bitch about your rotten neighbor online , sweet


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Rotten Neighbors
ABC7 Chicago
November 27, 2007 - Posting complaints about your neighbors is just one part of what's known as on-line shaming. In June, ABC7 told you about people who embarrass their friends and enemies on the web in our special segment "Cyber Smearing." Now, a cybersmearing site that attacks "rotten neighbors," is at 41 million users and counting.

I guess I'll start off today's post with the following quote, nicked from one of my favorite Kevin Smith movie, 'Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back':

Jay: What the fuck is the Internet?
Holden: The Internet is a communication tool used the world over where people can come together to bitch about movies and share pornography with one another ... Slandering others anonymously.

That, my dear friends, basically sums up the whole point of the internet. I see it as a way to escape the harsh realities of life. Think about it, being online allows you to be yourself freely. You are not bounded by the societal norms. You don't have to be nice to people that you hate, people you wouldn't even categorize as sub-human. The type of people where, if you could, you'd push them into a meat grinder and put their remains into a furnace, burn it to a crisp and scatter their ashes in a garbage dump.

It allows you to be yourself (or not be yourself, like a sado-masochistic catholic school girl who has a penchant for Papier-mâché and pink bunny rabbits, if you prefer), your real bitter self. The bitter self that hates everything and sees the world not defined in a shades of gray and believes that the glasses are half empty. The bitter self who's really itching to burst out in a wave of rage and anger. And most probably about things that they went through recently which they were fucking pissed off about but had to hold it in because it's not something a good Christian or Muslim person would do. Something a filial son or daughter should never think about doing. Something a professional person who bounded by a code of ethics, written by some archaic society, would not condone.

Being online allows you to be free. You are allowed to be a Drill Sergeant for the Marines and love Japanese origami at the same time. You can be a gay bodybuilder who loves cuddling after sex. You can even be an ex-Calvin Klein underwear model who decided that you are sick of being the object of lust for all women, currently seeking a doctorate is Eastern Philosophy and hopes to meet the perfect woman who enjoys walking in the sand without shoes on and also moonlights as a gourmet chef on the weekends.

You can be anything you want to be. And anonymously. If you hated someone's blog, you'd tell them that their blog sucks (if it's mine, please do). If you think that their opinion is stupid, feel free to ridicule them. If you think that PETA consists of a bunch of nutjobs, you are allowed to tell them to fuck off. If you are too chicken shit to put your real name when you bitch about these things, put a stupid online name. Noone would know.

And now, if you think your neighbor was being an asshole when he wouldn't return your power tools and conveniently left their stupid dog poop on your lawn, you can bitch about them to a huge online community. A 41-million strong community.


Litter . Drugs. Inconsiderate neighbors. Now people are logging on to air out their dirty neighborhood laundry. The website is called RottenNeighbor.com.

Some local complaints get downright nasty. One on the city's Northwest Side claims that neighbors are dealers, junkies and --- we can't print the last descriptive. The complaint alleges people yelling obscenities, fighting and leaving used needles in the alley. This neighbor did not post the complaint but says it's true.

"I have been here 5 years and it affects me because I have little ones," said Angelina Barreia, neighbor.

You'd think someone who lives in a ghetto like this would worry more about not getting shot while strolling on the sidewalk of their house or getting carjacked while at the red-light, than a few stray used needles. Well, like I said, it's the internet. They are entitled to their own opinion.


The website was created by a San Diego web designer over the summer. He had rotten neighbors of his own.

Wouldn't it be funny if he received an entry about him (the website's creator) for being a rotten neighbor himself.


"Some real estate agents don't want it, they don't like it, think it will hurt their business. People looking to buy homes love it. Some people looking to sell homes think it will bring their values down," said Brant Walker, RottenNeighbor.com.

The Chicago Association of realtors discourages homeowners from using the site - even though exact addresses are usually not listed, users can zoom all the way down to specific blocks and homes, with Google satellite map imagery.

I say, hell yeah. Bring it on. Real estate agents have been making bitches out of us regular joe customers for a long time. Like how they failed to mention that someone died in the master bedroom when they are showing it to you. "Oh, that's not a bloodstain, it's just treated wood, which the previous owner had put in before he died, I mean, he left". Or how the lights only work when you jiggle the fuse every 3 hours. Fuck, if I'm going to be buying or renting a fucking property, I would definitely want to find out if my neighbors are psycho killers. Or potentially going to be psycho killers. Either way.


"If you complain about your street or your condo building -- and you complain publically about it -- you are going to create concern from potential buyers, which, in turn, can effect the value not only of your neighbor's unit but your unit as well," said Michael Golden, Chicago Association of Realtors.

Real estate agents say neighbors should try to talk to each other face to face - or mediate problems with a condo or neighborhood association. You can also call your alderman or police about serious issues instead of telling the world on line.

Bull crap. Most people avoid confrontations these days. The world is not really a safe place anymore. People are scared. The guy next door could be a psycho. He could knock you out and eat your brains with some nice Chianti and fava beans.

Or you can choose to be confrontational. You knock on your neighbor's door and tell him to shut the fuck up (in a nice way, of course), you'd be lucky you don't get your ass blown off. Or the one I hate the most, they give you a stupid condescending smirk and a laugh, and then slam the door to your face.


"To me it seems almost caddy - like 'I am telling on you,'" said Gerilyn Gordan.

Even bitching about it doesn't work, sometimes. And you'd feel like an idiot for 'telling on someone'. Come on, who likes to be labeled as a "tattle tale"? We learned this when we were in school, when we were younger. Tattle-tales are ostracized by the society. We shun them. When you were a kid, in the school's hierarchy of shame, in the 'least likely to have a friend' category, they were positioned right below the kid who eats boogers.


These college students in Lincoln Park don't think posting problems will have any effect. One of their neighbors is on it for allegedly playing loud music until 4 a.m.

"They are not going to stop because someone blogged about them," said Kateland Vandiver.

Do you think college students really cared if you bitched about them online? Geez, it's not even their house. They'd probably move out of that place when they graduate. I pity the real owner of the house, getting flagged because he/she had some stupid tenants.


What sounds like scoop could be false.

"We all know there are at least three sides to every story and basically you are getting just one side," said Golden.

Grant Dietmeier, for example, disputes a posting about excessive noise on his block.

"I think its a great place to live. Very safe, very quiet, wonderful neighborhood," said Dietmeier.

That's why it pays to bitch about it first. You snooze, you lose. Deal with it.


Walker said video and pictures will be added to his site in a few weeks. As far as legal liability goes for smearing online- only the person posting false information can be sued and, in most cases, laws don't hold websites accountable.

If I were to bitch about my troubled neighbor online, I would never put my name. I would put the other neighbor, who's next to the troubled neighbor's name. That way if anything happens, they can fight it out.

Sweet idea, don't you think?

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