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a man slumped on his desk, from 'The Sleep of Reason Produces
      Monsters'

Oblomovka

Currently:

locating your grumpiness

I am constantly, delightfully surprised by how gung-ho and ungrumpy I am online. I can’t really be anything else, honestly, because my absolute determination to be ungrumpy, against all odds, prohibits me from exhibiting any other kind of emotion. This means that in my normal life, I scowl constantly, and am forever punching people on the nose.

j/k!

Well, maybe? The policing of mood online does rather mean I’m boxed in. I’ve grown more and more sensitive to other people’s tirades — not just the ones aimed at me (or variants on the theme of me), but just venting in general. I mentally suck my teeth whenever someone turns on someone else. It’s a family trait, I’ve noticed. My family loves personal stories and anecdotes and tales, but they must be either at the expense of the teller, or at the very least, full of generous concessions to the antagonist(s). You can be really quite cutting, but if it is not from a self-declared place of love, we will scowl constantly and punch you on the nose. (You are not expected to live in perfect tolerance; that place of love can be cheaply rented by the hour).

I know many people who vent online, and they are okay in real life. Even the ones who are convinced the other people who vent online are monsters, are themselves not monsters. Well, not full-time. I’ve been randomly monstered (and seen monstrosities perpetrated on others) by so many different kinds of people I now try not to extrapolate. I have fallen back on my family’s default of “they probably have some horrific back-story, one that will not be as funny as the stories we are telling each other now about them; we should at worst leave them to be trapped in their sad story for the rest of their lives, that is their punishment, which is undeserved.”

I pondered briefly about this, in an online place which I frequent which is pretty much defined by being bitter. They’ve been bitter there since about 1986. They commented about how gung-ho and happy and optimistic they are in the rest of their lives, and I wondered how much that was true generally. Are we all participating in some strange, pissed-off masquerade?

Are we all, in our own ways, happy?

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petit disclaimer:
My employer has enough opinions of its own, without having to have mine too.