Random and Rambling NVDT – King Arthur Syndrome, Vitriol, Hate and Factionalization

I think a healthy difference of opinion is a good thing. However, in the last week I have become personally aware of the internet phenomenon that has sparked the culture of factionalization. A real-world version of the nightly news and the speculating talking heads on CNN. Disagree, call someone out for their position and you don’t get reason, you get hate. Personalized, vitriolic, stereotype equivalent of bigotry hate. I don’t disagree with what you say or insinuate or believe, I hate you hate. How you look, what you do, what you wear, what color or age or demographic you are, everything about you. Everything that is you down to your nasty DNA. I fucking hate all of everything that is you. And by the way, everything you are or have ever done or will ever do is shit, your momma’s ugly and so are you, you have to roll in steak sauce to get a kiss from the fucking dog you pathetic miserable excuse for a human being. Asshole. “Fuckwit.”

Wow. Thanks!

No reasoned response. The same old laundry list of how wrong the original premise was, spiced up with some maybe I should find a way to drive over and beat your ass you sorry excuse for a human being who questions me.

All for asking a direct or rhetorical question?

In another post I mentioned a set-to with an internet “editor”. I read his commentary throughout a short story I submitted to a “contest” ($20 entrance fee and editing advice). Some of the advice was sound. My response to a lot of it was “Are you even reading this?” Something I mentioned in an email. Nothing profane. No name calling. I asked if he’d bothered to read the story before he dusted off his editor hat and started commenting. You know, so for the $20 I got an idea of how it read. He blew up, told me I was denigrating the entire process, insulting his integrity and furthermore I was an asshole. I mentioned that one only needed to read his outline of commentary to see that he didn’t get it from word one. He might have been able to offer constructive criticism if he’d read through it and then gotten after it. By God, I was an even bigger asshole then, and jacked out of the contest I would have been a runner up in. Here’s a screen shot of what I sent him along with my questioning of his methodology. Hello? If you’re gonna bluff and bluster for money at least be good enough at it not to blatantly tip your hand. Plus, he missed the hints at intimacy all along the way by writing clever observations like “they sure touch a lot” completely clueless as to where it was heading.

Why didn’t you read the story, earn your $20 and comment on what it was, not what your editor hat waded through? Oops, sorry, I’m a asshole for asking. Or even expecting you do to do what you offered to do for the money. I’m glad this reactionary business hasn’t gotten to plumbers or the pizza place. Yet. The “expert” geezers at the hardware and DIY box store places are getting there.

I can hear Chicago’s updated for the 2k-teens.

“Does anybody know what time it is?”

No, you stupid fuckwad, nobody has time for your pathetic bullshit questions and if they did they’d tell you nobody cares. About time or your ugly ass or the horse you rode in on or your momma or your ugly baby or your ugly dog – Wait, that started to drift off into country. Add a line about your beat to shit truck you sorry drunk unemployed loser with a bad hat and broken razor and it’s a crossover smash.

Jesus. A friend of mine who uses Facebook to do no more than advertise his blues band, led by a fantastic guitarist and long-time band member of John Mayall’s Blues Breakers, told me “Don’t have an opinion on the internet, about anything, unless you want more vitriol spewed in your direction than you can imagine.”

Well, yeah, I can imagine. Now.

Being me, I look for commonality in behavior patterns. What both of these “authors” have in common, reading a couple of free pages of their work, is a workmanlike craftsmanship of patently unoriginal sameness. Adverbs and useless dialog tags and throwaway action tags that define nothing about a character but take up writerly residence indside a formula. They could swap names on the covers and no one would know. Same behaviors, obviously editors from the school of bland, the same “stuff” on the pages. And hair trigger anger fed vitriolic personal abuse if anyone happens to notice.

When, exactly, did it become illegal to have an opinion and be answered with hate? When did reasoned response turn into front and center insult driven hate? When did riots become an answer? When did “asshole” become an answer?

Forget it, I didn’t ask. But I do understand the psychology of factionalization. It’s all about anger and hate as first responders to a question someone might not want to answer. A response modeled by the leaders of the world. King of the Rhetorical Hill via the language of hate and obfuscation. All coming to an inbox or on a blog comment near you.

These episodes should teach me NOT to ask someone if the ongoing almost two-year infatuation with their personal heartbreak saga is real depression, or are they simply milking the crybaby routine in hopes of attracting a wider audience to promote book of similar content. Or are they half-assed con artists or the real deal because the evidence points to…Phil, you asshole! Okay. Maybe I’ll learn better. Not.

I do not ask these things lightly or facetiously. Preying on the susceptible is an unfortunate truth. Like continuing to beat an emotional horse that has long since left the barn for attention or performing at a minimal level for someone’s real money thrown at their dreams raises questions. At least in my mind. What if I was thin skinned and dreamy eyed and spent my baby’s formula money on the entry fee? Sadly, that’s the people they’re looking for. There’s one born every minute, right? The machinations of the capitalistic dream.

I was in the music biz for years. On the product end someone wise once held up a guitar and asked a room full of salesmen, “What are we selling?”


“No. We’re selling dreams. And that, my friends, comes with the caveat of responsibility.” He also said, possibly the most succinct thing I ever heard in a business meeting, applicable to everything –

“Don’t confuse the pieces with the game.”

Victims of abuse, rape, any sort of criminal violence, chemical imbalances, I get those as being hard to get around and depression triggers. Not everyone gets raped, beaten into a coma, their vagina filled with lighter fluid and set on fire. That is depressing on any number of levels. So to all the internet I’m so depressed marketers, gauge your level of “should give thanks” over “depression” against something truly sinister. It’s like lactose intolerance, all this marketed personal “depression.” There are places in the world where a thimble full of milk would be a godsend, not a “no thanks, intolerance” wave off.

Down to it, I think if they talk hate loud enough non-stop over you as their only weapon, words become meaningless. We have come to a gazillion meaningless new books on Amazon a day and a gazillion meaningless videos on YouTube a day and a gazillion meaningless hate filled discussions a day all stored on servers with mammoth environmental footprints. Toxicity finds a home creating a toxic wasteland. The meaningless archive. I am reminded of the Krell.

There’s a book in that somewhere. 1984 plus meaningless hate. Forbidden Planet of Cheesy Insults? Any volunteers?

Oh yeah, the King Arthur Syndrome. Ask a question, get an insult. I think these guys were prophetic.





Published by

Phil Huston


21 thoughts on “Random and Rambling NVDT – King Arthur Syndrome, Vitriol, Hate and Factionalization”

  1. I generally associate radical responses to questions or critiques as signs of insecurity. Anyone secure with themselves would rarely feel insulted deeply enough to react vengefully to critical analysis. Now, given the vast expanse of this phenomena you’ve pointed out, has the majority become insecure? Or are the insecure merely more prominent in media venues now? Trolls running the net? Maybe a bit of both.

    Consider the comedians of past decades who made a living dishing out insults: Rickles, Dice Clay, Dangerfield. (Remember all the “I know a woman who is so fat…” “How fat is she?” jokes? Can you image telling those today?)
    Are there such comedians now? Have we all become so PC that when we do sense criticism, we over react?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No such comedians. No your momma’s so ugly. The big guy on the redneck comedy tour got off into his fat cousin as a way of telling ft jokes around calling out fat in general. i think it’s a whole breed of the win/win everybody gets a trophy business, and the ability to paint a self portrait blowing smoke up one’s own ass that is at once bigger than life and perfect and incredibly fragile. Becasue they don’t have to interact and be smart and capable in a room full of smart capable people, they are smart and capable because they say they are and if you disagree you’re a sniper at best and a butt load of other stuff piled on. Thin skinned crybabies. My kids in the depression parents had about a split second for any sort of self pity or whining. I think it’s all about the tapping glass to communicate. In my real world people were always testing, throwing this and that at me. It must look different coming through the glass. Never seemed to bother me much either way. Tell the truth and you don;t have to remember the lie. Answer to the best of your ability, do what you say you’ll do and move on. By the way, you’re so ugly the doctor spanked your momma when you were born!
      Don’t forget the chopped steak, tip your waitresses, I’ll be here all week.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, in one sense I’m probably semi unique in not taking the meaningless compliment and leaving the BS factor on the table, but man, BS is BS and I can get that for free, not scammed out of $20. And it’s not the $20, it’s the poser principle.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It forces me to be “constructive,” or used to when I followed a schedule and wasn’t involved in the DIY summer from hell. And I was under the erroneous impression that it was for and about writing.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. “Try not to confuse ‘activity’ with ‘productivity’.” The DIY has been the front elevation of the house, the total gut of the bathroom and the replacement of the double back door that is still sitting on the patio. No, I don’t have a contractor. I was raised in my uncles’ lumber yard and have no fear of standard construction. However, the center drain clawfoot tub, too much small tile and decorative trim complete with niche and marble pencil trim liked to killled me. No to menton the way they put those feet on. Come on, it’s the 21st century…and plumbing and PVC and other BS…No self pity, just self make-work. Top it off in the middle of all that I went to NorCal wine country, Sonoma to Fort Bragg, Anderson Valley to Russian River Valley to Dry Creek. Not because I was depressed and needed to “get away” but because of the weather and the Pacific and Point Cabrillo and Chardonnay in the middle of La Crema’s Sarah Lee vineyard…all that is inspirational and some of it proof that the cosmic radio is up and running. Plumbing does none of that.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Self empowerment is all about DIY Phil! There are specific blogs on WordPress that are all about writing, just got to find them. Most of the ones I follow are for expressing opinions, ideas, theories (conspiratorial or otherwise) specific news items to be shredded beyond any semblance of any originality and some bits of social exchange and jokes. I’m not a writer, just a word user (and abuser too!).

        Liked by 1 person

      1. There was a tile. No a box…No seven boxes. Cardboard, recycled. From Mexico.filled with white. Four inches by sixteen inches, laid one on another side by side in rows of two. White. Glistening like snow shaved from a glacier, slabs of porcelain ice waiting to become a wall, a floor. To become their destiny fused to dense, unyielding hardibacker, bound rustproof screwly to wood grown mightily in the forest belt of Utah. Cement fiberboard heavily loaded, stacked densily, cut unwelcomely and dustily to conformity….

        I could get 200 pages, Russian detail and romance novel adverb style. Arrrrrrrrr


      2. Oh, wow, so glad you stopped it, the suspense was killing me. It felt like I was inhaling the dust and my ears were ringing and… I could almost see the troika rounding a bend on that Utah forest road and hear the wolves baying as they closed on the horses under the baleful moon riding the skies like a ghostly galleon… Am I getting my stories mixed up?

        Liked by 1 person

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