Keeping my emotions in check has become a little easier as I’ve gotten older, but it can still be a struggle. Sometimes the temptation comes from my own negligence, such as my utter failure in trimming out this 1991 Fleer Wax Box card, which was part of a panel I had received in a trade a few months ago (I posted about it a few months ago at my old blog). Because I was interested only in the Randy Johnson, I took the panel to the trimmer- and the result was less than satisfactory. The problem was there were too many black lines & I mistook one of the horizontal lines for a border line, so I miscut it. Simply put, I wasn’t paying attention. When it finally dawned on me what I had done, I didn’t get mad; to the contrary- I laughed. It happened and there was nothing I could do about it, except to tape the thing together.
This attempt at self-control can be especially put to the test on social media. As much as I like Twitter for news and information (not to mention the community of like-minded collectors and sports and music fans), the place can be a cesspool of snakes and charlatans, self-promoters and trolls. Thus, engaging in conversations comes with it a certainty that you will at some point call someone out on the bullshit they are espousing. I try to keep my twittercisms to a minimum, but had to break ’em out over the past week.
It all started with the guy grating on my nerves, as he seemed to hold himself in a little too high esteem. The book end of his conceit was the ridiculous claim that he found it hard to believe that he is the one “fighting the cause for collectors.” Great, another self-anointed advocate for the hobbyist. If it was just these ridiculous claims, I’d have bit my lip and moved on. But what I read in the middle of his nuggets (i.e., turds) of wisdom really set me off. Had he called collectors “stupid” or “dumb”- fine. But he chose a different word that was totally inappropriate.
Why did the use of that word set me off? Was it just the case of me being ‘PC’? Let me explain.
My oldest child, whom I adopted and raised since he was two years old, was diagnosed as having Tourette Syndrom at the age of nine. It seemed to be a very severe case, with a lot of muscular spasms, odd tics etc, and, kids being kids, he put up with a lot of shit from guys just like our card advocate. Names (“retard” or being called “retarded”), pointing and laughing at things he literally had no control over. It also affected his ability to think, to reason, to focus (among other things). But come to find out, it’s not Tourette’s, but Huntington’s Disease, a fatal genetic disorder that causes a breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. Think of someone having ALS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s all at the same time- that’s Huntington’s. It’s a slow, cruel disease that will lead to his demise- most likely at a young age, since his was onset Juvenile Huntington’s.
Every parent can tell stories of their kids being laughed at or picked on, so our story isn’t uncommon. But when there is an existing condition that makes day to day life a struggle for a child- and then for them to have endure that kind of behavior… totally unacceptable.
So yeah, this clown pissed me off .
A few days later… I replied to a tweet that referenced 1991 Fleer, saying we should all tweet photos of the set just to get under the guy’s skin. Shortly thereafter a response comes from funny man, who tweeted a picture of a ’91 Fleer Ryne Sandberg. Normally I appreciate a sense of humor- but not this day. And sure as hell not from this guy. Yep, I’m talking about you, I replied.
Then comes this:
“Everything is all in good fun.” Except you misspelled “in poor taste”
So, Mr. Comedian, the next time you want to use an outdated, pejorative term to insult the mental capabilities of certain individuals, do me a favor and do something I didn’t do when trimming out that 1991 Fleer wax box card… think.
The irony of it all.