Friday, March 10, 2006

Don't Blame Me For What You Are

An interesting thing about the blogosphere: if you blog, and if you comment at other blogs, you will be ripped by emailers and commenters. I suspect the blogosphere must especially attract people who get a jolt from the hurt feelings of others. In real life, their acquaintances and their relatives must flee at their approach. But the blogosphere is their nirvana. The blogosphere is their crack cocaine.

What you soon enough notice, when you're commenting in a blog, is just how much some people are living in fantasy worlds. You can even recognize - because is is so obvious and blatant - some denial, projection, displacement, and narcissism; and you can observe how those things infringe upon reality.

If you're like me, you come to trust your own reasoning more and more, and your own grasp of reality more and more. It's been a growing-up experience for me. Three years ago, when I commented at a blog, I could not help desiring that other commenters would appreciate my comment, and I could not help being somewhat devastated when they did not. I still hope other commenters will appreciate my contributions, but now I am completely undevastated when they do not. In fact, I couldn't care less. When occasion arises: I'm perfectly willing to admit to illogical or uninformed thinking, then publicly change my opinion. I'm confident of my IQ and wisdom. Both are certainly surpass-able by many people, and I'm fine with that. And I truly don't care about whatever the delusional and the narcissistic and the otherwise goofy can dream up to say.

Now, that's a big deal for me, because I have cared about that stuff for almost all my life - up until about two years or so ago, when it finally dawned that I was in many instances wiser than the delusional, the overtly narcissistic, and the goofy. I'm very grateful that realization finally, honestly and truly, dawned in me. It's a big step forward. I've been thinking about that step forward a lot lately, probably because I've been noticing how the barbs coming my direction have been making absolutely zero impact. When you are confident in who you are, and in your strengths, and in your limitations, it's like a deflector shield against meaningless manure. Barbs  bounce away - maybe even faster than they came in, with no effort needed on my part to aid the bouncing.

I started commenting, about eight months ago, at a blog written and frequented mostly by Canadians. It is filled with commenters who believe the vast majority of Christians and conservatives are evil, and who believe the vast majority of Christians and conservatives have nefarious motives for their actions. The blogger is very smart, and is a decent guy, and even has some conservative leanings, but he also buys into the construct that Christians and "American-type" conservatives are evil people with nefarious motives. For the entire time I've been there, I've been the only person on that blog who disagreed with the "evil and nefarious" construct.

Lately, without having any particular plan in mind, I've steered two comment threads in the direction of discussing that construct, because it seemed relevant to the particular discussions. Some commenters responded, without any sense of irony, that I was simply too stupid to understand how evil and nefarious I truly am. Though they were smart enough to understand how evil and nefarious I am, they had to admit they were not smart enough to explain it in a way my feeble mind could understand. They assured me that was terrible luck for me, and actually for my equally evil state, region, and nation, as one and all are part of what is f___ing up the world. One commenter unleashed a week-long string of invective, which I went back and collected, then published in the comment section, because his entire oeuvre is quite entertaining. I had a vague idea someone might point out the overkill inherent in this commenter's methodology, but no one did. And, actually, overkill is part of his shtick. Anyway, here is the comment I left, complete with the week's worth of accumulated insults. I hope you find them amusing:

Dr. P,
Just for fun, and out of a sense of nostalgia, I've accumulated the names you've called me in the last week or so - a period in which I did not once resort to calling you names. I tried to stay on the points of contention which were raised. Despite your protestation to the contrary, I've yet to find where you did the same. In place of reason, you substituted the following name calling. I admit, it is a fun list to peruse. It has the entertainment value:

--head further up your ass than almost anyone I've ever encountered on the internet
--really stupid, and not just regular stupid either, you're Ann Coulter stupid.
--a loathsome worm, fit only for execution
--narrow minded
--marked by a lack in intelligence
--Like a woman who can't escape the husband who beats her
--you sound like an idiot
--religious Christians who almost without exception are the most narrow minded, rigid, people I've ever met
--How old are you? 18? Because you sound like some kinda schoolboy
--totally insane
--a goddamn anti-Semite

Picasso had his "blue" period. Near the end, you had your "stupid" period.

He responded thusly:

"Don't blame me for what you are."

I really enjoyed, and was intrigued, by that particular riposte. It has stuck with me:

Don't blame me for what you are.

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