White Knights

There was stupidity afoot involving my circles on Google Plus this week featuring a woman who I know to be bi-sexual and last I checked is in a relationship with another woman being labelled and harassed as a homophobe.  How can this be, you may ask?  Well, its the internet and stupid things happen.  There's no IQ check to ride this ride.  This lead to someone I've known online for years coming into the thread of the accused out of seemingly nowhere, caps lock a-blazing, spamming a post with comments demanding to be blocked.  The spammer in question was someone I've chatted with online since Google Buzz, but over the years I finally got weary of their knee jerk attitude and removed them from my circles.  They weren't posting anything remotely interesting to me anyways.  I did so quietly choosing to just vanish as far as they were concerned.  However, since there seemed to be a homophobe about, they felt the need to come in and put them in their place.

Doesn't matter that the person in question is in no way a homophobe.

The comments were deleted, which is good because they were just sad to look at and the conversation continued about people who post emotionally as opposed to logically.  I then get a massage sent to me including a screen capture of a comment I made in the thread by the person who had made a specticle of themself.

"Ah, so despite all the courtesies and allowing you to freely speak your mind over the years I'm the crazy one." 
Silly me for not realizing that they were in charge of Google and/or the internet as such I owe my posting ability to them.  It continued.

"You really shouldn't be such a hypocrite in public." 

Being a hypocrite is like real-estate.  Its all about location, location, location.  Especially when the hypocracy is imaginary.

"I posted this private to you, because previously I've tried to give you a fair shake. But if this is how it is, then don't think I won't give you the same...courtesy you've just shown me." 

That last part almost seemed like a threat, but as its just funny and pathetic its not much of a threat.  I responded by telling them to "take your victimhood issues and fuck off" and promptly blocked them.

Seems a bit like that cyber-bullying that we worry so much about, doesn't it?  That's because it is.  Fortunately there's "block" and "ignore" options available on social media sites and the internet would be a much better place if people used them more.

This brings us to the main reason for this post and the cyber-bullies behind this: White Knights.  These individuals are aptly named due to them being on a crusade to rid social media and pretty much anywhere someone can post a comment of those terrible people who dare to disagree with them.  That Resumé of Hate I posted a while back?  These are the folks that believe all of it.  Some are just outright nuts.  Some have just fallen for the logical fallacy that they, like most people, consider themselves to be a good person and if someone does not share their views and/or values they must somehow be a bad person.  This isn't anything new.

The only thing that's really changed is that now we have a global internet community to contend with.

There's plenty of the little sub-groups within the White Knights, and here's a few of them:

The Tinfoil Hat Brigade.

There's so much information easily within our grasps today and anyone can be posting.  Accuracy is not a guarantee.  As such, we get people who have taken their off kilter opinions as facts and have found something somewhere online to validate them and that's plenty for them.  I enjoy a tasty conspiracy theory as much as the next guy who loves a good story.  In fact a good friend linked a brilliant article about how much people in general really are into conspiracy theories and how much of a pain that can be.

Where we have a problem is when a person let's their favorite whacked out idea consume them to the point where they'll insert it into any online chat or comment thread that they possibly can.  This is usually complete with links to some YouTube video or some obscure "news" site that totally backs their claims.  They're out to save us all from our own ignorance, which we must obviously have since we don't buy into whatever crackpot theory they're peddling.

Oh, and don't bother trying to provide information from reliable sources to try to set them straight.  Those sources are all part of the conspiracy trying to cover up "the truth".

The Magenta Lantern Corp

Otherwise known as the Magenta Oppression Army.  I just like the other name better.  This brand of goons have real issues that they are combating.  These are things like social inequalities, racism, sexism, homophobia, etc.  Their big problem is that they are so wrapped up in battling that issue that they see it everywhere they turn.  Yes, these issues are legitimate, but they are not in every facit of our society and existence.  Major persecution complexes here.

Let's consider our little cartoon fellow here.  This came from someone posting a picture of Nicholas Cage, but the printer messed up and it came out basically a silhouette of Cage's head with only his eyes and teeth visible.  Looked freaky and in the middle of a discussion of how freaking it looked a guy came in and said that the picture was racist and we were all racist for not being horribly offended at how racist that image was.  The discussion then pivoted to amazement at how incredibly butthurt a person would have to be to go off like that.  Needing a color coding for that level of butthurt, and after much discussion and careful consideration, it was determined that it was a magenta level of butthurt.  This also seemed to fit with the Johns' Emotional Color Spectrum from the Hal Jordan and the Techni-Color Dance Party-a-Go-Go DC Comics put out a few years ago.  The picture soon followed.

There are things that people post online that are indeed offensive.  If you find that you're being offended over every little thing, then you may want to back away from the internet for a while.  Try some meditation.  The Corps are guilty of one big crime and that's putting their issues ahead of their logic.  They let their knee-jerk emotionalism guide their online activities and just make themselves look silly.  Its hard to dismiss them totally since what they're crusading against are mostly real problems.  However, its like PETA: they would win the debate with they weren't such a bunch of obnoxious douchbags about it.

The Church of Richard Dawson and the Latter Day Atheists

This shower of shmucks come out in force this time of year.  They're the first to decry relgious people as intolerant but have no tolerance whatsoever for anyone who doesn't share their viewpoint.  You see, each and every one of us is on our own spirtual and/or philosophical journey through life.  As long as what you believe, feel, or think doesn't justify you hurting others then you're probably OK.

The Latter Day Athiests don't believe that though.  They think if you're a Christian, then you're an idiot and are in the same ilk as the Westboro Baptist Church, or if you're a Muslim, then you're a Jihadist.  That picture of your Christmas tree that you posted is their call to arms for them to comment on that picture that the custom of the Christmas tree originated with a pagan custom that Christians adopted.  Although, despite being fundie athiests they'll still take part in holiday gift giving and most would still not want to work Christmas Day.

These are typically the most pompous of the White Knights as they don't fall back on knee-jerk emotionalism, but rely upon a psuedo-intellectualism and an air of superiority that lingers in forums like a stale fart.

In conclusion, the White Knights will never go away as they're pretty much part and partial to the human condition.  There's always going to be those think they are better than other people.  They'll group together and reinforce their ridiculous notions in what one would consider an echo chamber, but sound doesn't echo in a vacuum.  Fortunately, this group is most often self-defeating.  It was White Knights that wanted to shut down Chik-Fil-A and that resulted in the franchise breaking all of their sales records (although the White Knights still think they actually won that one).  It was the White Knights who were the force behind Everybody Draw Muhammad Day and in their quest to strike a blow for freedom of expression and free speech got an entire country to temporarily block social media and spawned protests against their actions.

Most importantly, even if you think you have right on your side, cyber-bullying is cyber-bullying.  And if you encounter these people, just hit that "ignore" or "block" option.  You're not going to change them.  Save yourself the headache.

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