The Hate Cannoli
I was fine until steam started coming out of my navel.
The Hate Cannoli.
Most of us have seen it at one point or another.
Maybe it's in a real-life social setting, but most likely it's in a forum or some other web-based situation. A person might start a thread about troubles in their life.
Now, I'm not blind to certain basic realities of psychology. In a setting where someone is part of a community that you belong to, speaks up about some personal tragedy, or the dissolution of a relationship, the general tendency is to flock to that person's aid. Whether we know them or not, they are a part of a larger community that we also belong to, and though we only have their side of the story to go on, we are inclined to offer aid, comfort, well-meaning advice, and in extreme cases, the names of people who might be able to offer direct aid, and/or professional advice. We give "our" people, the benefit of the doubt.
And I think that this speaks to the best part of humanity. We may know the person only slightly, but that doesn't matter. We flock, like the gregarious creatures we are. Most of us know pain, and in some way or another, we respond to it by reaching out a friendly hand or offering our own experience as a way of letting another person know they aren't alone.
Emotions are like the weather, and sure, the weather will pass eventually, but sometimes it's sleeting SIDEWAYS and all you want is for someone to tell you it's going to be okay. Maybe all you want is for someone to prop you up a bit until you're strong enough to stand properly.
The best piece of advice I ever got from a lady friend of mine came after a knock-down drag-out fight with her. She'd had a problem, I offered advice. A lot of it, I seem to recall, (because men are problem solvers and all that bullshit.) and after we'd fought about it, she pointed out to me what I have determined was golden genius brilliant wisdom.
She said; "Pete, you idiot, When a woman brings you her troubles, she doesn't want you to solve them. She wants you to hold her, stroke her hair, and tell her over and over again that everything is going to be alright. And then, when she feels better, she'll get up and solve her own goddamn problems."
Sometimes, I think, we all want that.
Even if you're a twisted up piece of work like me, who is liable to call you a damn liar through his tears.
So, it shouldn't surprise me anymore when some random jack-hole wanders into the conversation and proceeds to play "Devil's Advocate." Usually this involves taking the other side of the argument in the most insensitive way possible covered lightly with the thinnest tissue of "Tough Love" as an explanation.
It REALLY shouldn't surprise me anymore.
You know what? You have to love someone before you're allowed to use tough love. Fuck you, Jack-hole.
This is the basic principle on which most of the hateful bullshit in the sad, broken world is perpetrated. I'm "HELPING" you by telling you how wrong you are and what a miserable excuse for a human being you are. Aren't I a decent person for helping you? Maybe you should thank me.
Thanks, Westboro Baptist. I didn't know you cared so much.
So much pain, and yet so many people willing to line up to kick you in the teeth and then claim the moral high ground for doing so.
When they ask me at my trial why I snapped, I'll probably say the following:
"Snapped? Psh. Snapped is far too small of a word for what happened to me. All I needed was a kind word, maybe a moment to rest. But the deceased had to open his flappy rash of a mouth and say some shit to me, at exactly the wrong moment. And this red tide rose up within me. My head filled with angry radioactive bees and my heart filled with laboratory pure hate.
It spilled over into the whole of the rest of me, your honor. I was like a Hate Cannoli.
And finally, I could contain myself no longer. My poor, abused soul cried out for justice, and at that moment, I became Karma's Harsh Instrument.
And when I rose up like a towering god of rage and struck him down like the thrice-damned fuck-puppet he was, I know in my heart he thought he was trying to help. Otherwise, he wouldn't have looked so fucking surprised.
I don't expect anyone to understand or approve…but I do expect everyone who witnesses my example to be polite to people under stress in the future."