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GivesMeHope: For Those "Exhausted by the Negativity of the Mainstream Media"
September 19, 2009 6:39 PM   Subscribe

GivesMeHope (RSS), a site for those "completely exhausted by the negativity of the mainstream media." Modeled after their polar opposite, Fuck My Life, the site serves as a source for sometimes glurgy, but much more often touching, 350-character stories that can serve to remind that "the world is a fine place and worth fighting for." The Top 10, as voted by readers, are enough to melt hearts of stone. Oh, and The Office's Dwight thinks it's "awesome".

(Or, rather, Rainn Wilson thinks it's awesome. I imagine Dwight's survival-of-the-fittest mentality would lead him to quite a different opinion.)
posted by WCityMike (64 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
*barf*
posted by empath at 6:45 PM on September 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


Today, I lost my virginity. I'm an avid WoW player and spend most of my time on Digg.com. GMH

HA... this does GMH. i love the internet.
posted by empath at 6:47 PM on September 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Heh - I just came here to post that too empath. It's probably about as remarkable as the others, but I'm not sure it belongs up there...
posted by Salvor Hardin at 6:56 PM on September 19, 2009


Does ... not ... compute ...
Worldview ... imploding ...

*pop*
posted by haltingproblemsolved at 6:58 PM on September 19, 2009


A more appropriate title for both this and FML would be:

THIS NEVER EVER ACTUALLY EVEN CAME CLOSE TO HAPPENING.

To wit:
Today, at an assembly, i saw a guy in my grade getting picked on by some guys on the football team because he was gay. the brutal insults went on for about five minutes until the quarterback, the king of our school, stood up and announced he was gay. nobody ever made fun of the kid again. after, i asked him if he really was gay. He isn't. GMH.
posted by drjimmy11 at 6:58 PM on September 19, 2009 [6 favorites]


A long time ago, I was on the verge of committing suicide when a guy came to the roof to have lunch. He saw me climbing over the railing and asked me to share his lunch with him. After receiving my puzzled look, he explained, "everyone should die happy. or at least with a full stomach." We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary last month. GMH.

This.
posted by haltingproblemsolved at 6:59 PM on September 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Glenn Beck is to FML as Mr. Rogers is to GMH.
posted by Daddy-O at 7:06 PM on September 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Ah, what the Hell ... we could use a little hope now and then.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:11 PM on September 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


My first year of college I was suicidal. One night I was fed up with life and swallowed a whole bottle of Tylenol. Right before I fell asleep, my friend texted me and said "You are the best friend I have." That text gave me the strength to make myself throw up and go to the ER. I am now married and happier than I've ever been.

These give me the strength to make myself throw up, too.
posted by applemeat at 7:15 PM on September 19, 2009 [31 favorites]


Today, I woke up and my wife was more beautiful than I'd ever seen her. We've been married 15 years. GMH
The blessings of fading eyesight.
posted by jeoc at 7:21 PM on September 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


"the world is a fine place and worth fighting for."

I believe the second part.
posted by mightygodking at 7:32 PM on September 19, 2009 [11 favorites]


Are we referencing rss feeds in fpp's now?
posted by humannaire at 7:46 PM on September 19, 2009


Today I scorned an rss feed in an fpp on mefi. My first thought was that it must be some kind of spam blue kind of post. But then I saw it was by the very fine WCityMike, and I read the fpp and it was really really good. GMH.
posted by humannaire at 7:55 PM on September 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: GMH.

No wait, actually, no.
posted by casarkos at 8:09 PM on September 19, 2009


I can't snark about Daily Puppy, and I can't snark about this. Hope is good.
posted by blucevalo at 8:27 PM on September 19, 2009


Puke.
posted by luckypozzo at 8:30 PM on September 19, 2009


This is like Chicken Soup for the Soul, for the Twitter generation.
posted by Nelson at 8:33 PM on September 19, 2009


It gives me hope that this doesn't end with a sappy bible verse and a demand to forward it on to 14 other friends, backed up by a Jesus quote about how ashamed he is of people who don't forward things. Sometimes, it's just nicer to think that people can be moral without the help of angels, regardless of your religious affiliation.
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:39 PM on September 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Quit making me cry, internet. Everyone knows I'm the Grinch.
posted by sugarfish at 8:43 PM on September 19, 2009


I kind of wish every third post wasn't about someone with a disability.
posted by -harlequin- at 8:46 PM on September 19, 2009


Or cancer.

Cancer doesn't GMH.
posted by -harlequin- at 8:47 PM on September 19, 2009


Actually, I feel better about myself after reading FML. Always nice to read about bigger losers than yourself.
posted by signal at 9:11 PM on September 19, 2009


The opposite of this isn't FML, it would be "Withers My Hope". I'd read that.
posted by phrontist at 9:19 PM on September 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


A little girl was dying of cancer and her younger brother had a match for the bone marrow she needed. The doctors told him it was a matter of life and death. After he had the surgery, he asked the doctors how long he had to live. He thought if he gave his bone marrow to let his sister live he would die but he did it anyway. GMH
I remember a similar story which I either heard at church or read in a church magazine when I was a young teenager. In the version I heard, the donor was a little girl and the donated substance was blood, not bone marrow.
posted by Flipping_Hades_Terwilliger at 9:27 PM on September 19, 2009


this thread is like I stumbled into a smoke break for a House writers' meeting.

I can't stand this stuff in my inbox and always think less of the person forwarding this stuff but something about the raw earnestness of this context got to me - even as incredulous as many of the stories appear.
posted by victors at 9:42 PM on September 19, 2009


It takes the same amount of time to vocalize "gives me hope" as it does "g m h".
posted by Burhanistan at 9:58 PM on September 19, 2009


metafilter: like I stumbled into a smoke break for a House writers' meeting.
posted by empath at 10:01 PM on September 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


MLIA (My Life is Average)
MLIG (My Life is Good)

They're both cool. MLIG is a lot less sappy and more generally happy than the one linked here.
posted by kylej at 10:25 PM on September 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


MLIG is not responding but MLIA.is pretty great - speaking of incredulous: is that really all teenagers? Really?
posted by victors at 11:38 PM on September 19, 2009


GMH doesn't exactly give me hope, a lot of the entries are about money, disability or cancer. And most of them sound a bit too American-feel-good for my tastes. FML on the other hand, seems to be about sex and divorce.
posted by tksh at 11:55 PM on September 19, 2009


We love FML, but FML can be a downer. And we're completely exhausted by the negativity of the mainstream media.

FML makes me laugh. GMH makes me worried that everyone I know will try and commit suicide or get cancer.
posted by 23skidoo at 12:10 AM on September 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I smiled. Thanks WCityMike for sharing it. :)
posted by spacelux at 12:35 AM on September 20, 2009


I posted an entry about hope and happiness on a liberal community based weblog. I was expecting sarcasm and cynicism. People were very positive and loved it. One comment was from a woman. I got in touch with her, we met and had sex. Today I found out she's my long lost sister. FML.
posted by surrendering monkey at 1:14 AM on September 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


It's kind of fun to open FML in one window, and GMH in another, and alternate between them. You never know how the stories are going to end.
posted by jeffj at 2:30 AM on September 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was at the store and I saw a really attractive guy in his twenties in a wheelchair. Just as I was thinking how terrible it was that someone so attractive had to lead such a different life and depend on others...he held the door open for me.
Yeah, because the only thing more terrible than a person in a wheelchair is an attractive person in a wheelchair.
posted by bjrn at 3:57 AM on September 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


Look, I'm always happy to find any real antidote to my ever-growing cynicism (Glee!!), but I swear that half of those (as in the example pointed out above by Flipping_Hades_Terwilliger) came from a church bulletin, or Reader's Digest, or some shit my mom forwarded me last year. Probably all three.

I have as hard a time believing the authenticity of most of the GMH stories as I do the stuff on Overheard in New York.
posted by shiu mai baby at 5:09 AM on September 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh and also: the phrase "completely exhausted by the negativity of the mainstream media" is exactly the kind of thing you'd see at the top of one of those eight bajillion glurgey forwards with the animated American flags waving and the dire warnings that Jesus is going to personally come slap the dick out of your mouth if you don't forward this to ten people RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND.
posted by shiu mai baby at 5:12 AM on September 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also also: I kick puppies, spit on girl scouts, and I hate your grandma.


Not really. I swear.
posted by shiu mai baby at 5:12 AM on September 20, 2009


FML.
posted by norm at 5:21 AM on September 20, 2009


I admit, I was skeptical about the link. Internet without snark? What?

Turns out it was quite refreshing to read.
posted by HabeasCorpus at 7:39 AM on September 20, 2009


Apparently the kindest thing anyone can do for a woman is to tell her she's beautiful.
posted by clockzero at 7:58 AM on September 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


A lot of these are actually very sweet, but many have uncomfortable assumptions behind them. Like all the ones about showing common human courtesy to someone who is disabled, or homeless. And the worst are the self-congratulatory ones:

My friend and I were at a fair, and we had just won a cuddly toy each. We saw a mentally disabled boy and we gave them to him. He said "Thank you." His father cried. Why? This boy hadn't spoken in months. Children like him GMH.

Okay... it's great you're doing good deeds, but that is so transparent.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 8:13 AM on September 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I went onto Metafilter to see what was new. I hadn't seen this one post about this site that has all these nice things that people did that gives them hope. I clicked on the link and read some of the stories and I thought many of them were just expressing those people's own mental pathologies, societally-based biases, or were fake. I felt kind of like a jerk for raining on the parade, and then I read the Metafilter thread, and most of the people seemed to feel like me. GMH!
posted by dubitable at 8:36 AM on September 20, 2009 [8 favorites]


Today I was going out for a coffee with my boyfriend. On the way I passed a homeless man and gave him $5. When I got to Starbucks my boyfriend dumped me. I walked home crying, and when I passed the homeless man he told me how sorry he was, and offered to buy me a coffee. He used the $5 I gave him, and smiled proudly as he handed over the money. GMH

AHGGGGGGGGGGAAAAAARRRGGGGGGGGGGLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLEERRP *vomit*
posted by dubitable at 8:42 AM on September 20, 2009


And, maybe the best one: When I was a child I had just been yelled at by my parents, and went down to cry beside my pet rat's cage. When she noticed I was crying, she walked to her food bowl, grabbed a cracker, and handed it to me through the bars. Loving pets GMH.

You mean, loving anthropomorphized pet rats GMH.

(3812 votes)
posted by dubitable at 8:49 AM on September 20, 2009


My sister was dying of cancer and I had a match for the bone marrow she needed. The doctors told me it was a matter of life and death, so I thought if I gave my bone marrow to let my sister live I would die but I did it anyway. After the surgery, I found out that no one had bothered to tell me that the risk to me was small, so I went around thinking I would die for weeks for no reason. FML
posted by carrienation at 8:53 AM on September 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


It takes the same amount of time to vocalize "gives me hope" as it does "g m h".

But TYPING "gmh" takes fewer characters. There's a character limit in the entries.

(someone memailed me suggesting I submit my "secret admirer" story to GMH, and I checked it out, saw there was a character limit, realized I'd NEVER be able to condense the story down enough, and left.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:44 AM on September 20, 2009


A little girl was dying of cancer and her younger brother had a match for the bone marrow she needed. The doctors told him it was a matter of life and death. After he had the surgery, he asked the doctors how long he had to live. He thought if he gave his bone marrow to let his sister live he would die but he did it anyway. GMH

It's really messed up that this imaginary kid believes his parents and the doctors have no problem sacrificing him for his sister.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 10:19 AM on September 20, 2009


Aw, this is pretty good stuff. Why not?
posted by jquinby at 1:20 PM on September 20, 2009


I'm exhausted by the mainstream media, but the negativity? I could take it or leave it.
posted by tybeet at 1:41 PM on September 20, 2009


This put a nice smile on my face. We all could do with a bit more of this (even if it's sugary sweet.)
posted by filmgeek at 4:39 PM on September 20, 2009


GMH is part of my daily browse. It takes only a few moments, but sometimes I get a smile or nice feeling from it, which is kind of a nice way to start the day.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:53 PM on September 20, 2009


This is nice to read. I needed it. Thanks for the link, WCityMike.
posted by lullaby at 7:19 PM on September 20, 2009


Oh, cool, another flash fiction website like FML! Thanks!
posted by nzero at 8:15 PM on September 20, 2009


Once when I was a boy, I came across a sick seagull on the beach. I was very poor and hungry, but I gave the seagull my last pound of rotting catfish, which I was saving for my very large family. The seagull suddenly sprang up and said, "My child, you have shown compassion and self-sacrifice, and for that, I will grant you one wish!" I wished for my family's suffering to end. Sometimes I wonder if I would had made a different wish if I had known the seagull was going to eat my family.
posted by krinklyfig at 11:46 PM on September 20, 2009 [6 favorites]


I like the idea of give me hope, but does it seem to anyone else that the same person is writing a number of the submissions? It's like it's only one/a few voice(s).

Also, are these primarily US submissions? They also sound "American" which is fine. But it adds the the 'one voice-ness' of the blurbs.

Lastly, I wish that the GMH would flesh out in breadth beyond homelessness, cancer, disability as well.
posted by anitanita at 2:48 AM on September 21, 2009


I remember a similar story which I either heard at church or read in a church magazine when I was a young teenager. In the version I heard, the donor was a little girl and the donated substance was blood, not bone marrow.

And the snopes.

I agree that a lot of this is glurge, but this one choked me up:
I have a little sister who suffers from mental retardation. My mother told her I was gay and that "gay people don't go to heaven'. My sister started sobbing saying, "It wouldn't be heaven if Paloma wasn't there."
There's something about the simplicity of the logic that grabbed me, more than anything: how could any place that didn't accept everyone unconditionally be heaven? I don't really believe in heaven so I never really thought about it, but if I did believe in it I probably would have had the same feelings; I couldn't conceive of spending an eternity away from the people I loved in my life just because of their beliefs. I suppose that's why people who actually do believe that non-believers will go to hell are so fervent about "saving souls".

Of course, my favorite quote about heaven and hell is Mark Twain's: “Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.”

Although this one of his is pretty good too: “I don't like to commit myself about heaven and hell - you see, I have friends in both places”
posted by Deathalicious at 7:12 AM on September 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


If the schadenfreude of reading about other people's misfortune in FML isn't enough for you, switch to the deserved list, where not only is the person's L F'd, but everyone else says they deserved it.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:20 AM on September 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


That "it wouldn't be heaven" one just made me mad, Deathalicious -- what the hell kind of harpy tells her own daughter that "your big sister isn't going to heaven because she's gay"?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:22 AM on September 21, 2009


(ETA: no, I'm sure there are parents who would do this. But reading about them pisses me off rather than giving me hope.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:23 AM on September 21, 2009


pisses me off rather than giving me hope

Yeah, some people on the post suggested it was closer to an FML. I liked it better somehow because it wasn't all sweet. On the one hand, you have the sister with her big heart, but it's only in contrast to her jerk of a mother.

I think it also made me cry because her sister clearly doesn't have the mental capacities to think about it critically or some up to her own mind about it. If she's told that her sister is going to hell, she is going to believe it and it's going to make her sad. It kind of makes her mother out to be even more of a monster -- not only does she harbor these intolerant beliefs, but she has no problem making her own daughter miserable, probably with the misguided hope that it will guilt the poster into turning straight, somehow.

Here's the thing: I try to be a nice guy, and I try to live my life with the attitude that people's what people think or do is up to them. I'm not a Christian, and I've never made some kind of commitment to turn the other cheek or only think the best of others. So there are times when I read about evangelicals freaking out about homosexuals, or that "In God We Trust" has been removed from coins by our godless government (even when it wasn't) I really hope that something horrible happens to those people, and specifically something that tests their faith in G!d or, even better, demonstrates that G!d has it in for them somehow. Like, a tornado hits but only destroys the houses of people who've signed an anti-gay position. Or a pharmacist who won't give out the day-after pill gets struck by a rare and incurable disease. Or that the children of ever single homophobe turn out to be not only gay, but positively flaming. Or Pat Robertson develops a neurological disorder so that every few seconds he starts swearing and defecating uncontrollably, and that this condition first hits during a 24-hour telethon. I just have no patience for these people anymore. I don't actually believe that Jesus will "come" but if they are right and he is coming, I can't wait for him to be all up in their faces saying, "I did not say any of that crap, you buttfaces are twisting my words, you sanctimonious douchebags." Of course, it will take a while for them to translate that from the Aramaic.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:49 AM on September 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


I really hope that something horrible happens to those people, and specifically something that tests their faith in G!d or, even better, demonstrates that G!d has it in for them somehow.

Something of a derail, but I find Thomas Merton (as usual) as something to say on this:
What about the men who run about the countryside painting signs that say "Jesus Saves" and "Prepare to Meet God!" Have you seen one of them? I have not, but I often try to imagine them, and I wonder what does on in their minds. Strangely, their signs do not make me think of Jesus, but of them. Or perhaps it is "their Jesus" who gets in the way the way and makes all thought of Jesus impossible. They wish to force their Jesus upon us, and He is perhaps only a projection of themselves. They seem to be at times threatening the world with judgment and at other times promising it mercy. But are they asking simply to be loved and recognized and valued, for themselves? In any case, their Jesus is quite different from mine. But because their concept is different, should I reject it in horror, with distaste? If I do, perhaps I reject something in my own self that I no longer recognize to be there. And in any case, if I can tolerate their Jesus, then I can accept and love them. Or I can at least conceive of doing so. Let not their Jesus be a barrier between us, or they will be a barrier between us and Jesus.
posted by jquinby at 8:30 AM on September 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


wow, a few typos in there. Rest assured that they're mine, and not Merton's
posted by jquinby at 10:55 AM on September 21, 2009


Maybe I am too bitter or jaded, but many of these smell of pathetic desperation to me, as if the poster is so earnestly wishing, hoping, willing them to be true... pretty please.

They sound like the defensively religious, or those who brag about their amazing marriages while scanning the yellow pages for divorce lawyers.
posted by rokusan at 10:20 AM on September 22, 2009


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