Now, I have seen many foolish, pointless, and downright silly things in the many years I have spent almost entirely on the internet, but few of them surpass the simultaneous mundanity and absurdity of “The Joshening.”
Please click on the video below for a glimpse of the pure chaos that is this wholly unnecessary event, where a bunch of men named Josh gathered at a random spot on a random day to hit each other with pool noodles (and play rock/paper/scissors????????).
Apparently, the event that I’m dubbing “The Battle of the Joshes” came about after one Josh—Josh Swain, to be precise—sent a Facebook message to all of the other people with the exact same name as him, jokingly challenging them to a fight. His tweet with screenshots of the message subsequently went viral, and now here we are, watching a video on the internet of grown men hitting each other with pool noodles. The goal of the mass pool noodle violence, which occurred on April 24th in a park in Lincoln, Nebraska, was to determine who is the “Top Josh,” an honor that was bestowed upon 4-year-old Josh Vinson Junior.
There is something more than mildly unnerving about how many people named Josh were willing to travel to a random location in a state they did not live in just to fulfill a Facebook joke. It feels like the natural conclusion of all of the hilariously unsuccessful niche meet-ups (remember Dashcon?) that fueled weeks, if not months of memes. The Joshes’ brawl has all of the absurdity of those events but none of the purpose—as the event itself showed, there are Joshes literally everywhere, so why did they even bother gathering?? I know this is supposed to be playful and quirky, but after seeing the true chaos the internet can create, I’m simply underwhelmed.
Now, as a person with a name as unusual as Justice (yes my name really is Justice, yes it’s the name I’ve had since birth, *insert recycled joke about working in the legal profession*), it’s rare for me to meet another person with the same name as me in the wild. If for some reason a bunch of us ended up in the same place, I am comforted by the fact that we would absolutely have something better to do than hit each other with pool noodles..... even if it’s just recalling all of the bad jokes people have made about our names.