Complete hypocrisy

I’ve seen violence before, but this is such a unique kind;
Easy access internet allows quick thoughts from unprepared minds
To slip out unedited, hasty, with intent to hurt
Attacks on another – a stranger – and all for her words.
Words which spoke of kindness – a way out of a situation
Which killed two birds with one stone – generosity and an end to frustration
Yet a couple of untamed references about the local culture;
Does that somehow give people the right to behave like vultures over a kill
As they sit and type and snip and shoot with only the will hurt this person who
(Whatever her wrongs) did little but try to save time, spread joy and cheer
Whatever happened to the Christmas spirit here?
But wait, I know this, I recognise the text from the ivory tower
I know how the anonymity of person-in-font can give such power
To the powerless whom their own lies truly believe
Those small-minded folk who try to crush into a box those who won’t receive
Their infinite wisdom; better by far than yours and so you must listen
For the ‘net gives such a soapbox to purchase your friends
That competition abounds and somehow justifies the ends
As they enter into combat with intent to destroy this sweet woman
Who couldn’t wait, and gave away her kids’ returnable toys
To someone who looked like they could use an influx of good cheer;
Who listened to the small voice of the season’s Spirit whispering in her ear;
Who didn’t really want to but did it and wrote it just to show
That the owner of the voice might be worth getting to know.
But no.
As many supported were equalled by those who tried
To eviscerate her in pixels and see her crucified
And yet as I stood in her corner and talked about not casting the first stone
I quaked inwardly, knowing that it had already been thrown
For the sake of a term of phrase against which I took objection
I made it my business to ‘put her right’ and gain myself some attention
And in doing so, unkindly, in public with my voice turned up to ‘loud’
I stood alongside her elsewhere hearing my voice from moments before echo across the crowd
I proclaimed “If you aren’t kind on the internet then you ain’t kind”
And the scales slammed down in my eyes and I knew I was blind.

The backstory to this piece can be seen played out in part here – when HuffPost on Facebook shared a story written by Susannah of Whoa! Susannah. It attracted a shitstorm of comments on the Huffpost page, yet when I came to the story first, on her FB page, talking about trolls, I was snarky, got hooked into her ‘Walmartians’ reference (one of my soapboxes – you can see why here) and in my infinite wisdom, swooped in with a big, mean dollop of judgement, thinly veiled as opinion.

I behaved unkindly. I behaved like an asshole. And I apologised snivellingly, on private message, where I couldn’t be seen admitting my wrongs. And that was sucky of me as well.

No nobilty. No deserving. And I won’t try to be grandiose and apologise here to curry favour I don’t deserve. But I will try to learn from this.

And remember I always tell you, when you say nice things, about how highly edited I am, and how you shouldn’t believe everything you read here? Well look – the veil has slipped and I goofed. I didn’t edit myself and a nasty fell out all over the internet. The true me. As diverse and paradoxical and capable of epic fuckup as the next person.

14 thoughts on “Complete hypocrisy

  1. Yes I know. That website is PRECISELY why I wrote the frikkin Our Land post. That, and how many people think it's great, and how they don't even CARE that these people, in spite of their poor clothing or hygiene choices, are PEOPLE and deserve some respect for THAT if nothing else.


    And seeing as you've linked that repugnant site on my blog, here is my absolute, complete and FOREVER rebuttal of it and its many adherents.


  2. Yes – it wasn't even to DO with the blog really – not this one. It was just about me behaving like an idiot and then having that horrible moment of realisation about just how far I'd mucked up.

    The goal is *always* not to repeat assholery!

    How do you mean you're intimidated by the comment thing?


  3. It's a slang term, but used by more than just me. I can't remember where I found it first, but I don't *think* I'm the originator.

    The links definitely help in order to make sense of this one…


  4. Proud of you. my little blog is still under the radar and I am thankful for that. I am a little intimidated by the comment thing. I have been known for a bit of assholery myself. The goal is to not repeat.


  5. So do I – it was a Good Thing, and I commended (and do commend) her. It was the bit where I jumped on her about the 'Walmartians' thing and got all self-righteous and priggish about it. That part had an undertone of meanness and assholery, which I can only own up to, and need to fix.


  6. Oh good grief! I have a history of this kind of thing, don't I!

    I'm learning, but this bore saying. For me, and as an example and a warning to others.

    Be kind.

    I don't blame you for avoiding HuffPo – I may steer clearer myself another time, or at least arrive forewarned. But the indiscretion such as it was, occurred elsewhere.

    However, with true generosity of spirit, Susannah has accepted my apology.

    I am grateful and relieved. And aware that there is work to be done here, on my character.


  7. None of us is perfect and sometimes we slip up. We learn, we teach others through our mistakes, and hope to go forward without an albatross around our necks. I have all but stopped reading HuffPo because of the voracity with with venom is spewed in the comments sections. I am a close cousin to the ostrich at times – but it's part of keeping me sane. I am still proud to call you friend – and our bond was strengthened that day you very kindly pointed out that my supporting a friend online was going down the wrong path as well. I am grateful for that in so many ways. 🙂


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