Hostility

The elevators in my building, like all elevators everywhere, have a little plaque saying “Capacity 2600 lbs.” The other day, I noticed that in the far lefthand elevator, someone had scratched this out and written “PIGGY MOO.”

I can’t really imagine what was going on here. Did they think 2600 pounds was the weight recommendation for a single person? Were they offended by the very idea that human cargo could have weight? Or did they just see “lbs” and go a little berserk? Maybe I’m naive, but it still staggers me that people have so much pent-up hostility about fat. I mean, being so inflamed about it that you have to insult an elevator sign? That’s damage.

Then yesterday, I got an email at the Shapely Prose account from a charmer named Rick, who is now the Douchehound of the Day:

“I spent yesterday covering a political rally, which meant sitting on my ass for four hours” An obese chick sitting on her ass for hours? Why doesn’t that surprise me cunt? I can’t wait til that magical day when Kate posts your obituary and tries her damndest to blame it on something else besides your obesity. I rule!

Oh my god, you guys, I’m fat because I sit down while I’m at work! It all becomes clear — thin people are thin because they never work as journalists, or for that matter accountants or editors or receptionists or novelists or CEOs. Honestly, have you ever seen a thin person sit down for FOUR HOURS? Certainly all the thin people waiting with me at the rally were doing jumping jacks the entire time.

Also, Rick, I don’t know exactly why that doesn’t surprise your cunt, but please stop talking like a pirate. P.S. punctuation is free.

Obviously it’s a little harsh for someone to tell you they can’t wait until you die, but I’m flattered that Rick hopes I’ll be blogging for the next 60 or 70 years (though a little suspicious that he thinks blogs will actually be around that long — rethink that one, Ricky). Since he knows so much about me, even giving me a magic 8-ball diagnosis of “fat because sat for four hours in a row while working,” he surely knows that my habits and family history indicate a pretty long lifespan. Unless I get hit by a truck, in which case I’m sure Kate will have a terrifically difficult time blaming it on something besides my obesity.

Things like this don’t really bother me, because these people are clearly very, very fucked up. Supposedly otherwise intelligent and perceptive progressives saying “body acceptance is all well and good but if you’re really fat you should diet,” or “I’d be okay with FA if it wasn’t all about dumping on skinny chicks all the time” — that bothers me, because those people could conceivably know better. Inveterate douchehounds aren’t really capable of being anything more than miserable fucks, so it’s not like my expectations have been dashed here. But I am curious and concerned about these vast reserves of hostility that people have built up.

So indulge me in a little speculation here. The message, especially the puerile “I rule!” coda, puts Ricky in a particular category for me, and that’s the category of unhappy straight white guys who are obsessed with scatology and complain about how they’re expected to be “PC” all the time. Complaints about “PC,” of course, being code for “what the fuck is the point of privilege if you don’t get to be blatantly bigoted and hateful.” These guys feel genuinely oppressed by the fact that they aren’t roundly applauded when they openly use racial slurs, demean women, or mock the disabled, unless of course they do it in a specially selected environment. They believe it’s their god-given right to be total shits to the rest of the universe. It’s not really about fat for them, or about sexism or racism or ableism, though it’s a little bit about all of those things. (Rick also helpfully attached a photo of what “all women should look like” — you can imagine — lest I fail to note his raging misogyny.) Rather, it’s about fear that the inability to hate, demean, and do violence will threaten their incredibly tenuous superiority. These guys know that they’re the ruling class through an accident of birth, not through merits that they know on some level they don’t have. And they’re terrified that they’re going to be knocked off that serendipitous pedestal the moment they stop shitting on those beneath them.

I’m not into the idea that fat is “the last socially acceptable prejudice” — though, as Meowser so powerfully put it, it may be the last form of prejudice whose victims believe they deserve it. But it’s hard to deny that fat-bashing is hot now, well-represented in both news and entertainment media. It is, basically, a fad. Not that there wasn’t anti-fat sentiment back in the day, but it was less virulent, because — and this is going to sound terrifically cynical — people had other outlets for their need to bolster themselves through hatred, judgment, and condemnation of others. Now that there are social penalties for being openly racist, and to a lesser extent for being openly misogynistic, ableist, or homophobic, more energy is funneled into body-related bigotry (except, of course, in those circles in which racism, misogyny, and homophobia are still A-okay). Certain people — not all people — have a basic need to discriminate and condemn, stemming from basic insecurity and fear. Push it down in one place, and it crops up in another.

Basically, what I’m saying is that Ricky doesn’t hate me — he hates himself, and he transfers that hate onto anyone he sees, and right now fat targets are de rigeur. Is this facile pop psych? Oh hell yes. But the archetypal “bully who hates to mask the pain” trope is actually a pretty decent window into the bully mindset. Nobody — well, nobody but a sociopath — harbors that much hostility for no reason besides righteous hatred. Focused anger, okay, maybe; I know anti-racist activists who can shock and dismay people with the purity of their rage, and certainly that rage is righteous. But an unfocused, seething disdain for everyone, expressed as ugly attempts at humor, and coupled with the idea that this ugliness is their birthright? Something’s usually rotten from the inside on that one.

So Rick, and anonymous elevator defacer: I’m sorry, and I hope you find out what’s wrong with you, and I hope you can fix it. Possibly it would help your self-respect if you stopped acting like pathetic poisonous little shitbags. Just an idea.

107 thoughts on “Hostility

  1. Complaints about “PC,” of course, being code for “what the fuck is the point of privilege if you don’t get to be blatantly bigoted and hateful.”

    Nail, hammer, bang.

  2. They also generally vote for Ron Paul. I’m just sayin’.

    I, on behalf of myself and the not-inconsiderable number of perfectly pleasant Ron Paul supporters I know, apologize for the few loudmouthed, bigoted skidmarks in our ranks. Not that there aren’t douchehounds of every political persuasion, but I honestly apologize; we of the libertarian stripe are not always the most dedicated or proactive to pushing the “freedom for everyone means acceptance for everyone, yes, EVERYONE, and your right to be a fart-sniffing jerk is complemented by the right and responsibility of the rest of the world to firmly smack you down when you do.” We do counter this behavior when it comes into our blogs and forums, but we don’t do enough to take the fight past our front door. So: I apologize.

    The rest of the post is spot-on as usual, fillyjonk. And the pirate line made me laugh out loud at the office.

    *waves tiny Ron Paul flag*

  3. I’m new here (this is my third post). Let me get this straight:

    So people actually troll the internet, searching for FA and HAES sites, just so they can make cruel and offensive posts under the cloak of anonymity? Wow. I guess some people really don’t ever move beyond the mental age of a middle-schooler.

    (I don’t know why I’m surprised. I guess it seems like a lot of effort just to be a bullying bastard.)

  4. Really beautifully said. *applauds*

    In addition: “Also, Rick, I don’t know exactly why that doesn’t surprise your cunt, but please stop talking like a pirate”

    Cannot. Stop. Laughing.

  5. Rick is a full-time troll. He’s even trolled me. I’m still relatively unknown as bloggers go, so he certainly isn’t selective. He also seems to write long comments everywhere he goes.

    I really have to wonder how someone who spends so much time trolling still has time for that “healthy lifestyle” he claims to have. I wonder how healthy someone can be while nursing that level of hostility on a daily basis.

    Then, I realize I don’t care and get back to doing the things that make me healthy and happy.

  6. Ellie, I actually took that part out, because while those people DO usually vote for Ron Paul, that’s not the same as saying everyone who votes for Ron Paul is like that. And I didn’t want to get into it in the comments. But I appreciate yours anyway. :)

    Every political leaning has its particular breed of douche, and guys like that just happen to be the libertarian brand. Generally. Not always.

  7. I don’t usually comment here, though I followed Kate over from Shakesville and love you all. However, the reminder of Arrested Development has caused me to finally comment.
    “You hate White Power Bill”. “I hate the Jews!” “You hate White Power Bill”. “I hate my father!” “You hate White Power Bill.” “I hate White Power Bill.”
    Pop pysch? Yep. Ridiculous television reference? yep. Solid meme on why bullies bully? Yep.

  8. twilightriver, I think also an important aspect of people like this is that they by no means achieve the ideals they supposedly believe in. Oh, and I mean to write a whole part about how they punish themselves by being unhappy, since it’s very difficult to have that kind of poisonous attitude and still have fulfilling interpersonal relationships.

    I thought about not douchehounding Rick because he clearly wants attention — to the point where he actually emailed me instead of posting a comment that he knew wouldn’t get through. But Kate and I agreed he was worth mocking.

  9. Let me guess, the picture of “what women should look like” was an ultra-skinny blonde? The exact type of woman he probably could never have a meaningful relationship with (unless she was over 35 and desperate to “settle”)?

  10. My favorite part? “I rule!” Because up until that point, I had no idea he was the king of awesome.

    From now on, I end all insults with “I RULE!” and perhaps a violent high-five, The Todd style.

  11. sunburned counsel, haha, exactly! One of the best versions of that trope out there.

    Of course I don’t really hope Rick kills himself, since I’m not locked up with him. I’d be perfectly happy for him to work out his issues somewhere far away from me.

    penguinlady, I actually don’t think she was blonde, but you’ve got the idea.

  12. zombie z, I felt really conflicted over the “I rule!” because even though it’s dumb, it would actually be really funny if the guy hadn’t just called me a cunt and said he couldn’t wait for me to die. You know? It’s the kind of thing friends of mine would append to an insult. Only, not that kind of insult.

    So needless to say, I wholeheartedly support your co-opting it.

  13. The exact type of woman he probably could never have a meaningful relationship with

    This seems to imply that a thin blonde woman is too good for him, but women not fitting that standard would be desperate enough to date him.

    I believe the exact type of woman you are looking for is “one with two X chromosomes.” But that leaves out transwomen, equally wise enough to avoid him like the plague.

    So to sum up, the category of women who would not date Rick is too large to be categorized neatly.

    Fillyjonk: Sorry, if I’d realized you had taken out the line I wouldn’t have commented on it!

  14. No worries, Ellie! Actually your comment validated my decision to take out the line, by reminding me that libertarianism is an incidental characteristic of people like this, not a defining one.

  15. It all becomes clear — thin people are thin because they never work as journalists, or for that matter accountants or editors or receptionists or novelists or CEOs. Honestly, have you ever seen a thin person sit down for FOUR HOURS? Certainly all the thin people waiting with me at the rally were doing jumping jacks the entire time.

    OMG, this is the spit-take of the month, so far. My poor pajamas must suffer the fallout of your hilarity.

    Isn’t it nice when someone hands you both the barrel AND the fish, though?

    (I do think there are at least two freelance FA trolls named Rick, though. I don’t think this is the “my fat spouse” Rick.)

  16. Hmm… seems like *somebody* got rejected by a fattie and rather than turning his hate inward like a good WASP he turned it outward onto every woman he feels bad for finding sexually attractive.

    Poor Rick.

  17. Pingback: in which i see more parallels between fat hatred and other forms of bigotry, and certain people in my life ask me why i care so much about fat people « mmm, brains!

  18. “I don’t know exactly why that doesn’t surprise your cunt, but please stop talking like a pirate.”

    Oh good, tea on my keyboard. SO worth it.

  19. “I Rule” seems to be a very misguided tip of the hat to the Lester Burnham character in American Beauty. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen a troll (or troll-like person IRL) channel the “taking my masculine power back” character Spacey portrayed so brilliantly – the problem is that these types don’t recognize the purpose of satire. Sort of like wieners who go around pretending they are Tyler Durden and that women are superfluous in their lives…they don’t really get what Fight Club was about, they just want to use it to justify their own misogyny.

    At another community I am involved with, there has been an ongoing discussion about feminism, whereas the feminist contingent of the community are asking that misogynist comments, etc, be curbed because they can lead to a hostile environment for women. After one particularly difficult stretch, I said something which could easily be applied to this situation, which is that there exists a very small yet focal set of people who are insistent that it is their job to appraise the value of others, and they steadfastly refuse to be civil, because they don’t have to. It’s sort of a like a little kid testing the limits of what they are able to get away with – the attitude is, “You can’t make me be respectful to other people. I get to say what I want and you can’t stop me.”

  20. Also, Rick, I don’t know exactly why that doesn’t surprise your cunt, but please stop talking like a pirate. P.S. punctuation is free.

    I’m laughing so hard, I just peed a little.

  21. What kind of hopeless moron actually emails someone to insult them? Doesn’t he have anything better to do with his time?

    What amazes me about guys like that is that they have such fantastically ‘high standards’ (read: ‘shallow prejudice’) regarding the sort of woman they would be willing to date, whereas any woman would have to have either extremely low standards or a nonexistent sense of self-worth to date them.

    (I also hate this troll on a personal note because he has the same name as my fiance. My Rick is a sweetheart, though.)

  22. Aebhel, you can imagine how I feel about the fact that, as has been noted several times by people other than me because I don’t want to admit it, almost all the fat trolls are named Dan.

    I guess I didn’t realize that was Gisele — I didn’t look at the full-sized pic (but I also have trouble telling famously pretty women apart — it’s a sort of face-blindness born of the fact that there are so few allowable variations on the theme of “famously pretty woman”). You’re right, that’s sad for Rick.

    Sass, thanks for the translation there — I haven’t seen American Beauty, but your Fight Club analogy makes perfect sense. I guess sitting down for two hours to watch a movie is permissible, as long as you don’t sit down for four to do paid work.

  23. Your elevator plaque reminds me of a sign I see all the time, on the London Underground when I take the metal staircase up to the exit instead of the lift:

    ‘No Unauthorised Heavy Loads’

    Cracks me up every time. Can I be an authorised heavy load?

  24. I have a colleague who is a typical WASP young man in his early twenties, with one distinguishing feature: he has a significant lazy eye. He is, without a doubt, one of the meanest, most spiteful, selfish people I know. How someone can throw a full-on three year old temper tantrum standing up is beyond me, but this guy pulls it off. And I wonder now if this is also his psychology. Thanks for the concept!

  25. I giggled at this, because the elevator in the law library at my university also has a “MOO” scratched in next to the maximum weight sign. I always laugh at it, because, really, who does that? So much effort for such a stupid message.

  26. I confess, the phrase “piggy moo” sort of made me giggle.
    I mean, the context sucks, but it’s just so…odd.

    also, this?
    Honestly, have you ever seen a thin person sit down for FOUR HOURS? Certainly all the thin people waiting with me at the rally were doing jumping jacks the entire time.
    so true!
    I can’t even sit through a three-hour class. I have to do laps around the room instead of taking notes because otherwise I MIGHT GET FAT.

    And my professors totally understand because what’s the point of learning if you’re OMGFAT (also the fat will make me dumb and I won’t be able to learn anyway)

  27. No argument here; “piggy moo,” and the very fact of defacing an elevator sign because you object to the idea of weight, is hilarious. But hilarious partly because it’s such a nonsensical waste of energy.

    At college, Sweet Machine found a tampon/pad disposal box in a library bathroom where someone had carefully scratched out the sign about placing all used sanitary napkins in container to read “lease a cat and use napkins in his car.” Now that’s worthwhile vandalism.

  28. You know, I was thinking about that the other day: what happens to school bullies once they grow up? Does hatred go away with maturity? Or maybe these nostalgic guys search the internet for new victims?
    I agree that it also has to do with white male privilege. Last week I sent a message to Carpetbagger saying that everything we write, say and do reflects our values, points of view and upbringing – that it basically reflects who we are (so, yeah, your troll is a frustrated douchebag). Thus, having only white male movie critics and directors seems like a no-win situation for everybody, since their opinions and final products only reflect those of a single, privileged group. I also left my blog address for readers who can understand Portuguese: http://www.escrevalolaescreva.blogspot.com
    Well, what do you know? A white male reader got furious at me! He called me sexist and spiteful. I guess that, for him, things should just continue to be the way they’ve been for the last 5,000 years…

  29. “Also, Rick, I don’t know exactly why that doesn’t surprise your cunt, but please stop talking like a pirate. P.S. punctuation is free.”

    I love you.

    “So indulge me in a little speculation here. The message, especially the puerile “I rule!” coda, puts Ricky in a particular category for me, and that’s the category of unhappy straight white guys who are obsessed with scatology and complain about how they’re expected to be “PC” all the time. Complaints about “PC,” of course, being code for “what the fuck is the point of privilege if you don’t get to be blatantly bigoted and hateful.” These guys feel genuinely oppressed by the fact that they aren’t roundly applauded when they openly use racial slurs, demean women, or mock the disabled, unless of course they do it in a specially selected environment. They believe it’s their god-given right to be total shits to the rest of the universe. It’s not really about fat for them, or about sexism or racism or ableism, though it’s a little bit about all of those things.”

    Goddamn. That is such an awesome paragraph, I really want to quote it for . . . something. It can apply to people who are douchehounds about all sorts of things, not just fat. It’s a very nice distillation of their whole shitty attitude.

  30. Rick is a full-time troll. I’ve seen him at several different fat acceptance blogs, spouting out nonsense. He was over at Harriet Brown’s blog last time I saw him – telling Harriet that he hoped she wasn’t a “fat mother” feeding her children. Can you imagine? She ripped him a new hole though!

    Sad, really. I mean, doesn’t Rick have to sit on his ass to do all this trolling? Or does he stand up at his computer?

  31. I have to agree with everyone that you have captured the essence of a particular version of trolliness. I would guess he also cruises feminist sites looking for more blogs that are oppressing him. It’s hard rule as much as Rick.

    I am going to find ways to fit “Ah, me cunt!” into my daily conversations. In a pirate voice.

  32. “Piggy, moo” reminds me of a Dennis Wolfberg skit. A bilingual pig!

    I’m sorry Rick’s cunt wasn’t surprised, I personally think that you should surprise your cunt at least once a day. But hey, it must be hard to work that in if you have to troll while simultaneously running on a treadmill. Because, clearly, Rick isn’t fat so he doesn’t spend any time sitting down.

  33. I’m guessing that this Rick is someone who also goes by Alex from Philly. This one is also a real vicious moron, and the “I rule” sounds just like him.
    When trolls are banned from this site, does that just mean they can’t post here? Or have no access whatsoever? I am now denied access to even read posts on the pleasegodno.com site (not that I’m missing anything, apart from the cheering anti-troll retorts). By the way, guy who runs that site has been outed by me as a bald, fugly and FAT dude, who is (seriously) trying to find a meaningful relationship on a well-known dating site. It’s sad to say this, but on an evolutionary scale, I think he’s way further enlightened than Rick/Alex, who really seems not to be able to function in any normal way whatsoever. (By the way, not only is the guy obsessed with fat women and gay men, but he’s also completely and utterly obsessed with Elliot Smith, the musician who killed himself a few years ago…and loves to hang out on youtube talking about what a loser the guy was. Some people you wonder how they even survived to adulthood without fatally bludgeoning themselves with that baseball bat they were trying to swing at some other person.

  34. It doesn’t even make sense, pigs don’t go “moo.” Somebody needs more practice with his See ‘n’ Say.

  35. Normally I leave these “taunt the taunters” posts alone because, honestly, a comment filter and a zero tolerance policy is what I believe works best. That said, considering your arguments about these guys, I think you’re overlooking the possibility that sociopaths are far more common than they used to be, and this guy is writing these things for the power high it gives him – a power high you’re increasing by giving him direct attention. I know what you’re trying to do, but I think this “high” distribution is an unfortunate collateral result.

  36. I’m sorry Rick’s cunt wasn’t surprised, I personally think that you should surprise your cunt at least once a day.

    *loves you*

  37. On the elevator in my university’s art building, someone wrote “no fatties!” underneath the weight limit sign. Someone else came by and wrote “unfortunately, assholes are almost weightless”. I took the first statement as sort of a joke, and I do think bickering with someone on the wall of an elevator (or bathroom stall… highschool, lol) is stupid, but I thought it was pretty funny.

  38. MAN, I wish I’d known that sitting makes you fat when I worked in a law firm and was expected to be at my desk 14 hours a day. The misogynistic jerks I worked for might’ve lightened my workload to control the population of “fat chicks” in the firm. (Sadly, some of them did use phrases like “fat chicks” at work.)

    Coincidentally, our building’s elevator said the limit was 2500 lbs or 15 persons, until someone scratched out the 15 and put “ONE FAT person.” I always suspected the jerkiest of the partners in my firm of having done it…that was about his level of “humor.” SO glad I changed careers!

  39. I personally think that you should surprise your cunt at least once a day.

    I like to surprise my cunt by turning out all the lights, ducking behind a couch, and then when my cunt walks in the door, I flip the lights on and scream “SURPRISE!!!!!”.

    It’s hours of fun on a chilly winter weekend.

  40. FWIW I don’t think it’s Alex from Philly or even necessarily the same Rick, though it would be nice to believe there’s only one of these schmucks. Alex from Philly has been banned for like a month but still tries to write comments, which of course immediately go into the spam trap. He’s kind of fucking boneheaded, is what I’m saying. I suppose it’s possible that he wised up enough to figure out that he should email instead, but given that he hasn’t figured out how to at least get a comment sent to moderation instead of spam, I’m doubting he’s that bright.

  41. “I don’t know exactly why that doesn’t surprise your cunt, but please stop talking like a pirate.”

    I may never stop laughing.

  42. @sweetmachine: I saw a segment about those work[out] somewhere. When the interviewer asked the users,”So, have you lost weight since using the product?” They all said,”No…”.

    Not a scientific study or anything, but kinda amusing.

  43. Well, I can see a few variations on this guy’s future: he might drop dead of a heart attack from carrying around all that rage, or he’ll be sent to prison for acting out on that rage and end up as Big Bertie’s bitch.
    What comes around, goes around Ricky!

  44. I’m just going to have to work the pirate-esque phrase “surprise me cunt” into my everyday language.
    Example:
    I opened the fridge, and surprise me cunt, there was some leftover vegetarian lasagna after all.
    Or
    I had my oil changed, and surprise me cunt, it turns out it had been more than 10,000 miles since my last visit to Jiffy Lube.

    Surprise me cunt! I did my taxes in less than 4 hours.

    The main barrier for me in implementing surprise me cunt as a catch phrase is that I could count on one hand the number of times I’ve said “cunt” out loud.

  45. This is a post I made on a ‘what do you order?’ (at restaurants and fast food joints) thread on another forum. You might like it.

    Quote:
    Originally posted by Phage
    I usually do round trips from fastfood joint to fastfood joint when I need to feed. if Im purchasing multiple burgers from the one fastfood joint I’m usually too embarassed to grab the whole order so I’ll trekk to the next nearest franchise to complete it.

    McDonalds: Double Quarter Pounder w/ Cheeseburger Chasers
    Hungry Jacks: Whopper & Onion Rings
    KFC: Zinger Burger/Wicked Wings & Chips

    Pizza: Sundried Tomato, Pesto, Salami & Ricotta pizza
    Chinese: Seafood & Vegetables in XO sauce
    Indian: Shahi Paneer/Beef Vindaloo & Lassi
    Thai: Masaman Curry & Roti w/ Thai Peanut Sauce
    Mexican: Beef & Chicken Tortillas w/ Margarita after Margarita

    It’s hard to believe that someone who eats like this yet manages to escape rotundity via some genetic fluke hates fat people so much :P.

    EDIT- Hrm. Come to think of it, I know quite a few people like that. Strange, isn’t it? It looks a bit like contempt for losing the genetic lottery. It seems somehow more understandable when it comes from people who are successfully fighting lousy genetics. Rather like ‘If I can work out five times a day and exist on only carrots and lettuce, why can’t everyone?’, the same way the gainfully employed are often contemptuous of the unemployed.
    ——-

    By the way, when I said that a genetic tendency to be fat was ‘lousy’ I meant by only cultural standards, not moral ones ;).

  46. P.S.- My post begins from ‘it’s hard..’. The order was that of someone else who in another thread had railed against giving up your seat on public transport for someone who could not stand comfortably by reason of ‘obesity’- he said that their weight was their own fault.

  47. I am wondering if Rick was the anonymous troll who stopped by my blog a couple of weeks ago to point out helpfully: “At least you’ll die soon.” I had been getting some other negative comments from randoms who started coming after that New York Times article came out, but nobody else actually wishing for my death, so it was quite shocking. But it would make sense if it was the same asshole — maybe wanting fat women to die is his theme or something (along with the pirate cunt motif).

  48. Also, Rick, I don’t know exactly why that doesn’t surprise your cunt, but please stop talking like a pirate. P.S. punctuation is free.

    OK, FJ, that just about made up for me losing about a week’s worth of Sanity Watcher points reading the Times ‘fat gene’ debate this morning.

    I agree – the ‘progressive’ types are more dangerous – I think, simply because they get public space and people are more likely to listen to them. I still think the self-hatred is lurking there, though, if only because the very worst fat-haters, and the ones who use the most insulting language (not quite up, or down, to Rick’s calibre, but less than objective, let’s say), are women who’ve lost substantial amounts of weight and simply loathe their former (and probable future) selves.

    Seeing lexy’s point, and the whole thing about the image your douchehound sent in…Rick might take out his anger on anyone who happened to be in the way, but I’m not so sure he’s that different from the visiting American guy a while back who blamed all the women in the UK for the fact that his date was ‘below him’, not high-maintenance and liked her shepherd’s pie a little too much. Same “I don’t feel secure in myself, so I must have (or pretend that I can have) the right shape of woman on my arm to feel like a Proper Man” script – different ways of expressing it.

  49. I once had a therapist that banged it into my head the whole time I was going to him: “All anger is self-directed.”

    Thanks for putting the troll in his place!

  50. Complaints about “PC,” of course, being code for “what the fuck is the point of privilege if you don’t get to be blatantly bigoted and hateful.”

    Reminds me of a quote I found… at this blog, actually.  Huh.  Apparently all my PC-related quotes come from here.

    Whenever someone says “stop being so PC,” I change it in my head to “stop being so respectful,” and then they sound like a douchebag. Mind you, most of my friends *are* respectful, so it doesn’t come up much.
    -Eve

  51. Sad, really. I mean, doesn’t Rick have to sit on his ass to do all this trolling? Or does he stand up at his computer?

    He runs laps around his living room while posting from his Blackberry. ALL THIN PEOPLE DO.

    And “surprise me cunt!” is my new favorite exclamation.

  52. I’m not so sure he’s that different from the visiting American guy a while back who blamed all the women in the UK for the fact that his date was ‘below him’, not high-maintenance and liked her shepherd’s pie a little too much.

    Oh yes, him.

    He runs laps around his living room while posting from his Blackberry. ALL THIN PEOPLE DO.

    BWAH, Dani!

  53. I thought you guys might be amused to learn that Rick wrote me a long email explaining why he’s such a misogynist asshole — which he isn’t in real life, you can tell because he likes Hillary Clinton and women with freckles! (Come to think of it, he might have said he likes Hillary Clinton because he likes women with freckles, since god forbid you respect a woman for any reason besides finding her sexually attractive.)

    Here’s the truth: Rick is just CONCERNED about you guys. He thinks people like Kate and me are leading you astray by telling you it’s okay not to punish yourselves all day long. Gee, I totally didn’t see that coming! Rick is so different from every other concern troll! He’s different because he REALLY IS CONCERNED!

    Also, he finds it VERY UPSETTING that CafePress shirts cost so much. Apparently he blames this on our desire to rip you off, though I expect he’s just bummed he couldn’t buy one.

    Just wanted to let you know that Rick REALLY DOES RESPECT YOU. He just, you know, doesn’t think you can make choices on your own.

  54. Okay, I know pirates are “in”, but am I the only one who gets an image of Lucky the Leprechaun saying “Surprise me cunt! They’re always after me Lucky Charms!” instead?

  55. Oh, the other important point was that, surprise surprise, Rick has been dieting. Emerald’s point about “loathing their former (and probably future) selves” is right on.

    He still seems to have time to read all of your blogs, though. I mean, granted, I read almost all of your blogs, and I still go to the gym every day, but I never get any work done. Maybe Rick is unemployed.

    There will be no further updates, as I’ve blocked his email. I rule!

  56. He also seems to think he’s had lovely, productive conversations with Harriet and vesta44 — it’s just terrible people like me that he’s hateful towards! Surprise me cunt, but the lubber be livin’ in a fantasy world.

  57. But Mochi Hada, CafePress shirts are so expensive. You don’t want us to take advantage of you poor, naive, unsuspecting souls and your vulnerable wallets by forcing you to buy merchandise you asked for!

  58. My god, that kind of email – who do they think they’re impressing? And, er, he’s had productive conversations with Harriet and vesta…methinks they might be a might surprised, matey. Aye.

    And I even got linked – shiver me timbers! :D

  59. Er…that India Knight piece is so vile and so *ridiculous* (well, I hate to blithely dismiss all the science in favor of meritless bigotry…except I’m going to) and the comments so insane and so full of lies; it’s not even worth the time to refute. Everything we ever discuss, every article on every fat blog, every post at junkfood science, every study that comes out, belies everything that is said both in the “article” and the comments. Just not worth the blood pressure jump even refuting it would cause. Wow.

  60. Wait a sec… at my work I spend 4 and a half hours either standing, but mostly walking… and I’m still fat. What’s up with that? Is that what can be called an obesity paradox?

    Anyway, to me, relying on stereotypes is just intellectual laziness, whether it ‘s done by douchehounds like Rick, or progressives who think fat people are the representatives of overconsumption.

    A lot of us I think do fall in the trap of stereotyping (hey, that could be stereotyping right there), the problem arises when someone is absolutely sure that the stereotype is true, and never tries to look beyond the stereotype. Then expects the people that the stereotype describes to call him or her a brave little genius for “telling it like it is” when he or she insists the stereotype must be true.

  61. The hostility in the “article” and the comments is hardly less than Rick’s vitriol. I actually need a valium now. I’d prefer someone like Rick who uses filthy epithets than the stuff I’m reading in the times online. Disgusting. Really disgusting. Next time give us a warning lol.

  62. Gee, I totally didn’t see that coming! Rick is so different from every other concern troll! He’s different because he REALLY IS CONCERNED!

    Oh, jeepers, thanks Rick. Now I’m very, very concerned that Rick doesn’t have enough of his body parts in a wood chipper.

  63. Oh yeah India Knight. Wasn’t aware of the article until Kate Harding linked to it in “Intuitive Eating Case Study.” Good to know that Knight won’t let silly things like twin studies and discoveries of a fat gene get in the way of her scienterrific belief that “IT’S TEH FATTIES FAULT!!1!!! PUT DOWN TEH CHIPS11!!11 CALORIES IN, CALORIES OUT!111″ Ignore the man behind the curtain (ie. the diet book she’s selling).

  64. I *really* hope T.H.I.N. does that article, zenjen :D It made me so unbelievably mad that a spoof is just the thing.

  65. The article doesn’t need any help on looking more idiotic, but yeah, a spoof on it would be awesome. (Hint, hint Alexandra Erin ^_^).

    I could imagine that the fat gene and studies indicating that weight is largely genetic would be considered bad facts, since they’re so inconvenient to people like India Knight.

  66. Dear Rick,

    Please stop embarassing us. You do not rule. You are made of fail.

    Signed,

    The Males of the Species
    Who Are Not Developmentally Arrested

  67. EDIT- Hrm. Come to think of it, I know quite a few people like that. Strange, isn’t it? It looks a bit like contempt for losing the genetic lottery. It seems somehow more understandable when it comes from people who are successfully fighting lousy genetics. Rather like ‘If I can work out five times a day and exist on only carrots and lettuce, why can’t everyone?’, the same way the gainfully employed are often contemptuous of the unemployed.

    I think a lot of fat-phobia is about fear. The fat-phobic don’t want to believe that gaining a lot of weight and being unable to lose it could ever happen to them.

  68. ^

    What puzzles me most about it is the fact that I don’t see how the simple fact of a person’s body size hurts anyone else. The sheer vehemence of fat-hatred is, when looked at objectively, just plain odd. There seems to be no real basis for the hatred other than ‘I don’t like the way you look’ , and no comparable hatred seems to be, for example, directed at those afflicted with big noses and acne, who most assuredly also do not fit cultural appearance standards.

  69. Grrrr. Think I’m gonna have to steer clear of the Times for a bit. Sorry, India Knight was bad enough, but someone on the original news item just made the comment that ‘Nobody was fat in Japanese POW camps’. Which I know is the same old Auschwitz/insert name of Third World country chestnut we know and loathe, but it hits for me because an uncle of mine died in one of those camps. I’m too angry to even write a coherent response right now.

  70. I think I’m going to start an all-fat-girl punk band and call it Piggy Moo.

    Emerald, I have the same response to the concentration-camp version of that – I lost an entire branch of my family that way. Usually I end up so angry I can’t see.

  71. Dammit, I thought I was the only one with a theoretical band! Mine consists of my friend Liz and me, and is called Llamas? (hence the username) but we’re thinking of changing the name to Army of Skanks. Perhaps we can go on theoretical tour with Piggy Moo.

  72. “Surprise me cunt! They’re always after me Lucky Charms!”

    Now I have this bizzare mental image of opening up a box and finding pink cunt marshmallows. Thanks.

  73. mizerychick – pink marshmallow cunts! I like it! Now the commercials can have the Lucky the Leprechaun say “They’re always after me lucky cunt”

  74. Funny thing about the idea that jerks have low self-esteem: it might be completely wrong.

    Excerpts from link: Last year alone there were three withering studies of self-esteem released in the United States, all of which had the same central message: people with high self-esteem pose a greater threat to those around them than people with low self-esteem and feeling bad about yourself is not the cause of our country’s biggest, most expensive social problems.

    ”The fact is,” Emler says, ”we’ve put antisocial men through every self-esteem test we have, and there’s no evidence for the old psychodynamic concept that they secretly feel bad about themselves. These men are racist or violent because they don’t feel bad enough about themselves.”

  75. Hey Kate? If you could fix that link, that would be great. I’m browsing from work so I’m using a proxy, and accidentally linked to the site I wanted to link to through that proxy. The proxy has ads and things so I wouldn’t want your readers to have to go through it. The correct link is here.

  76. I happen to agree with you on that, Alice. I don’t think it’s some mechanism for covering up self-loathing – and there is reason not to believe that. I remember a gang of guys on some stupid show who had IIRC terrorized a young girl and perhaps even raped her; the host was asking something like “Do you like yourself” and the one guy was saying “Hell yeah I like myself. I love myself.” I really don’t think low self-esteem is the cause for entitled jerkoffs who attack people they see as inferior – they like themselves far too much and think others are the pieces of shit. As to internet trolls, it’s harder to say – certainly many internet trolls are more likely to be lashing out online because in real life they’re so weak, inferior, etc. that they can’t possibly get away with it in person. So they feel like a “big man online” instead. But we don’t know from behind a screen lol.

  77. Alright I’m taking bets.

    2 to 1 odds that Rick is a greasy 14 year old boy who’s skin is almost transparent because he spends so much time in front of his computer trolling that he never sees the light of day and was hysterically laughed at when he hit on all of his older sister’s friends.

    And if the already oft quoted “please stop talking like a pirate” didn’t make me laugh enough, this just made me lose it:

    Dear Rick,
    Please stop embarassing us. You do not rule. You are made of fail.
    Signed,
    The Males of the Species
    Who Are Not Developmentally Arrested
    “You are made of fail.” I feel like I need to make that a permanent part of my phrase repertoire!

  78. Oh.
    My.
    Fuck.

    I have just laughed to the point of almost puking at the set-em-up-knock-em-down hilarity of “surprise me cunt” comments.

    And the turning off the lights, ducking behind the sofa comment? Christ on a bun, that was funny.

    And they say feminists have no snese of humor?

  79. Alice, I remember that study, but I’m really suspicious of self-reported self-esteem in studies like this. I have no doubt that a racist would say that his racism doesn’t stem from fear, for instance, but I also think it’s a truism that racism is fear-based. Or think about how angry and abusive some people get if they think you’re flaunting your intelligence or education — is that really because they genuinely believe they’re smarter than you?

  80. Research on this is not definitive, but the position shown here is at least more substantiated than the opposite position, which to my knowledge is backed by no systematic research whatsoever.

  81. I agree with one of your commenters that Rick probably is a sociopath, and that it is a sociopath trait to go around trolling the way he does–people who are genuinely angry and not power-seeking find other outlets. Either they get into a real argument with you on the issues or they rant about it on their own blog, I’ve found.

    That said, I disagree that it is a good idea to ignore a sociopath when he needles you. This is a common myth, online and off, and it does no good at all. He’s already gotten his charge out of emailing you in the first place because he knows you most likely read it. It’s perfectly legitimate to acknowledge what he said and call him on his shit. It’s not even about him, but about getting the idea out there as much as possible to other people that sociopathic behavior is a bad thing. It’s not “just a joke,” it’s not a “legitimate outlet for anger”–it is destructive. The more that normally social people get this idea across to one another, the less wiggle room your average sociopath is going to have to do real damage.

  82. That said, I disagree that it is a good idea to ignore a sociopath when he needles you. This is a common myth, online and off, and it does no good at all. He’s already gotten his charge out of emailing you in the first place because he knows you most likely read it. It’s perfectly legitimate to acknowledge what he said and call him on his shit. It’s not even about him, but about getting the idea out there as much as possible to other people that sociopathic behavior is a bad thing. It’s not “just a joke,” it’s not a “legitimate outlet for anger”–it is destructive. The more that normally social people get this idea across to one another, the less wiggle room your average sociopath is going to have to do real damage.

    I nominate Dana for President :)

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  84. Ok, I’ve never posted before, but I just gotta. Here’s my theory on the Ricks of the world: They have a fetish. Like an awful lot of men (and women) in the world, they get off on power games–especially being dominated. And being verbally dominated, owned, beaten and spanked by a bunch of over-confident over-weight over-sexy females? Sub heaven.

    So my personal opinion is that he WANTS us to tell him what a bad bad little boy he is and how if he’s not good, we’ll sit on him and suffocate him. He daydreams of us punishing him by talking about how sexy we are, how we should just shove his face into our DDDs and THEN that’d learn him good.

    Why is he so “concerned”? Because if we do all die from the ZOMGFAT!!111!!!11! then the sexiest swath of the population (the strong both in body and spirit) is *poof* gone and they took with them his erection.

    Think about it: What’s hotter than a clever female? Not much. What brings out the clever like an insult? Not much. And how many people are MORE CLEVER than those who have been insulted and trampled all their lives? Not many.

    It creates kind of a Catch-22. If we respond, he’s getting off on it. If we don’t, we perpetuating our silence. Tough stuff, this.

    Just my opinion and experience.

  85. I’ve only very recently discovered the lovely fatosphere, and I’m pretty amazed to find out just how many people waste their time and energy fuming about other people’s fat. I don’t really understand why it makes them so mad? I mean, seriously. I really don’t.

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