So last night was an interesting one on Twitter.
I'd had a rough day, as happens on occasion. A couple of people had disappointed me, as people are wont to do. And I was feeling a little grumpy, as was fairly understandable.
And so I tweeted about it. I guess I wanted some support. And Twitter is fairly excellent for that.
I didn't write 'I am feeling really grumpy', because that is not my style. I try to be funny, and a little lighthearted, even when I'm feeling cross.
So I wrote:
Several people have annoyabled me this morning. I feel crankalily. Why is everyone so irritadedinglyish?
Well, a couple of people Tweeted back, which was welcome, and comforting. And then this came in, from one David Oldfield, of One Nation (and Pauline Hanson) fame.
I'm annoyed by loons who screw with the English language and think it's clever or funny - your tweet is neither!
Well, I can't pretend his comment didn't smart. I wouldn't have to pretend, because it genuinely didn't. I honestly don't care what one David Oldfield thinks of my writing. I mean, obviously I'd prefer it if the entire world found me hilarious, but statistically speaking, it's unlikely that would ever happen. And, given that someone has to find me neither clever nor funny, I would rather it be David than, say, the editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, or the publisher of my next book.
Still, the entire scenario fascinated me. Why on earth would someone - a grown man, a father of two sons, a husband, a political figure, and a radio host - want to attack a person they don't even know over something so utterly unimportant? To call a perfectly harmless writer-type person a 'loon'? Putting aside the fact that he is wrong (because language, after all, is something to be played with and enjoyed), what did he get out of it?
Now, possibly I am a loon. I am certainly a loon for giving David Oldfield even more attention by writing this post. But I do wonder at the psychology of it all. And I see similar scenarios played out over and over on the internet, and every time, I wonder WHY.
I have never understood random attacks on strangers. Obviously we all have differences of opinion, and that is normal and fine and to be totally encouraged. And if David had said that he didn't like my tweet, I would have accepted that. I still wouldn't have been sure why he felt the need to mention it, but it was his prerogative. But to call someone a 'loon' is just nasty.
Still, for every David Oldfield, there are hundreds of people who are kind and loyal and caring and fun. And dozens of them tweeted their support for me last night, leaving Mr O no doubt wondering what an earth he got himself into.
And despite David Oldfield making me even more crankalily than I already was, they filled my heart with gladnesses. And I found myself happyish once more.
PLEASE note: I don't want this to degenerate into nasty comments about David Oldfield. Just comments about the post, gorgeous readers. x