Anybody can find fault. Fault doesn’t seem to get lost very often, and it usually doesn’t really hide that well either. Sooner or later, fault always comes marching out, demanding to be recognized by someone, anyone, guilty or innocent.
But there sure are a lot of people who devote their lives to seeking out something that never was lost to begin with. Why are so many people absolutely thrilled to find those faults and be the first (or even among the hundreds) to point out those faults so that everyone knows that they spotted them and recognized them.
Like get a life, dude. (Or dudette!)
You don’t need a degree or any special training or even to be above average in intelligence (or anything else) to find those faults that weren’t really hiding. These internet trolls that seem to delight in exposing each and every flaw and then dissecting it with minute attention to detail seriously have some issues. Above all, they remind me of chickens.
I’m not being a smart alec about that. Seriously, they do act like chickens. I realize that most of America has never been intimately acquainted with chickens. For many people, their closest exposure has been at a petting zoo or even just a news clip on television. In reality, there’s nothing cute about a flock of chickens, especially if they have decided that they don’t like one of their flock mates.
It’s horrifying to see what they will do then. They will literally, over a period of time, peck that chicken to death, while also driving it away from food and water and otherwise making their lives as miserable as possible. It isn’t all of the chickens in the flock that do this, just a handful out of the group participating in this “troll” behavior is enough to result in the pecked chicken’s death.
Hence the expression of “henpecked” that we have often heard used to refer to a husband who is being micromanaged by his wife to an oppressive degree.
Sure, there are lots of theories about why these chickens will do this. Usually, overcrowding and other stress factors will get the behavior started. It can happen in free range chickens, but it’s far less common. As a country person would say, “once in a blue moon.” In confined and crowded conditions, even when the chickens have the recommended space and ability to go outdoors into the sunshine, it can really get started though. The more stress and crowding, the more the behavior shows up.
Maybe mankind is just like a flock of chickens. We’re getting more crowded and stressed, and we’re seeing more outbreaks of “troll” behavior. On occasion, this behavior accelerates and becomes violent rather than just verbal (or written) attacks. When this happens, the usual cry is to restrict access to potential weapons.
Gun control isn’t going to change the behavior, folks. Chickens commit homicide regularly, and have never figured out how to use firearms. I have a gun and have had guns most of my life, yet I have not committed murder, nor even shot at anyone.
I have worked armed positions in my lifetime. I’ve also been threatened with a gun on more than one occasion, although not while working. Usually, the threat was by a police officer of some kind. Was the threat warranted? No, I wasn’t armed, wasn’t threatening the officer, was not committing a crime, and usually had no idea what was going on or why I had a gun in my face. Each time, it turned out to be some kind of mistake, quickly resolved, and I was not handcuffed or arrested.
I must have some caveman DNA floating around and connected to my violent genes. My weapon of choice has always been throwing rocks. I’m pretty good at chucking them too or was before I got hurt. Southern Mississippi, however, is starved for rocks. Our rocks have to be imported from elsewhere. I guess that’s why I haven’t done any rock chucking in a long time.
But I digress…
This troll behavior is an indicator of a deeper problem or fault in our society, one that we need to address. It’s just as real as any tectonic plate’s fault on our planet’s crust, and indicative of an equally deep flaw in our society. Fault in this sense is a very real concept regarding what is happening today. This fault is an early sign of henpecking that can and eventually will turn homicidal in some individuals. Granted, not all of these individuals will ever become physically violent in person. Many of them may be too intimidated in person to even say “boo!” to a stranger, let alone become verbally confrontational. Even so, they feel that they have the right to do so, often in very unpleasant ways, on the internet.
I’m not sure that the spirit of the right to free speech includes the right to say things just to hurt other people, whether it is merely an emotional hurt or any other kind of hurt, even if it is commentary based on truth. I certainly do not think that condoning troll behavior and allowing them to surf the cyber world in search of fault which they can then use as their war cry as they begin yet another flaming attack on some unwitting soul.
Do I think I would turn homicidal? Not with the current level of stress and crowding, but I know that even I have certain points where I may well rationalize violent behavior if I am honest about myself. Remember, the word stress is just another word for stimuli. Breaking into my house when I am home is going to qualify as a stress. So is attacking a family member. Heck, even attacking my dogs is a stressor! I also tend to get rather confrontational if I feel my home turf (aka house and yard) is being intruded upon, something I came to grips with last year when a neighbor’s dog tried to claim our backyard as his personal turf.
We have to find new ways of adapting to living in smaller spaces, to working closely with others, to living closely with them. We have to identify individuals that have reached that magic red line that defines when they are going to become violent, and then come up with appropriate intervention. All of that without causing new stress by stripping away personal freedoms and rights.
It’s a tall order, but the end result is worthwhile. It means creating a society that encourages supportive and nurturing behavior rather than glorifying confrontational and violent behavior. It means doing away, worldwide, with the concept of war too. It means creating a worldwide society that encourages growth, on each and every level, as well as celebrating diversity and individualism.
Yeah, I know—it sounds like Utopia.
It really is Utopia, I suppose. It’s not impossible though. Gene Roddenberry dreamed of it with his Star Trek world. I’m not the only dreamer. The world just needs a lot more dreamers, a lot more people who are willing to ostracize and discourage those who want to be trolls, and willing to encourage people to be something they all possess the ability to be.
With a heart.
Maybe we need to remind everyone of our mothers’ old adage while we’re at it.
“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”
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