I had a fall out with a co worker this week because of an antiquated and hierarchical parking system at work. You see, ordinary commoners like me are not allowed to park on site because we take up the spaces where customers could park but if you are a manager you CAN park on site -anywhere you like it seems – because your bigger SUV’s don’t take up the same amount of space. Having arrived at work with literally seconds to spare before being declared ‘very late’ I had abandoned my car in the first available space and got on with my day. At home time I went to get it only to discover someone had deliberately parked another car across it meaning I couldn’t get out. Realising this was a tactic to make me see the error my ways earlier on in the day I simply took another car home for the night and parked the second car on site the following morning not far from mine. A few hours later I went into the workshop to get a car out for delivery when a mechanic came up to me and told me I wasn’t to park on site. Now I should say that despite having worked there for two and a half years, I still only know this guy by the name ‘mate’ and my longest previous conversation with him was ” alright mate” but today was due to be the long overdue ice breaker. Like a cross between a union rep and a traffic warden he told me why I was wrong and what I’d done was selfish etc etc and that he had deliberately prevented me from leaving last night in the hope that I would not do it again. Then I had my say whereupon I verbally tore him to shreds and informed him that he was a knob, blood pressure and voices were raised, personal space was invaded and an offer to “discuss it like men outside” was made and declined. Since then when we have to walk past eachother we have gone back to an acknowledgment of “mate”and an uneasy peace has been restored again.
This though is an old fashioned way of dealing with such matters as modern etiquette dictates that there are now two ways of sorting this out in the 21st century. Method one involves acts of extreme violence such as a stabbing,having your trousers set on fire while your still in them or getting a group of mates to have someone done over on your behalf and It seems that in today’s society there is no shortage of headcases with time on their hands readily available to inflict such acts of grievous harm.In order to allow us normal folk to stay clear of them they can normally be identified by either a tattoo to the neck,by wearing a pair of trousers that is unable to contain their underpants or displaying signs of a toothbrush phobia.The female variety can be identified by their fake Louis Vuitton hand bag,blonde hair with tinted dark roots (always scraped back into a ponytail) and a velour track suit. When required this is interchangeable with oversized pants and black leggings. This leads us to method two which will help you avoid a smashed in face or skin grafts as it involves sitting at home on a computer and trolling.
Those people who find confronting the workplace knob too challenging can now sit at home and anonymously slag them off.Convenient maybe but the most mild mannered in our society can now hide behind a lap top,mobile or tablet and abuse anyone they like from the safety of their own home or armchair which ultimately makes them much braver and much more likely to speak their mind and in doing so they get far more abusive and carried away than is healthy. Social media has connected over a billion people so keyboard warriors can now sit at home being super brave,typing libellous and hurtful comments about anyone they want before shutting their systems down and being able to avoid any retaliation.But what is the fun of simply abusing someone you will have to meet daily and then have to explain yourself to when you can up the ante massively and abuse celebrities instead. I don’t know what goes through the head of these people when they decide to create a fake twitter or Facebook account and then spew out the most vitriolic hateful spiteful abuse. This week Adele had a baby and the warriors came out in force to tweet her stuff like ” I hope your baby is handicapped and that you die lol” and another threatened to come to England and ” kill her”. Why? How is that “lol” and are these people really serious or is it just bravado?
Gary Barlow and his wife recently suffered at the hands of the keyboard warriors after their baby was stillborn. At about the same time he and his band mates were committed to performing at the Olympic games and very bravely in my opinion he didn’t bail out and he performed the song ‘rule the world’. Can you imagine that? The watching millions know of your unbearable loss and you sing and remain professional and deliver a great performance.I never liked take that and if I was in charge of the criminal justice system he would have been locked up years ago for crimes against music, fashion and dancing but as time has moved on he has become the only credible panellist on X factor, personal organiser for musical events for the queen and all round national treasure.I’m sure that come the new years honours he will be decorated by the Queen for his achievements this year. However among the many messages of condolence from well meaning fans and people who have suffered similar losses we’re also messages of hate from Kenneth Tong. Tong had previously been a ‘contestant’ of big brother in 2009 and tweeted ‘jokes’ about dead babies and necrophilia to him as well as pictures of a child coffin. When he was challenged about it he simply said that it had started off “as a bit of a laugh and I didn’t think he’d actually see them”. A bit of a laugh? Seriously?
But the one that made me sit up and take notice was a few weeks ago on Facebook following the disappearance of a 5 year old girl in Wales and despite the fact that she has yet to be found a man was arrested and subsequently charged for her murder. He is due to appear in court for trial early next year but that hasn’t stopped the warriors from appointing themselves as judge,jury and in most case willing executioners.Somebody calling himself Wilson Aveit sent a post to 10 Downing street using his very best grammar skills which I have copied word for word below with the following message:
“Dear Mr prime minister I see they have arrested someone in connection with April the little girl who has gone missing in Wales.I sincerely hope she is found alive and well however if he is charged with abducting/murdering her will you please allow me to use one of your many prison cells to torture this sick individual. I will require a medical table some restraints adrenaline and a live video feed needles and some medical tools to work with. I plan on keeping him awake during this procedure until his body packs in…..”
And indeed the letter goes on. The reason this caught my eye was that one of my friends had ‘ liked it’ and commented on it therefore allowing all of their own friends to see it. In fact there had been several hundred comments and over 10,000 likes on this status of which the huge majority had ignored the fact that we have a justice statement that flawed as it might be still works on the assumption of innocent until proven guilty and being arrested for a crime is certainly no guarantee of being guilty of it. But then the keyboard warriors decided to get involved. With a seemingly increasing degree of sickness commenters used more extreme and graphic ways to back up the author usually starting their comment with the line ” as a mother…”or ” as a parent…”. As I read the comments I began to worry for the sanity of those contributing, I began to wonder if these people really meant it and I wondered if they would have the balls to say these things if they were not hiding behind a screen. I was genuinely taken aback at how the women particularly seemed to have the more sickening comments. I decided to take Pictures of these comments to include on this blog and having previously decided to hide the contributors names I thought better of it given that they are happy enough to be associated with their comments so who am I to disagree with that? I know that feelings run high at times like that and I know that child killers deserve everything they get but read the comments for yourself and decide for yourself if they are sane or sick. Personally I think that wanting to torture,burn in acid or cut off someone’s penis is almost as close to a barbaric act as the one he was alleged to have done. I’m pretty sure the keyboard warriors will continue to hide behind their screens and be tough from a distance and I’m pretty sure that now the genie is out of the bottle no legislation is never going to exist to put an end to this but the one thing that strikes me is this: April Jones’ parents, Gary Barlow and Adele have all retained their dignity yet the warriors remain a faceless ball less bunch of anonymous spiteful cretins who should be dealt with by method one.