I have a story to tell, but since I coloured my hair yesterday, I seem unable to string together three coherent thoughts, so bear with me. I’m not sure if the dye has seeped into my brain or whether it’s old age or not enough sleep.
Once upon a time, months and months ago, I used to frequent a certain internet forum. The place was cool, lots of nice people, and highly entertaining. I must admit, however, that for me the entertainment value stemmed to a large extent from the drama that was the board. All the “please send me some hugs today” threads I could do without.
I rarely participated in the drama, but watching these people tear into each other like rabid dogs… well, ok, so I have a twisted sense of humour.
What fascinated me most about the place (and eventually bored me to tears) was that this drama would be repeated over and over again. There were a few members who role was to tear people apart, others whose job was to let themselves be hacked to pieces, and others who were there to jump into the fray, take sides and start he said, she said matches (though for the record, it was mostly she said she said). Unfortunately, women are very good at bitching each other out that way.
One thing about that site I found really distasteful was the whole “oh my life is pain, oh my life sucks, oh woe is me” aspect. People who bitched and moaned and expected “oh poor you” responses while never ever doing a thing to tackle whatever problem they had. I’m pretty much a “if you’re not going to do anything about, shut the fuck up already” type of person. My pity parties generally last a few hours, or a day at most, and lordy they’re too damn pathetic to post about! LOL
Eventually I just left. It was a toxic, unhealthy place, and actually, once the novelty wore off, really really boring. Only good thing about it was several people I met.
Anyway – and yes, there is a point to this story – I recently learned (on another, much healthier forum) that the place had spontaneously combusted. It's at the point where the only way to be a member to pay for the privilege (as if that will change anything, other than making the strife more private).
What surprises me is people’s reactions. So many of them, on the new forum, are bemoaning the loss of that other place. Admittedly they were sick of what it had become but… and the litany begins… how could they do this to us, they treated us like dirt and yadda, yadda, yadda. People, it’s a business and they’re entitled to do whatever they damn well please. Get over it already!!!!
It really drove home, however, how some people really take these communities seriously. I’ve met several people from forums and consider them very good friends, but a forum is just one aspect of my life. To some people, their forums ARE real life, they are the place they go to socialize, to make friends they often will never meet; the forum is basically their complete life. And that is sort of sad I think.
On a totally different note, the Israeli-Lebanon conflict has hit home. The sister of an acquaintance of Mr. Jazz was turned away from a grocery store she frequents weekly in Montreal’s west island. She’s Jewish. The store’s owner is Lebanese. I guess the fact that there's a difference between being a Jew and an Israeli is lost on the store owner.
I don’t want to get into politics and whose side I’m on. All I can say is this attitude is totally unacceptable anywhere, but here in Montreal? I had thought (hoped?) people were above that here. Obviously I was wrong. Sad day indeed.