Friday, August 26, 2016


So I'm reading a short post by one of the many people I've circled over the years I've been on Google+ and there's a single comment. Of two words:

I read the post again. Had I missed something? No... everything seemed in order. Protocol 12.1.7(A) kicked in - Click the Link, Open the Profile, Block the User. Life is too short to have assholes cluttering up the comments section of people I actually want to read. I Clicked the Link, Opened the Profile and then stopped.
What in the name of Crack am I looking at?
Post after post after post after post of disappointment, bitterness and Rage. I scrolled down. It continued, without a break. I scrolled some more. It went on. It was all there was. The screen name he'd selected for himself was an incoherent mass of seething rage and self-pity. The banner image howled in despair.
Is this guy for real?
Message after message, pouring out anger and hatred at everyone who would listen. And anger and hatred at everyone, for refusing to listen. The place where he lived. The women who rejected him. The netizens who wouldn't follow his videos. The industry types who ignored his talents. The masses of humanity who wouldn't help him realize his dreams. The god who created him to be someone he loathed. He had bile and spite for all of them.
This most be Poe's Law in action. This can't be serious.
I closed the page, and went on about my business. Until there was a pause in my day, and he came to mind again. And I found myself wondering. Is this where it begins? Here was a person who was failing to attain the goals he had set for himself in life. And there was plenty of fault to go around. For everyone but him. He had ceded all control. Or had he?

There was a part of me that simply couldn't bring myself to take any of it seriously. No-one could be that, be that... That what? That self-pitying? That angry? That self-involved? That self-unaware? But of course, there had been people who were that, and more, before. And they had self-destructed. And they had often not gone to their ends alone. How real did I think them?

This wasn't a person who was part of my circles. He was just another Random Person on the Internet. Had he not chosen that one particular post to vandalize, or if the poster had caught it before I came along, I never would have noticed him. Just like it said in his screen name. And I began to wonder. Had they all started out this way? Screaming desperately into an uncaring void until they reached a point when they decided that they were going to make us care, at least for a moment. To become someone that an ever-hungry news cycle would make it impossible to ignore - that is, until the Next New Thing came along.

Home again. There he was, lurking in my History. Open the Profile. It's all still there. Post after unanswered post. There is one response, a lone question mark left by someone who didn't understand why he'd vandalized their group page with a howling screed. I took a screenshot.
No one will believe this, if I don't have proof. I don't believe this.
I didn't believe it. I scrolled down and down, looking for the punch line. The challenge. The "Bet you I can fool them all" post that I knew had to be there. I never found it. I had suspected that I wouldn't. And I wondered.
Where does this end?
Then I found the suicide post. Had it been the most recent posting, I might have believed that he'd set out to do himself in. Instead it was one of the oldest. It was a classic push-me pull-you post, where the writer pushes the reader away, in the hope that the reader will pull the writer back - and in doing so, show that they care. No-one pulled. Then the slide began.
In Fire, of course. These things always do.

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