Posts Filed Under Stop acting like an asshat and I’ll stop judging you.

A troll’s guide to the internet

by Janelle Hanchett

The trolls of the internet got together  (in my head) and wrote a helpful handy guide. If you are unclear what a “troll” is, I give you this definition: The most annoying commenters in the world; people who make it their mission to enrage and insult while simultaneously ignoring the point. They appear on every comment thread. Anywhere. No matter what. You can run, but you can’t hide.

Luckily though they are easy to spot because THEY ALL THINK THE SAME WAY.

Anyway, I can’t imagine why anyone would ever want a list such as the one below, but Service to Nobody is what being a troll is all about. Plus, I have a fucked-up sense of humor.

So here you go.

A Troll’s Guide to the Internet (Or, How to Get Everyone on the Interwebz to Hate You):

  1. If somebody writes about an experience you haven’t had it’s because they think your life is a lie.
  2. And you, you are A LIAR.
  3. If somebody writes about an experience you have had but feels differently about it it’s because they think your feelings are bad.
  4. If you are not the intended audience it’s because the writer hates you.
  5. Generally speaking, if you can’t relate to something, it is a pointed attack on you, your intelligence, and your life, and the only thing to do is call the writer a cunt.
  6. Or fat. Or a fat cunt. You could also mention beating them with a uterus.* Anywho.
  7. If a writer doesn’t validate, include, speak to and/or make warm and cuddly every type of human on the planet, the writer hates them too, and you should point out each and every type of human the writer has omitted. Unless you don’t like them either. Then it’s okay.
  8. The title alone is sufficient data to formulate an opinion and share it widely.
  9. When in doubt, attack grammar or reference Jesus.
  10. If you read it in a meme, it is true.
  11. If you find one study backing your opinion, even if it was conducted at Burning Man, you are correct. Beat people with this (it’s firmer than uteri).
  12. If somebody is struggling with something you are good at, he or she is a deeply flawed human and needs your guidance.
  13. If somebody is good at something you’re struggling with, he or she is BLATANTLY ATTACKING YOUR WAY OF LIFE.
  14. Along these lines, a single piece of writing is sufficient information to critique, analyze, deconstruct and rebuild a stranger’s life.
  15. You should do that a lot because people like it.
  16. If you suspect however that this person may NOT like your extensive unsolicited unsupported misguided opinions (weird), preface your analysis by explaining your Earnest Desire to be Helpful.
  17. Everybody likes helpful people.
  18. Or say something about “playing devil’s advocate.” People dig that too.
  19. A reader should not be required to engage in the complexities of reading such as comprehending tone, voice, rhetorical cues or even the publication’s tagline that reads: “A satirical news source.” NO! If the writer fails to use “irony punctuation,” which is definitely a thing because I saw it in a meme last July, they are not being clear.
  20. Invent things at random (e.g. “irony punctuation”).
  21. Whenever possible, argue against something by inadvertently being an example of it. This is not easy. You will have to work hard at this. Few people are born with this level of cyclical logic and total lack of self-awareness. One must strive daily.
  22. If the writer is a woman, talk about whether or not you’d like to have sex with her.
  23. If the writer is a person of color, mention “race card” often and how you have black friends, NO MATTER WHAT THE TOPIC.
  24. Lie often.
  25. Steal souls.
  26. Ignore reason. And the topic at hand.
  27. Never use your actual name and never, ever give up on a comment thread. Always come back. Always, always come back and bring your friends from Reddit.

Remember, young troll, above all else:


They are vast, and they’re waiting for you.

Go get em, tiger!


*The uterus thing actually happened. Wish I kept the screenshot. 



Join me for my last writing workshop of 2015. Session 1 is sold out. Session 2 is half full. Get on it. Let’s hang out. Let’s write.

WRITE THE WORDS, non-troll.


People who can’t read sarcasm are the antichrist

by Janelle Hanchett

Did you see what I did there? I used sarcasm to explain how annoying it is when people can’t read sarcasm.

(Actually it was hyperbole but if I say “hyperbole” my joke won’t work and it’s humor above accuracy here, people.)

The point remains: If you read that sentence and are now saying to yourself “Well that’s offensive! My Christian sensibilities are officially offended!”


I don’t know what sort of excessive-focus-on-the-literal death hovel you grew up in, and I suppose I should have compassion for those who lack the ability to see when somebody is fucking joking, but I’ve tried working with you. I’ve tried being patient, but you aren’t getting better.

It’s like you’re not even trying. I write something completely ridiculous and there you appear, eventually, lurking in the shadows of intelligent life, peeking your head around the corner and tapping away, earnestly, just long enough to make me wonder what, exactly, is wrong with humanity. We’re all happy and laughing until BOOM. You appear, with your heartfelt helpfulness and misguided appraisal.

In other words, you ruin everything.


You need to get off the internet.

Or stop commenting. That would also work.

But, because I’m not totally heartless, I’ve decided I’m going to give you a list of pointers to help you read sarcasm because thou shalt love thy enemies or some shit.

Here we go:

Hint #1: If a person openly says something that could get them arrested, there’s a good chance that person is joking. For example, in this post, I suggest that every time your husband pisses you off you should kick him in the balls. Now let’s work through the possibilities here:

Option 1: Woman actually in real life physically abuses her husband then writes about it on the internet.

Option 2: Woman is joking.

Which do you think is more possible? See? This is not hard. This is actually quite easy. You’re going to be fine.



Hint #2: If everybody else on the thread is commenting with words like “LOL” and Buahahahahahaha” and “OMG Dying” and “Hilarious!” and “I needed a laugh this morning,” CHANCES ARE YOU ARE READING A PIECE OF HUMOR.

NASA science right here.

That was sarcasm. Not actually NASA science. NASA science is difficult this is not difficult which is why you infuriate the rest of us with your defective reading skills.

Maybe you don’t think sarcasm is funny. Maybe you think it’s crass and base and unrefined. Perfect. Perfection. That’s amazing.

As long as you know it’s a joke, we’re good. I can work with you.

But that’s the thing, most of your kind don’t even recognize the joke AS A FUCKING JOKE even though the hyperbole is dripping from my fingertips as quickly as the point of life is screaming past your head.

Which brings me to helpful hint #3: If it seems ridiculous, it probably is. For example, in this post I say that all people with tidy houses are lying. Hmmmm. Let’s work through this for a moment. What are the chances I really think having a clean house literally never happens?

Slim, right? I mean, that doesn’t even make sense. You really think an adult human could live her whole life having never witnessed a neat person with kids?

Wait. What’s that you say? Matt Walsh is fucking ridiculous and he’s serious as hell? GOOD POINT VERY GOOD POINT. Some people have absolutely inane ideas and aren’t kidding at all (sadly), which means we have to look for keyword pointers to indicate whether we’re reading a piece of sarcasm or seriousness.

Going back to the “All people with clean houses are lying” concept: After that brilliant assertion, I write:

“You can’t fool me. My light may be dim but it ain’t that dim. Or, I’m wrong. That happens. Been wrong at least 4 times so far this year.”

 BOOM THERE IT IS: “Been wrong at least 4 times so far this year.

Self-deprication. Ridiculousness. “My light may be dim” – I’M CALLING MYSELF A MORON then following it up with “But I’ve only been wrong 4 times this year.”

Please for the love of all that’s holy work with me here. Those words are ridiculous. Those words are giant flags waving in the abandoned desert of your mind. On them are written: This broad is not serious.


But no. You refuse to see it. You insist on writing comments like “How dare you imply that my housekeeping is not real.”

And (this one is direct quote): “Maybe your house, but I know plenty of mothers who have a tidy house, AND have time for their kids. What a negative article!”

Yes, it’s negative. Of course it’s fucking negative. That’s what dark sarcastic assholes like me live for. Why?

Because it’s funny.


I know. This is all very complicated. I’ve written 869 words attempting to help you learn how to read sarcasm/satire/hyperbole and I’m guessing your head is just spinning because throughout this post there are threads of sarcasm and now you just don’t know WHERE to turn – Is she serious or not?!AM IF OFFENDED OR NOT I NEED TO KNOW HOW OFFENDED I SHOULD BE

so to simplify I offer this helpful flow chart.

Learn it. Live it.
Don’t be the antichrist.



Hey teenage girls: You are not the worst

by Janelle Hanchett

Recently I read (yet another) thread on Facebook that went like this:

Main post: “Teenage boys are so hard.”

Comments in thread: “You should be glad you don’t have GIRLS.”

At least you don’t have GIRLS. OMG TEENAGE GIRLS.

They are THE WORST.

Insane, emotional, slutty little things. Mean. Irrational.

I’m paraphrasing, but you know the story.

Get your shotgun out. Lock em up. But goddamnit why are they so ANNOYING?

I have a daughter. She’s 13. I don’t see it. I don’t see the horrible. I don’t think I ever will. Tell me I will. Tell me she’ll be “the worst” in a few years.

Dear humans:

What would happen if we dropped the storyline that teenaged girls are “the worst” and just let them fucking BE?




Well, since we’re on the topic, American teenage girls, I would like to provide a few guidelines for keeping yourself safe and navigating these awkward teenage years:

Do not wear revealing clothing like short shorts or leggings because boys just can’t control their hormones at this age and your skin makes them want to rape you. Yes, this is your problem. This could get complicated because you may have sexual feelings too and maybe WANT to show a little skin and explore the sensual side of your existence – OR MAYBE IT’S JUST A HOT DAY AND YOU ARE ACTUALLY PHYSICALLY HOT –  but this makes you a slut.

so don’t do that. nobody likes a slut.

Yes, that’s right: What’s unavoidable in boys is equally unavoidable in girls but in boys it’s expected (and possibly celebrated as a sign of virile heterosexuality) but in you it’s just dirty and shameful and your virile dad will need to protect you with a shotgun from virile boys whose parents dressed them in onesies at 6-months-of age that read: “Lock your daughters up.”

Now’s the time, daddy.

Lock.Your.Daughters.Up with those wild breasts and vaginas JUST OUT THERE FOR THE TAKING.

On to the topic of friends: Don’t be a “mean girl.” When boys have problems with their friends they are humans having problems with friends, or “assholes” or bullies, but when you do it there’s a special classification called “mean girl” because we need to make sure we establish early on that you are catty, simple-minded, and trite.

Newsflash “mean girl” is not actually a thing.

Assholes come in all genders.

Speaking of assholes, hormones rage in male and female teenagers, resulting in mood swings, tears, uncontrollable emotions and rage, but when you do it it’s a result of your vagina and uterus and menstruation and ohbytheway you’ll carry that with you your whole life. The irrationality. The emotionally unstable. When men cry we either deem them “pussies” or laud their gorgeous sensitivity. (Oh yes we’re screwing them too but that’s a different blog post.)

Have you dropped out of math yet?

Good. Stick with literature. Our emotional brains function better in those tender humanities.

Anyway, in short, teenage girls, this is why people hate you and why you read Facebook threads of grown-ass adults lamenting your existence and claiming you are WORSE than “boys:” Because you’re crazy and mean and irrational and emotional and slutty and your potential to get pregnant and evoke the (obviously unavoidable) rape drive in boys makes you a liability to yourself and your family.

Welcome to femaleness. Welcome to womanhood.

Welcome to the motherfucking jungle.

Oh shit wait! I forgot. How to not get your throat cut by strangers (this is from an actual list of helpful citizens on Facebook who commented on the occasion of a woman getting her throat cut by a stranger on the street):

  • do not get out of the car at nightFBbFBa
  • learn self defense
  • always carry pepper spray
  • do not know bad people
  • don’t be a prostitute
  • do not go into bad areas of town
  • don’t walk alone ever on a street ever.

(Why are they virtually unconcerned about the human who MURDERED another HUMAN? Well shoot your guess is as good as mine.)


(good times.)


Lemmetellyousomething my girl:

I don’t see this and I never will. Oh okaaaaay I see difficulty and I see pain and I see emotions and I see the hormones and the silliness woven with grown-up-ness and I see myself.

I see your father.

I see a child. I see a woman-child. I see a woman-child becoming woman. I see emotional turmoil. I see upset. I see rage. I see building moats in the sand and looking for seashells and painted nails and pedicures and long lean muscular legs and new curves and unruly curls on rainy days.

I see perfection.brokenness.gaping faults.attitude.

I see the difficulty of any kid that ever lived. I see all the boys and girls.

I see helpful. lazy. I see easier than my 4-year-old. independence. separation. wit and sarcasm and naiveté.

I see myself.

I was a teenage girl. I didn’t know the world hated me. Maybe because there wasn’t social media.

I see exploration. I see changing. I see life. I see a couple text messages to boys and a few discussions about this one and that one and I see you learning navigating working to understand other humans, life, sex, bodies, school, futures, loveheartangerragepainhystericalLaughingFriendsSiblingsFamilyandTomorrow.



Heyyyy daughter, I don’t hate you. I don’t think you’re slutty or evil or mean. I expect you to be irrational and emotional just like I am sometimes, and your dad is sometimes, and your brother and every other person ever.

I want to lock you up, but not because of your gender.

I want to hide you away from the idiots. I want to hide you away so you never think you are the worst. So you aren’t ashamed. So you aren’t embarrassed. So you don’t gaslight YOURSELF when you’re emotional and unstable and irrational in your room away from the family for a few moments telling yourself “Well here I am just another faulty female fulfilling those prophesies all over the internet.”

And I don’t want you to not see that you are growing up in a clusterfuck of rape culture victim blaming female-body shaming (all hail the thigh gap) – WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN – and it isn’t you at all at all at all. It’s us. Them. Them. Them.

We plunk you down in an insane world then belittle diminish fault and blame you as you struggle to find your place in an insane world.

You are me. You are him. You are her.

You are not the worst.

You are the motherfucking best.

Ours, at least.

If you read it, all that nonsense, don’t believe it.

Believe this. Believe it to the end, and I’ll see you on the other side, kid.




My dear friend Sarah Maren and I are teaching a writing & photography intensive workshop in Sacramento next month and it’s going to change lives. Well, maybe not. But it will be fun, and you will become a better writer and photographer.

8 spots left.


(also, how cute and innocent do I look in this drawing?!)


I’ve summarized (in 2 sentences or less) every Mother’s Day post ever written so you don’t have to read them. You’re welcome.

by Janelle Hanchett

Do you ever get tired of reading the same damn thing every “holiday?”

Yeah, neither do I.

I enjoy it. In fact, I enjoy it so much I’ve taken time out of my “busy mommy life(!)” (I just gagged) to read every single blog post and article ever written near, on or about Mother’s Day. And I’ve summarized them in two sentences or less.

I didn’t actually do that.

I’m sure I missed one or two.

I’ve also added highly-opinionated, useless commentary.

Consider this my gift to you.

What can I say? I’m a giver. I give. I gave on my first try.


So here it is…All Mother’s Day blog posts ever written summarized in 2 sentences or less, complete with useless commentary and occasional f-bombs.

The “What moms really want on Mother’s Day” post

Summary: We don’t want brunch and mimosas and flowers and spa days. We want you to clean the house and toilets and cook while we sleep.

Only we don’t actually just want this on Mother’s Day, we want it every fucking day, but we feel like you owe it to us on Mother’s Day so we feel compelled to ask. Also, who the hell came up with the “we don’t want brunch and spas” nonsense? I want brunch. I love brunch. I also love spas. I used to love mimosas. I used to really, really love mimosas. Also whiskey.

Do people get whiskey on Mother’s Day? Why do we have to drink these girly drinks? Why can’t we drink some freaking Maker’s Mark?

Um. Let’s move on.

The overly sentimental reflection on motherhood post; AKA the “they grow up so fast” post

Summary: They grow up so fast.

Except when they’re three. Three takes forever. Three-year-olds are assholes. You keep telling me they grow up fast but my 3-year-old IS STILL THREE so what’s up with that, Einstein?

The “What if Mother’s Day cards told the truth?” post

Summary: Tongue-in-cheek “honest” depictions of motherhood so we all feel better about the fact that we suck.

Wait. I wrote one of those for Parenting magazine last year. If you can make it past the pop-up Betty Crocker ads, you can read them. Enjoy the clip art. That shit’s classic.

The “I feel guilty for being a crap mother so stop celebrating me” post

Summary: See title.

Oh damn I wrote one of those too. I’m such a cliché. I’m a cliché! Although that was one of the favorite things I’ve ever written and it’s Brain, Child (freaking excellent magazine) so that post doesn’t count, damn it.

I’m not a cliché!

I’m a unique and intricate snowflake!

Damn it.

cute family photo in obligatory Mother's Day post, with non-obligatory pornstache

cute family photo in obligatory Mother’s Day post

The “My mom sucked so I hate Mother’s Day” post

Summary: I had a shit mom and therefore the rest of the world should not celebrate moms ever because it hurts my feelings.

Right. Because that makes sense. (Didn’t write one of those. My mom is the best mom in the world.)

Ah ha! The “my mom is the best mom in the world post.”

No she’s not. My mom is. Fuck off.

The “I don’t have kids and I’m sick of the glorification of motherhood” post

Summary: I’m “childfree” so I think we shouldn’t celebrate people who aren’t.

Because that also makes sense.

The Call-to-Arms/Kumbaya/“let’s all stop judging each other” post

Summary: I make my choices and you make your choices and because it makes me sound like a good, enlightened human I’m going to pretend like I don’t judge you for not making the same choices I’ve made.

Um, obviously I think my choices are better. THAT’S WHY I MADE THEM. And if I see some woman feeding a baby a bottle with juice in it, I’m gonna judge the hell out of her. Of course I am. That’s a stupid fucking thing to do. However, if that woman came up to me at the park, I would be good and decent and respectful because everybody’s on their own damn path and it’s none of my business what other humans do with their kids.

The problem is not that people judge. The problem is that people are dicks.

The humble-brag Mother’s Day gift post

Summary: My husband is significantly better than yours and we have lots of money. That’s really all I wanted to say.

Yes, I know this already because we’re friends on Facebook. (Unfollow! Restricted acquaintance! (Only helpful thing Facebook has done in 5 years.))

The “you’re a good mom/I’m a good mom/we’re all good moms” post

Summary: Stay-at-home? Good for you. Work? Great. Sit on your ass all day and play video games while smoking cigarettes and drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon? Go team! We support you!

No we don’t. We don’t really support you. We just pretend we do because it’s Mother’s Day.

(Also, has it ever occurred to any of these people writing the “You’re a stay-at-home mom and you’re doing a good job” or “You work out of the home and we salute you” posts that their target audience isn’t seeking the approval of a bunch of internet strangers? I mean, do you ever see posts congratulating fathers for staying home or working out of the home, validating their decisions and telling them “Everything will be okay, little one, we support you. YOU ARE OKAY.”

No. Because if a man stays home he’s a loving and devoted, miraculous father!

And if he works out of the home he’s a loving and devoted, miraculous father!

Also, the decisions of mothers are always held up for public scrutiny and analysis — Oh you bastard patriarchy. Nobody asked you. Stop telling me how to do human.)

Wow. That escalated quickly.

No but seriously it seems like the world sees mothers as bunch of needy, lost humans, all yelling in unison: “Somebody tell me I’m okay! Am I okay!?”

Somebody hold my hand and tell me I’m okay!

You’re not okay.

Alright fine. You’re okay.

(why can’t I ever just stay on topic? is it a disease?)

Which brings us to the “Oh mothers you’re so amazing and you’re totally okay and rocking it daily, cradling the future of humanity in your tender arms, pulling the lost souls of humanity into your warm bosom, building America through virtue and devotion and strength and stuff, WE THANK YOU.”

Oh yeah. I totally do that. I’m a builder.

Now leave me alone so I can eat some eggs benedict and get a fucking massage.

Shit only happens once a year, ya know.

Have fun, ladies. Make it a good one.

You know I support you.

happy Mother’s Day photo! alright. this is pretty fucking sweet.




Dear Internet: I hate your “new study”

by Janelle Hanchett

I sure love it when a “new study” hits the internet, particularly if it relates to some super-heated parenting topic. It’s just so fun. All of a sudden, all the people have new “evidence” to sling at the “other side.”

All the humans now have “irrefutable proof” that they were, after all, right as fuck and you were, absolutely 100% (as they always suspected!) WRONG. So they shall post it on Facebook with a barely perceptible shrug and smile, just so damn happy to have this “new science” validating their opinions.

No worries if it refutes 20 years of prior research. No worries if it’s profoundly biased and/or funded by a company with a vested interest in the outcome. No worries if it’s flawed in its research methodology or put together by high schoolers on mushrooms.

In fact, there’s no need to read any of the actual study! All you gotta do is read the article in the Huffington Post written by some asshat with as much relevant expertise as my toddler, summarizing the study and paraphrasing the “science” they don’t actually understand (or trying to, while remaining SEO effective, of course).

Forget they’re writing for a damn media source with a financial interest in sensationalism and the “latest trends,” (so they can trap new parents on Babycenter who are simply fascinated by this “new research”). And forget the emphasis on keywords and polarizing, extremist titles that will increase Google hits and traffic, translating into PURE CASH for the website. I mean, there’s nothing like a bunch of well-meaning parents to feed “latest studies” to by the spoonful.

Nothing sells like: “New Study Shows Breastfeeding is Over-rated” or “Research proves that homebirth kills” or “Study concludes pacifiers stunt emotional development.”

Here’s what they’re actually selling us:  You want to be “in the know?” You want to remain on the cutting edge of informed parenting? All you gotta do is read our 3rd-party interpretation of a “study” you’ve never glanced at, avoid  critical thinking at all costs and use what you read as “irrefutable evidence” to post all over Facebook, Pin, Tweet and email. This weekend, regurgitate at playdates. And then, bask in the glory of your rightness. All you need is a link, homie!

I mean how could you argue it? It’s science! It’s data! It’s REAL.

Obviously. There’s acronyms and shit.

Look, internet, unless you’re going to read the actual study, examine who funded the bastard, research the methodology (and have the ability to assess it in the first place), study what other experts in the field have to say about its outcomes, assess where this study fits into the larger picture (what else has been said over the years?)…I don’t give a flying rat’s ass about your “new study.”

Basically, one study means jack shit, even if it does validate your side of every flame war you’ve engaged in during the last 5 years.


You gotta look at overall flows, dude. You gotta look for patterns, for trends, for recurring information. I’m not a scientist. I get confused by words like “force” or “planet.”

My geology professor hired me in his paleomagnetic research lab because I got the highest grade in his survey course. I worked for him for a year or so while he tried desperately to explain to me 3-dimensional magnetic properties of rock (or some shit) – ultimately mumbling one day “Um I’m not sure science is your thing.”

Yeah, it’s not.

Neither is math. BUT I DIGRESS.

The point is that even a moron like me knows that science doesn’t work in giant, sensational sweeping movements, particularly if it involves lots and lots of humans. It’s not ALL GOING TO CHANGE because A study was published.

In other words, we’re getting played, people. They play on our desire to do right by our kids. They play on our devotion and love and profound fear of fucking up our offspring.

But you know what? These “new studies” may mean something significant within the field, but they are almost wholly irrelevant when it comes to my immediate, on-the-ground parenting decisions. They are contributing information to the discipline. They are lending new insights. They are donating to a body of research from which scholars can, over time, pull accumulated information that may actually inform my parenting.

But until then, it’s just “Oh good, another study I can completely ignore.”

And watch the shit-slinging begin.

Calm down, internet, it’s just one study.


Things are the same as yesterday.

in case you missed it the first time