That Thing You Do

Today, we’re going to talk about stupidity.

Depending on who you believe, 80% of those attacked or assaulted, in all its forms, are aware of the identity of their perpetrator. This number’s so high because, in most cases, attacks happen as opportunism. A situation comes to pass where someone decides to impose, or overwhelm or overpower a person who, more often than not is simply incapable of defending themselves. I’ve seen surveys that state that about the same percentage of people never report their attacks or abuse either, because they feel that there will be no recourse. I’m betting a lot of that has to do with people feeling they only bought their on themselves. That is entirely understandable, at least from my position. When you know what you’re doing has the potential to cause someone affront or upset, should you do it to begin with? It comes as no surprise that there will be consequences.

What however, if your abuse appears ‘anonymous’?

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The Internet does allow an (incredibly small) percentage of the population to roast individuals it has never met and would never allow interaction with under normal circumstances, this is beyond doubt. I watch it every day, and often this ‘soapboxing’ has genuinely useful and significant benefits, especially when it comes to major political events. It allows the population a voice it never possessed before, and grants certain people the belief that they are literally without reproach. They can live happy double lives, safe in the knowledge that nobody is aware of their slew of ‘alternate’ accounts. Having been accused on several occasions of doing just this myself I have to take my hats off to anyone whose capable of running multiple ‘sock puppets’ simultaneously and remaining sane. It’s a virtually impossible task to write three blogs regularly, let alone juggle the logistics required to run a ton of fake accounts. I tip my hat to you, psycho nutjobs. You are so much more adept at modern living than I will ever be.

But what this tells me is that if people’s point in throwing stupid about is to attack a specific individual, it might be an idea to actually disguise that intent far better than many of them actually do.

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I’m confident I know the identity of at least 80% of my attackers. A quick glance at spelling and punctuation in their tweets, understanding what platforms they use to send messages, the people that they subsequently choose to follow and interact with all meet pretty established and set patterns, and I don’t need to be  a genius to put the pieces together. What is then less clear is why they bother: is it truly just to frustrate or annoy me? Are they after validation? Is the only point in all of this for them to be under the misguided apprehension that they’e controlling my life because I’m here, writing blog posts about them? Ironically this has become useful and enjoyable fodder for fiction, and I can see myself writing stuff in the future around the concept of the need for others to somehow feel they control the lives of people they’ve never met.

Ironically, the very actions of people like this serve only to desensitise others as to their behaviour, and ultimately liberate them from controlling influences to begin with.

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As I mentioned earlier in the week, once you understand that every attack and stone thrown is at something that doesn’t actually exist except in the mind of the person with the weapon? A lot of life becomes a great deal easier to grasp. This is not an issue, or a significance. Everything, like it or not, simply becomes a cause you either understand or refute. Once you are able to free your mind from the normal constraints that seek to bind it to the whim of your attacker? Nothing really matters at all, and you can relax away from your normal process of defence and anger. In the last few days, as I have written a story that won’t ever make me rich or famous, or garner me a penny in recompense, I have come to understand that the real truth in speaking your mind is never to gain an audience or garner respect. It is purely and simply to liberate your own soul from the shackles that restrain it.

I may hate Venice with a passion, I might laugh at the Internet Trolls, and I may wonder why they need me so much to survive, but none of these are really significant next to the work I have done myself to separate my individual humanity from the detritus that had previously weighed it down. I know what the World wants to do to me, and now I’m confident I can look past this and live as a better person.

Being attacked often is the best form of defence.