12/29/2017
Attack this homophobic, racist, sexist piece of shit!

There's one rule - not really unspoken, because some will tell you outright about it - that holds together this fragile sense of so-called peace we have: do not speak up, and just go with the flow.

As with every such rule, there are people who are stupid, or foolish, or mischievous enough to attempt to break it, whether out of some long-standing principle about free speech or something, or out of just wanting to raise hell, or, perhaps, something more nefarious altogether.

That person isn't me, but then, I find myself in these predicaments often. I can't count the number of times people told me to shut up, because I have "nothing good to say". Sometimes it is really nothing good, but most of the time it's just something they vehemently disagree with. And, more so in these times, that shatters that so-called peace we have. They have.

Last night I said something particularly controversial, and arguably nasty, about a particular Korean pop star. I knew the torrent of disagreeing replies would come; I knew the abuse would, too. I've wandered that place long enough to know that people can be - are - fiercely protective. (Imagine how some often single out these K-pop fans for being so rabid fans, when the same can be said about fundamentalists of our one true god, Taylor Swift.) But then the abuse did come, and, oh man, I honestly don't know whether to laugh or to ponder killing myself.

"Tangina mo ka, tumigil ka."

I reported that guy in particular. Everybody else, I didn't. I got a bunch of comments in Brazilian Portuguese (I'll assume it's Brazilian Portuguese, for they are always everywhere online, saying "come to Brazil!") I got a bunch of "imagine being this dumb" comment and, quite uniquely, one comment implying I actually masturbated to the pop star in question. As expected, there is one half-arsed death threat, something about me giving up my oxygen to provide more breathing air for their beautiful pop star in question.

You know, K-pop stans. Again, nothing really new to me, as someone who spent a few years writing about pop culture for a living, and arguably, still does, sort of.

But it was one comment from earlier than that which struck me the most. It was a rallying call - those things you see online ever too often now, where you call on like-minded people to make the life of someone like me a living hell.

"Attack this homophobic, racist, sexist piece of shit!"

It's funny because, wait, at which point in my tweet about your beloved did I become anti-gay, anti-diversity and anti-women? But then, that's language that gets the base going. If you don't know exactly why you should be angry, just lob one of these bombs - that should do the trick. Nothing scares people more than knowing they're backed in a corner, and one of the angry mob will stab him with a pitchfork.

And then it dawns on me how all of this is familiar, ever so familiar. Part of us hate the fans for being so passionate, but then we sharpen our knives and head to another arena, which, we claim, matters more because the country is at stake. Mischiefs battle with apologists. Words are flung. Someone gets called homophobic with no justification whatsoever.

I must clear there were at least three stans who were... well, they disagree, but they were... I wouldn't call them nice. Civil? Civil, yes. None of those "you must die so she must live" bullshit. One was even "I hope you give her a chance in future comebacks," a sentiment I dignified with a reply, because that, hopefully, is how we should all be talking. Instead, we twist each other's nipples until someone cracks and has his head bashed in (metaphorically or literally) and we celebrate the fact that someone cracked because he is dumb and we are better.

There's something here about how this constant battle of one-upmanship has gone beyond amplification now that the world is supposedly closer to each other, but then, I am a dumb mischief who's done the same things at some point. Maybe I should be running through time and regretting I ever existed. But really? A homophobic, racist, sexist piece of shit?

And your responses...

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