Having spent time helping in the show “Robot vs World” at the Melbourne Fringe Festival, I feel inspired to develop my own show. The biggest thing I want to do is write a show, possibly for someone else to perform but obviously I have more than enough ego to perform myself. While a solo show is less hassle in lots of ways, the idea of writing for an ensemble cast and possibly directing the show too is appealing.
I think I’ve hit on a winning idea – STFU The Musical. Well, maybe not a musical. If you’d ever heard me sing you’d know why that was a bad idea. Also, I’m completely unmusical. So a musical is a pretty bad idea. I felt like adding “the musical” because there have been so many bizarre topics for musicals in recent years; Keating the musical, Shane Warne the musical, Beaconsfield the musical. So maybe I’ll go with STFU the stage show.
For a while I’ve thought a narrative about my experiences online was the obvious way to go and STFU gives me and idea of how to structure it. It starts with my entry onto YouTube, continues to how it took about 5 minutes for the first hater to show up and then tracks my adventures. STFU summarises what I’ve learned about interacting with idiots.
Internet wisdom about dealing with trouble makers comes in a few flavours: Don’t feed the trolls. Wrestling in the mud with a pig is pointless – no matter what the outcome you both end up covered in mud and the pig enjoys it. Arguing on the internet is like competing in the special Olympics – even if you win, you’re still retarded. But my own favoured method of dealing with the endless stream of morons online is STFU!
There are a couple of varieties of online moron. The common troll or griefer really is best ignored. For this type, the act of pissing someone off is an end in itself. They don’t actually have a point (no matter how much they claim to). For a troll, the more innocent their target, the more “fun” it is to cause grief. This is the sort of loser who posts rape porn to a forum dedicated to knitting and thinks they are being funny. Any engagement and even public denouncing of a troll is worse than pointless, it is giving them the attention they crave. Block them from commenting, delete their posts and move on.
The ones who cause a lot of trouble for a lot of people are the ones who seem to be making a structured argument and demand their right to be heard. These braying morons very quickly leap to declaring that their free speech “rights” have been breached if anyone tries to get rid of them. This makes a lot of people uncomfortable because they don’t want to be seen to be stifling free speech. Feeling this way is a mistake because this isn’t a free speech issue – the people making this claim are no better than trolls, all they are doing is framing their approach slightly differently.
To limit the explanation to YouTube: it might be a free speech issue if you were trying to shut down someone’s ability to post videos of their own but blocking someone’s access to your channel isn’t limiting their ability to express themselves at all. It’s just telling them to get the fuck out of your face. We all have the right to live our lives without fuckwits screaming their bullshit in our faces. That’s why houses have doors.
An equally important point is these idiots are not interested in having a discussion or debate. That’s what they scream over and over but it’s a simple lie. Maybe they’re even lying to themselves. All they want to do is browbeat everyone else with their views and they have zero interest in having a reasoned debate. In short, they will not stop. The YouTube comment system is an appallingly inadequate medium in which to conduct a debate even with someone who’s being reasonable. It’s nothing short of agonising to try and deal with a screaming fuckwit one disjointed comment at a time.
And it’s pointless. Not only is this the wrong medium in which to try and change someone’s mind, these people refuse to change their mind no matter how clearly you demonstrate they are wrong. I’m not simply talking about opinion here, you can present these people with an overwhelming body of scientific or objective evidence that disproves their insane theory and that will make them dig in harder. So don’t waste time with them. And literally any time spent with these morons is wasted. You gain nothing from subjecting yourself to the ravings of a zealot and they certainly aren’t listening to you.
Now, anyone who’s been paying attention will know I’m in favour of ranting. I don’t have a problem with people who disagree with me, I’ll even actively encourage them to do their own rants. In their own space. Hell, they can even rant about me if they want. But I don’t need them in my channel. I have zero interest in providing a platform for fuckwits like this. If they want attention they can fuck off and earn it on their own. I won’t waste time having endless arguments in comments with these idiots but I do enjoy telling them what I think of them.
This is where my preferred method of STFU comes in. The STFU videos target various types who exhibit this behaviour. They obsess over a given topic and simply will not shut up about it. They might be racists, religious zealots, atheist zealots, global warming deniers, 9/11 truthers or any of the rainbow of crazy that makes up conspiracy theorists. But the one thing they have in common is they live to harass anyone who dares to not share their delusion.
So I let them know I’m onto them. I know their game. I can see through the lie that they want to “debate”. And I’m calling the weaselly little fuckers out. They want to foam at the mouth about their paranoid delusions? I don’t fucking care. They aren’t going to listen to any reasoned response I give them so they aren’t going to get one. All they’ll get from me is STFU. I refuse to “engage”. I refuse to be cowed by their bluster. All these drooling freaks deserve is STFU and that’s all they’ll get from me.
Some people say this is trolling but the simple difference is I don’t chase people. Ever. I post these in my own channel and if someone doesn’t like it they have the simple option of not watching. Mind you, I am very evil. I deliberately pick targets that I know are too obsessed to help themselves. I do find it hysterically funny that they are convinced they are being reasonable and if only the rest of the world were reasonable everyone would see things their way. And they really can’t cope when all you give them is a bald faced STFU!
They try everything. They whine that you’re not being fair. They criticise your intelligence. They say you have no arguments. And all the get from me is STFU. Because I know their poorly hidden secret. No amount of well thought out and cogently reasoned arguments will reach them. Any intelligence used is wasted on them. All they do is berate people and try to manipulate them. Taking that away from them is like shooting out their kneecaps. Only less messy. And slightly less satisfying.
So that’s my STFU philosophy that I think is going to form the basis of a live show. It’s almost 12 months until the next Fring Festival so I have a while to work out the details.