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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
2015-11-10 05:54 am (UTC)
>> Thanks for the TW on this one. My reactions, in no particular order: <<
You're welcome. As much ruckus as there is over this issue, it helps to know when my audience finds the content notes to be useful.
>> - Holy shit, this entire family is badly broken -- <<
Yyyyyeah. They're not quite dysfunctional, in that they provide enough value for Shiloh to cling hard. But I sure wouldn't call them
>> and in a way that's all too recognizable from the world around me. <<
My sympathies. I drew from some of my own experiences and observations too, although no living rednecks were harmed in the making of this poem.
>> Total lack of empathy combined with One-True-Wayism is what yields that "Well, we think it's funny, what's YOUR problem?" attitude. It's basically the same mindset that produces things like the defense of sports-team logos or mascots that are vicious stereotypes. <<
>> - This kind of thing frequently combines with, or segues into, bullying of the type where it becomes more fun to "prank" people who won't enjoy it. <<
Yes it can. Or closely related, unwelcome teasing, which lacks the concentrated malice of true bullying but can be just as fucking miserable for the hapless victim.
>> Ghod help anybody in their extended family who isn't mentally/emotionally strong enough to shrug it off, especially if they're already the Designated Scapegoat in their own immediate family. <<
That'd be a key reason why Shiloh acts the way she does.
>> - They're already showing evidence of traveling down that road by virtue of the fact that even finding out that what they did injured people doesn't budge them from thinking of themselves as being the REAL victims here. <<
That's true -- although it's as much from being young and stupid and therefore self-centered as from the family culture in general. If they get dragged around to fix up the yard for the lady with the broken fingers (who probably has her whole hand in a cast, since broken fingers are pesky to heal) then they might get a clue.
>> I'm not sure any of the people who were hurt are actually real to them -- they're just spear-carriers, set-dressing to produce a particular effect. This is toxic as shit. <<
>> - Sooner or later they're going to "prank" the wrong person who doesn't think it's funny <<
Like if they push the wrong button on their new mentor
who is a supervillain
and won't hesitate to mash somebody's face into the pavement for it.
>> and who either has superpowers that can swat back or the power is triggered by the incident... and therefore much less likely to be a controlled response. <<
Fortunately for them, and one reason for his selection, is that Gimpy's ability isn't particularly offensive in nature. But startle him badly enough and he might go one-dimensional by reflex -- and he does know how to use it for
>> This is something you've frequently mentioned as one of the reasons T-America is more sane about stuff like this; <<
Yes it is.
>> I would hope that now that they've actually brought themselves to the attention of the authorities, someone will be looking into a way to 'splain that to them. <<
Well, the authorities can try. I suspect Gimpy will have more impact though. He's pretty good at scaring some sense into dumb bucks.
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