If you’re made largely of carbon, then you may have heard by now of vaguebooking: the trend of whimpering online about something specific, without being remotely specific within your whimper. And usually smacking FML in place of LOL at the end.
It’s not something I do. Technically. By the strictest definition. Subject to change though I’m sure it is, English being an evolving language [read: okay with being misspelled because lawl whatever].
I’ll post things all day every day which point out whatever ridiculous weirdness. Like this, from a few hours ago:
That’s it. The media are officially frauds.
‘Indirect exposure to Ebola leads to infection. Because a guy gave it to someone, who gave it to someone else; that makes it indirect!’
Fine. Then I don’t trust the media, because they’re paid indirectly by the Federal Reserve. The shills.
That’s not really vaguebooking, since I reasonably identified the victim: every damned news site I’ve seen today, all falling over themselves to be the first to mimic whatever moron first wrote this perverse clickbait. I suppose I coulda tracked that down, or at least got a screenshot of the specific article I caught lying to me; but, to date, no one’s seemed too concerned about it: the only response to the post has been people clicking Like in what might be an attempt to encourage me to keep posting this sort of thing.
Needless, of course. I’ve been doing this for a while. Stopping isn’t really on my calendar.
A few hours later, I posted something else, which had nothing to do with anything—apart from what the post contained:
There’s a drive to eliminate the word ‘retard’ from the language. To do my part, when I’m writing sheetmusic, I’ll indicate slowing the tempo with ‘developmentally disable’.
Here, the victim, if any, was the abstract drive to outlaw a Latin word, and possibly my piano. It wasn’t the media as an amalgamated entity, and it wasn’t any specific user anywhere.
I should mention something loosely on that topic, real quick: throughout social media [facebook.com; twitter.com; YouTube.com], I’ve got twentysomething thousand followers. Though they’re not strictly followers, since I tend to follow people back. It just seems like the way things should be: if you’re following me, it seems kinda weird to decline to follow you. It’s just how I think, even if it’s not how twitter.com is designed.
So, anything I post or tweet or whatever [kinda the same thing: a post at FB gets cloned as a tweet; a tweet gets cloned as a post] is seen by whatever percentage of the population of a suburb happens to be looking just then.
On the topic of suburbs, I’ve got more fans than the Mayor of Aurora
That people see what I post is okay; it’s actually kinda the point. Otherwise, I’d just mumble it aloud and save myself some typing. Like, if I were just into impressing Me with the things falling outta my brain. But I’m not, because I’m a little abnormal.
The human animal is a strange little thing. Smarter than other animals, by relatively small a margin on average. Which I’ll explain more in a minute, since it involves a definition I’ll write out in a few paragraphs. Being the smartest animal, H.sapiens entertains abstract notions. Which can get a little ironic. Because, abstractly, people can assume that abstract concepts are more specific than that. Ergo the issue with vaguebooking.
People don’t, so far as I can tell, have a problem with meaningless information. Post something completely meaningless, like this pie is yummy, and the only complaint [unless you also throw up a JPEG to instagr.am] will be that shaddup; you’re making me hungry. People won’t as a rule wonder consciously what sort of pie it is, or where you got it. Probably, they’ll just envision the last pie they got, and figure that’s what you’ve got.
It’s an old social experiment. One predating the latest version of social media [I'd argue that UseNet was social media, back in 1979; but no one ever believes me], which I ran into back in college in the eighties. It goes like this:
Think of a chair.
Got it? Great.
You think you’re thinking of the sort of chair I’m thinking of?
Wanna find out?
Sparky says you’re wrong
Because chair is vague, like pie, and like most tweets. People, as smartish animals, will conceptualise things, based on vagaries, relate those vagaries to specifics, and decide for themselves that they know what’s going on.
There’s actually a word for this phenomenon—a few, in fact: stereotyping, bigotry, prejudice, thinkiness [which I coined, and which is working its way through an evolving language], et cetera. Which isn’t really the point here.
The point is that anything you might say or write, which isn’t hilariously overdetailed, is open to some amount of interpretation. Most likely, whatever your audience was already thinking about.
So, in reaction to my post about sheetmusic, I got this comment:
You’re such a miserable human being. You find nearly everything distasteful and find every opportunity to poke fun of the disabled. I’m not offended by your blatant attack of my post, I just find it wretchedly sad.
The backstory, I guess, was this:
Also, don’t call me “Sparky”.’
To get overdetailed: I hadn’t seen that; I was playing with a piano. Which is largely irrelevant [I'd think], since having seen it would have changed precisely dick:
Direct response, cleverly uploaded eighteen months ago
So, no: I’m not vaguebooking; I’m either posting things so universal as to be vague [and yet understood] by definition, or—in cases—I’m overexplaining what I’m on about.
Which I mentioned in response to the reply. And so on.
Of course, you can’t prove who precisely I replied to, since I didn’t name names
Which, in regard to this specific instance, is about all I’ve got to say. The specific instance being one EFriend reacting to one post.
There are other things we could talk about….
For one thing, there’s the word retard. And, yeah: I’m okay with that word. I’m actually okay with all words, in the sense that none exactly offends me. There are words I don’t use—usually because they’re infantile and likely monosyllabic for words I do use. But, as an example, while I don’t personally call films movies, that being an infantile prequel of the talkies which replaced them, I don’t consider the word to be an attack; I just find the whole matter kinda funny:
From four years ago, in case you’re wondering what I’m gonna react to next
I could complain about retard, though not in the way you might expect. Really, retard is a verb: to retard; to slow down. That which has been slowed down is decribed by the adjective retarded. And, retard being a verb, it’s pronounced with the same cadence as research—which is to say that it’s iambic, not trochaic…unless you’re a moron…which isn’t beyond the realm of possibility…you ree-tard.
I know: I just used an offensive term for stupid people. And yet, I rarely hear much about calling people morons. Which is odd, I think.
A moron, supposing you didn’t know this, is by definition one whose IQ is beneath sixty. An imbecile, on the topic, is one whose IQ is beneath forty; an idiot has an IQ beneath twenty. A cretin, incidentally, is one who follows the christ.
Don’t look at me: I just know stuff.
A retard, insofar as that’s evolved its way into nounitude, is simply one lagging behind the curve. I suppose, if we wanted a clinical definition, with numbers in it, we could cite Profound Retardation, which I’ve just linked to [le'me know if I get too overdetailed here], and which breaks down mental retardation thusly:
Mild Mental Retardation
An IQ of fifty to seventy-five; the fourth intellectual percentile
Moderate Mental Retardation
An IQ of thirty-five to fifty-five; the first intellectual percentile
Severe Mental Retardation
An IQ of twenty to forty; lower in the first intellectual percentile
Profound Mental Retardation
An IQ beneath twenty; could be outsmarted by a dead amoeba
I’m exaggerating on that last one: in fact, most animals are, by human scales, retarded idiots with IQs beneath twenty.
But, did you catch the neat part?
Hang on. Some people are still catching up….
Okay: to get it over with, the profoundly retarded, and the clinical idiot, are the same precise thing. We have two different words for them—one Latin in origin and one Greek—but we’re talking about the same people.
That is to say that this sentence contains enough ironical hypocrisy to destroy a universe: Calling the developmentally disabled ‘retards’ is offensive, you idiot.
True story: by the numbers, all hypocrisy being equal, retard and idiot would, at worst, be synonymously offensive. But they’re not. Because the average idiot [I'm being colloquial now] has an IQ in the fifeenth percentile, and doesn’t care what it knows before it talks.
Wondering how that happens? The IQ thing, I mean.
Statistics. Where the profoundly retarded outclass nothing human, being in the first percentile, and the mildly retarded outrank those, up in the fourth percentile, the bellcurve of human intellect looks like this:
In fact, Einstein’s IQ was never tested; it’s more commonly estimated to have been down around 140
The average idiot [more commonly: average] is that large chunk of people—seventy percent of them—there in the tallish middle. Tallish within the chart; the people aren’t necessarily all that tall. He said, being 6’5″ and in the ninety-ninth percentile also for height.
So, using what I hope doesn’t yet constitute advanced math, let’s run a formula: X = .7N + .3N/2
To save you some suspense: half of thirty, plus seventy, is eighty-five; from one hundred is fifteen.
Viewing the IQ Normative as a single chunk of seven in ten people, even the smartest average idiot is only in the fifteenth percentile. Because reasons. Given all factors, an IQ of 115 isn’t significantly smarter than an IQ of eighty-five.
That said, technically, an IQ of eighty-five to 115 is significantly smarter than an IQ of twenty or forty or sixty. Statistically. Like, statistical significance. Meaning that, supposing you’re IQ Normative [and statistics imply that seven in ten of you are], you’re smarter than a moron by around the same spread that Einstein was smarter than you—upwards of twenty-five points.
So, when I talk about retarded idiots, colloquially, I’m speaking relatively. You know: relativity. Something Einstein talked about. A little. Before spending the last half of his life agonising over what he’d got wrong [hint: dark energy is a factor]. Which means that, colloquially and relatively, I regard Einstein as a moron. Because his IQ was equidistant from mine to that of an actual moron.
When I say that something is retarded, what I’m saying is that it’s dumber than I am. Meaning that I could also call it average, or ordinary, or boring, or other words I’ve been known to use. I’m not typically talking about true idiots and imbeciles and morons, whom you people seem thrilled accidentally to offend by throwing those words around; I’m actually talking about perfectly ordinary IQ Normative people displaying half my intelligence or less.
Something I suppose I should mention, since you’re about to think that I’m bragging or something, is that I’m not. That I’m in the ninety-ninth percentile, intellectually, is something I’ve always sorta regretted. Because, as boring, average chauvinists will be the first to denigrate, being as smart as I am isn’t all that beneficial. To change the subject if not the point: being 6’5″ and therefore in the ninety-ninth percentile also for height, le’me just tell you how thrilled I am that the Lotus Esprit I was once about buy convinced me that James Bond is a midget. Being taller than ninety-nine percent of people just means that I have trouble finding clothes, and that you average little goofs think it’s my job to get things off of shelves for you.
Being smarter than ninety-nine percent of people has about the same advantages: I get to do fractions for morons, and otherwise get to sit around for interminable microseconds as I wait for the IQ Normative to grok that the light is green.
Sure, if I wanna do my own fractions, or nonlinear equations, or whatever, then I’m as able to do that as I am to get my own stuff off the shelf [which I at least know how it got onto the shelf in the first place; I always wanna ask relative midgets what happened to the ladder they musta used at some point...but that's apparently rude]; otherwise, I just get to be the freak who’s taller and smarter than everyone else, and who therefore benefits from privilege, or something.
I don’t generally refer to the literally retarded as retarded, simply because I don’t generally encounter them. Finding someone that far to the left of the centre mass of the bellcurve is about as unlikely as finding someone as far to the right as I am. PlusMinus one, since I know where to find me.
I don’t think I know anyone by name who has an IQ in the single digits. I suspect a couple of politicians, but I can’t be certain.
So, one thing I don’t entirely disagree with is this little nugget of truculence: Uh, no, because, it’s called: we don’t call the developmentally disabled retarded anymore.
Yay. Two problems.
- We did, and you don’t get to outlaw something retroactively; see related meddling at we need to outlaw Huckleberry Finn because nigger is in it.
- The modern polysyllabicisation of neurological terms has zero effect on their colloquial homonyms, you NotTechnicallySubAverage Idiots.
Those two problems aside, I’m okay with developmentally disabled as a clinical nominative. Neurologists, et al, disliking retard sounds roughly tantamount to me disliking T-Rex and movie. You can say those things; I just won’t suspect that you’re terribly smart.
If I call the IQ Normative retarded, you, down there in the IQ Normative, can decline to suspect that I’m very smart. And that’s okay, because A) I don’t care, and B) if you say that out loud, people who have heard of me are gonna laugh at you.
But then, I’m a little abnormal: I don’t obsess over what people think; I don’t presuppose that every kilobyte of misspelled drivel on the ‘net is about me. However ironically, as a sociopath, I lack the narcissism to give a damn who’s thinking about me.
Oh. And, to the neurologists who were so proud of me a minute ago for acknowledging that the Developmentally Disabled are no longer classed as the Profoundly Retarded: I know; but, regarding your attempts to ameliorate sociopathy to Antisocial Personality, while I don’t deny being antisocial, I do maintain a difference between highfunctiong sociopaths and basal psychopaths. Also, as a sociopath, I’m not offended by sociopath. As much as the IQ Normative might wish I would be. Since it’s apparently their selfprescribed dharma to try insulting those of us who can’t by definition feel insulted. Or whatever. I dunno: they’re retarded.
The other thing….
This isn’t the first time this has happened. So far as I know, without going back over to facebook.com to see who’s unfriended me lately, it’s also not the worst time.
Usually, if a narcissist convinces itself that I live to vaguebook about it, it unfriends me. That happened most notably a few months ago. Which actually was a bit irksome, for a couple reasons. And a half.
So, there’s this idiot. Just to be vaguebooky about this, I guess I won’t identify her. By name. By circumstance, she was married to this guy, until he remembered that he was sane and got rid of her. Up to that point, she was one of those IQ Normative creatures I tolerated simply because it didn’t cost me much, and didn’t alienate the guy whose sanity was to date forthcoming. Then they got divorced and, requiring constant attention and knowing only the people that I and he know, she hooked up as quickly as possible with another guy I knew. So: goody.
More tolerance, because continuing to know her new victim was advantageous. And, while we had a history of her deciding to get butthurt when I declined to crack into some Australian chick’s computer to see whether her original and presane husband was cruising strange Down Under [did I mention she was something of an idiot?], I allowed that, since she’s unfriended me and refriended me once, that information might remain resident in her subfunctional little brain.
So, a few months ago, I posted…something. It’s been long enough that I don’t much wanna go find it, just to copypaste it. But it was a conversation I’d been involved with in the comments of a post about paedophilia, and—since I like knowing what words mean—I’d disagreed that paedophilia [let alone pedophilia] was by definition childmolestation. My analogy, which I copypasted, was that calling all paedophiles childmolesters was like calling all alcoholics drunk drivers.
Which I maintain. Because words mean things.
When I copypasted that, replacing the opposition’s name in the transcript with TARD, the australophobe saw it and, in her debilitating narcissism, A) convinced herself that she’s the only one anyone’s ever talked to, meaning that TARD was she, despite the transcript being measurably different than any conversation she’d ever been in, and B) unfriended and blocked me, convincing her new victim to do the same thing.
So, that’s two things: a narcissist got thinky, which is never good; and, the guy I was putting up with her at all in order to keep knowing [who incidentally owes me a buncha money] followed her overwidened ass into petulant unfriendliness.
And, two and a half: I only found out, not much caring what the useless fatchick prepended every few minutes to lol, that she’d unfriended and blocked me, along with her new victim, because Hunter hadn’t [yet] got unfriended, and she noticed that I was no longer amongst Jabba the Slutt’s Mutual Friends. Which means that Hunter hit me with this: You managed to get them both to unfriend you, and block you, so you’re not getting paid back.
Eventually, they also both unfriended and blocked Hunter, which on the one hand gave me an opportunity to miss when I didn’t countergloat that she offended them too [because offending them really just means knowing people they don't like], but on the other bugged me because Hunter is lacking in close friends and now she’s lost two more. Also, Hunter has emotions; so she wasn’t real apathetic about that backstabbery.
So, yeah: vaguebooking—passiveaggressively whimpering about people while pusillanimously cowering from naming names—is bad. But worse might actually be assuming that everything without a nametag must be yours. Like this is a fridge at the office, and there was no label on the Kale and Mushroom Sandwich that you didn’t make, but—hey—no name; intelligent design; the lord wants me to eat it.
It’s not like that. Think of it this way: if you doubt your ability to prove ownership, in a court of law, to a judge and twelve people who don’t care who the hell you are, then don’t steal food, and don’t assume that every whimsical post on the internet is an indictment of your innermost feelings. I promise you: seven point blah billion of us forgot all about you, or never knew; we don’t care.
The guy whose sammich you stole might care; but he’s into kale and mushrooms, so his opinions weren’t great to begin with.
It’s just not about you. And, if you don’t know how to stop assuming that it is, then…I’ve got a chair here; have a seat.
Have also a webcomic: