For the past two days, I have been taking part in a huge flame war on a certain cool chick's blog. I noticed there was a "fancies himself Rush Limbaugh"-type trying to bully anyone who sounded even slightly left-leaning so I jumped right into the party. Ohhh, he didn't like that. In the last two flames, he called me "dumbass" and "moron." Those were his sendup flare and his closing remark. I didn't read the long screes he'd typed in between, having seen the quality of his barf on other posters - namely some pretty classic fundamentalist "Christian" ravings, and ballooning "statistics" (example: 400 million children had been aborted since Roe v Wade. And the ludicrous "millions" who came out for last week's joke of the year, TEA PARTIES.) SO I couldn't resist cheerfully replying that he'd probably feel better if he'd suck on his night-night bottle instead of that crack pipe. He replied with something like 5 furious, endless paragraphs. I don't know for sure, though. It could have been 4. Or 6. I didn't read it. I now hit delete after I see this joker.
The building where I live now, there's a woman who has a nasty little dog that barks at my dog (but credit where credit is due: Gracie gives as good as she gets). Tonight I was riding up in the elevator, sans Gracie, with said crankypants and her dog. She actually, literally, turned her back on me. Her dog regarded me warily. My floor came first, and as I got off, I said, "Good night!" with as much good humor as I could muster. Said woman said nothing but scowled stink-eye in my general direction. And as the elevator doors were closing I gaily called out, "Oooh, FRIENDLY too!"
I know, I know. I shouldn't even engage. But it was kinda fun. The first couple of times, anyway. Now I've gotten it out of my system. And I have the emotional hangover to prove it. Being an asshole comes naturally to all of us. Living with it, happily, not so much. There's just too much of that ick factor. Which most of us remember - that's what helps us check our flaming impulses, our inclinations to be cruel to a waiter (my ex-father-in-law had his blackbelt in that), cutting people off in traffic, or, what I never do, and what seems beyond vulgar, flippin' the bird. Kinda seems sad to see it in print. Makes me want to pray for crankypants and The fundamentalist dude - since they clearly are big, steaming cups of rage. Makes me want to continue being Sickening Sweet Little Ray of Sunshine in response to towering tantrums and silent scorn.
But what I want to know is: what is it about people? Why the hell do they have to be so damn mean? Who raised them - Attila the Hun? Don't they know life is simply better when you're pleasant? I know it takes all kinds to make the world go round, but I'm disgusted and saddened by the ick inclination - and how I get in there too - I'm just as bad. Well, no, I'm not JUST as bad. I sign off before things get really fugly. So that's me, one half of a (remorseful) asshole.
I guess the world has always been pretty unfriendly. But one of the things that attracts me to my new home in Oakland, CA is the fact that most people I've run into here are really, really, REALLY friendly and nice. Except of course, that woman in the elevator. I have a feeling she's gonng be getting a lot of smiles, hellos and howareyous.
Which I'm pretty sure will piss her off. And her little dog, too.