Woman Downloads Opinions From Internet
In keeping with a strategy she has pursued ever since receiving Internet access two years ago, Sally Greenberg spent three hours Thursday on the internet looking for ideas and opinions that she could paraphrase and use as her own during conversations with friends and co-workers.
The events planner, 27, first searched for anything that nationally syndicated political columnist Molly Ivins may have written about the use of steroids in baseball, having had success in the past with Ivins' simple-yet-intelligent-sounding brand of analysis. After finding nothing, however, she settled on using Chicago Tribune writer Steve Chapman's outlook during discussions with co-workers.
"There's no need for Congress to involve itself in the baseball steroids scandal," said Steve Chapman's opinion, channeled through Greenberg, during lunch hour. "There are more pressing issues going on in the world like Al-Qaeda, terrorism and, um, other stuff."
Forgetting where Steve Chapman stood on other world issues, Greenberg hurried to change the topic to Scott Savol's most recent performance on "American Idol", drawing from judge Simon Cowell's easier-to-remember points of view on musical performances.
"It was okay," she intoned in a sharp British accent. "Quiet, Paula, let me finish!"
Other topics Greenberg retrieved outside opinions on include the Terri Schiavo situation, a woman's right to abortion, and the validity of "The Monkeys" as a band. Though she remains ambivalent over most topics ranging from international politics to pop culture, Greenberg manages to perform admirably as a conduit for the thoughts and positions of others, say those involved in conversation with her.
"I don't know where she got that 'We are living in a Nietzschean theocracy' shit, but it sure sounded good," said friend Dan Weinberg. "Good enough to repeat to my one friend when we start complaining about those clowns standing in the way of Bush."
Others, however, are not so easily fooled.
"Good? Sally sounds too good," scoffed Eric Poller, a co-worker. "Last week she was going on about the similarities between British soldiers in Iraq and the 'Kessians in the World War II', which blew my mind until I read it on the [New York] Times webpage, like, an hour later and saw that she meant Hessians in...you know, some other war."
"Some other unjustified war," he added ominously, logging off of his favorite internet porn website to declare, "You won't find me getting my opinions off the web. My rocks, maybe, but that's it."
Still others are aware that Greenberg's opinions are lifted from other places, but still enjoy hearing her parrot back the talking points of both Chris Matthews and Bill O'Reilly.
"So she steals a word or sentence here and there...so what?" said co-worker Mandy LaSuel. "It takes pretty hard work to read the paper and watch all those news programs. Plus, she's giving the rest of us a window to the real world...to the opinions of people that matter a lot more than she would if she had opinions of her own."
As for Greenberg, she says that she is proud of her open-mindedness and her ability to defend the opinions of the writers of both "www.georgebusheastsshit.com" and "bushisgod.us" all in one sitting, depending on the circumstances.
"I think that the Republicans have a good chance in 2008 – jeez, the Internet must be getting lots of hits today – if Hillary [Clinton] makes a run – oh poop, my dial-up modem, I really ought to get broadband with AOL Topspeed technology – for the Presidency," said Greenberg to reporters. "Also, hippies should just get over it and eat some damn meat already, but the Pope is expected to be better in time for the end of March Madness."
Note: The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of the writer, but those of the columnists in today's Chicago Tribune as well as Jimmy Kimmell on ESPN's page two.