I mentioned in my most recent food column on Ashvegas.com that I don't read West Asheville Exchange (WAX), and some of you might be wondering why.
I mean, 10, 811 members (at last count) couldn't be wrong, right? Of course not. You're fiiine. You're all fiine. Carry on, please. I'm definitely not saying that you shouldn't read WAX, but here's why I don't:
It seems -- from what I hear -- to be a forum where Trolls and Haters run rampant.
Here are some of the stories that I've heard about WAX from other people. Keep in mind that I have no clue if any of this is true, but it's what I've heard, and it's enough to make me 100% not interested...
• There was a thread about a music shop, or something like that, which resulted in one of the commentors confronting another commentor in the real world, and the police being called into action. Um. No. Thank you.
• There was another thread "tearing Barleycorn's a new one," according to a friend, because the owner is an "asshole who parks his car in front of the restaurant every day." When I was all, like, "What?!?" my friend explained to me that people were pissed because that spot should be for customers. Good lord. Fights about parking? On line?!? Get a fucking grip.
• Other posts are posed as direct questions to the forum about what they think of specific people. Like, individual people being thrust up in front of the world, and every hater in Asheville being invited to spew their bile about this or that person. What. The fuck. Is up. With THAT?!? That's... just wrong.
Now, like I said, I have no idea how much of the above is true, but I do know that I have zero --- ZERO -- interest in inviting anything close to that kind of energy into my eyeballs, mind, heart, or soul. I'm a sensitive mutherfucker, Betches. I do not need to be reading hateful bullshit from assholes that I don't even know.
I get enough of that in the Ashvegas comments section.
You guys know that ever since I started writing about food for Jason at Ashvegas, I have been not only a Roll Biter but a Troll Fighter... and a muhfuckin' PO-ette! I've made no secret of the fact that I hate Trolls. I think they are the worst sort of people on Earth.
The Trolls immediately decided that they hate me too. They hate my writing style, my lack of fancy credentials, my swearing, my ability to... I don't really know... make friends with other people? After my very first column, a certain segment of Asheville simply decided to hate me for whatever reason, and to take the opportunity to write their hateful thoughts about me in the comments section under my food column week after week. I had fun fighting with them for a little while, but it's pointless in the end -- you cut off one head, only to find that two, even stupider and more annoying ones will grow back -- so eventually I stopped paying much attention to my own comments section. That's a shame really, because I used to enjoy the positive energy from the normal, human, readers, but eventually, I decided it wasn't worth the negative energy generated by the Trolls, so I stopped looking.
This week however, I noticed that one of the Trolls -- a frequent commentor on WAX from what I hear -- popped-up in the comments of my most recent Ashvegas column and decided to take my statement that I don't read WAX as a direct "dig" at him. Fuckin' Trolls. Such egos. Such babies. Such is the life of a Troll. Always under imagined attack, and ready to lash out. This particular Troll is one of the ones that is constantly questioning my integrity as a food writer. What an asshole. Exactly the kind of asshole I seek to avoid by not reading WAX.
I heard from a friend that my column, with its tiny mention of West Asheville Exchange... and a link to a 12 hour sound effect of chirping crickets... kicked off a "shit storm" over there. She also said, "So far it's mostly been me defending you against a bunch of idiots."
I love my friends.
What I don't love is the fact that there's a public forum in this town in which individuals regularly attack, and are forced to defend, each other. That's not very Ashevillian, Maaaan. Ain't we supposed to be a community? Not to get all Rodney King on ya over here, but... I need a drink!
Ha! Just kidding. Sorry, Ghost of Rodney King, I loved ya, Brother. I wish you'd stayed off the sauce, and stuck around a little longer.
You guys know what really killed Rodney King, right?
Motherfuckers not getting along!!!
And that's why I don't read WAX.
But that's just me.
I sent this piece to Dawn for her opinion before posting, and she suggested that I tie it into food a little bit more. Well, the only reason WAX is even on my radar these days is because people have been asking me if I've read this or that other crazy hateful thing about this or that other restaurant on WAX. One restaurant owner even said to me, "We got WAXed today." He had a sad. I told him not to worry about it.
Here's my advice to restaurant owners, servers, and chefs who get WAXed: Remember Biscuitgate.
You guys remember Biscuitgate, right?
Apparently, someone had gone on WAX and claimed ("claims" are a classic Troll tactic) that they found an empty margarine tub (I think) in a dumpster behind the building in which in the original Biscuit Head is located. This touched off such a shit storm of debate, and resulted in a thread so long that Jason from Ashvegas once told me it was one of the longest threads he'd ever seen. And this is a guy who's seen a LOT of threads.
I'd been hearing the word Biscuitgate for a week or more, from a few different sources, so I was finally like, "Okay, I gotta check this shit out. It's gotta be AWESOME."
It was not.
It was one of the biggest loads of bullshit and nothingness on the internet that I've ever wasted my time on... and I'm a guy who has wasted a LOT of time on bullshit and nothingness on the internet.
The "debate" went on.. and on... and on... and mutherfucking on and on and on... never coming to head, or reaching conclusions... quickly breaking down into people simply trying to out-do each other with really lame jokes, and then those same lame jokes being repeated by other people later on in the thread, because they hadn't read the whole thread and had missed those lame jokes the first... second... third time they were posted by someone else... the whole thing was so full of pure, unmoderated dumbnesses that I was instantly made dumber simply by looking at it.
I can feel the dumbening start to creep in just from thinking and writing about it now.
Later, I asked Jason if Biscuit Head ever responded to the thread, and he said, "No."
Extremely smart move, Biscuit Head. Congrats on your booming business and your second location, by the way.
From that point on, the term "Biscuitgate" has been a bit of a euphemism around here for anything that seems like a big deal, possibly even a scandal, but really isn't.
I hope to never waste my time giving one iota of a shit about another Biscuitgate ever again.
And THAT is another reason I don't read WAX. A reason that is related to food. Dawn.