How To Not Accidentally Be An Asshole On The Internet

Hi friends! I have gotten mad a lot lately about people being assholes on the internet and I want to talk about being an asshole on the internet.

I am not talking about people who are deliberately assholes on the internet. If you are deliberately an asshole on the internet, it’s okay. Troll is a feeling. I know. I forgive you. I am talking about Accidentally Being An Asshole On The Internet, especially when it relates to that dreaded P-word. 

So let’s all take a second to look at what’s in our individual privilege cocktails (‘cause sometimes we get good stuff and sometimes we get bad stuff, and sometimes it’s an entirely different thing depending on where we’re drinking, much like cheap white wine, which is horrifying 351 days of the year but occasionally just what you wanted.)  In one context one might have been arbitrarily given the social upper hand (things like “being white” or “being able-bodied” fit here) and in one we might find ourselves royally screwed over by society (things like “being queer” and even just “being born with a vagina” fit here.) Sometimes the same thing will work in our favor in some situations, and against us in others. Some issues we hear about often and some we don’t. Some issues we value more for our personal identity than others. Intersectionality. We all has it.  

HOWEVER. There are times when context is a little more obvious, and when it’s generally understood that one particular party is getting the short end of the stick thanks to the Evil Overlords of Societal Norms And Stereotypes Et Cetera.  This doesn’t mean that those of us with the long end of the stick are always doing great! We might be feeling shitty because secretly we are dealing with an invisible but debilitating illness or because we are gay or because we stubbed our toe. And then sometimes we feel shitty as a result of the other conversation going on, the one about how the Original Speaker kind of feels crappy due to their lack of privilege in the topic at hand.

Here are some examples of these sorts of feelings:

  • "I have a lot of gay friends but I don’t like it when people think I’m gay by default!"
  • "Why are you all talking about trans people, it sucks that I am invisible as a femme/bisexual/whatever!"
  • "But I don’t think we can talk about race because my depression and lower-middle-class upbringing also prevents me from getting good job opportunities so I don’t think I am winning the privilege olympics so this isn’t fair!"

Sometimes we call these feelings things like “small violins” and sometimes we want to tell the speaker to shove it, and sometimes it turns out that we are the people with these unsavory feelings.

It’s okay if you have these feelings.  Feelings are totally valid. I have crappy feelings all the time where I feel resentful because I wanted to do my favorite thing in the universe, which is to Talk About Myself, and somebody had to rain on my parade.  I also frequently have feelings which make me want to walk up to screaming babies on the train and punch them in the face and scream at their parents to make their despicable little worm SHUT UP BECAUSE I AM TRYING TO READ.  

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Not In Love (ft Robert Smith) - Crystal Castles

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Not In Love (ft Robert Smith)

by Crystal Castles
album Not in Love - Single

OH MY GOD YOU GUYS. This is Robert Smith singing on a new Crystal Castles track and I really, really want to have mixed feelings about this, or make fun of it, or say something critical, but I JUST REALLY LOVE IT AND CAN’T STOP LISTENING TO IT and I don’t think anyone is going to deny that this is one hell of a really solid pop track.