FORT WORTH, Texas: Flame wars are a waste of time. Urban Dictionary defines the term this way: Flame War, a lengthy exchange of angry or abusive messages between users of an online chat room or social media discussion.
Sound familiar? I learned the term from my eighteen-year-old who teaches me about modern pop culture. The young whippersnapper also enjoys reminding me that it is not the 1970’s anymore.
To my surprise, I found he was incensed that I took part in a flame war a while back by volunteering unimpeachable proof of an issue by an irreproachable source to someone on social media I believed to be a person of constructive discourse. I was wrong.
The person eventually blamed me for wasting his time and ruining his day along with a few other choice words. When I finally realized this person actually preferred to reject the truth I ended the discussion immediately. Before leaving the page I have to say that I enjoyed reminding him that I had no such power over his life and that if he chose to become irate when faced with facts, he was the one with the problem, not me.
The internet then began to shake with the eruption of volcanic expletives that exploded from his computer. What a crybaby! What a waste of time and energy on both sides! Yes, I accept that I should have simply moved past the post. From then on I’ve learned to bite my metaphorical tongue.
Flame wars are a waste of time
It’s mind-boggling to me that people will go to such lengths to crush another under their virtual heels because that person disagrees with them, personal anecdote notwithstanding. They just cannot be, or will not be wrong, or not be agreed with, for whatever reason.
At one time in the not-so-distant-past, Americans disagreed, vehemently at times, without coming to blows. For the most part, we knew and accepted that laws don’t protect feelings. Real grown-ups learned to deal with them instead of lashing out and we understood that everyone had a right to their opinions no matter how wrong they may be. If prima donnas wouldn’t listen to reason, we walked away, taking their audience with us.
Since those halcyon days, the anonymity of the internet provides shelter for a legion of trolls to hide behind clever names and icons, hidden from the backlash resulting from their behavior.
It’s mind-boggling that people will crush another under their virtual heels because that person disagrees with them
It has been a year since the last Feed the Mind, Nourish the Soul commentary. In the past, this column’s content has been almost exclusively devoted to human interest. However, the topic of the human psyche has become much more interesting, and that will lead to some introspection of those cyberspace aliens that pique my interest.
First, President Trump retweeted the following from his @realdonaldtrump, not @potus Twitter feed:
— Mike (@Fuctupmind) September 14, 2017
Mr. King then tweeted:
Trump thinks hitting a woman with a golf ball and knocking her down is funny. Myself, I think it indicates a severely fucked-up mind.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) September 17, 2017
Don’t believe everything you read; find out for yourself
While I believe the president’s tweet is an affront to the presidency and do not support the physical harm of another human being, I have a couple of questions for the author of the above, regarding hypocrisy and his tweet:
- Mr. King, why don’t you condemn a woman who bullies her husband’s rape victims?
- Why don’t you condemn the Secretary of State who watched the live siege of a United States Embassy via drone for thirteen hours and did not send help that was only twenty minutes away?
- Why don’t you condemn the First Lady, Senator, Secretary of State, and Presidential Candidate who, when the cameras are not looking refers to black people as the “N-Word,” and the infirm as Retards?
- Why don’t you condemn her cheating Bernie Sanders out of the Democratic nomination for president, and cheating her way through presidential debates?
There’s some cogitation for your consideration. You can respond if you like. But as I said, I won’t get into a flame war. If you don’t find Hillary Clinton’s actions at reprehensible, then I think you are the one with a problem.