I am frequently amazed by people (aren't we all?); their gullibility, lack of logic, quickness to judge, need to meddle, desire to be involved, to rescue others, to insert their opinion, and above all else... their need to be right.
I'm guilty, too. We all are. Anyone who claims they are above all of this, well, trust me - they are probably more guilty than anyone else.
Sometimes I try to correct something I hear or read or offer my opinion... not as a means of proving some kind of superiority, but simply because someone has done or said something that catches my interest. It may be simply a matter of a difference of opinion, but it's frequently misinterpreted as a personal attack. Of course, that's when things DO get personal. But more on that later.
Now I will try to reason with that person... explaining my position, clarifying my motives - all the while being very respectful and polite. But they don't listen. They're to busy judging. They don't care what my motives may be or whether there is any validity to my opinion... it only matters to them that I see that THEY are right. I try not to get defensive. The word to stress there is 'try'.
The next thing they do is accuse me of not following the rules. Folks, and trust me on this, if someone ever tries to pull this on you please keep in mind... THERE ARE NO RULES. The internet nun is not going to come sweeping into your home via your computer monitor and smack your hands with a ruler. You will never have to sit in the corner. No one will be contacting your mother and, despite the claims of some, there IS no permanent record that your behavior will be noted on... although several clever posters may be able to cut and paste something you said five weeks ago in the room on a totally different topic and use it as proof that your are (gasp)(no, really - gasp here, please) a hypocrite! (We all are - just roll with it).
If I have the time, I will continue to try and reason with the person. Their response? It frequently results in name-calling. They become more agitated, less logical and their attacks? - much, much more personal in nature.
At one time or another I have been identified as any number of things - mostly attributes that, to the clueless, may seem at odds with one another. Can I really be someone who doesn't think people should pay for sex, but CAN see the legitimacy of bath houses? (The answer is - yes. They are, in fact, two very different things.) And can I love my gay-self and yet be critical of certain gay behaviors that I personally find indefensible? (The answer is yes).
Granted - it is JUST my personal opinion, but - and I always make a point of spelling this out for them- they have the right to feel and believe however and whatever they like. (Not that this little nod to free speech satisfies them. Again, your acknowledgment of their position holds no value for them - it's much more important that they simply be declared - once and for all - right!) (Or, as they more often term it, 'the winner'!)
Well, needless to say... suddenly my eating habits become fair game(huh?). We play semantics. And then someone who was very nice to me three days ago, and has not been a part of the thread at all will suddenly pipe in and call me an *sshole. Then I'm fat (I'm not), I'm ugly (just a little bit), old (only in gay-years), I can't get laid (not true), I must hate poz people (I don't - at all), I'm trying to control the room (is that even possible?), I must have no understanding of what it's like to be __________ (fill in the blank) (it's a coin toss here - I have been oh-so many things in this lifetime - but not everything.) I am, however, generally empathetic.
The thing is... I love the human condition. It fascinates me. And at times - and this is my biggest sin - I figure if someone wants to yap nonsense at me while chasing their own tail, well, who am I to say no? I even help them if I can - poke them just right and they will almost spin right off the screen. You see... I love to see just how silly people can get - how out of touch with whatever it is that set them off to begin with. This kind of blindness seems to know no bounds of decency - nothing is off limits - everything is fair game. So, I figure, if that's how they want to play... I'll play too.
Frequently these people have no where else appropriate to go with their anger. So they vent it in forums like M4M at Craigslist at people like me. I only mind a little (I am not fat, really).
Don't get me wrong... there are some really wonderful people in that room... wise beyond their years; talented writers, sexually inventive souls, compassionate hearts and even some just regular joes. I enjoy their 'company'. But - there are an equal number of clueless souls and mean 'ole trolls that just do not have:
- any common sense,
- any ability to manipulate the English language into anything but finger-pointing, whiny pointlessness or (worse) name-calling and/or slogan-ism,
- the ability to understand reason or be reasoned with,
- the ability to think outside the box (I hate that phrase - let's just call it - being creative),
- the ability to stay on course with an argument without resorting to personal attacks or -
- (AND THIS above all else) a shred of a sense of humor about themselves, life or the whims of others.
Well, we could - or I could - talk about those things - but this sort of thing is best served in-house, up close and personal. So venture on into one of the forums on Craigslist... You will start to see where Tennessee Williams got all those characters from, or why shows like Fawlty Towers make us anxious AND laugh at the same time.
Don't take my word for it... Experience it first hand. It's like falling into Wonderland, only Alice is now a hung-over burlesque queen with a bitter attitude and a need for fresh blood.
Ahh... sweet internet - will your wonders never cease?
I hope not.