|Kurt Vonnegut, you were smart. And kind.|
But I forget sometimes, on the Internet, that not everyone understands or appreciates the ridiculous. And I forget sometimes, on the Internet, that some people don't agree with me that some things are ridiculous. And this can create havoc. I forget that not everyone is from America and familiar with our eccentricities. Sometimes that gets me into hot water with non-Americans. I forget that not all Americans are practically card-carrying Commie pinkos such as myself. And sometimes that gets me into hot water with Americans.
I also forget that, in America, we have this gargantuan problem with understanding irony and self-deprecation. And along with that, I forget that some human beings, no matter where they are from, simply don't think stuff is funny. Or the stuff they find funny (cross eyes and puppet shadows) is not what I find funny (colorful jokes about sex and poop). And if that's not enough, I forget some people are just way too sensitive and constantly on the lookout to fight whenever their sensitivities are offended which for some of them seems to be, like, every 29 seconds. Even when they can clearly see they're interacting wtih a ridiculous, silly person from Atlanta, Georgia who meant no harm.
So I got attacked. I was told I was embarrassing. Well, no shit, Sherlock. Why yes, goddamnit I am! But the context around being told how embarrassing I was just made me so sad for the person, because (ironically) I could tell she didn't get the joke at all. I don't think she'd been exposed to any of what the joke was about, and her lack of exposure and education was embarrassing...and so. In the end, I was embarrassed for her.
So what do you do in situations like that? Do you call someone who's probably having a really hard life out on their rude behavior? Because I went to her account and looked through her life, out of schadenfreude-like curiosity...but also because I'm a researcher, you know. That's what I do--if you're going to leave a nasty comment to me AND a link for me to click? Be assured I'm clicking that link. I want to--HAVE to--know: Why? (But I also click links when you're nice to me, because: Why?)
Her life looked so happy. She has friends, and family who dearly love her. She loved food and parties and color and wine. This would be a person I might like, were we to actually meet and interact. But I could also see she's put on tremendous amounts of weight over the years. And as someone who constantly battles my love of fudge vs. my hatred of working out, I know how difficult this is to fight. But it made me wonder if maybe she's just generally unhappy about herself, and I wondered that because of a comment she left about her younger, thinner self under one of her pictures. (I have a degree in Armchair Psychiatry.)
So I couldn't do it. Privately, to friends, I called her all kinds of filthy names, and I've squashed her like a bug a million times, to vent my spleen. But publicly, I blessed her, and sent her love. Because that's just what I do. Kill with kindness. Go ahead--try to be mean to me. I will kill you. With kindness. (In my head, though, I'll actually be killing you. Literally. With like knives and shit.)
This is the peril of the Internet, Internet. You are such a useful tool. Until the pedophiles, pornographers, and humorless asswipes all boot up their devices and log online. What up with that? Can we get some filters for it? Who's in charge of the 'net these days?
Anywho. I keep going back to re-read the whole thing, hoping (just HOPING) she'll come back and respond with a butthead comment so I can have a real reason to take her down and then block her. But she never has--total hit and run asshole commenter. A keyboard cowgirl; didn't even have the courage of her convictions. And so last night when I read and reread her judgmental, weird comment, I used it to make my skin thicker--I printed it off and rubbed it all over my naked body to create calluses. (I'm joking--I didn't really do that.)
Mostly, though, I really feel like, if you get dickhead comments on the Internet, (a) you're doing SOMETHING right, and (b) it's a sign you've arrived. So if you'd like to leave me a dickhead comment down below, feel free! I will print it off and rub it all over my naked body later tonight, and send you blessings for helping grow my exoskeletal armor.