punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

Suffer the Magpie

I got up late today, and I feel like I have woken up on the other side. What "the other side is," I don't know, but there you go. The last week has seemed so out of bounds.

While I was gone, I picked up a lot of e-mail, and in between washing things and doing general housework, I have been catching up on it; mostly deleting spam. Some of you might have also seen comments from Ted, who is my personal magpie, teasing me from the treetops where I could not reach him. I have often thought about "getting even" with Ted, but he's not too bright, so I doubt he'd know when he had lost, and then I'd just have to keep escalating it. So I just banned the Anonymizer he was using. The fact he used a commercial one, and not one of the thousands of hacker ones out there showed me he's not very resourceful, either. But then again, he's had a bad life. He grew up in a strict Catholic family in Montana, got tossed out of Boy Scouts, and in a whirlwind of bad choices, ended up a "Senior Web Coordinator" for a medical group in Colorado. I've seen his site. Full of dead links, security holes, and ... well, I couldn't compete with his current life. He's got it bad, so that's why he spends his evenings, posting to boards, playing Star Trek card games, and making rude comments in people's blogs.

He reminds me of bullies in junior high. I can't say all of them ended up as bad web coordinators. In fact, most of them grew out of bullying in high school. The few that didn't ended up getting expelled for various reasons. Some of them were Catholics, though, which makes me wonder just how much molestation goes on in those churches of theirs. In any case, Ted's jeers and taunts, while useless for me, provide him with much-needed feelings of control and power, like those kids who used to stab at the class hamster with pencils, just to see it squeak and run away.

Some adults never grow out of these habits, especially those with bad home lives. Cruelty begets cruelty. I'm not sure what kind of cruelty Ted has in his life. I am guessing his parents still dominate him in some way, or he feels helpless at work. Maybe he's stuck with a gay lover who doesn't respect his needs and wants, or feels trapped in some homosexual/Catholic tug of war with his moral base. So he escapes to Star Trek, using an alias of some long-forgotten Deep Space Nine character online. He makes overt hints of being from "The-BBS-that-shall-not-be-named," I guess because he wants to rekindle the war those asshats waged against me some... man, it's been almost 4-5 years now. I won't. I don't care. They will continue to burn my effigy for however long they feel in necessary, no matter how I scream and shout, or sue, or whatever. You can't win a fight with the magpies. I don't think they have even mentioned me in 2-3 years now, so even they have forgotten, except this one guy, and I doubt he represents anyone but himself.

I have been thinking about his bullying and taunting today, and comparing it to those used by preteens, in those desperate attempts to puff out their chest and strut. I compared it to those still used by a few adults, except not those as obvious as Ted, because he's just immature. Here are two verbal bully moves (with apologies to my Latin-speaking friends, who might actually post Latin versions, or real debate labels for these tactics):

Bullius Interruptus
Excellent taunt against those who seem unsure about themselves, or who have speech impediments. The tactic is to interrupt the victim in the middle of everything they say, and repeat it back to them in a mocking tone, sometimes only using grunts.

Victim: Please stop hurting me
Bully: Pluuu stuuu huwtin maaaah....
Victim: Is that best--
Victim: -- the best that you can do?
Victim: I am telling on you.

Adult bullies will often use this method in a less obvious way, like finishing another's sentence, twisting words, or just dismissing what the other says.

Victim: So, as you can see, these charts show that the current fiscal quarter cannot sustain--
Bully: '"Cannot sustain the fiscal year," yes, Johnson, very nice. Okay, can we hear from someone else?
Victim: I was not done. It can sustain the fiscal year if we cut costs in the--
Bully: Yes, yes, yes... this has all been said before, every year. Anything else?
Victim: As I was saying, the fiscal year can be positive if we cut costs of deliveries in the third quarter by using inventory--
Bully: Johnson's inventory genius strikes again! I believe you are done, now.

Bullius Sarcasticus
The use of repeating back what someone says by saying it as if it was very stupid. It uses exaggerated points, draws in negative concepts, often without correlation, but makes it seem like the person who is delivering the line has more knowledge.

Victim: Please give me back my violin, it belonged to my great uncle.
Bully: Aw, poor little Johnny. Are you going to cry? About a crummy old violin?
Victim: It came with him on a boat when he arrived on Ellis Island in 1904.
Bully: Ooooh! It's a MAGIC violin! From FRANCE!
Victim: No, from Italy. Please just give it back...!
Bully: Look-a at-a me-ah. I'm-a Johnny's great-a Unlce-a! Look-a at-a me play-a dah spaghetti!

Adults use similar tactics, but often they involve eye-rolling, sighs of indignation, and leading people's conversations down blind alleys.

Victim: I did a comprehensive report on the network, and I think I can scale down costs by 25% if we re-utilize old equipment in new ways.
Bully: I see, and why did you come to THAT conclusion?
Victim: I did a diagram of the system, based it on load, and ran several scenarios. Looking at the hardware list, I saw that we already had most of the equipment needed, and can change some of the existing systems to compensate.
Bully: And just how did your "magic scenario" deal with a virus attack?
Victim: It didn't directly, but the use of firewalls at certain points will reduce the spread of the virus far more than we have now.
Bully: So, really, your system is not virus-proof?
Victim: No system is virus-proof. Viruses happen on machines, and are only carried by networks. The only way to make anything virus proof is to shut it off.
Bully: Let me see if I get this straight, your solution to a better network is to shut down all the machines? Great! Let's all do things by pen an paper! Johnson, I don't even know why people like you get hired.

Ted likes the bullius sarcasticus method, but, sadly, his arguments are more at the 12-year old end of the scale, by making fun of my name, which no one has done since... well, a long time, that's for sure. I have deleted a lot of his comments, including some that would probably pack some of my friends into a van to go down to Colorado and personally beat the shit out of the Ogden Street Kid. I'm sure he would deserve it, but bullies like him don't know when to stop, like the Black Knight in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."

It's just a flesh wound...

It just amazes me. I mean, Ted has gone out of his way to post mean stuff about me. Think about it. He's even gone through an anonymizer, spend good quality time he could have spent watching Star Trek, to post stuff in my blog. He's invested time out of his life, time he won't get back, in order to get the rush of being mean to someone. People like him are VERY easy to control. I blocked him, but like a bad fungus, he'll be back. He'll find some other way to taunt and jeer me. And I'll feel a little better knowing he had to spend even more time to do so. He's like a lab rat in a maze, who when he gets his cheese, wonders, "How did the lab staff fall into my power?"

This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000440.html
Tags: bullies, ted
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