the cruelest comment ever posted on the Internet

I know, I know: There’s been a lot of mean, heartless shit posted by trolls and assholes on the Web, but I really do think we have a winner here.

Posted by someone taking the brave stance of “Guest” — just a smidge above “Anonymous” — in response to my review of The Tree of Life:

Honestly, this review reads like a woman who has finally realized that she needs to kill herself right now. This is someone who has failed in every aspect of life and is venting out like a feminist child. It’s a mighty failure; a failure of weight loss, a failure of a film review, and most of all a failure of being a woman. Please put a gun to your head, you failure of a human being.

I posted a response there:

Let’s assume for the moment that you actually believe this is true, that I am suicidal and on the point of killing myself. Your comment could then very well serve as the thing that pushed me over the edge into actually doing the deed.

Is *this* the message that you believe this film is trying to get across: that people who disagree with it deserve to die? Is this movie aimed at reinforcing the worldviews of people so coldhearted, so selfish, so ruthlessly lacking in compassion that they are happy to push someone into suicide?

Perhaps you could explain what it is about this movie that makes you feel this way, and why anyone with a heart and sliver of compassion would suport such a movie.

Recall that this commenter, since he disagrees with my take on the film, presumably agrees with those critics who’ve praised the film by writing such things as:

[A] heartfelt answer to the question of where we humans belong- with each other, on this planet, bound by love. (Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal)

[A]n impressionistic metaphysical inquiry into mankind’s place in the grand scheme of things. (Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter)

Most of the positive reviews see the film as wise, as noble, as capturing the human spirit, as struggling in a humble way to define religious spirituality, as honest, and so on. So how does someone who loves this film come to the conclusion that someone who hates this film deserves to die? How does someone who loves this film think it’s a good thing to nudge a fellow human being toward suicide? How does someone who loves this film believe that posting such comments publicly is a positive reflection on the power of this film?

What’s so awful about this comment isn’t merely the content of it but the context: For a film that is allegedly so wonderful because it makes you think about life, the universe, and everything, it is patently clear that the commenter has not thought about any of these things at all. It’s outrageously apparent that whatever the commenter believes the power of the film to be (in opposition to what I wrote about the film), the film itself has no power to influence the commenter for the better. By posting such a comment, the commenter negates what s/he says.

Or maybe the commenter saw the Mirror Universe Tree of Life. Yes, that must be it.

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