What I should have said…

So, I can’t sleep because of some massive egg on my face tonight. I’ve fucked up online a lot in  one night, which has to be some kind of record. I got into it with a game designer and writer whose work I respect and love. What happened is that he’s a native New Yorker who feels, and somewhat rightly so, that the hoopla over 9/11’s anniversary shouldn’t be celebrated in some of the tacky and appaling fashions that they have. Specifically a way tacky ad for a 9/11 memorial that appeared in a Wisconsin paper. The writer chose to use the term”flyover state” to dismiss Wisconsin for such crassness and lack of taste. I foolishly just looked at the post and assumed(first mistake) that he was from Kansas. Second mistake was posting a response telling him Kansas talking shit about Wisconsin was like two hookers hating on each other. Ain’t nobody got room to talk shit. He promptly responded about his New York heritage. I went back to try and sleep, and felt very bad about what I’d done. Could not sleep. So I got back up and apologized in a message for his loss, and about what a fan I was of his work.  Also looked at his page and saw that he’d chosen to bash me for my reaction, rightly so. I got angry, and posted a pithy twitter about how it sucked to be the bigger man. Which I shouldn’t have done,because I was hurt and humiliated and that’s never a good way to go about being online.  He saw the post, and shot back a message quoting me on it, and has blocked me sending him a message. So yet again, i let anger take control and acted like an ass. I went back to bed, trying to sleep.

Folks, you ever had those moments where you think of what you should have said to people, just not when you should have? That’s what I had, lying there awake. So for those who might care, here’s what I should have said.

Dear Mister New Yorker:

I get it, sir, how you’re upset over how some folks out here in what you call the “flyover” states are handling the 9/11 anniversaries. Some of us have shown some remarkable lack of taste and restraint in how we handle it. And you’re right,sir, none of us will know personally how it felt to be on the ground there that day. We won’t know the horror, or the smells, or the fears that you experienced that day. None of us out here will know that. And I understand you having an issue with being reminded of it every year,because it will never go away for you. You also resent an entire country remembering what you went through and claiming it for their own when as you put it, “we only saw it on television”.

Well, I ask you to think about that for a moment. Because like it or not, some of us are going to carry some of that day with us, not just because of television. Good or bad, we went to war because of that day. Right or wrong, people from all across the country signed up,angry at what had been done to you folks, and went off to Iraq and Afghanistan. And you know what? Over 30,000 of those people didn’t come back. Another 30,000 of them came back with some part of themselves gone. So maybe some of those people you’re complaining about, maybe you should I don’t know, in your words”do your research” and talk to them. Maybe that tacky guy in Wisconsin,his brother or best friend came back with no legs or in a box. Maybe this is his blindly stupid way of coping with the giant hole in his life. Maybe that sticker was put there by someone’s kid who didn’t come back, and taking it off would be another piece of that child gone.

So I don’t know if he’ll look at this or not. I really think 9/11 has been abused badly and handled appallingly for gain by some. But one thing I’ve learned living down here in North Carolina is: Don’t assume, and don’t jump out of anger. I did today, and I am a lesser man for it.

Tired of the pale,male and whiny

I generally try to only post on here when being positive. So today’s post is an attempt to put a positive spin on some negativity that I’ve come across.

Here’s what’s got me ticked off. It’s my own people. I’m so tired of being ashamed of being a straight white male. But really, it’s damn hard not to. From the assaults on women’s rights in the courts to the BS with the guys who run the Penny Arcade webcomic, it seems that if you have a vagina in this country, you’re a target. And as a lover of those with them, and the father of beings with them, it shames me. And it  should shame you. You know when you get to feel superior to a woman? When you give birth. Until then, show some respect.

And when did honor go out of style in this country? I mean, if you get called on being wrong, don’t whine about it. Suck it up, get some intestinal fortitude, and figure out what to do next. The level of whining in this country by people who are already sitting pretty appalls me. I feel like  I should have a giant sign of Tony Soprano saying “poor you”.

Men complaining about how they didn’t get an award? Check.Men complaining about how they got called on their prejudice and lack of empathy? Check.Here’s a big question:why don’t we bring back shame?

We all remember shame from when we were kids. Most people today it seems, have lost contact with the guy. Sure, he did some bad things back in the day, like causing gays to be closeted and abuse victims to be silent. But that’s no reason to fire the guy. I mean, if anyone needs him now more than straight white guys, I don’t see it.

If he came back, FB would be a lot nicer place. The net trolls would just sit in their basements and watch :Hackers” until they disappeared in a burst of uselessness. Bands and authors might become solvent again as people actually realized stealing music and movies is a bad thing. And maybe I could actually take my daughter to a sporting event without some guy using every swear word in the book to describe the opposing team.

So here’s what I’d like us to do: I’d like to start a petition to put a shame icon on Facebook. That way, you could tell someone they should be ashamed. And all the votes would have to be public. That way, when someone decides to try and use it to shame someone for evil(like shaming girls who are on birth control or abortion), the button can be turned around and used right on them.Of course , the buttons use on Congress alone might implode Facebook’s servers.

Positive use of all this comes in the form of knowledge. Yes, the net is being used to spread hate and discord. Any step in technology does.But it’s also showing the toads who used to hide under rocks there isn’t a place to hide anymore. Don’t mourn for your privacy, people. It’s been gone for a decade and you just didn’t care enough to save it. Rejoice in the fact that when everyone is open, no one can hide anymore. Evil does not do well in light, folks. Good night.