I am prompted to this by one of the most recent “Hey Guys, let’s all get together and talk about what an asshole Doper X is!” threads, which in this case happened to be The Ryan. (You can look it up in the Pit if you insist. It’s recent, not hard to find)
I read that thread, and the thread which was offered as evidence of TR’s supposed assholian behavior, and found myself completely stumped. I could not figure out what in the world he did to justify having things like this said to him and about him:
Wow… taken altogether like that it’s quite a breathtaking display of…of…well, gee, * ** of everything they are accusing The Ryan of! ** *
There was also some taunting to the effect that since no one had come to his defense, then it all must be true and virtually the entire population of The Straight Dope must all agree that The Ryan is, indeed, an assholeworthlessprickdickwaadmotherfuckershithead whatever.
Well, I certainly wished to come to his defense, but having been the target of two “we all think you suck -and therefore you suck- shut up- fuck you -we all hate you” threads myself, I didn’t think that my doing so would be of much good to him, and perhaps be seen as self-serving.
But frankly, I can’t stand it anymore.
This is just the latest of many such vicious threads. I can’t remember the last time a thread like this was *not * active in the pit. Don’t you people who jump right in and start ripping people apart because they tick you off ever stop and think about what the hell it is you’re doing? Are you under the perfectly ** bizarre ** impression that you are * in any position whatsoever * to be judging others? Does this sort of thing just puff you up with pride? “heheheh…I called some guy a shithead today! I’m pretty neat!” What is with this mob mentality? “He is irritating! * Stone him * !” WTF?
Now, it’s one thing when a true troll shows up…and when they do, haven’t we all agreed upon DNFTT as the preferred response? But the rest of the time, when we aren’t talking about real trolls (and The Ryan, in this example, is about 1600 posts and a year and a half into being a real member of this community, hardly a troll), we are talking about our fellow Dopers, some of whom are sure to piss us off and annoy us at times.
So then we get this feeble, perfectly ridiculous excuse: “It’s the pit, it’s designed for that!” – Cool, we have a * special place * where we go to** lynch ** people who annoy us!
Because other people do it and there’s a special place for it,* that makes it acceptable behavior *?
Interestingly, if I suddenly learned that there was a special block in my neighborhood where I could go kick the shit out of someone I didn’t like with impunity,* I still wouldn’t do it * ! Why not? Because it violates my personal code of behavior. You all have one of those, doncha? Mine doesn’t change just because I see an opening where I can get away with something. I don’t steal because stealing is wrong and to do so would violate my code of behavior. I wouldn’t start stealing if I found a way I could get away with it. Would you?
I can’t do anything about people who annoy me, I can only do something about my reaction to them. And the reaction I’m going for is generally to be better behaved than they are, not worse.
This is not about reaching people with your critique of their behavior, it is about dumping on them. Newsflash: people calling you an asshole and a dickwad, or in my own case, a cunt, are not people you will be inclined to pay much attention to, particularly if the people who talk to you this way are claiming that you are behaving badly… Such people are obviously not offering anything resembling constructive criticism, they are behaving as badly, or usually, far worse than they are accusing the victim of behaving. Which never ceases to amaze me. In this case, The Ryan happens to be kinda condescending and picky…which apparently means he is a worthless dickwad shithead prick who is a waste of space. Riiiiight. :rolleyes:
And by the way: this juvenile crap about how many people agree that someone is an asshole… please! There are children on this board who have adults assuring them that the cruelties of childhood are temporary. They’ll never believe it hanging around here! (Besides which, if you don’t have the courage of your own convictions, if you need backup, you shouldn’t be speaking in the first place…but that’s a whole ‘nother thread…)
The Ryan’s mistake was in even attempting to address that thread. That only made it worse. He needed to adopt the Stoidal Motto: ** DNFTLM – Do Not Feed The Lynch Mob. **
I was going to post this in that thread, but it was suggested to me by one of my Doper friends that it would actually be better placed in GD for everyone to have a whack at it. Not to mention the fact that having it here might help prevent it becoming a version of exactly what I’m talking about…
So, whack away.
But if I may…can we all agree not to make this about whether **The Ryan or pldennison or danielinthewolvesden or Brian Bunnyhurt or Wildest Bill or Welfy or Asmodean or grienspace or jmullany or Scylla or JohnCorrado or Esprix or Wring or Yosemitebabe or Diane or Me ** or who the hell ever is getting under your skin at the moment is in fact annoying or irritating or obnoxious or stupid or whatever, since it is almost certainly true that we all are some of the time to some people. The sad fact is that some people are indeed, far more annoying than others. How is that an excuse to behave badly yourself?
This is also not a call to close the Pit.
This is a call to everyone to examine their own behavior and check and see if they are coming from a place of integrity with what they believe is right and good. If you can honestly say yes…well, then more power to you. Although the old saw about the number of wrongs and what it produces reverberates through my mind…
Oh, and one more thing: while this is primarily about the egregious nastiness in the “Poster X Blows” threads, it also applies to random comments sprinkled around all the boards. Why does anyone feel that it is alright to be rude and nasty to someone at any time? Remember the Christian saying: hate the sin, love the sinner. Well, I sorta feel that way: hate the post, love the poster. If someone says something stupid, then the remark is stupid, it does not follow that the person who said it is stupid. And it doesn’t make you look smart to say that it does. Ditto all the other mean and shitty things my fellow Dopers have been known to say to each other. Go ahead and rip the post…not the poster.
Almost 15 years of posting on public message boards, and then meeting the people I’ve been arguing with, has taught me that we cannot begin to really know who people are based on the messages they post to a public board. This is particularly true for people who ** debate ** publicly (as opposed to hanging out in MPSIMS, sharing sexual tips and tricks or discussing their favorite Star Wars character). So I don’t ever think that just because someone is driving me off a cliff with their debating style online that they are really such an awful person. I know better. Certainly sometimes they are…but you would be stunned to see how often it is not the ones you’d expect.
So that’s all. Discuss.
Oh yeah… I am not failing to notice Xeno’s apology thread that followed the original Ryan thread, nor the one that Spoofe offered to me. I offer them both a standing ovation and a round of applause for seeing the error of their ways and repairing it. They showed real class. (Which doesn’t surprise me in Xeno’s case…he’s one of my personal heros around here.) It’s just that it would be so nice if they weren’t ever needed in the first place, wouldn’t it?