There are some things in life that I just don't "get." Now, I know it may be presumptuous of me to say only "some," but I completed a minor in psychology. What that taught me is that most of us are just people. I'm not saying I have all the answers or have it all nailed down, just that, at our very core, most of us are driving by very basic human needs. The need to be loved. The need to feel appreciated. The need to eat and use a toilet every now and then. Insert your own favorite basic need here.
Those needs are what drive most behaviors. For instance, if I see someone speeding on the highway, cutting other individuals off, I don't get totally irate and think they're obviously a bad person. Usually, I think that perhaps they just broke up with a significant other and are in a bad way. Or maybe they just got fired or skipped over for that raise. Or perhaps they just really need to use the toilet. Generally speaking, people aren't just in a hurry to be in a hurry. In their minds, they probably think they have a damn good reason to be in a hurry. I may not agree with that reason, but that's what we call an opinion, and one of both of us could be wrong on the great, mythical Scale of Global Wrongness.
The point is, I can generally come up with a reasonable argument for the "other side." I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, and I'll often play devils advocate. Some might say I relish the opportunity for debate. (Or, as my mother would say: he just likes argue.)
Name calling in WoW is something that I really don't get. I can't attribute a whole lot of logical reasoning to it. I mean, I guess if I really wanted to nail it down, I could go with the simple explanation that people are just passing the buck. That is, most name calling is probably done because at some time in the not-so-distant past, that person was also called a name. To me, name calling, in and of itself, says much more about the name caller than it does about the callee. After all, aren't you just blatantly admitting that someone calls you names sometimes and it bothers you?
Pewter has a great article up today about "basement-dwellers." It provides a sort of case study for what I'm trying to convey above. Namely, that people often have very logical reasons behind their choices and situations. We just can't always understand or empathize until we've been there.
I was in a BG the other day when some name-calling broke out (as often happens in BGs, especially on weekends). It wasn't so much that this name-calling was at all unique or even very relevant, but I was in an ornery mood. Basically, someone was degrading someone else based on the fact that, as a team, we losing. They were distancing themselves from the inherent pain of failure by displacement, blaming it on everyone else. It's a common enough trend.
So I piped up, "You know, the fighting in the middle strat and calling names isn't apparently working. What do you guys say we go after the flag?"
Such rationality could not go unpunished when the accuser replied something along the lines of, "WTF? I'm the only one worth a damn. Look at the charts, I'm top damage."
Mind you, this individual was quite a bit above me in damage, but I had several flag returns that he did not. So, I pointed out that, "In case you didn't notice, the object of this BG is not to top the damage charts, but to capture the flag."
Again, such logic must be dealt with swiftly, "STFU noobsauce, you're probably just some 14 year old boy anyway."
I'm not sure what about me screamed 14 year old boy as I was being both logical and loquacious, taking care not even to stray into the popular realm of "text" shortenings. I also do not know what is wrong with being a 14 year old boy, as I was once one myself. If anything, I figured I was displaying more the mentality of a cranky old man.
In my disbelief, I countered with, "And what if I am 14 years old? Does that make my point any less valid?"
His response, "It means a part of your anatomy hasn't dropped yet."
Apparently that would make me incapable of logic. "But what if I'm a girl?"
"You're not, you're just a 14 year old loser boy."
"Oh really? And how came you by this knowledge?"
"You're an idiot, I would know," was his reply.
I might have respected a well-placed "your mom" at the point, but the payoff was not there.
I promise you, dear readers, I was being just as well-spoken (well-typed?) as I'm relating. I did not pretty this up for posting (though I did on the name-caller's end with some a bit).
Like I said... I just don't get it. Or perhaps I get it, but just don't want to admit it. You pick.
(In addition: I think it's quite hilarious to debate with trolls sometimes.)
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