Wired magazine has been spearheading the campaign to nominate “the Internet” for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. There’s even a website, InternetForPeace.org, to advocate that the “Nobel Peace Prize should go to the Net. A Nobel for each and every one of us.”
I’m all for trying to win any contest I don’t personally have to enter. And admittedly a Nobel would look pretty bitching on my resume.
Plus the Nobel Peace Price comes with a $1.5 million cash award. Though split evenly between the Internet’s 1.6 billion users, that works out to less than one-tenth of a penny for each person. Luckily, some nice folks in Nigeria have already volunteered to reinvest the entire $1.5 million for us into a surefire lottery—providing we send them 1.6 billion bank account numbers.
But seriously, the Internet? For a Nobel Peace Prize? C’mon.
The Internet is “a weapon of global hope,” said Ricardo Luna, editor-in-chief of the Italian edition of Wired.
“[It] can be considered the first weapon of mass construction,” Luna said, “which we can deploy to destroy hate and conflict and to propagate peace and democracy.”
Destroyer of hate? Propagator of peace? Are we talking about Iron Man or the Internet? Are Luna and I even logging onto the same websites?
Maybe I have my SafeSearch filters set up wrong but when I go online all I ever see is YouTube videos of guys getting hit in the crotch and “Two Girls, One Cup.” And I don’t really see how either of those things propagates anything except a greater personal awareness around Wiffle Ball bats and making certain all my glassware is rinsed with scorching hot water and Cascade.
About the most “peaceful” thing about the Internet is it typically saps all of my motivation to do anything else. It’s like eating a giant virtual stack of pancakes and afterward you just want take your pants off and lay on the ground for a few hours. The Internet: It’ll Make You So Damned De-motivated You Won’t Want to Invade Anything.
I don’t really see how lethargy translates into peace. By that same logic, we should also nominate pot, VH1 and jelly donuts for the Nobel Peace Prize. Though to be fair, at least a jelly donut is shaped like a Nobel Peace Prize, which is—and correct me if I’m wrong here—is one of the main stipulations for Nobel judging.
Sure the Internet is a convenience, but for most of us it’s just an incredibly awesome time waster—Phil just virtually milked his Farmville cow! Like I could have been doing something constructive right now, but instead I just spent three hours Googling “side boob” in 1980s R-rated movies and checking the prices of all of my ex-girlfriends’ houses on Zillow.com. And, sure, I’m happy to see that most of my exes are currently residing (and may be stripping) near airports, but I just don’t see how that makes the Internet deserving of a Nobel Peace Prize.
Other candidates for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize include human rights activist Svetlana Gannushkina, a Russian mathematician who has devoted her life to saving hundreds of refugees at risk of being tortured and murdered. There’s also Chinese activist Liu Xiaobo, currently serving an 11-year prison sentence for signing a declaration calling for greater freedom of expression, human rights and freer elections in China.
So to recap: There’s a Russian mathematician risking her life so people won’t get kidnapped and mutilated, and there’s a Chinese dude rotting in prison because he thinks people should—gasp!—have the right to vote. So, by show of hands, who here still thinks we should give the Nobel Peace Prize to an inanimate object full of porn, meaningless Facebook updates and random videos that made an overnight sensation out of that fat kid with the Star Wars lightsaber and the teenager who sang “Chocolate Rain?”
Yeah, me too. (I’ll let the Nigerians know where they can send our lottery winnings.)
Contact Jeff Girod at firstname.lastname@example.org.