Bang goes the gleefully flaunted theory that the anonymity of the Internet turns people into slimy weasels with the morals of whores on a low rent wharf who toss around the type of trollopy opinion that they'd be much too 'fraidy-cat to offer up at a cordial dinner party in the company of their grandmother.
Proof that people on the Internet are polite and kind to the point of absurdity can be found on Hot or Not, a popular vanity site where men and women willingly upload their photo to let other folk rate their appearance.
On Hot or Not, the notion of 'the kindness of strangers' is taken to demented levels.
Even the most determinedly duffus, unattractive, and sleazy individuals garner average ratings above seven. This is the equivalent of going to work on a crowded train and finding yourself surrounded by a carriage full of lookers: statistically impossible in this lifetime, in other words.
Some guys seem fond of using pics that show their six-pack, with their face in darkness, which seems to work a treat in the Hot or Not world, because they invariably rate above nine.
In fact, pics of people in which you can't see them (almost total darkness, partial view of a small proportion of them, blurred and stupid, standing 100 yards away from the camera) still elicit dazzling "hot" scores. This has got me flummoxed.
The only thing sadder and more pathetic than the obscenely generous scores being handed out to the truly unattractive (or not visible) is the frequency with which the up-loaders log on to check their scores. Obsessively validating one's delusions via the kindness of Internet users: strange, very strange.
[My path to Hot or Not was via Audrey Apple (whose pop quiz report of her most recent blind date alone is worth the admission price) via Darlene.]