There are quite a few things you can do in life that will bring you the disapproval of others.
The one that brings the most hysterical and unhinged expressions of disapproval, however, is to express an opinion.
It is not enough that you have a right to do so. It's not enough that you do not demand that others agree with you. It often doesn't matter if you have facts, or an interesting point of view to present. You will often still encounter that One Fucking Moron.
And sometimes, it's Two or Three Fucking Morons. Frankly, over the course of my adventures in blogging, I've lost count of how many Fucking Morons I've come across. The number is probably somewhere in the hundreds, considering that between this blog, my old one, and all the other places my opinions have been published (other blogs and websites, the New York Times, etc) I'd estimate (conservatively) that something on the order of 1,000,000 people have read something I've written somewhere over the years.
Also, considering I know I've been plagiarized many times (see this and this), it could easily be many times that number.
I don't say that to brag about anything. In the world of opinion, I'm a bug. Like an ant. I don't have a following like many professional journalists or writers, because I don't consider myself a professional journalist and I've never really tried to enter the profession. Oh, I've written stuff like books that were intended for self-publishing (which will never see the light of day, most likely), but they were more like exercises in mental masturbation than they were serious literary works. I don't have the spark that sets me apart like an Orwell, a Hemingway, Tolkien, Hardy, Clancy, Lamour.
I couldn't even muster the writing talent or cheek to turn out the sort of stuff J.K. Rowling excretes every so often.
But, there's been an audience for it, just not a very cohesive or lucrative one. Obviously so: how many people can say they've had hundreds of thousands read and comment upon anything they've written? The numbers would be meaningful if I were turning out books for sale; but in the Age of the Internet, they are, all things considered, meaningless.
So, if it doesn't make me rich, and it doesn't make me famous, and it doesn't bring me the sort of rewards that turning out complete crap like a Paul Krugman or Thomas Friedman does (I mean, you should at least get a seat in a fancy restaurant for that, no? Both routinely have people asking them for their opinions, on TV, no less, and the largest newspapers in America, and they both are consistently wrong and suck ass as writers, to boot), then why should I continue to do it?
Because it's always good for a laugh.
It brings out the Fucking Morons.
And if there's anything Your Overlord loves better than Pepsi, Cigarettes, and Oral Sex, it's stirring the pot and watching people lose their shit shortly afterwards.
Yes, I know, it's cruel and it's not much of a hobby, but goddamn can it be entertaining! Sometimes, you have to make your own fun.
Before I regale you with the latest batch of fucktard to hit my mailbox, I must say something about the Fucking Morons, themselves.
Many, I take it for granted, are perfectly nice people (in normal life; hidden behind a keyboard and the anonymity of the internet, however, they become vicious jackals, savagely red in tooth and claw, and capable of doing everything from ruining my life to killing me, so they say). It's just that I've written something that makes their blood boil. They, too, have opinions, and they'd like them heard, or they disagree with me on a point or two and would like to hash it out on the same terms I've presented it to them. That former is their right, and the latter is only fair; having often spewed opinion in venomous form, I shouldn't be surprised when someone wants to play the same game. I really don't mind.
Others can be likened to escapees from a mental institution, symbolic reminders of why public education doesn't work, walking advertisements for rehab facilities, examples requiring a re-examination of Darwin's principles, relics of the Cultural Wasteland, a suggestion that Child and Drug abuse may be more prevalent than we've been led to believe, and a clear indication that America has an acute and desperate Potty Training Crisis that threatens the very survival of the Republic.
On any given day, I'm most likely to find the following, common charges in the comments to this blog, or in my mailbox. I will withhold names to protect the deranged (in no particular order):
1. You can't say that/You Should be ashamed for saying that/ I can't believe someone let you publish that/You should be embarrassed, and so forth.
To answer these charges, let me just say this:
The First Amendment says I CAN say that. The same Constitution says I can continue to say it, no matter how offended you are by it, because the same document does not give you a right to go through life unoffended, Snowflake. As for shame, why should any of us be ashamed for saying out loud what we're privately thinking? You just did; why don't I get the same consideration? Oh, right: you disagree, and selfish fucktard that you are, that settles the matter.
Shame is only felt by people who believe they have something to feel guilty about. I'm just expressing feelings and ideas, in much the same way you are when you threaten to blow up or burn down my house, find me and murder me, question my parental lineage, doubt my sanity, pontificate upon my lack of intelligence (misspelling every second or third word, and using grammar I would attribute to monkeys, as you do so), promise to sic "the authorities" on me (it's amazing how often none of you ever do, however), kill my children/dog/fish/cat/mother/disabled girlfriend. That's when you aren't practicing armchair psychiatry and surmise I've been raped by a Catholic priest, have a sexual dysfunction, am probably a closet queer, living in fear of ______, jealous of ______, and far worse.
I want everyone to know that when I get something like that, I laugh my ass off.
2. "No one" is reading this, "everybody" thinks/knows you're wrong". You should stop doing it because it only demonstrates how hurtful and mean-spirited you are.
Well, you read it, Dumbass. This is really a euphemism for"Shut up". The Asshole who wrote it is not motivated to perform a public service to keep the Internet uncluttered by material that "no one" will ever read so much as they are incensed by something you've written that they believe should never have been written. Typically, what you've written relates to an uncomfortable truth about THEM. One they would rather see buried than exposed, and leave unexamined, especially by themselves.
A very strange, but predictable, aspect of modern communications is how ready people are to personalize everything. This is a cultural problem; in an Age of Identity,The Selfie and the airing of even the most-personal aspects of everyday life on Facebook or Instagram, everything, ultimately, is about ME. People take to Twitter to tell the entire planet about every daily activity, no matter how unimportant, pointless or stupid, in the belief that anyone actually GIVES A SHIT. As if we're all waiting here with baited breath to see what Paul in Eau Claire has on the dinner menu this evening, or that Melissa in Chillicothe just got her hair done, or that Bob in Pigfucker, RFD, just arrived at the dentist, the car wash, just got socks at WalMart, or took a really epic shit that he's recorded for posterity.
Which is what makes these kinds of retorts fairly funny, to me, anyway. The people who will use words like"no one" or "everybody", along with adjectives like "literally" in the incorrect sense or context, are themselves wrong.
If Tina in Miami can gather 1,000 retweets on her manicure, or John in Dogpatch can make you laugh with a gif of his dog taking a dump on his neighbor's lawn, then I'm sure many people are reading this, and if they're reading this, at least some of them don't "know" that I'm "wrong". In fact, I've found a slight majority often agree with me. They just don't associate with dumbfucks who use "no one", "everybody" and "literally" in the improper context.
And no, I won't shut up. If what I write bothers you, perhaps you should reflect on the reasons why...unless you spend all your time transmitting selfies of your latest bikini waxing, or sharing pointless memes written by retards who are only slightly smarter than you are. Your problem isn't usually what I've said; it's what what I've said says about YOU. You've personalized and internalized something, which is obviously indicative of a problem...with you...and you're aware of it.
Another argument this type (tries to) make is that the lack of comments, and the lack of a stat counter on the bottom of this blog PROVES that "no one" reads this, and "everybody" "literally" knows I'm wrong, because if what I said was popular and right I'd have more comments and wouldn't be "hiding" my stats.
a) I get lots of comments. I usually don't publish many of them because very few commenters know how to spell, go off on tangents unrelated to the subject of the post, and because I'm a busy guy; I don't have the time to sort through the flotsam and jetsom all day long. I get quite a bit of e-mail on this stuff, too, and most of it is in similar vein. Come look me up on Facebook and see what people are saying; many comments made on Facebook don't show up on the blog because the Two Evil Empires have stopped sharing content.
b) I'm still getting comments, responses, and "hits" to stuff I've written 5, 10, 15 years ago. Where I got paid for content, often years ago, I'm still getting paid for it every time someone finds it. I have another blog I haven't touched for two years where there's comments pouring in on a daily basis, and people are still responding to posts that are older than dirt. That one is up to nearly half-a-million unique visitors; this one, which has much less promotion and cross-traffic associated with it, has bagged 40,000 unique visitors in a year.
Have half-a-million people ever read anything you've written? Did 40,000 people listen to anything you've had to say in the past year? I should shut up? Take a look at the bottom of this screed..
3. Who pays you to write this stuff? I want to find your employer and get you fired.
Considering I work for myself, well...you've found him...and guess what?
I have been paid for content in the past, and in some instances I'm still making money off of that stuff because the beautiful thing about the internet is that it's forever, and it makes it so much easier for people to find stuff that interests them that has been obscured by the passage of time. On any given day, several hundred people, often more, are finding my old shit, reading it, responding to it, being motivated -- pro or con -- by it.
No, it has not made me Warren-Buffet-fuck-it-all wealthy. But then again, that's neither what I set out to accomplish when I started, nor is it a fervent wish (it would just be nice). Not everyone who does something, even if they do it well, will be successful at it. That's just life; If I get paid, fine, if not, well, it's not like a few words scattered across cyberspace are the only thing between me and starvation. If you assume money is the motivation in what I do, I can only surmise it's because you're a communist (and, therefore, incorrectly surmise that everything is driven by economics), or you wish you could do it as well as I do.
Judging from the third-grade reading level of your response or e-mail, I'm thinking there's few things besides binge eating and masturbating that you do well.
4. The Generic Labels roll in....
I've been called a Nazi, a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a bigot, a tool, a dick, a despicable human being, a sick bastard, anti-(insert term of art here). I'm hateful, spiteful, immoral, venal, unethical, unscrupulous, mean-spirited, angry, insane, unprincipled, bitter, heinous, repulsive, repugnant, revolting, nauseating, vile.
I've been accused of being "on the wrong side of history", of being a "bitter clinger", of having no moral compass, of cleaving to a discredited ideology and political party. I'm a White Supremacist, agent of the Patriarchy. My personality (among other things) is toxic. My ideas are Old Fashioned and archaic, and representative of a desire to "turn back the clock" (and this according to people who insist that America is still stuck in 1948, if not 1848, with regards to race, civil rights, and womyn).
I want people to die (well, that one might be true). I hate children, womyn, and Persons O' Color. I'm cruel to animals. I would readily run a box of puppies through a woodchipper and march ________ into ovens and gas chambers because I'm a horrid human being without a shred of humanity in me.
And there's far more I'm missing, I'm sure.
All of that tossed up by people who usually either claim or imply that they are altruistic lovers of humanity who only want everyone to get along and support one another.
I believe the word you're looking for is Projection, Sweetheart.
And another funny thing is that the absolute worst arguments and the most-malevolent responses of all come from women. This in an indication that we have a multi-faceted problem in America: our womenfolk are both pig-fucking-ignorant and murderous (generalizing). What makes this kind of jeremiad entertaining, to me anyway, is that they confirm many of the stereotypes that Feminists routinely deny exist:
The language used, the fury involved, the torrent of raw emotion in these sorts of accusations is intended to do one thing, and one thing only: wound me emotionally.
Because that's how women fight. Two men have a difference of opinion, they slug or argue it out, and the next thing you know, they're having beers together and getting matching BFF neck tats. At some point, each man made his position clear and gained the respect of the other one. Not chicks, oh no, they have to scar you for life, and since they can't hurt you physically (unless you're asleep or grant them access to sharp objects), the next best thing is to hurt your feelz as deeply as they can manage.
Which doesn't work with Men. Which is why this is so fucking funny: I picture some angry bitch, all hopped up on estrogen, at the other end of this internet thingy, pouring out the most hurtful, personal, menstrual, destructive vituperation her tiny, hormone-flooded brain can manage, and she thinks she's struck a fatal blow. Satisfied with herself, she returns to her otherwise pointless life of mainlining Mrs. Smith's, snorting Cheetos, pondering the oppressive nature of everything that goes into or comes out of her vag (assuming she can find it under all the rolls of fat, the thorny undergrowth of thighbrows, and the water retention), and watching The View, wondering why no one loves and respects her 300-pound, sub-room-temperature-IQ ass.
So, I want to say "thank you" to all the misfits,shitheads, scolds, self-appointed hall monitors, and all the rest of you wacky genetic messes; when you're not (accidentally) putting a little money in my pockets, and you're not displaying your own faults, why, I haven't been kept this persistently entertained since ever.