The Tomato

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Barely literate U of O student to receive Governor General’s Award

Original photo from .S. rmy RDECOM. Edits by Marta Kierkus

The Canadian Council for the Arts recently made the shocking announcement that they will begin openly endorsing and supporting the written works of YouTube commenters.

In doing so, the council is hereby recognizing these texts as genuine sources of literature and have even expanded the categories of their prestigious Governor General’s Literary Awards to reflect that ideal.

“For years YouTube commenters have garnered a pretty poor reputation amongst most of the civilized world,” said Charles Fontaine, director and CEO of the Canadian Council for the Arts. “On the surface, they’ve presented themselves as racist, homophobic, and sexist troublemakers with a knack for incendiary commentary and a loose understanding of what constitutes a legitimate thought. But, who are we to deny what is clearly raw artistic expression in its truest form.”

Fontaine noted that because so many other users continue to engage with these inflammatory comments, it shows that people do care about YouTube as a source of cultural debate and socio-political commentary.

In an exclusive interview with the Tomato, Fontaine revealed the names of the new extended categories for the Governor General’s Awards, which include the likes of Best Use of Caps Lock, Best Racial Non-Sequitur, and Most Dedicated “First” Commenter.

The Tomato also learned that a U of O student will be receiving one of these new awards in the fall.

Jeffery Dobs is a sociology major who goes by the name dingleberrysalad69 on YouTube. He is also head of the Ottawa chapter of Haters-b-Hate’n, a group of militant trolls whose stated objective is to wage unrelenting flame warfare on everyday Internet users.

Dobs gained serious notoriety in the trolling community for his dedicated work last year, when he tirelessly found every single YouTube video featuring actor Neil Patrick Harris and commented on each of them with an ever-expanding homophobic rant.

For his continuing work, Dobs will be rewarded in the category of Intolerance Manifesto and will receive upwards of $25,000 in prize money.

“It’s a real honour to be a recipient of this prestigious award,” Dobs said in a video that was posted on his personal YouTube page. “I’d just like to thank every author, translator, and illustrator who voted for me on the jury. Unless of course you’re gay. Or black. I’m not too fond of the blacks either.”

However, many are unimpressed with the council’s decision. Professor Aidan Cornish, a longtime member of the U of O’s Faculty of Arts, believes this action will somehow only help breed ignorance and stupidity.

“I mean, you might as well create a new award category for which baboon is best at throwing its own feces,” Cornish told his students in a Tuesday night lecture.

But the council is showing no sign of changing its mind, as the ceremony for the new awards is set to take place on Nov. 13.

“These naysayers will eventually come around,” said Fontaine, “Truly great art is never fully appreciated in its time. I’m confident that in the next couple decades Dobs’ work titled ‘maan, synchronized swimming is hella gayyyy!!!’ will prove to be a classic on the same level of The Life of Pi. ”