Don't you just love those angry little men? You know the type -- the short, bald men who go around bullying others. And then someone stands up to them, they scream, "Pick on someone your own size!"
But some bullies won't even confront you face-to-face. Their weapons are a radio microphone or a computer keyboard. And then, when you stand up to them, they scream "Freedom of speech!" or "Freedom of the press!"
In the face-to-face scenario, your only course it to beat the crap out of the bully anyway. He will think twice before he bullies someone else.
Since modern-day bullies hide behind the nearest codified skirt, your choices have to be more subtle. You refuse to listen to their radio stations and you stop reading their fish wrappers. It may not be as satisfying as beating the snot out of the little Napoleon, but your reward is at hand. You smile as you watch the Arbitron ratings waver and then plummet. As you ride the subway into work, you observe that fewer and fewer commuters are reading the trashy tabloid.
But the sweetest revenge comes at the end of the workday, as you approached the train station. There stands some poor guy, who would ordinarily be begging, cup in hand. Today, the so-called newspaper, that paragon of the U.S. Constitution, is paying the down-on-his-luck soul maybe minimum wage -- more likely less -- to stand behind a couple of large stacks of the daily fish wrapper.
"Free paper! Free paper!" he cries as the commuters pass him by. They can't even give that tripe away.
Mr. Dale Carnegie once said that the worst retort you can offer another person is to ignore them.This tactic works beautifully on the highway. Someone beeps at you; you ignore them. Someone yells out at you; you keep your eyes focused on the rode.
This works in cyberspace, too. If someone says something stupid in a blog post or an online article, your first instinct is to post a response -- until you notice that there are zero comments on the post / article.
Hmmmmm ... Do you think the author notices that? You bet your sweet bippy they do! Do they read each and every response? You betcha! Clicks equal page views, and page views equal revenue. Why the heck do you think the online paper puts the last paragraph of an article on a second 'read more' page? They could certainly put the entire article on one page. This is the internet, isn't it?
Of course, if you must say something, say something nice. Next to being ignored, nothing pisses off a cyber bully more than graciousness and compliments.
Is the local 'hung like a hamster' columnist trashing the county registrar of motor vehicles with the that well-worn, overused label? Post a comment on how fast you got in-and-out of your neighborhood office.
Another attack on a working-class city and its denizens? Take a moment to remind the little over-compensator on how the city has improved -- since he moved out to the chi-chi suburb.
And when the sit-on-his-butt snob trashes the local auto magnate? You know the one -- the one whose ad revenues pays this little twerp's salary and keeps the tabloid itself just above the waterline. The teeny-tiny crayon-using mocks the latest press release from Mr. Auto Salesman, and you grab your opportunity to remind everyone about all the local charities and the local sports events and all the other philanthropic works the company and its owner accomplishes.
And do not hesitate to remind the small-minded twerp that his own rantings and whinings and spittle are in that same so-called newspaper three times a week.
If anyone reads his tabloid anymore ...