The insult tags are immature, but like you they don't bother me terribly. Usually I don't even pay attention to them (With this thread though, how could I not?).
My larger issue is with people who clinically discussed what they believe to be the mental illness of a another member who was participating in their thread. I'm not referring to comments like "So-And-So is a psycho!" Or "Don't pay attention to So-And-So, he just a rambling, lunatic troll." I'm talking about one or more posters matter-of-factly dissecting the manner in which the person writes, the terms of expression he uses, and so on, as if they were psychologists comparing notes on an interesting patient they both had examined.
It's more than possible that they simply wanted to insult a person they thought of as a jerk and figured this was a clever way of doing so, but if they really believed the person to be suffering from a serious mental illness, the behavior is not appropriate and it is cruel. Actual health care professionals wouldn't do it and decent people don't make fun of the retarded or taunt the mentally ill.
I noted it, it disturbed me and I commented upon it. This is not the first person it has happened with. Mentally ill people can be very obnoxious, very offense and very frustrating and their mental illness is not always immediately obvious, it can be mistaken as simply the behavior of a jerk (someone who obviously has emotional issues but is not truly mentally ill). People are insulted each and every day in this forum (not infrequently by me) and it is the nature of the beast and not anything I concern myself with, unless I feel that it is an unfair fight
. Responding rudely to a "jerk" is not a big deal. Usually they will either mend their ways or depart from the forum. Sometimes though the person is more than a "jerk," they are a mentally ill person, and at some point that person we all believe is an obnoxious jerk will reveal him or herself to be what they actually are. Even if one is not inclined to "ignore" jerks, at that point, they should "ignore" the mentally ill poster.
And let me point out that if two or three posters are clinically discussing the person's mental illness then it would seem obvious that they have reached the point where they recognize it.
I'm sure the folks who do this have all sorts of excuses why they do, but they don't wash. I'm also sure they don't appreciate being called out on the behavior, and particularly by someone whom they already don't like, or who they have read, on more than one occasion, insulting another A2K member. That's fine, but I can say without qualification that I have never made fun of the retarded or taunted the mentally ill, once I became aware of their disability or illness.
There is one gentlemen in this forum whose inane and offensive comments I ignored for the longest time because I thought he was moving through actual senility, once that thought formed, it was obviously cruel to engage with him on anything but a positive level. This was over two years ago though, and based on his continued postings, it seems clear to me that he is not senile, just an old fart, so I've re-engaged. I can easily imagine someone now thinking or writing "Well maybe he is senile and you're just wrong. You're engaged in the same behavior as that you are criticizing you hypocrite!" Except that this would be inaccurate. I'm not criticizing anyone for failing
to recognize someone is mentally ill, or being wrong in their assessment, I'm criticizing behavior I saw which it was clear, by the behavior itself, that the people employing it knew that their target was mentally ill (or at least they definitely thought that he was). This, in my opinion, is a significant distinction.
It's quite amusing that anyone would think that this one thread among so many others was an attempt to control or micro-manage the behavior of others. Clearly, I don't hold some lofty position of moral authority in this forum, and even if I did, I wouldn't be foolish enough to think it was an authority with much force of command.
It's interesting, but this thread relates in some way to the one you started about protecting or caring about your A2K image and self-censorship as a result. I knew, and addressed the fact in my opening post, that some would read what I wrote and think I was being hypocritical or judgmental, but the topic bothered me and I felt the need to comment upon it. I've done it and people are free to react to it however they see fit. It’s what we can here.