OPINION: I’m your friendly neighborhood contrarian, and I’m here to tell you why you’re wrong

Humor by Kathryn Zheng
Jan. 20, 2021, 9:27 p.m.

Hello there, fellow resident of the Internet! I’m your Friendly Neighborhood Contrarian, a journalist/podcaster/person-who-loved-to-play-devil’s-advocate-in-discussion-sections who gained 400,000 followers over the course of the last four years by tweeting content with topical buzzwords like “technocratic,” “dystopian” and “censorship.” I see you’re unfortunately online enough that you’ve stumbled across my Twitter profile, so I’m here to tell you why you — yes, you — are wrong about everything. And I mean everything — well, as long as your position is the socially acceptable position. 

Now, I’m not some Alex Jones-style conspiracy theorist or anything. I’m pretty sure that Real, Breathing People run our government and not lizards in skin suits, and I know that climate change is real. I believe in facts. But I take pleasure — deep, incredibly invigorating joy — in producing as much bad faith content and contrarian takes as humanly possible, all while making sure to insist that everything that has ever happened confirms my priors.

Do you think that cats and dogs are good? Well, I’m here to tell you that you’re a terrible person for ripping your pet cat away from their true homes — Mother Nature — and I’m going to make you feel incredibly bad for ever cooing over a picture of a tiny puppy.

Are you a fan of video games? Well, actually, China has an enormous amount of control over companies like Alibaba, and there’s a non-zero chance that the business you bought your copy of Wii Sports Resort from has shipped technology using Alibaba, so congrats on being complicit in the authoritarianism of the Chinese state.

And, oh, do you like your cell phone? Well, sorry to inform you, but a lot of cell phones have apps installed on them like Netflix and Hulu, and these streaming services keep churning out terrible, absolutely unwatchable content that dilutes the content of media in general and is destroying the theater industry. So, if you’ve ever watched anything on Netflix, you’re personally responsible for your local mom-and-pop theater shutting down. How do you like that, corporatist? 

Do you feel bad now? Well, you should. Take it from me, a well-off white guy (and yes, I’m almost always a white guy, because no woman or person of color could get away with this) who quit his high-paying media job to start a Substack because his female supervisor told him that he “should consider using Twitter less and focus on writing instead” — you’re wrong, and I’m right. End of story. 

Also, you shouldn’t disagree with me publicly — I name-search. If you do anyway, I’m going to send my followers to harass you until you delete your account.

Editor’s Note: This article is purely satirical and fictitious. All attributions in this article are not genuine, and this story should be read in the context of pure entertainment only.

Contact Kathryn Zheng  at kszheng ‘at’ stanford.edu.

Kathryn Zheng ’24 is from New Jersey. She is majoring in Economics and currently writes for Arts and Life as a columnist under the Culture desk.

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