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BHS Blogress Report: 2017, Week 45 – The Asshole Epidemic

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Week 45 – The Asshole Epidemic

I hope my readers enjoyed Soulsnatcher Chapter 6, especially since it was actually on time for once (GASP!) Ditto for the Sailor Moon portion of Viluy’s Database, which was time-consuming but really fun to write. I just wish DeviantArt would get around to upping the size limit on text deviations, because seriously? 64 KB in 2017?! That’s practically stone age.

This week I’m looking forward to the return of Star Vs. The Forces of Evil, now resuming its third season. Star Vs. is a standout among the many, many fantastic Western cartoons of the past few years, and I’m not just saying that because it’s about a magical girl and created by a devoted Sailor Moon and Buffy fan. No, Star Vs. has really come into its own. The “Battle For Mewni” event in July has proven that it’s a worthy successor to the beloved Gravity Falls, and that’s one of the highest compliments I can give it. I’m also starting up Season 10 of Doctor Who this week after finishing the tragically short-lived spinoff Class, which means I’m just twelve episodes away from finally being caught up. Come December, I’ll be ready for the Christmas special, Twelve’s departure, and Thirteen’s debut… though whether or not my feels will be ready is a different matter.

So about that title… for about a year and a half now I’ve been playing team-based multiplayer games on my PC, namely Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm. I like to think I’ve gotten pretty good at both… good enough to do decently well in the Competitive and Ranked modes. I’m no pro gamer, but I have a somewhat respectable win ratio.

You’d never know that, though, from some of the bottom-feeders I’ve been matched up with lately. On Sunday alone, I actually lost count of how many times my wonderful teammates called me “dumbass”, “f*ggot”, and “r*tard”, among other insults, or was matched up with people who think it’s hilarious to start a competitive match that can only be won by cooperating and then deliberately ignore their teammates no matter how much they scream, beg, and plead for assistance.

I love both of these games, but I’m seriously considering quitting competitive modes altogether because of people like this. I’ve heard all the reports about the OW community being toxic and I’ve believed them, but this is out of control. When did it become acceptable to treat other human beings like trash? Why can’t people just be decent to each other?

Of course, I’m tempted to pin the blame on the Asshole in Chief, who’s brought all manner of trolls, fascists, racists, misogynists, and other human cockroaches crawling out of the woodwork over the past two and a half years (sigh…) but the problem hardly started with him. He’s just emboldened all the scum to come bubbling up to the surface.

The worst part is, there’s no winning against their ilk. If you fight back, they win because they got a reaction out of you. If you ignore them, they’ll take it as encouragement to be even worse. If you block them, they feel pride. If you scream insults and slurs back at them, you’re sinking to their level. There’s an entire subculture of people out there who truly don’t care about anything but their own amusement, and they get their kicks by making other people miserable.

It’s like a sickness, and I’m not sure it’s one that can be cured. This is deep-seeded bitterness and nihilism, and barring a major societal change, it’s probably never going away. The only defense against it is to try to be a better person than the trolls, to try not to get dragged down into their ugliness… but how does one do that when you’re bombarded with that ugliness every day?

I dunno. I’ve never really thought of myself as cynical or pessimistic, but the world is wearing me down, especially over the past year. Maybe I’m just getting old.

– BHS

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