I’ve just come back from a glorious three weeks in New Zealand. The Shaky Isles. Aotearoa. EnZed. Land of the Long White Cloud. Godzone. While I was gone, the world didn’t change. Pity.
There are people who thought this blog was interesting, informative, in parts ‘quite funny’ until they found out it was mine. Now it’s foul. (Though my name is right there, on the About page, and on My Books page… )
Someone’s sockpuppet joined A Group on facebook and left provocative comments to get people’s backs up, then joined Another Group and left other provocative comments. Then went back to A Group and mentioned they were a member of Another Group so they could stir people up.
Someone with a tumblr account has made some pretty nasty comments – borderline defamation – about a very good friend of mine. Why? Because she doesn’t share Ms Tumblr’s love of Ms Tumblr’s favourite reconstructed plastic head.
Someone wrote a book about a little known queen. Because that person doesn’t simply adore and worship said queen’s husband, she’s been subjected to some pretty nasty personal attacks.
Someone wrote a book calling into question (on shaky, patched together, cherry picked factoids) a particular English king’s legitimacy. Those who have publicly criticised the book have said nothing personal against the author. Yet they have been publicly pilloried for saying nasty things about the author.
There’s this dead king they’ve just recently dug up (well, nearly a year ago now), and he’s going to be reburied in a cathedral in England. And he’s going to get some kind of tomb. All the designs but one are ‘insulting’, and they cause people to be so angry and outraged they shake uncontrollably and THEN TYPE IN ALL CAPS!!!!!! WITH LOTS OF EXCLAMATION MARKS!!!! Because the cathedral, the university that dug up the king and the whole entire city are immoral and evil.
On facebook, you get to block people you don’t like. Yet you can get other people to tell you what they’ve posted and make nasty little comments behind their backs. To some, this might seem a little cowardly. Others don’t think so. They snigger and lolololol!
Apparently, on facebook, it’s perfectly acceptable to troll groups. If you’re one of the Chosen Ones*. If you’re not a Chosen One, saying anything is ‘trolling’. If you are one of the Chosen Ones, you get to say anything you like.
There are various funny pages on facebook. Some them are actually funny. Apparently, if you run one of the not funny ones you can go to others (the actual funny ones) en masse and drip your vile toxins all over them.
‘Shrieking Banshee’ is the new language for talking about history. No, sorry… not history but fantasies about shagging the reconstructed plastic head of a dead king.
Having fantasies about shagging the reconstructed head of a long dead king trumps rational discussion about history.
A very good friend of mine is a member of a worldwide organisation. She has no patience with fantasists who dream about shagging the reconstructed plastic head of a long dead king, who aren’t (by the way) members of this organisation. It is, apparently, perfectly acceptable for those reconstructed plastic head fantasy shaggers to drop in on any group or page where they think she might be found and hurl abuse, demanding she be drummed out of said worldwide organisation. Presumably for not wanting to shag the reconstructed plastic head of a long dead king.
The very best way to get the world to think about your favourite king differently (more positively) is to wallow in a pool of toxins, swallow a huge mouthful then spew that out over everyone and everything.
Someone wrote a very good novel about a long dead king. The book has inspired a lot of people to find out more about this king. Some of those people find a different interpretation than the author of the book. Others don’t. Instead of just saying “Hey, that’s the way the world works!” they take the novel as gospel truth and get all outraged and offended by those who don’t. Then, when someone points out that they’ve based their view entirely on fiction, they get even more outraged and offended.
When an argument is lost, it’s perfectly ok to descend into personal attack. That’s how you know you’re One of Us. If you don’t descend into personal attack, or if you insist on using logic and attempting to be objective, or if you lay any kind of claim to intellectual honesty where you’re prepared to challenge writers who are One of Us when they cherrypick facts and write bollocks, then you’re clearly not One of Us.
Anyone who refuses to drink the koolaid, or who takes a mouthful and spits it out, or who questions the flavour, or who says “No, thanks. I’ll buy my own drinks” might as well paint a target on their backs.
And if my questions, my objectivity, my openmindedness, my need to sort truth from myth and my willingness to stand up for my views is any kind of threat, then those who are threatened might need to look at their own position. It might just be built on quicksand.
You can’t reason with the unreasonable. Yet the reasonable keep on trying.
*’Chosen One’, from what I can work out, is code for ‘I fantasise about shagging the reconstructed head of a long dead king’.
UPDATE: I received a single four letter word pm this morning. I’m still puzzled by its precise meaning. Was she advertising she had one available? Not that I’d be interested, but it might have been useful for her to add ‘for sale or rent’ afterwards, just to make it clear.