08 February 2010

"Quit blubbering and take your medicine like a man!"

Approximately eighty bazillion bloggers have recently put their two cents in on the war between fashion bloggers vs. mean comments. I hemmed and hawed while writing this article, torn between various positions my multiple personalities were taking.

On the one hand, my inner psychopath laughed at how people thought Sister Wolf was unnecessarily mean? You call that savage? It's not just Sister Wolf. Popular blogs have shut down their comments for comments that mildly critical at best.

Having been raised by the internet and foster parented by Something Awful and Mystery Science Theater 3000, I don't understand. Someone says something less than perfectly nice and that's mean? That's trolling? It's not truly savage unless your comment section is flooded with scat pornography, your MySpace is hacked, your phone number has been posted, your email signed up to every porn list in existence, you are a sent a .JPEG of your house on Google Maps circled ominously, and then Fox News runs a special about it while being obviously clueless about how the internet works.

On the other hand, my liberal bleeding heart sympathized greatly with Sal's message on Already Pretty. No one deserves to have their work torn apart for no good reason. Having your blog and inbox flooded with nastiness is never pleasant.

I sympathize with popular bloggers. Fortunately my small, hardly read blog has a handful of people who I love to entertain. But in the past I have dealt with harassment resulting from publicly available artwork and writing. Pouring your heart into something only to have it viciously attacked is harder to deal with than many of us would like to admit.

Lastly, my internal arsonist screams, "KILL THEM ALL!"

Oh my torn self could not decide.

Then I realized that fashion makes everyone absolutely insane.

Now see, I had to step out of the world of fashion blogs and step into some video games.

You see, Team Fortress 2 has hats. The hats don't do anything, like armor in an RPG might. TF2 hats are amusing and are a rare find. A bunch of fancy pixels causes joy, war, cheating, hacking, delight, and endless frustration within the Team Fortress 2 community. Finding a newly released hat has caused an entire server halt in a temporary truce just so everyone can see it. (Choice lines include: "OHMYGAWD CHECK OUT THE HAT!" and "wow im like a celeb now".)

Clothing and fashion is more prevalent in games out side of Team Fortress 2: Electric Boogaloo. Silent Hill games offer a variety of (admittedly often sexist) costumes for the player to work for. People pay actual money for cutesy dress up items in Dungeon Fighter. The MMPORG centric web show The Guild had an entire second season conflict begin with an item that can change your character's hair style. No one likes it when a teammate grabs that item you really wanted to wear.

You might go, "So what? Nerds get excited over stupid shit all the time."

The point is that everyone, in one way or another, get stupidly excited over clothes. Fashion makes us insane. We lose our tiny little minds over $500 shoes, silk blouses, and anything with the letters Y, S, and L scrawled across it.

I see otherwise rational people pay for a purse rather an overdue bill. People beat each other senseless at sample sales in New York or trample others over half off sweaters on Black Friday. Models starve themselves which causes non-models to starve themselves to death. Some of the slave labor in foreign countries functions thanks to the fashion industry. Yeah, those fake Christian Louboutin pumps you thought about getting? Made by enslaved children with broken, mangled legs.

Since fashion makes everyone stupid and crazy, it makes us hypersensitive. I speculate that's what causes the over-the-top forced positivity from WhatIWore's infamous code of comments post. I can't image that Jessica, who seems clever and cool, is really that sensitive in real life because everyone has to deal with harsh criticism in their daily lives. Then again I'm unlucky enough to have total strangers in the street come up and insult me for my shoes and weight.

So what to do about all this hypersensitivity and insanity on the internet?

I'm going to have to ask the bloggers to man up and put things in perspective. We all need to learn how to deal with daily meanness, criticism, and have the ability to the differentiate between the two. Trolls trolls because they get a reaction and anonymity has proved to cause temporary mental deficiency. Human meanness is a fact of life.

I'm not saying lay down and let people walk all over you. But you can't let stupid people get you down. There's more of them than of non-stupid people. You have to moderate comments and learn to ignore emails.

If someone came up to you on the street and said, "You're hideous and you should kill yourself," then you most likely would say, "Fuck you and eat a dick." If someone you knew said, "I like your shirt but your earrings are big enough to set on fire and use in a circus act involving lions," then you'd say thanks and then ignore what they just said as you went about as usual.

We need to stop being crazy about clothes.


WendyB said...

Wait, strangers come up to you in the street and comment about your shoes and weight? Where the fuck do you live?

I've been lucky not to get too many mean comments (just tons of spam). If I start getting them, I'll delete them. If that doesn't help, I'll stop allowing comments. Basically, I'll do whatever makes me happy! But I don't feel I have to explain or apologize or make statements about what people should write. I just go in for the kill.

GLC said...

Actually someone IRL commented about the passing mention of random insults. Apparently this is not as common as my experience has led me to believe. I am a lightning rod for random hostility, I guess.