TRIGGER WARNING IF YOUR FEELINGS ARE EASILY HURT
* * *
What started as an attempt to not see a movie rendered irrelevant a week after release, turned into something on a broader scale. It became apparent what I had to say would no doubt piss off more people than I care to count and lose me fans, if any. Through this blog, I wanted to express my opinions in a professional manner for the sake of critiquing film. But in a situation such as I find myself, I am going to be as honest as possible, no matter how much it will not help.
Unfriended brings up a variety of feelings in me, one of which being a movie shot on Facebook sounds like a movie shot on Facebook. I am all for experimentation, no matter how stupid, but what I felt most upon seeing the trailer was the underlying theme of cyber bullying. After watching a couple reviews, I was correct in my assumption, and here I find myself expressing my thoughts. I did not want to do this, but the more I thought about it, the stronger the urge became to put it all out there, and carefully articulate how CYBER BULLYING ISN’T REAL!
* * *
It is strange how easily people go insane over a few words on the Internet. I understand there are cases where online harassment translates to real life consequences and those are the exception, but if you are affected by comments to the point you call yourself a victim, go back to high school, get some bullies that actually exist, and then you can be victim.
Getting rape threats every time you open Twitter or a troll on YouTube? How about you use the conveniently placed block button or report the user for abuse. If all you get are generally offensive comments, turn off your computer and walk away from the screen. It is impossible for cyber bullies to get you that way.
Do you know how to get rid of real bullies? YOU CAN’T!
Unless you go the Eric Harris/Dylan Klebold route of total massacre, you will always see, hear, and experience your bullies, with no escape or hope of fighting back without repercussions. Even worse is living with them and the constant repression of your desire to inflect the worst kind of vengeance.
There is no block button for what real people go through on a daily basis. In most cases, young people kill themselves after years and/or months of abuse because there was no hope of improvement. Even in situations of gossip and falsehoods, kids become convinced their lives are ruined, and give up without a moment’s hesitation. Hundreds die before they have the chance to live because no one bothers to help.
* * *
I find it offensive when people call themselves victims in the context of cyber bullying, but it can be more than up lifting for real victims. The notion a person’s self-esteem can be destroyed with a Tweet inspires hope that you are strong enough to overcome harassment, solidifying that words will indeed never hurt. It shows you are tough enough to survive abuse when other people are rendered inert by 130 characters.
On a marginally sadistic scale, it is hilarious to see people lose their minds over something as petty as cyber bullying. People spend hours upon hours of their lives traversing social media and making a huge fuss over one or two comments that happened to be negative. Followers of those people will blindly support said fuss without regard for context or intelligence. Simple comments often morph into maelstroms of nonsense that evolve into controversies more hollow and meaningless than a black hole.
The most obvious controversy is GamerGate, a yearlong funeral march into idiocracy that continues today. It started with cyber bullying and has endured with self-proclaimed victims, mostly figures of the video game industry and journalism, claiming to be harassed by sexist and/or threatening Tweets.
Sure, if someone mails a knife to your house, it would be a good idea to call the cops, but if a random Canadian tells an insignificant joke about Armenians, then shut down the highways and airports because it is the apocalypse. Next thing you know it, social media explodes in a torrent of hurt feelings from people not even involved that twist the situation with a level importance totally unfounded, like a Soviet propaganda spin team.
A similar situation occurred when actor Jeremy Renner called the Avengers: Age of Ultron character Black Widow “a slut” in a sincere and joking manner. But idiots who obviously did not watch the interview in which the joke was said (https://youtu.be/7oMcFupuL78) blew it to a proportion so big, Renner had to apologize days later. Actually, I think both of them said something, but this issue is so unimportant, I refuse to research further.
All three controversies started out ordinary, GamerGate being the result of a perturbed boyfriend telling the Internet about his ex, before random people, who thought they had something important to say, applied their own take. Suddenly an angry blog post became the subject of sexism, feminism, ethics in games journalism, and women’s standing in the video game industry, a notion that renders the entire issue insignificant because it is about video games. I am a gamer and I do not take games that seriously.
* * *
When an entire subculture loses their minds before your eyes, you become so dumbfounded it is hard to believe it is even real. It transcends humor into Lovecraftian horror, something that cannot possibly exist, but it is there and you cannot un-see it. You do not see a meaningless squabble over a few comments, but a world driven mad by delusion. You laugh a bit more until you realize you alone possess eyes to see the truth. When you tell people what they are doing has no merit, you are shunned and reviled, labeled another bully by a long list of fake victims. You exist a pariah, the only one with enough sanity to see everyone else is crazy.
That is what it is like to be a real victim. I revel in the glorious heartbreak of people easily damaged by a Tweet. It makes me feel secure in the fact I am stronger, but at the same time, I am angered to the point I wish they would shut their mouths and stop existing. Their lies and weakness do as much damage as actual harassment and they show no signs of going away. Until people get with the program and learn what it is like to have actual bullies, I am going to sit back and watch them suffer. It is certainly more entertaining than Unfriended.