Kanye West interrupting an acceptance speech by Taylor Swift at the MTV Video Music Awards, Sept. 13, 2009.(AP Photo/Brad Barket—PictureGroup)
By Doug Gross
(CNN) — Last week, the U.S. Navy forsook a tradition dating back to the 1800s. Why? Because it’s now too easily confused with the musings of an Internet lunatic.
Naval commanders this week announced that they would be getting rid of a rule that all official communications should be in all-caps.
It’s a tradition dating to the 1850s, when the military used teletype machines that didn’t have lowercase letters. The change is meant to simplify communication and is supposed to save the Navy $15 million because it can get rid of a dedicated messaging service and use regular old e-mail instead.
But we have to think not wanting to sound like you’re shouting at someone who SAID SOMETHING WRONG ON THE INTERNET played a role, too.
The most gentle message can come across as psychotically aggressive when typed in all caps. So as the Navy transitions, we decided to round up five of our favorite examples of all-cap craziness.
The Kanye mea culpa
Perhaps it’s not a rant, as such. (Though he’s certainly been no stranger to them).
But we had to go with the time Kanye West slammed down the caps lock to apologize, on his blog, for his infamous stage-bombing of Taylor Swift at the 2009 Video Music Awards.
“I’M SOOOOO SORRY TO TAYLOR SWIFT AND HER FANS AND HER MOM. I SPOKE TO HER MOTHER RIGHT AFTER AND SHE SAID THE SAME THING MY MOTHER WOULD’VE SAID. SHE IS VERY TALENTED! I LIKE THE LYRICS ABOUT BEING A CHEERLEADER AND SHE’S IN THE BLEACHERS! …………………… I’M IN THE WRONG FOR GOING ON STAGE AND TAKING AWAY FROM HER MOMENT!……………..”
Of course, in the grand tradition of half-apologies, he spends several of his remaining loud sentences justifying the moment he interrupted Swift’s acceptance speech to say that Beyonce should have won instead of her.
“BEYONCE’S VIDEO WAS THE BEST OF THIS DECADE!!!! I… WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD!!!! EVERYBODY WANNA BOOOOO ME BUT I’M A FAN OF REAL POP CULTURE!!! … I’M STILL HAPPY FOR TAYLOR!!!! BOOOYAAAWWWW!!!! YOU ARE VERY VERY TALENTED!!! … I’M NOT CRAZY YALL, I’M JUST REAL.”
The Bakery flame-out
Having your restaurant appear on “Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares” is bad enough. Having the host quit on you because you’re too hard to work with is even worse.
Flaming out about it on Facebook in a series of profanity-laced all-caps outbursts? Priceless.
Amy’s Baking Company, in Scottsdale, Arizona, experienced just that last month after appearing on the show with the famously acerbic chef. So, after the show aired, the smart thing to do would be to take to social media to calmly explain how your restaurant was misrepresented, right?
Or, you can try this:
“WE DO NOT NEED THIS. YOU STUPID PEOPLE. … DO NOT BLAME US BECAUSE YOU CAN NOT AFFORD QUALITY. THE YELPERS, AND NOW THE REDDITS, NEED TO BACK OFF. YOURE NOT RIGHT BECAUSE OF SOME TV SHOW.”
A Facebook freakout? Wrong you are, apparently:
“WE ARE NOT FREAKING OUT WE DO NOT CARE ABOUT A ‘WITCH HUNT’ I AM NOT A WITCH. I AM GODS CHILD. P— OFF ALL OF YOU. F— REDDITS, F— YELP AND F— ALL OF YOU. BRING IT. WE WILL FIGHT BACK.”
Believe us when we tell you they were just getting started. Things got so bad that Amy’s has since created a new Facebook page. Nearly a month later, let’s just say that it’s still not polite coffee talk.
The Comic Sans LeBron slam
Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert’s 2010 open letter to fans after LeBron James left the team for the shores of South Beach is mainly remembered for another typographical choice. His fiery screed was typed in Comic Sans — an Internet-reviled font that is sort of hard to read without giggling.
But it was the single sentence he decided to go all-caps with that makes this list:
“I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ‘KING’ WINS ONE”
As you NBA fans may have noted, James already has one title under his belt with the Miami Heat and he’s currently in the finals playing for number two.
The Cavs? Still waiting.
I’ll tweet you, babe
OK, Cher, we get it. Donald Trump rubs a lot of people the wrong way.
From the tone-deaf self-promotion to the strident political views, Mr. Apprentice has mixed it up with everyone from irreverent sports blog Deadspin to CNN’s own Wolf Blitzer.
So when the pop-music icon caught on to an effort to boycott Trump’s line of neckties, she was so worked up she had to do it in all-caps.
“I’ll NEVER GO TO MACY’S AGAIN! I didn’t know they sold Donald Trump’s Line! If they don’t care that they sell products from a LOUDMOUTH,” Cher wrote on Twitter.
Then: “RACIST CRETIN,WHO’D LIE LIKE ‘HIS RUG’ TO GET SOME CHEAP PRESS! I CANT BELIEVE MACY’S THINKS HE’S THE RIGHT ‘MAN’ 2 REPRESENT THEIR NAME!”
Say what you will about The Donald. At least he didn’t resort to all-caps in his response.
“@cher should spend more time focusing on her family and dying career!” Trump wrote.
We didn’t say it was classy. Just that it wasn’t in all-caps.
Drunk Hulk Is drunk
OK, we didn’t say they were the worst all-caps rants. Just the top ones.
And it’s hard to top an enormous green rage monster who has knocked back a few too many.
Twitter’s Drunk Hulk, one of our favorite parody accounts, tweets sort of exactly like you’d imagine a witty, pre-intervention Hulk would tackle the topics of the day.
On government surveillance: “IT GREAT GOVERNMENT RECORD EVERY PHONE CALL! NOW DRUNK HULK FIND OUT WHAT WAS SAID WHEN DRUNK HULK CALL YOU LAST NIGHT!”
On really sad fantasy epics: “GAME OF THRONES! GO TO YOUR ROOM! AND THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU DONE!”
On a Billy Joel classic: “IF YOU SEE MAN MAKING LOVE TO TONIC AND GIN AT BAR! NO SING SONG ABOUT IT! CALL POLICE IMMEDIATELY!”
His whole Twitter feed is an all-caps rant. And we’re not going to tell him to stop, are you?
What did we miss? Let us know about some of your favorite rants in the comments.