The two…or possibly three… of you who follow my blog are fully aware that my writing is crap. So am I. But fortunately for me, you’re the kind, gentle sorts of souls who tenderly say encouraging things anyway. But now, after two years of blissful goings-on about life’s traumas, cyclothymic disorder with mixed episodes, the bullshit at work, the bullshit at home, and the lovely way all things here, there, and in between fall apart, and being left alone by misunderstanding haters, it’s happened. I’m a shitty writer, and someone has called me on it.
How did I react?
I laughed at it, because I’m thick-skinned like that. And because one must give deference to one’s betters. I could have just commented:
“Oh, look! A troll! Someone get the torches. Forget the pitchforks; where the fuck did I put my two-handed sword? Oh, fan-fucking-tastic, you’ve used it to grill the shish-kebabs this time, haven’t you, Mrs. M. What was it last time? Oh yeah, I remember, you used it to open that cereal bag. And because I keep all the knives in the house sharp, it worked, when nothing else in the whole house would! It’s fine, I know where the dishwashing detergent is, and I’m not afraid to use it. And, you’ve done it again, Mrs. M, these kebabs and rice are aMAzing; almost as amazing as YOU are. Thank you!”
Back in my high school geeky days (mostly weekend nights, actually) of playing Dungeons and Dragons, we used to roll the dice until our characters had hacked those things to bits and then scraped the bits into a fire pit, along with ogres, goblins, orcs, assorted other monsters, such as the occasional dragon. That’s right; laugh it up! I’m old and geeky. So fucking what? Just to tell you HOW old, as a VERY young Deon, I first played the ORIGINAL Dungeons and Dragons that came in a small box, with one small pamphlet of instructions! Thank you, Ernest Gary Gygax!
I also watched the reruns of Star Trek, whenever my older sister wasn’t watching her stupid Little House on the Prairie. Damn it, Michael Landon! It was YOUR fault, because she thought you were cute. It’s not even really your fault, you rugged, beautiful bastard! I blame Bill Shatner for his unbearable self-awareness-of-his-own-awesomeness-of-being-Bill, and ALL the rest of his male co-stars for not being quite sexy enough. I can hear the late DeForest Kelley, weirdly addressing Jimmy Doohan as Jimmy Doohan and not Montgomery Scott, in character as Dr. McCoy: “Damn it, Doohan! Why didn’t you step up your game? If you just tried harder with the single ladies instead of just romancing the single-malt scotches, Captain Kirk would have been eclipsed by Scotty’s wild (mock-)Scottish charm!”
Leonard Nimoy AND his character Mr. Spock would both have given assent to the unexpected logic of DeForest’s Dr. McCoy as DeForest, if he ever had said it in their hearing.
The braver of my readers who religiously follow what I write, and vigorously defend my right to write it, are already on the way to the troll’s domain to burn it down and hack the troll into tribble-chow. Don’t eat that shit, you poor tribbles! It’ll taste like shit and give you upset stomachs (because it IS shit). And calm down, you beautiful followers! I think I handled it, and without my beloved two-handed sword. (I keep a variety of imaginary and enchanted items in my bunker, including this blindingly shiny, sharper-than-shit, two-handed, plus seven sword, with a three-out-of-twenty chance of instantly decapitating my enemies and a five-out-of-twenty chance of causing an enemy to bleed out within two turns.) I’m going to be fine, having had experience with everything from demons, bullies, and fiends, to various lesser ass holes including the occasional troll, since my childhood.
There I was, innocently reading an enlightening and well-written article about current trends in news and sociology. That should surprise my loyal readers, because I hate the news. And I hate the social trends, for the most part.
There are good things coming out of certain social trends, such as intimidating current and would-be harassers and abusers of women, and letting them know that modern American society as a loud group, and women as a now empowered and vocal subset of that group, do not want guys to try to pull any of that kind of shit, ever, and aren’t going to let guys get away with it if we have anything to say, or do, about it.
Another good social trend is letting victims of bullying know it’s not our fault, and asserting to would-be bullies that bullying is ugly and causes lasting harm. It also teaches that the kid you bully today may grow up to collect bullies’ bodies in his back-yard rose garden. I’d potentially call it “social justice,” or “karma,” if I believed either were possible. But if a victim of bullying is strong enough, they can sometimes figure out ways to approach their trolls. There are ways of slaying trolls that don’t involve actual rusty ochre bloodshed.
Bullies, stalkers, muggers, and rapists, they’re all cut from the same cloth. They are shitheads who see an opportunity to take an unfair advantage of others, and take it. Another of the same are the thieves who steal investor’s money and tell them the stock market crashed, and another is the rich bosses who vigorously underpay their employees and work hard to try to bullshit them into thinking they’re not victims of trickle-down corporate greed, they’re actually getting better than they deserve, because according to the company’s standards, they’re worthless. But sadly, social justice is rarely truly just, and karma doesn’t show up on a regular-enough basis. It’s just as random as the rest of life, leaving lots of victims invisibly suffering at the hands of their assailants. The victims rarely come forward, because they report any events at their own peril.
“So, Deon, how did you deal with this troll?” I hear one voice asking.
I complimented him.
I left it up to him to decide if I was complimenting him on his highly superior knowledge, literary talent, and amazing use of …um… uhhh… what’s the word? Oh yeah. “Words.” Or if I was being sarcastic. It’s possible that he’s the best writer the internet has ever seen. In my comment, I told him he probably is. It’s also possible, in the nicest and most complimentary way I could (with my feeble verbal skills), that I meant the opposite, that he’s a useless, lowbrow troglodyte, a waste of a perfectly good shit-sack, who should fuck off and not troll or insult me or anyone else, ever again.
Either way, one hopes, he may mend his ways. If he’s the latter and I was being sarcastic, perhaps he’ll realize that bullying and putting on airs of superiority don’t win any friends, so he’ll decide to be less (undeservedly) prideful, more constructive, and less critical with his comments. If he’s the former, in fact truly superior, and committed to his own, greater-than-Shatnerian greatness, he’ll realize that with his giftedness, he is only wasting his time approaching anyone beneath his deservedly high and lofty station, and he won’t bother to comment or try to encourage anyone to improve their writing skills because we’re not worthy.
Um… I meant it as a compliment. Yeah, we’ll go with that. Because if anyone commenting humorously on someone else’s blog gets a comment from a third blogger, intent on asserting their own superiority while insulting the humor-writer’s writing skills, it’s the obvious go-to response. Right? Especially since he said he read my tag line, so he knew everything he needed to know about me, and my blog, and how to pass fair and righteous judgement, and execute written condemnation.
Yeah, he knows all about seasons of sleepless mania, seasons of depression, triggers, bipolar and all other manners of mental health issues, too. I bet if he applied his obvious superior knowledge and skills to the field, he could cure us all within a fortnight. Imagine, no longer needing or feeling compelled to hide because of all the panic-inducing shit in the world! Imagine, no longer needing medication to feel closer to whatever “normal” feels like! Imagine, not feeling out-of-control! Imagine not worrying that what you think is real might not be! Imagine not stressing out because toxic people tell you you’re not enough and you never will be, even though you keep trying and trying to measure up to what they say they want, so they will accept your offerings and service without criticism! Imagine not having any trace of a rage that makes one want to choke the living shit out of all manner of evil- bullies, trolls, abusers, rapists, corporate executives, their managers, and other thieves, muggers- and stupid newscasters who report all the horrors in the world with smiles plastered on their perfectly groomed heads and then tell people to “have a nice [fucking] day.”
About my writing talents, sure. He was obviously right. He very constructively told me that he was the superior writer, and that I should bask in silent awe at the glory that is his relatively infinite knowledge and talent. I know! But some people, like my kind readers so far, have been too nice to tell me. And I thank you.