In just one day, I have received threats of physical violence and an actual curse, both transmitted over the Internet.
Now, I am fully aware of having myself generated enough hostility online to light up several baseball stadiums if not an entire city.
But it’s interesting how loosely words are used these days when launched digitally; it’s as if everyone is on the brink of a nervous breakdown, exploding with unmediated anger at the drop of a hat.
Here’s an email from one of my half-sisters, who is around 22 and who I barely know:
Bitch let’s talk face to face and see if you will say anything to my face? Your old as hell and if I am pregnant and your harrassing me well I can send my friend to go see you and make sure you never bother me again time and place Joann to meet up if you don’t want to meet up keep your pussy mouth closed. Emails are pathetic lets meet up your so tough let’s see how really tough you are.
Naturally, I came back with ‘Blah blah blah restraining order.’
My family! Can’t kill ’em, can’t have them killed!
Meanwhile, over on Facebook, I posted a link to a story about the Eagles of Death Metal, performing this week in Tel Aviv. I saluted them for their fearlessness. I know I don’t have to explain what I meant by that, so I won’t insult your intelligence.
This started a spirited exchange about Israelis and Palestinians.
People went back and forth, citing their feelings, which grew heated, and before too long Jews were called Nazis. You probably know how this goes. Is there a Godwin’s Law adage about how any conversation not supportive of boycotting Israel results in the comparison of Jews with Nazis? Or is this just an example of Godwin’s Law?
I want an adage called Wolf’s Law!
How about this for Wolf’s Law: ‘Anything typed and sent into cyberspace will likely result in threats or insults.’
Back to the Facebook thread, here’s what an otherwise lovely person commented:
A greater collection of self serving morons I have never read before…
stay in your ivory towers …may one day ….what you dismiss in your
foolish judgements of the teller ..may in rain on you
the blood of innocence to be your eternal stain …
Because I gave props to the Eagles of Death Metal??
I don’t want an eternal stain, I’m a fucking Jew, alright? Maybe I should get a business card that states this.
Thoughts on Internet hostility? Or ideas for Wolf’s Law?
Art by (c) Beth Hoeckel