machine-gun muzzle. If you must read, and I suggest you don’t, read cereal ingredients or Ikea furniture assembly instructions—anything other than The Shredder.”
See? See how easy that was? So where are my reviews?
Sure, New Times has a handful of Yelp reviews and a whopping 3 1/2 out of five star rating (Take that, Tribune, with your 1 1/2 star rating!). According to Trish R. of Arroyo Grande, who awarded New Times one measly star, “Total BS liberal newspaper! Should not be taken seriously!”
Pretty good! Incomplete sentences, true, and not enough balls to just spell out “bullshit,” but she gets us!
Paul S. of Atascadero must have been drunk when he gave New Times four stars: “The paper can be controversial and sometimes downright reckless (they once published a recipe for meth to show how easy it was to make). The editorial sections tend to lean to the left, never boring, but sometimes a little too edgy for its own good.”
Man, let the meth thing go already! And leaning left? Why make fun of my short leg like that? And too edgy, eh? Did you see our comic of Muhammad having a three-way with Jesus and Santa Claus? Oh, you haven’t? Well, I guess we’re not that edgy.
Maybe people are just too afraid to leave me a Yelp review. Just look what’s happening to divorcee and $26K-lighter-in-the-wallet serial reviewer Jason Weland, who’s being sued by his former divorce attorney R. Morgan Holland for defamation allegedly caused by writing 100 or so negative reviews of Holland on Yelp, Citysearch, and Superpages.
Clearly, Weland didn’t like the outcome of his divorce or having to pay his attorney. He says everything he wrote online is true; Holland says it was libelous and misrepresentative. Now I guess a court will decide if the suit goes forward.
This may set a dangerous precedent. Soon people may tone down their reviews, gravely lessening the chance they’ll be hilarious.
Think about it. Would April H. of Moorpark, who gave the California Mid-State Fair two stars, have been willing to say this if she thought she’s be sued? “Fair part is cool. But will never be going back. Was super disappointed in the concert venue portion last Friday for Jason Aldean. It was overly crowded and no workers. Forty-five minute wait for bathrooms and drinks/food in concert venue. Saw at least three fights with no security anywhere. Bleachers felt like they were going to collapse.”
And what about Tina V. of Paso Robles who gave the fair one star … because she didn’t like Motlëy Crüe! “Motlëy Crüe concert was a nightmare and utterly disrespectful to loyal fans! If anyone is thinking of going to a farewell tour concert, save your money and time. They don’t care and they’re washed [up] and should say farewell.”
Disgruntled, angry, irrational people turn to Yelp and other review sites to fulminate and lay down apoplectic hissy fits to release their stress and anger and find someone to scapegoat. Do we really want to block this rage outlet?
I looked high and low for Yelp reviews of local politicians, but the best I could manage was to dredge up some Adam Hill polyratings.com student evaluations from when he was a Cal Poly lecturer.
“Mr. Hill only likes to hear his own voice. His idea of class ‘discussion’ is for him to ask a question, call on one or two people, and then talk for another 30 minutes.”
“HORRIBLE TEACHER AND PEOPLE LIKE HIM MAKE CAL POLY A BAD EXPERIENCE FOR EVERYONE!!!!!”
Love the all caps! Just for chuckles, I looked up New Times staff writer and Cal Poly lecturer Glen Starkey, too.
“MOST HORRIBLE PERSON I’VE EVER MET. NOT A RESPECTFUL TEACHER AT ALL. I DO NOT RESPECT HIM AS A TEACHER. HE IS NOT A RESPECTABLE PERSON NOR DOES [HE] EVER, EVER RESPECT YOU OR YOUR NEEDS AS A STUDENT. USES BAD LANGUAGE AND JUDGES YOU BASED ON YOUR BELIEFS.”
Hmm. Sounds about right.
The point is, surely we don’t want to curtail these online outlets of venomous, vituperative vitriol. What would happen to websites that collect funny online reviews?
Where would you read Bobby D. of New York’s one-star strip club review? “If you like C-section scars, bullet wounds, scrapes, cuts, sob stories about how they’re trying to dance for their five kids, weaves, smelly vaginas, and cellulite, this is the place for you.”
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