Sunday, June 12, 2011

A loyal pain in the ass

Karate WomanI had a dream last night about defending someone. I don’t recall all the details, but I seem to recall that it took place in school, and someone was picking on a friend.

In typical dream form, I was much more than I could probably be in real life (although I’m not so sure...I’ll get to that in a moment). This bully was a big guy, and all five-foot-nothing of me got in his face, pushed him up against a locker, and made him whimper and cower with my verbal tongue-lashing. I also recall some sort of exhibition at the school in which I demonstrated my Ka-rah-tay woman skills (I have no idea how to do karate or any other martial art), so perhaps that was part of my intimidation abilities with this bully.

A couple of things may have generated this dream. I was recently talking with Cousin Shane, and for whatever reason, I mentioned an incident that occurred when we were in school. We were sitting on the bus, ready to head home, and some younger kid behind us started picking on Shane. I can’t even remember what he said, but it was just stupid stuff. I was probably a junior or senior at this point (Shane was two classes behind me), so although I didn’t have a lot of clout with people in my own class, I had some with the younger kids. I recall getting fed up with this little twit, and whipped around and said, “Why don’t you just SHUT UP?” He did.

I recently posted a very good Huffington Post article, concerning the Anthony Weiner debacle, written by my friend Mark. A Facebook friend commented something about regardless of the sentiments expressed in the article, Mark is a bad writer.

What. The. Fuck? I said whoa, not cool. I said that I think he’s a great writer (check out The Trash Whisperer, dear blog reader, and decide for yourself), and did you miss that part where I said he’s a friend?

I don’t care what you think...if someone specifically mentions that a friend has written something (and they say they think it’s a great piece), you are being very rude to make such a disparaging remark about the friend’s writing abilities. I would call that a serious breach in Netiquette, and it’s also a really bush league thing to do. I’m all for the free exchange of ideas, but in that instance, just keep your mouth shut and go about your business, okay? Was there perhaps an element of jealousy there? Because Mark writes for Huffington Post and this person doesn’t? If so, maybe it’s time they quit acting like a junior high school girl.

Well, it was no big deal. Mark said that he didn’t take it personally, and if he knows anything, he knows that he’s a good writer (and perhaps the commenter saw himself implicated in Mark’s words), but he appreciated my willingness to defend him.

I’m far from a perfect person, but just as Mark is confident in his writing abilities, I am confident in my ability and willingness to defend friends or loved ones who are picked on, attacked, bullied, or even merely disparaged. I usually try to do it in a low-key way, and often a simple statement of disagreement and defense of my friend suffices to let the person know that they were out of line. I often get an apology. However, I don’t doubt that if I had to, I could push someone around a bit before they realized that I’m not a real big person. That’s the advantage of surprise. Dad told me he learned that lesson a long time ago. He wasn’t a big guy, so he learned how to surprise them and hit hard enough that they didn’t get back up right away...and that gave him time to run like hell. Haha!

I’m not a violent person, but if you’re my friend, I’ve got your back.


  1. i remember seeing that and thinking 'well lah-ti-dah mr. man' because i thought it was uncalled for as well. i'm sure glad you're my friend!


  2. This has been my first stop on the interwebz and with my indifference to Facebook, I have not seen the post you are referencing. Interesting dream and the connection is obvious. It was your unconscious preparing you for what was to come.

    Your friend is a coward, pure and simple. This assessment has little to do with political inclinations though it would not surprise me if the cat who to a plug at Mark is a Repug. What makes me say that is the medium by which he chose make his remark. The anonymity and depersonalized connections of the web encourages people who feel put upon and have no way of expressing their emotions of being thoughtless.

    It should be pretty simple... were you at a party relating the same information it is very unlikely that this cat would have been as quick to make whatever comments that he did about Mark. What part of 'your friend' did he not understand?

    I have to credit you for 'Faux News'... someone left a comment that admired my use of the pseudonym for our favorite news outlet. I may appropriate 'netiquette' as well. I could imagine you as a little anime character using karate on someone..! Hey, that reminds me of a song video.!!

  3. I understand your willingness to defend a friend, but wouldn't posting the article in its entirety on fscebook open it up for discussion, good points and bad?

  4. Ok, I have always thought it was my responsibility to "have everyone's back". it is nice to think that someone i watching mine. That's a good feeling.

  5. Mind of Mine, that would be fine if there were any points put forth for discussion. There were none. Merely "he's a bad writer." Unacceptable.

  6. But doesn't the validity of a article rely just as much on how it is written as well as the content. If the person had said badly written and then offered up some constructive feedback, do you think you would have had the same reaction.

  7. The internet has brought out the latent bullying in so many people.

  8. Honey, I'd put you up against any bully I know! And Mark, a bad writer? Is that guy blind?!

  9. When bullies strike they normally look for a person with no one watching their back and a vulnerability within their intended victim. It would appear they made a huge mistake in his case. You had his back and his writing ability is not in question to those who would read his work or to himself. Poor ground for a bully to plan their attack on. Keep on fighting Beth! You have many people watching your back.


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