I am drawn to pain like Einstein to thought.
So when I heard that Yahoo had allegedly bought Tumblr for $1.1 billion, there was only one thing to do. (Editors' note: Shortly after this story was published, Yahoo and Tumblr officially announced the acquisition.)
Wrap myself in foil, log on to Tumblr and survey the posts tagged "Yahoo."
I tried to let my eyes waft at random in the hope of finding fair balance or at least something more than purple haze.
The first thing I saw was a post from someone called "world-peace-not-war." I felt that here would be sanguine calm. Instead he wrote: "BooHoo! Yahoo Done Wrong. Yahoo Must Pay."
This didn't seem terribly peacenik. Moreover, hadn't he already got what he wanted? Yahoo had reportedly paid. Quite a lot.
Still, perhaps this was an isolated outburst. It was not. Directly above this post was one from nowheretolaymyhead: "First I get the news that Yahoo bought Tumblr (so long tumblr >_<) and now the reblogs don't work.... Damn yahoo! F***ed stuff up already?"
This seemed a trifle severe. It's a little early to be blaming Yahoo for anything other than spectacular enthusiasm.
And yet there is the understandable fear that once Yahoo gets its fingernails into Tumblr, Tumblr will bleed to death.
Someone called Sentimental-time offered a more measured sentiment: "Keep calm and blog on. Yahoo hasn't ruined us yet and who knows maybe they'll leave things the way they are?"
Yes, that's what the Wall Street Journal fans posted on Tumblr after Rupert Murdoch spirited the paper away.
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Some, though, are simply frightened that they are losing a part of their very selves. Uhmcatsarecool despaired: "I don't want tumblr to be taken by yahoo this is my diary, my home, and my life if this goes I don't know what I'd do."
There is no reason to believe Tumblr will go, Catsy, but perhaps you and a friend ought to talk about why it's become your life.
It wasn't all entirely serious. Iamhollister sniffed: "So has tumblr been taken over by yahoo yet? I havent seen any porn on my dash in awhile?" This was a coy reference to the existence of copious bare flesh all across Tumblr's sandpit.
There are those, though, who are already feeling the need to create a petition and fight.
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Broboner, for example, insists: "What you might not know is that Yahoo! is run by Marissa Mayer, one of Mitt Romney's biggest supporters. She is a devout Christian and she has said she is making it her duty to rid Tumblr of all LBGT content, pornographic or otherwise."
I read this post, mused for a second and decided that it had severe deficiencies in the area of truth.
Some, though, tried a different tack: sheer invective.
For example, Thestarsthatsavedme wrote: "If all we do is trash yahoo maybe they'll leave. I.e.Yahoo is like your weird cousin whom you want to stab in the gut, rip out its organs, feet (sic) it do (sic) its own dog then shoot the skin, then burn it, take the bones feed it to wolves, then give them to your weird science teacher to have a skeleton in class."
What an interesting science lesson that would be. There were, though, postings of slightly more measured tone.
Keys-yeobo offered this: "GUYS STOP TRYING TO SCARE AWAY YAHOO IF WE DONT HAVE YAHOO TUMBLR SHUTS DOWN."
This isn't a time for too much realism. Talk of money isn't helpful right now.
The emotions, though, might linger. Which wise entrepreneur is already preparing "the next Tumblr," the one, true people's platform for self-expression?
You know, like Facebook was for around 45 seconds and Tumblr was for, oh, ages.