The Loner is Not Alone
Just wanted to step in and concur about the surprising confidence of ugly, fat, black girls. That really resonated with me and made me laugh. Except that it’s so commonplace that I’m never really surprised by it. I have my theories on the subject but maybe another time.
I’ve certainly been on the receiving end of the piling on mob mentality, when those weaklings who ally themselves with the power of the masses go at it against someone who is *only* say 20 times their moral superior. I could mop the floor with fifteen or so but a hundred would still get me clobbered, so I came to know torture well.
Yes, humans are scum, but it’s a powerful thing to get in touch with your own scumminess as a human. Because then you can relate to them, and healing can begin. Humans– people– I find are alright to others on their team.
Fortunately, I really don’t have much of a memory for the bad times; my traumatized self was protected against feeling too much pain by going into a kind of shock. And I bet if you asked my bullies, they would say they were only teasing, and maybe that’s all it was most of the time, at the cellular level. But I experienced the mob as a body, and when you add up all of that body’s cells with their relentless little pokes and proddings, it would feel more like Chinese water torture. At some point you feel just one more drop on your forehead and suddenly you’re screaming in agony.
I’ve backed off from the idea that I’m meaningfully superior to the people who used to attack me. As part of my value system growing up, I did not want to fill the world with petty hurtfulness every other breath. I thought the world would be a better place without that kind of crap, so I made like Mahatma Gandhi and challenged myself to be the change that I wanted to see in the world. So I wouldn’t pick on others, even when they were picking on me. But it has since been impressed upon me that my tolerance was less than infinite; that I came to internalize so much rage as to once show great promise toward becoming a murderer. Honestly, I’d have rather been an infinite Gandhi than a serial killer, but I didn’t have the right stuff for sainthood.
So here you have two approaches to living, petty zinger types who bend but don’t break, who vent and spend their spleens periodically with minor casualties, and then there’s us Light and Sunshine folks who sometimes make it from start to finish without doing anyone harm, and sometimes just make it most the way through before going on a rampage. I think it’s a wash, that both sides are equally scummy in the end, so pleased to meet you, scumbag.
I was known as especially quiet in junior high, in the sense that there were classmates who went all year without hearing my voice, though when I did open my trap my voice carried pretty well through no real fault of my own. Having come from a family atmosphere where there was lots of screaming going on, and where the best screamer would get their way regardless of the merits of their position, I definitely came to ascribe more value to ideas that were expressed more softly, thinking them more likely correct since they were able to stand on their own, not requiring bullying to be persuasive.
But I think you’ll find in the world at large, where most people haven’t been so acutely exposed to the ultimate equation, namely that emotion is everything and rationality nothing if both qualities are present in an argument, that most people are predisposed in favor of ideas that are expressed more forcefully. A person with passion in their voice must actually believe they’re correct, and if they’re not crazy this should be taken as a sign that maybe they really are. For me personally, the ‘if not crazy’ part has always been too big an if.
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