This week in the Leader we salute the town’s keyboard warriors who helped ensure Dundalk has more TDs than us yet again.
In what must be a first for the town, Drogheda has beaten off stiff competition from New York to host the 2016 International Keyboard Warrior Summit. The news comes as a boost for the town after last year’s failed attempt to lure the Fleadh Cheoil.
For those not familiar with the summit, it’s the same as the Web Summit only different. Instead of exploring how the internet can be used as a forum for technological innovation, it focusses more on how the internet can be used to complain about everything.
Demand is said to be high so organizers are allocating tickets on a whinge-weighted basis. Applicants must apply through their Facebook profiles where an algorithm identifies key warrior words such as ‘traitor’, ‘fat pension’, ‘lies’, ‘vermin’ and ‘traitor’ again.
CEO and High Whinge Dragon Clark Hunt made this announcement in the comments section of a local Drogheda website popular with keyboard warriors. “Obviously those who’ve been active online during your anti-water charges protests and the general election should be home and hosed. If you haven’t received your invite by the time you’ve found fault with this announcement then email us with your complaint. Two VIP tickets for the most original and outlandish vitriol.”
Insiders say that Drogheda pipped New York after a surge in complaining over the past six months. “A lot of people were surprised,” explained Hunt. “We’d never heard of Drogheda before but man I’m telling you, those data-rant spikes literally pierced our servers in the past three weeks. Jared is our top complainer here, we call him our keyboard samurai. But some of the stuff coming out of Drogheda has even him re-evaluating his vitriol levels. He’s looking forward to complaining about issues he doesn’t fully grasp with like-minded individuals.”
Drogheda’s three hotels are expected to be fully booked up for the three day seminar and there has been talk of Smyths Select Accommodation being re-opened for the weekend. Tickets to the event cost more than is reasonable but you can’t please everybody.
The summit is unique amongst these types of things in that it gives a platform for local keyboard warriors to perform in front of their peers. An X-Factor type competition called Whinge-Factor is open to participants with the winner being taken on as an apprentice to an internationally renowned whinger. Warriors will be given access to a laptop and a local issue and are graded in terms of faux-outrage, hysteria and nastiness.
But the summit isn’t only about negativity. It is trying to change the perception of keyboard warriors by showing a human side to them. “Most warriors are reasonable people most of the time and never carry out the threats they say when face to face with their enemies,” explained American internet psychologist Geoffrey Sobchak. “They’re just looking for affirmation that their lives matter. The realisation that most of us will never make a mark in the world can be a difficult moment. Some turn to the church, others seek solace in keyboard warrioring. It’s a difficult cycle to break.”
Several new categories of whinging are expected to be discovered during the three day summit in June.