“Don’t feed the trolls.” Once in a while, I apparently have to be reminded what a great piece of advice that is. I’m at a point in my life where my writing is, once again, my only source of therapy, so I’m back to “thinking out loud” here. I’m 46 years old and I’m ashamed of the words I’m about to type:
I’ve spent the last hour plus of my life arguing about George R. R. Martin with some random nerd I’ve never met before.
On Facebook, no less. What a pathetic douche bag. Me, not the other nerd.
Though he might be that as
The specifics of the argument are irrelevant. What matters is some friend of a friend wrote something in a comment thread that I passionately disagreed with and instead of saying to myself, “Wow, what a load of horse shit,” I engaged with him. And it went back and forth – a few times – and our mutual friend said something about backing off, which she should because I hate it when two of my friends starting squabbling in one of my comment threads, but (god I hate Facebook) then neither one of us really backed down and now we’re still arguing even after I started writing this post. And this is the worst part:
I’m the fucking troll.
I’ve been online about as long as this guy has been alive and I know how to behave. But I chose not to. Why? Fucked if I know. But yeah, I’m the troll here. Disgusting.
That doesn’t let him off the hook though, he’s still a condescending
There’s something wrong with me. His first reply illustrated the lack of rational perspective that’s so prevalent among the more rabid fans of nerd culture (I’m a nerd by the way, we’re all on the same page about that, right?), and a complete unwillingness to take any kind of personal responsibility (and again, we’re talking about a series of fucking books here, not birth control, or something that matters) and I should’ve just walked away. But I’d already engaged with the guy and it was way too late.
I wonder if this is what it’s like to be a junkie? To actively, knowingly participate in something you know is wrong? Probably not. Regardless, I knew this was a stupid waste of my time, but my lizard brain refused to let go. I’m the troll.
What a fucking drag. And here’s something else: I was genuinely angry with this dude. I don’t even know him. He might be a great dude.
He could be. So I’m getting worked up and I’ve got that anger demon in my gut that just makes me want to invade a small village and destroy their food and water supply, and then, toward the end of this thing, this guy writes that he was about to write a nice message about how good it was to debate with me.
Couple things here: First, nothing about what we did was debate. We were two self-righteous nerds yelling at each other. Second…good? What about any of that shit was good?
I guess some people are just hardwired to argue about shit. I’m really, really not one of those people. I mean, I’m inclined to argue about shit, especially pointless shit, but it’s an inclination I seriously dislike, and there’s not any part of the process I find enjoyable. Read three paragraphs back where I mention the anger demon in my gut. The real term for that is “stress.” I was stressed out. This guy enjoyed himself, apparently. He totally wins.
I totally lose. I probably shaved like a day off my life over this shit. And I was a dick to some random dude in the process.
I just apologized to him on Facebook. Because I’m a middle aged adult and that’s what you do.
Goddammit. Maybe I’ll be a better person tomorrow.