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23 November 2009

There's One In Every Crowd

It seems there is always one – that one person who just can’t help themselves. They absolutely MUST make every issue personal. They absolutely MUST demonstrate how they are smarter and more correct, and everyone else is just wrong at best, or stupid at worst.

I follow a blog written by Mario Piperni because I find him intelligent, funny, insightful, and entertaining. Plus he creates some really awesome political art. Like a moth to the flame, I am dawn to the comment section following Mr. Piperni’s posts. Sometimes I comment on his posts. More often I do not because there is this ONE person who is just so damned annoying! No matter what the topic, this person never misses an opportunity to make his/her comment a personal attack on either Mr. Piperni or the other readers.

This person begins most of his/her posts with “You people” followed by a series of assumptions, generalizations, and bigoted remarks often laced with a hint of racism and self- proclaimed class superiority. I learned early in life that when someone begins a sentence with “You people” it is rare that anything positive follows. This person is what I refer to as a regular ass. A regular ass is a person who scours their favorite forums, discussion threads, and blogs in search of their next victim. The regular ass seems to have a set of pre- written responses to a number of topics including poverty, racism, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, global warming, and whether Fox is a “real” news network.

It is often a mistake to address the regular ass directly as it seems to empower them. But, sometimes you just can’t help yourself. Recently, Mr. Piperni addressed one regular ass that stalks his blog. He takes the reader from Tennessee to task about his/her recent comments on the state of health care in America. I completely understand Mr. Piperni wanting to call out the regular ass and to disseminate truth to counter the lies and propaganda being spread around by the Republican fear mongers. There are times when I want to do the same thing – and at times I do. When we give any attention to the regular ass we empower them. The regular ass feeds on the field of comments directed at him/her and defecates pomposity and insults.

The regular ass may suffer from a personality disorder evidenced by their extensive use of the Level 3 defense mechanism intellectualization. In a discussion about poverty the person who employs the defense of intellectualization may point out the relative utility of mud huts rather than address the personal suffering of the human beings who live in those huts. Sometimes the use of a intellectual language could be a sign of the defense of isolation.

Often the regular ass is perceived as being passive aggressive. The Level 2 defense mechanism of passive aggression. The World Health Organization classifies passive aggression as a specific personality disorder (F60.8). A person with a passive aggressive personality disorder may appear compliant and cooperative but there is an underlying aggression that is fairly easy to discern.

Okay – enough with the big words and my altruistic attempt at explaining/understanding the motivation of the regular ass. It will suffice to say a regular ass regularly behaves like an ass. You can expect it. You can rely on it. You can set your watch by the timing of their posts. You can not escape the regular ass because they are everywhere, all the time, in every forum. The regular ass simply must have the last word too. When you find more than one regular ass in the same thread, it’s more fund than sticking your hand into a barrel of box jellyfish.

After a few encounters with the regular ass most people will simply stop participating in the discussion. There is always a fresh crop of victims joining discussion groups and who jump right in before they have an opportunity to scope out the regular ass. How do you know who is a regular ass before you post a comment anywhere on the Interwebs? Send me an email. I’ve got a list of names.

“Send me an email. I’ve got a list of names.” It’s just a joke friends. I don’t really have a list.

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