The dynamics of online chitchattery are interesting, especially when you add in the real-life interactions of users. Occasionally, a battle ensues between users and because the conversation is public, this escalates into a multi-faceted war. Being a pacifist, I try to avoid playing a part in this war, and usually that works for me. But sometimes it's entertaining to read the arguments. In the most recent battle, I identified a master in the Art of Bitchslap.
The argument started like this (paraphrasing):
User A: Blah blah blah.
Moderator: This thread is old.
User A: If you don't like me, why don't you just tell me to my face?
User B: What the hell are you talking about?
User A: You and your cliquey clique all hate me and pick on me all the time.
User B: That's because we don't like you.
User C: That's right, we don't like you.
User A: You still have to be nice to me. You exclude everybody. You never ask me to dance.
User B, C, D, etc.: We tried being nice to you. We tried dancing with you. We're nice to everybody, until they sneer at us like you did.
User A: I can't help it, it's a facial tic. My point is that you should be nicer to new people.
Users B-D: You're annoying, too. We were nice to you when you were new, and we ARE nice to new people. We were all new people once. We're just not nice to sucky people, like you, because you're socially inept and can't talk about anything but yourself.
User A: You should be my friend anyway.
Users B-D: But we don't like you because you're annoying and you won't stop talking about yourself.
User A: I talk about myself because I'm the center of the universe and I'm upset because the rest of you aren't revolving around me as you should.
Users B-D: Shut up.
User A: You can't tell me to shut up...
And that went on way too long. Sorry about that.
Anyway, the point is that a ton of people were trying to politely tell User A that she's annoying and self-centered and proving that by making a big deal out of nothing. So many attempts were made, but only one made me laugh, and this was written by the lovely and talented Jeslett:
One of my college room mates, who I love to death, had this drinking problem. It wasn't that she got drunk a lot or drank often, but it was that on those occasions when she would in fact drink too much she got really anoying. She would go through and explain everything she was feeling about being drunk as though she was the only person, and the first person at that, to experience it. Of course, the rest of us had also experienced these things, but had kept them to ourselves as no one really wants or needs to know about every little thing in that case.
One night we all got into an argument with her because she claimed that her vision was impaired in such a way that no one had experienced before her. She tried and tried to keep explaining an old concept in a new way and to convince us that this was unique and wonderous.
It goes on to relate the college roommate to User A by saying that User A is continually trying to explain her experience as a somewhat newcomer to the group to everyone else, while everyone else 1) has been in the same situation, and 2) doesn't care to hear it.
The real beauty of this particular smackdown is that it starts out with a seemingly innocuous story, and as the story progresses, it become obvious that though the main character's annoying traits were brought on by alcohol, the recipient of this bitchslap has the same exact quallity, but without the aide of alcohol.
I applaud the effort, and while it entertained me and most likely other lurkers, it seems to have fallen on deaf ears (as predicted).