So I will leave this post as the tombstone for this ugly little blog that brought out the vilest in me and has now left me in deep shame for the rest of my life. Always remember this, kids: you may not really be as witty and edgy as you think you are; the Internet amplifies everything, especially your most ridiculous stupidity, so don’t go writing callous things even during those days that you happen to feel depressed and like shit and you need that feeling of not caring; limits usually exist for a good reason; your imaginary enemies are not the same as the real breathing people; groups are not monolithic so that all their members equal the one you hate the most and who may or may not return the favour; and finally, remember that regardless of their labels, all people are individuals with feelings, fears and hopes that you really, really should always respect. ~Ilkka Kokkarinen, Sixteen Volts
Deep shame for the rest of my life? Is the man serious? So maybe he crossed the line and said some rude things on a few occasions–for this he will feel “deep shame” for the rest of his life? That’s ridiculous. If he believes he has seriously done wrong, he can give up the blogging (as he has done) and change his ways–but why would he feel “deep shame” for the rest of his life? I can see it now: Kokkarinen in his dotage some decades hence is sitting out in his backyard staring off into the distance, his face drawn in a look of anguish, his eyes haunted by the thoughts of…his mean blog entries! Oh, the humanity! If there is one thing we can all agree on about blog entries, it is that they are fairly trivial. If he made a mistake with some of them and he feels bad about that, so be it, but it is just about as serious and shameful as shouting at someone in anger on the highway. You shouldn’t do those things, but if anyone feels “deep shame” for the rest of his days because he has done either of those things he has bigger problems than being mean to people on a blog. It sounds more like his woman has laid a heavy guilt trip on him for which he will be paying for the rest of his days–and that’s the real shame.
Also, why would you “always” show everyone respect? As a general rule, yes, you should show people respect until they give you a reason to do otherwise, but respect is not some automatic, permanent given thing that everyone can expect no matter what. There are people who have not earned respect or who have lost it, presumably by doing things a fair sight more shameful than writing a zinger on a blog about overweight lesbians. Good grief.
Update: Glaivester has a nice, succinct post called Stop Your Sniveling and Groveling, Ilkka. Amen to that.