The Ever-Increasing Problem with People Taking Everything Personally.

Ancient chair-accoster Clint Eastwood recently referred to the current generation as "pussies." Ignoring the negative connotation in his words regarding a slang term for the female sex organ, it's difficult to know to which generation he's referring since they're literally all younger than his! However, if my own experiences with social networking are any indication, he was not only not entirely wrong, but the Hollywood icon I once admired and can now barely stomach probably meant everyone from Generation-X down.

The problem lies in "identity politics," which is defined as a "tendency for people of a particular religion, race, social background, etc., to form exclusive political alliances, moving away from traditional broad-based party politics." In other words, intense, unreasonable tribalism, often for its own sake, sometimes for good reason, and always to the exclusion of openness to freedom of expression. This mentality stretches beyond the definition above to concepts, genre fandom and even eating establishments.

"Well, okay," you said, "But aren't you being a tad--Wait! EATING ESTABLISHMENTS!?"

That's right, nameless question-asking person...a restaurant. Not even a nice one, but I'll get to that in a bit.  What's important right now is that, until last night, I was ready and even happy to dismiss Dirty Harold's words as the ranting of an increasingly disconnected, grumpy old white guy bitter over the diminishment of his privilege.  It's still rather easy to do that, but I'm far too objective in my reasoning to deny the truth in his sentiment, at least as it pertains to a pervasive inability for many to accept discourse and criticism without losing their proverbial shit.

Case in point: Where I now live and have resided for four years, there is a local restaurant that is very popular with the majority of the town's residents. In fact, it isn't merely popular.  It has spawned a multi-generational level of fanatical devotion that is quite disturbing, culminating in a Facebook exchange that should have never taken place. This individual, for reasons clearly motivated by a thin skin and a fragile ego, took my not-even-all-that-bad review of his favoritist restaurant ever in the whole wide world and launched a poorly conceived personal attack on me in the comments section.

Below is the back and forth between us. The names of the restaurant and the sad human who attacked me have been omitted:

My initial Review: "Been here quite a few times because my wife loves it and have yet to be impressed. Food is ok but nothing special."

 Mr. Butthurt :Been going to [Restaurant]for 25 years great little restaurant......

I hope what ever you do Christopher someone is as critical on you...... 2 stars ..... I rank you as a ........

Christopher Nadeau Seriously? You're so personally invested in a greasy spoon that it compels you to denigrate another human being? You're a sad little person. Enjoy your salt and grease

Mr. Butthurt Dude:  your on such a tall pedestal that you give a small businessman such a poor review of his restaurant.......

You sir are the one who went out of your way to cause the owner to have less than a positive review of his business ultimately causing him finacial loss..

I denigrated you please. You denigrated yourself.

Out of all positive reviews only you and 2 other people gave (Restaurant] a bad reviews.....
Move on troll......
The owner is a great guy and runs a top notch business.

Christopher Nadeau

Oh right. We can only post good things or else imbeciles like you need to run to their safe places sorry. I thought social networking was for the free expression of opinion not dictated by a cult member and assclown who takes it personally when someone  doesn't sing a restaurant's praises. If we weren't supposed to be honest with our reviews there wouldn't be a scale to choose from. Get over yourself and stop trying to police the opinions of others.

  It's been an entire day since I wrote that last part. I'm hoping he realized how absurd he came off and decided to refrain. Perhaps he even decided he was on superior philosophical ground and chose to ignore the supposed "troll" who merely expressed an honest opinion. One wonders where he got the idea that small business owners who are "great guys" are immune to the dictates of capitalism but he obviously feels strongly about it. If nothing else, people like Mr. Butthurt are becoming the norm and the general discourse is suffering because of it. Just because I refuse to be silenced by stupidity doesn't mean others are as strong-willed or even in a safe enough position to act as I did.

Frankly, that's what people like him are counting on~


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