re·tweet. v. The command Tweety-bird gives when pulling back his forces from the front lines against Sylvester. "Retweet! Retweet!"
I read two online articles which were retweeted on Twitter recently: World's Saddest Internet Argument Techniques & The 8 Most Obnoxious Internet Commenters.
I was instantly flush with anger from my own repetitive experiences with this, but my fury was misplaced - and not even because part of what vexes me is that my bane can't be pigeonholed into any single instance in those lists - he adeptly incorporates them *all* by effortlessly slithering betwixt them in a highly evolved, very subtle dance of complete and unutterable ignorance, masquerading as knowledge when he states his ridiculous opinions as fact. And while I try very hard to not fall into this trap, I was always able to justify it to myself as guidance. But even that became a frustration trigger for me. No, those articles made me realize that I was angry at me.
"An ounce of bargaining, a pinch of trickery, a soupçon of intimidation, and voilà! The perfect recipe for a towering reputation without ever having to spill one drop of blood."
I have lived my entire life with the belief that logic and knowledge will ultimately rid the world of unimaginably blinding stupidity. With the patience of understanding and correction, one man could eventually change the environment around him.
I realize now that is both foolish and naive, for not only am I far outnumbered, the weak of mind are strong in their resolve. This isn't some Hollywood underdog story, nor is it reminiscent of the Battle of Thermopylaethe - greater strength AND greater numbers working in unison will always win. Most people I come up against are proud of their ignorance. They flaunt it! With that attitude, one simply cannot ever win. They win by losing and declare victory. They toil in a prison of their own creation and claim they are free over the din of the shackles which bind them.
Ignorance is not bliss. Its not even a gilded cage. Rose-colored glasses are a temporary solution which will blind you from overuse.
Those with meek constitutions and/or the pure of heart should not read any further, for I am going to provide just a few examples of *actual* dialog that I have (embarrassingly) responded to, ignoring the overwhelming WTF-factor in an attempt to bring balance to the force. This is NOT sugar-coated nor fabricated. Thankfully I have links for some of the more outrageous ones - were I to have been only able to provide proof for the *less crazy* ones, I might've been accused of making these up. Not my finest moments. Italics me:
- Win7 is AMAZING!
"So what you're saying is that its the best operating system on the plant and you renounce unix?"
- I'm glad to see legacy in Win7 - like no matter how many cores you have or how much RAM, IE can still stop EVERY APP while it thinks.
"You're not allowed to criticize Win7. You said it was "amazing."
- I'm in a FANTASTIC mood today!
"You're obviously a homosexual."
- Just because Massachusetts put a Republican in the senate doesn't mean that they were trying to send a message, nor that the rest of the country feels this way - while that's a valid opinion, and very likely a correct one, its still just your opinion.
"How sad that you admit to personally wanting to fulfill the agenda of Our Dear Leader Supreme Dictator for Life His Royal Majesty Lord Barack Hussien Obama, The Most Merciful."
Why did I do it? What compelled me? That might be best answered here: I'd like to ignore your ravings, and I would were it not for the same thing which always reels me in like a fish caught on a hook: If I don't expose your strawman, those who don't know any better might think you know what you're talking about. And I feel a responsibility to my readers to not let that happen.
You see, its not so much that I don't comprehend that a strawman has been erected as a hastily constructed blockade - I do. I simply thought that by careful explanation as to *why* I recognized it for what it was, it would lose its power and simply...disappear.
But as with many mythological creatures, it feeds upon the very belief of its existence, and I was an unwilling participant in animating its lifeless husk with sustainable life. I am no longer fooled - the strawman is a real, energy-draining entity which has at its disposal untold legions of fanatically loyal foot-soldiers, and my actions were part of the problem.
Starting today, I wield an altogether different weapon - the torch of silence - which will guarantee instant and unequivocal consumption in a flash of smoke and ash if that strawman even attempts to approach me. The only worrisome thing now? 6 New Personality Disorders Caused by the Internet - and I've seen strong evidence of five of the six.
Mythological creatures do exist. I wonder what else I've been wrong about?