anger

A Tale of Two Bullies: Me and My Murderer

I'm a bully.

At least, I was
I might still be, but that's not the point.
I'm not going to justify myself, or make it seem like my bullying ways were legitimate or fair, or excusable, but I'll tell you right up front that I didn't intend to be a bully. I meant to be the funny guy.
It's a popular myth that bullies are afraid of the people they attack, but I think that's actually an accidental result of the mocking rather than the immediate cause.
Bullies attack people that are just different, it's that basic.
It's where racism comes from.

This post isn't expressly about me, but I'll tell you a quick story about myself:

When I was 17, I was sitting in stand-still traffic, in the right most lane. I was listening to music and hanging out, when I saw a big muscular black guy walking up the side of the road. Before I knew what happened, I instinctively locked the doors of the car.

My heart sank...

What did I just do!? Did I assume this guy was going to try to steal my car and sit in the traffic?? Was I a racist? What the fuck??

I was seriously worried that I had just revealed myself to be a bigot. I thought about it a lot.

A few months later, I found myself sitting in more traffic. In the right most lane again. Listening to music. This time I looked up and saw a little old white lady walking up the side of the road. Before I knew what happened, my hand reached out and locked the doors again.

HOORAY!

I'M NOT RACIST, I'M JUST AFRAID OF EVERYTHING!


Especially little quiet people who wear bow-ties. Which brings me to my story:

There's a guy that I used to be "friends" with on Facebook, who, for the sake of this story, I'll refer to as "Elmer."
Elmer is a fucking asshole.
On Facebook, Elmer is constantly posting statuses, usually around three times a day, which are typically centered around how abortion should be made illegal (this is technically up for debate, but it's not the point of this post. If you have a problem with giving people a choice as to how they should conduct themselves and decide their future, go ahead an give me a reasoned argument for removing someone's options), and how any non-Christian is a fool. He posts about how "boughetto" (a crude word which is a combination of "bourgeoisie" and "ghetto") people are loud and stupid and annoying. He frequently deals in stereotypes about black people. On Martin Luther King day, he posted something fucking crazy about having the day off and whether or not it's deserved, and how MLK Jr. himself would say "Ni**er please" in regards to...something...
Elmer has blocked me on facebook, so I can't easily quote the post, but if I can find a way to quote the "Ni**er please" post in the future, I'll add it in. If you're friends with this prick and you can find it, send me a screen cap at WillAndBobby@gmail.com!
Anyway, I find him infuriating. He's a bully. And so I fucking bully him.
Most of the time I just post asinine shit.
For example:
Last week he posted something about how he couldn't wait to go home and have his "supper."
I thought it was absurd that he called "dinner" "supper," so at first I was going to post, "haha, what the fuck? You call it 'supper'?"
But it didn't seem funny enough.
So then I was about to write, "Oh boy, I love 'supper.'"
But then it wasn't weird enough (that's important to me), so I finally posted, "Oh no, my supper is cold :("
Perfect!
It's fucking stupid and irrelevant and not worth getting angry at, while still being weird and funny. And he mostly used to let me get away with just posting weird shit on his page, which was part of the fun.
Not all my posts have been benign though. I've called him out about threatening people.
A year ago, he wrote about how he never forgets the people who wronged him, and how one day they'll pay for it.
It set me off. And I wrote something along the lines of, "So you're threatening people now? I guess someday we'll see your face in the papers."

He went OFF! He freaked out and wrote a long post about how I had compared him to Jared Lee Loughner (a comparison which I didn't intend, but nonetheless find accurate).
I was mostly worried that I might lose the place where I posted absurd bullshit. And this guy is an accidental comedic genius.
That seems like a good enough background to explain what happened a couple of days ago.
Elmer posted this:
How's that for some racist bullshit?!

Really, the fact that black people were once discriminated against and hated means that black people should have learned not to be rude to anybody?
If you're going to use the argument that racism should have an effect on how black people "should" act, it would be that THEY ARE FREE TO DO WHATEVER THE FUCK THEY LIKE after white people did whatever the fuck they liked!
You stupid asshole!
You racist piece of shit!
You bow-tie-wearing human trash!
Now I'm not trying to big myself up or make my role in this world more significant than it is...And YES, I am (or WAS) willingly "friends" with Elmer, who I would usually just mock with goofy bullshit, but man this set me off.
He was seeming to revel in his own bullshit and awfulness. His anger is well documented. And more than that, he has people who read his bullshit and agree with him. I don't presume I'm going to change the world, but I also can't very well look at small-minded shit like this and move on. I wanted to call him out on his fucking prejudice.
At first I wrote, "Hey [Elmer], which do you hate more: racism or black people?" But I ended up deleting that and coming up with "It's a good thing white people and Asian people aren't rude at all." 
Compared to what I was originally going to write, that's nothing. Even still, I received a fucking frantic, lunatic, rapid fire, SUPER angry response back about how I had twisted his words and how I was spouting "fallacies," which is a bullshit old-world, biblical term meaning "falsehoods." 
...Which is also old and biblical. 
Fuck...
Anyway, he went on to attack me by saying something along the lines of (I'll add actual quotes if possible) "how do you know I won't post something negative about white people or Asians in the future."
To put it bluntly, he's a defensive nut.
I wrote back "Feel free to surprise me but..." and I went on to point out that even if he eventually posts about how white people can be rude in the modern world, he's currently talking about specifically black people...who he has written about before...in the same shitty negative tone.
I'll say it now: Go fuck yourself  "Elmer."
After this most recent outburst, where I blatantly point out his racism, he finally decided to block me. 
He should have done it years ago.
Unfortunately for me, this son of a bitch gets the best of me here:
He says that I have been antagonizing him for years (again, I'll post the actual quotes in the future if possible). And he's right. I have been. But I'll say again that it's because of his misogyny and racism that I lash out.
He also makes a point of saying that he remembers how I treated him in middle school and high school.
Now we're back to that Jared Lee Loughner bullshit.
What, may I ask, is the point of saying to somebody that you'll remember them for the way they mistreated you, unless you have some plan for how to get back at them?
I'll suggest here and now that "Elmer" has, at least in the back of his mind, some idea of lashing out against the people who has wronged him.
Which means that now I have to explain myself:
I bullied Elmer in middle school, and I have to own up to that.
In 8th or 9th grade (I honestly don't remember), I took a wood-working class which I shared with Elmer.
He was quiet, and I had no reason not to like him, but he shared a work station with me and a girl, whose name I don't remember.
I flirted with the girl, and we joked around, and we were goofy, and we made fun of anything and everything, including Elmer.
I'll remind you again that "Elmer" is a nickname for the actual guy. It's a similar name to the real thing, though, so when I tell you that me and that girl called him "Smellmer," you may well work out what his actual name is.
"Smell" was definitely a part of the name, is what I'm saying.
But it had no true basis.
He wasn't smelly, he wasn't weird, he was just quiet and fine.
I'll tell you right now, that by calling him "Smellmer", I thought the natural perception was not I was calling Elmer a loser, but that by calling him "Smellmer," I was calling myself a loser!
It was a joke on a joke.

I thought I was making fun of people who make fun of people.

"Smellmer" is the dumbest, most illogical name in the world, so by using it, I was making fun of people who might actually use it.
But no matter what, whether I intended that fucking stupid name to be hurtful or not, I have to own up to the result, which was evidently that I hurt Elmer's feelings.
I feel bad about that as a 9th grader. If at all possible, I would definitely send a message to my 15/16 year-old-self saying "leave Elmer alone," but as a 25 year-old man, I think "fuck you Elmer, you racist fuck."
So that was middle school. He has every right to say that he remembers how I treated him then, and he has  every right to hate me for it.

But high school? I don't remember shit about him then! I don't think I spoke to him at all!

So once again: fuck you Smellmer! You're talking out of your smelly, racist, ass!
No matter what, he posted that thing about how he remembers me for how I "treated" him in middle school and high school, which I interpret to mean he'll one day show up on my front step with a gun.
I'll be waiting...To die I guess...Because I don't think I'll dodge those bullets like Batman.
Yes.
I was a bully.
10 years ago.
But Elmer is a bully now.
He blocked me, and he's way smarter than man, and he works for the fucking government, but still I say, "fuck you, you racist piece of shit."
Honestly though, how awesome will it be if he tries to murder me? 
If I'm found dead, seek Smellmer. 
Actually, first check if it was a heart attack, I'm pretty overweight. If there are bullet holes, though, drive straight to Smellmer.
If you're reading this, and you know who "Elmer" REALLY is, then I suggest you go nuts on his wall, denouncing his crazy views. Fuck that asshole and his asshole friends.
Facebook is a public forum. You're free to think whatever crazy bullshit you want, but when you put it on a public site like that, don't expect it to be the same as putting it in a journal you keep under your bed. People can see it and respond. Facebook is a place for conversation and debate.
It's like being at a party, and everyone you know is there, and a few hundred people you've never met, and you see someone you used to know and you happen to notice they're saying something horrible about somebody else. Do you walk up to them and say, "hey man, that's not cool," or do you just pretend it didn't happen?
What I'm saying is that in a moment like that, you feel compelled to do one of those two things: step up or move along.
I couldn't help myself, so I stepped up. Frankly I wish I had been more brazen and given him more shit.
Life's too short to let people get away with hurting each other.
The last thing I got to say to Smellmer before the block was that I do regret being a shit head in middle school, but I'm going to call out bullshit when I see it.
He followed up with a fucking knockout punch. He really got me good. He wrote:
"Enjoy spending the rest of your life pretending to be humble while mistreating people."
Fuck. He was right: I was pretending to be humble and I was accidentally writing like some small town super-hero.
He'll never fucking see the last thing I wanted to say to him though, because I was blocked JUST before I could send it... 
My last message to Elmer is:
"Thanks!"
Bully the bullies!
Concerns, thoughts, questions, stories? Comment here or email me at WillAndBobby@gmail.com!

Oh Good, Unsolicited Opinions and Advice

It seems to me that there are a few things that everybody in the world agrees are annoying. For example: every single person in the world thinks rubbernecking is a pain in the ass. We all complain about traffic caused by idiots who gawk at every fender bender. I've yet to hear a single person say, "you know what I like? Car accidents. Everybody slows down, and I get to take a good look." Likewise, everybody seems to hate it when people talk during a movie. These things are universal.

You know what else we all seem to hate? People who push their opinions and beliefs on us. So why do we always tell each other what to think and do?
The other day I was driving home from work, and I had to merge into a lane on a highway. As I was trying to squeeze in, a guy assertively sped up to get ahead of me, rather than let me glide in front of him. It was no big deal. It was definitely because they didn't want to be behind me, and they had to drift into another lane to get around me, but it really wasn't a completely shitty maneuver. It was blah. I didn't give it another thought, until I squared up behind them. Thanks to their swoop-around, I got to check out their bumper sticker, which I managed to find an image of online.
It may be the teeniest tiniest picture in the world. Start squinting........now:
If you can't quite tell, that's a bumper sticker which says, "Abortion: One Dead / One Wounded," and it has a picture of a distraught woman on it.
I'm not about to debate the issue of whether or not abortion is moral or should be legal, so relax, I'm going to talk about how this person is a fucking asshole for not being able to shut their goddamn mouth.
I don't care what you think. About anything. You have your opinions, I have mine. The only time the two of them should be expressed is in some sort of public forum where we are each able to make a case for our beliefs. Even then, I probably don't want to talk to you.
Most people are insufferable, and if one thing is certain, it's that while I'm in my car, I should be free from your bullshit ideas.
Are we so self righteous and self centered that we think we need to be stating a "fact" or crafting an argument even when we're busy driving?
This person has this bumper sticker stuck to their stupid car! It's not even a matter of caring about the issue of abortion, it's a matter of thinking that their opinions need to be presented and respected at all times.
What exactly do they think is going to happen? What are they accomplishing? Are they under the impression that I am pro-choice, but once I see this cheap two-tone bumper sticker I'm going to rethink my beliefs? They must think that I'm about to have an epiphany sitting here in traffic, and change my whole life. Should I thank them? Do they want to spark fury in me? Do they want a debate?
Do they want to know if I'm anti-abortion and if they can be friends with me?
No.
Nope.
Nah.
They're just a dog barking. They just want to bluntly barf out what they think. They haven't really thought it through. They found something which expresses what they believe, and tossed it on their car because they're simple.
They must understand that this is an issue on which people strongly disagree. People fight tooth and nail over abortion, and they've casually placed their stance on the bumper of their car to challenge all the people on the other side of the coin. Really, just fuck off. We all have enough shit to think about without some simple, small minded moron throwing their opinions in our face. Now I'm barfing.
Why do people seem to want to have an impact on our lives? Are they bored, or just self obsessed?
It's not all about hot button issues, either. For example, here's something which I see on my way to work every damn day:
A few months ago, someone spray painted the impossible phrase "Smiles everyone! Smile" on a walkway in New Brunswick. I get annoyed every time I drive under it.
Part of the reason is that the phrasing is all screwed up. First we're ordered with "Smiles everyone," which is clearly addressed at the population at large, hence "smiles" being plural. But then it's followed up with the reinforcement of "Smile," which is singular and therefor seemingly directed directly at the reader (Though my personal theory is just that this was scrawled out by some drunk idiot Rutgers freshman who thinks they stumbled across a brilliant and simple way of solving all the world's frowns, but whose brain screwed up the phrasing).
The other part of the reason I hate this is the same reason why I hate the abortion bumper sticker: Don't tell me what to do or think. Leave me alone, shut up, and keep your opinions to yourself.
I know that this is all a bit rich coming from me, considering that I have a blog where all I do is write what I want without input, but the difference is that you have the option of ignoring all my shit. I have to drive under this bridge every morning, and there's nothing more annoying than someone telling you to smile when you're tired and grumpy. Just let me grump in peace.
I'm just going to start spray painting "Frowns everyone! Frown!" on every bridge I see, because I think my views deserve to be seen and appreciated.
I could have just posted this video to illustrate my point:
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_1FbjuJp4E]

Self Entitlement: A rant against self obsession written by a dude with a blog

Right now, I'm really angry. I know I shouldn't be. I know each and every logical counterpoint to what has got me so pissed off, but right now, I don't fucking care for that logic. What I'm angry at is irrational, so the way I see it, I'm allowed to be irrational too. Out of respect, I won't discuss the particulars of what has got me so riled up. I mean that I just don't think it would be at all nice to say exactly what happened tonight, I'm sure I'll talk about it candidly sometime in the future, but a good way to summarize the issue is to say that I'm becoming increasingly fed up with the sense of entitlement I see in most people in public.

When people are in pain, the night belongs to them. Unless you count among their numbers, the night isn't yours. You are not allowed to criticize the people grieving. You are not allowed to try and garner sympathy for your separate issues, and you are most definitely not allowed to compound the evening by letting your personal squabbles take over.

You are not the center of attention just because you feel your issue is worth our time. It doesn't work that way.

Self entitlement. What's wrong with you? Tonight I went to a funeral, where people acting selfishly, but it's not my night to discuss, so I won't. However, I see the same disproportionate behavior almost everywhere I go.

Maybe a year or two ago, I was sitting in a Starbucks, reading or writing or staring. The place was packed, absolutely packed. Do you know why it was packed? It was because it was a Saturday afternoon, and Starbucks is a pretty popular, busy place. We all know that. Except for this fucking dickhead:

Some gangly clown walks into Starbucks, takes a look around, and frowns. I noticed him do it, and I imagined that maybe he was meeting up with somebody, and upon looking around, saw that the person hadn't arrived yet. I was wrong. He walked up to the counter, impatiently ordered his drink as if the cashier should have anticipated it fully, and barely finished his request before he asked/ordered, "And where am I going to sit?"

"Excuse me?" The kid seemed legitimately confused.

"Where am I going to sit? All the seats are taken."

If I were this poor employee, I wouldn't have had any idea what to say, and I worked 4 years in a fucking TGI Fridays, where my job description may as well have read, "appease assholes."

"Uh...Well, I mean, we're pretty busy."

The asshole met this with total silence.

"We have some tables available out front."

The man's lip curled in revulsion, "I don't want to sit outside." (Note: This was said as if only sub-humans ever have to venture outdoors."

"Well, I guess you could wait for someone to get up? Some of these customers have been here for a while, so maybe they'll be leaving soon."

Well spoken, well explained. Poorly received. The guy looked downright insulted. Livid. He scoffed. Without saying a word, he handed over his card, paid, and walked out of the store.

That was weird. Really weird. It looked like the guy was walking out on his order...but he had paid. So whatever, I went back to whatever the hell it is I was doing. I was interrupted from it again a moment later.

The door flew open, not as if violently thrown, but rather as though someone massive was trying to get through. It was that piece of shit, and he was dragging with him one of the wrought iron tables from outside. It was a distracting, huge sound. He wasn't fully carrying the table, he was literally dragging it.

The iron was screeching against the tile, and, as I said, the place was packed. There wasn't room for an additional table. If there was, there would probably be another table in there. He had to place it awkwardly in a foot-traffic area. Anyway, the guy went back outside to get a chair. When his drink was ready, he said at the table and read a book. He did so pointedly, not casually. It was clear that he was trying to make some sort of bullshit statement.

What an asshole. What an utter dick. When you venture out in the world, you should know that things aren't guaranteed to go your way. They just aren't. If you want to have total control over your surroundings, stay inside your own place and interact with no one. At all. When you're out in the world, you're subject to the same laws of likelihood as the rest of us. Sometimes you're going to want to drink a cup of coffee and read a book. That's great, I love that. I do that. But when I feel this way, and I decide to go to a Starbucks to do it, I know that I'm entering a building where other people are trying to have a similar experience. Sometimes all the tables will be taken, because a whole lot of people had the same popular idea as me. In that case, all I can do is shrug, and move on. Do I still want the coffee? Well I'm there already, so I'll buy one. Do I still want to read a book in here, sitting at a table? Well maybe I'll get lucky, and I'll see someone pack up their stuff and leave. Barring that, oops, oh well, things didn't go the way I hoped. No big deal, do ANYTHING ELSE, YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE.

If it's the employees fault that the place is full, then you're equally at fault for showing up when everybody else decided to be there. It's the luck of the draw. It's random. How fucking dare you try to change the circumstances around you to accommodate your whimsy, your personal preferences. You aren't required here, and you aren't in charge. In short: go fuck yourself.

Without getting too specific, tonight somebody was, through pain, trying to express themself. It was clearly difficult and upsetting, it was hard to do, but they were doing it. That's all that mattered. Someone in the back of the room shouted, "speak up."

You son of a bitch. You piece of shit. Who the fuck are you to criticize someone for trying to speak about something so personal. It was supposed to be a shared moment. No. It was supposed to be a personal moment in confidence, shared with a group assembled for a shared cause. No one grieving needs a heckler. Shut your fucking mouth. If you can't hear him, that's a shame, he isn't speaking for your benefit, he's speaking for his. Maybe you should be sitting closer. Maybe you should have gotten there earlier. This same person had already complained about how long it took him to get there.

Some people just want to be heard. Scratch that. Some people need to be heard. And that's okay in and of itself. Just like most things in life, it's the way that you cope with that need that's important.

I'm a big fan of a podcast (internet radio show) called Tell 'Em Steve-Dave! It's a podcast hosted by three guys from a comic book store in Red Bank, NJ. On Labor Day, Allie was being really awesome by going to that shop with me to watch the guys record a new episode. They had posted on Twitter that they would be doing a few small competitions, and wanted people to come to the shop to watch. Currently, Bobby and I are gearing up a podcast of our own, and so on top of wanting to see these guys I'm a fan of, I wanted to get an idea of what it looks like when professionals do it.

I'd heard them say before that they didn't have a ton of fans, and even though there were only 20 or so other people who went to the shop, it was kind of cool. It felt like a legitimate cultural event. The guys were sitting around the microphones, talking to each other. They didn't engage the "audience" at all. They didn't have to. We were there to watch what we presumably all knew was a private show. We're there for fun, not to participate. Except for one guy. This idiot was sitting in a chair, arms laying casually across the back of it, feet stretched out in front of him, looking cool and casual. With every joke that the hosts made, he would burst out in an obvious artificial laugh. If one of the hosts asked a hypothetical question, he answered it loudly. It became clear that he was desperately trying to be involved in the proceedings, hidden under the guise of enthusiasm. He just wanted his voice on the mic. He would probably listen to the podcast and get a thrill out of hearing his voice echoing quietly in the background. He'd tell his friends. They'd show a vague interest. I hated him for it. It was desperate. And even though it was a pathetic move, I don't excuse him from the underlying narcissism. Who is he to interrupt (or try to interrupt) the show that the rest of us enjoy just because he has some childish need for attention, or an unfounded expectation that anyone gives a shit about what he has to say?

And I hope I hear him on the podcast. He's a warning. He is an example of how not to be.

I could easily blame this behavior on the social-networking-generation, but I think that would be a myopic view of the problem. Realistically, I think it's just another kind of social behavior. It's a social affect. It's not new. Some people are just over-valuing their voice; their opinion. Some people think that it's necessary to make clear their satisfaction or dissatisfaction despite the lack of involvement. Tonight I was sorry to see a heavily significant event be somewhat tarnished by people over-extending their opinion. We don't need to hear your criticism, we don't need you to smile awkwardly because you're uncomfortable here, and we don't need your bullshit personal issues to get in the way of our collected emotion.

We are not so enthralled with you.

We are all in the same boat, even you, and when you make clear your dissatisfaction, your discomfort, you are embarrassing not only yourself, but the rest of us.

I fear I'm getting vague again. And I don't mean to do it to attract attention, I'm just so incredibly anxious about these things. Tonight was just another example of a widespread problem. Like I said, to blame Twitter and Facebook for making us all feel like our opinions are essential is absurd. Twitter and Facebook are invitations to express ourselves, not archives of uncontested genius. They are places for debate and conversation.

I'm sorry if this feels like the equivalent of posting "Some people really piss me off" on Facebook, and I hope that I've given enough real-life examples to satisfactorily express myself. I'm just feeling bleak. Like people won't give each other an inch. That no one's really listening, just planning how best to respond. On any other day, I could have written about these jerks comedically, but I'm viewing them through a filter of blind anger right now.

In case you haven't had enough of them, here's one quick final prime example of this self obsession:

I took a class on public speaking a few years ago, and predictably, pretty much everybody in my class was an egomaniac (either positively or negatively), myself included. Everybody had something brilliant to say, and everybody else was just surely waiting for their turn.

Well anyway, this one particular day, our professor was talking about his weekend, which involved some mis-communication between himself and his daughter. It involved his cell phone glitching out and behaving oddly. To help explain his story, the professor interrupted himself, and asked the room at large,

"Do any of you know how a cell phone works?"

A woman sitting next to me raised her hand and answered,

"Idon't."