Saturday, March 17, 2012

What happens when you're a dick

Update: This commentary on the subject is probably a better use of your time. Return after you read it.

People are social animals. I try not to be bothered when a driver gives me the finger, when someone attacks my character because of my beliefs, or even when people spread rumors or make false accusations. But it gets me to like anyone else.

I'm not important enough to receive hate (e-)mail or death threats, but I suspect Jason Russell did. He got barraged with a lot of negativity the past few weeks. Some of it was respectful and reasonable. Most from reasonable people was asinine ("Joseph Kony is not in Uganda . . ." is not complicated) and most of it from gullible people was false ("Invisible Children has never been audited"). The vast majority that I read was either mean spirited, moronic, or driven by jealous.

I can't imagine what hundreds of thousands or millions of people saying nasty, untrue things about you feels like but I suspect most people would crack under the stress like Jason Russell did under those circumstances. I hope he recovers. I hope his family copes and gets the support it needs. I hope Invisible Children can continue operating programs that a lot of people depend on while Jason recovers.

I also wonder why people describe his behavior as "bizarre." Every person that I am close to I have seen break down and each person does it in their own way. Some people just cry and beg to be taken "home" or where they feel safe. Some people cry and demand revenge on the people they blame their problems on. Some people, like me, just break things, demand rectitude, and have a short fuse. Many kids, including me, run a few blocks from home and scream. Many people just try to bury their sorrows in alcohol and cry themselves to sleep. Others just don't sleep and lay awake in fear for nights on end. Others don't eat. A few take their own lives. And Jason Russell ran down a street in his underwear. Was it really that bizarre?

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