A Soft Answer Drives Away Wrath, but an Oblique One? That Gets Nuclear
I’m learning, late in life, the tremendous power of the southern style “Bless Your Heart” polemic. Unlike FaceBook, which at least marginally makes you look like a real person, Twitter has a very anonymous vibe, and people allow their inner maniac to foam at the mouth.
During yesterday’s exchange about serious activism attire, I earned the wrath of humorless members of the Ashley Judd sisterhood. Let’s call this one “AngryPants.”
AngryPants: You are blatantly showing yourself as part of the problem of rape culture.
Riley909: Are you getting any rain out your way? We’re having this kind of drizzly, pleasant sort of storm right now. It’s lovely.
AngryPants: Choosing to show cleavage sometimes does not make a woman any less legitimate in her activism.
Riley909: Don’t you think hotels should feature some sort of musical instrument? Wouldn’t that be cool if you rent a nice suite, and there, beside the bed is a really shiny, brand new trombone for you to play?
I can’t make up my mind whether it’s better to go with total non sequitur or something that sort of just barely acknowledges their point:
AngryPants: You are a stalker of weak, harassed women who merely want control of their own family planning.
Riley909: Planning? Don’t get me started. I’ve got this whole big party to plan for my Hollywood friends. That’s why I’m trying to write the style guide for the actresses on appropriate “party mode” and “activism mode.”
AngryPants: No one needs your sense of “style.” We’ve seen you. You are old and ugly and you have no fashion sense.
Riley909: That’s why the world needs young, dewy maidens like you, AngryPants. Would you be my Visiting Angel™ and help me walk out to the mailbox? I just might become your best friend.
At some point, people like AngryPants, if the exchange lasts long enough will threaten violence or doxing or some other sort of drive-by harassment.
AngryPants: Frantically tweets anything to try and hide his fear & hatred of women. “I stalk women seeking abortions! God loves me not you! I sell products & I’m a brand!” All distractions that only expose him further. Boring & ineffective. We See you! Tick Tock.
Riley909: Would you be interested in becoming a part of my Prevagen™ multi-level marketing team?
AngryPants: Distract! Distract! Distract! Women aren’t for the taking just because of what they wear. We see you! We’re coming for you! Tick Tock!
Riley909: Well, if you’re not interested in the Prevagen™ thing, I also have a multi-level joint supplement you might be particularly interested in. It really puts a “zing” in your step.
I’m making this look a little easier than it is. Our minds are very associational and we are reactive by nature. If someone says, “you are taking up space among real people, old man,” we start looking for a rake with heavy iron teeth, but dancing around them with a flower in your hand will get them a lot angrier.
Think of them all as beautiful little bugs under a microscope. You have absolutely no obligation to make any sense: they can’t understand you.