The Pretty Flowers

 

Savannah 2016. Photo by me.

I  know the type, the busy body high on their own fumes that radiate faux positivity and involve themselves in activism as a hobby to make themselves feel better about... themselves. What is a bored person, who believes they know everything, are so hip and down with it, to do in their spare time than try to save the world? I recently met one and it was the most unpleasant and condescending experience that I have encountered in recent memory. These types have no real skin in the game, there is no personal risk to them and they can walk away when they become bored again. But gosh they want to help the little people a few hours here and there to feed their own ego. It might look good on their Facebook and Instagram pages! They say, "see! I'm working to make the world a better place." It's the "look at me, I am so good syndrome." They care as long as it is easy and then they go home to their comfortable world with silver spoons awaiting their mouths. Or they put their phone down and think they have accomplished something after a few clicks and typing in a few buzzwords that might include empathy, justice, uplift or hope - sometimes they become so proud of themselves they add a few exclamation points and hashtags (#geeain'tIthebest!) for good measure. Whatever word salad they can produce that is like the sun breaking through the clouds, peace doves flying,  unicorns smiling like there is no tomorrow and rainbows sparkling just so perfectly that you want to cry, wet your skinny jeans and buy the world a Coke.

The Power Dynamics Of How These People Operate

When these types are confronted or found out, they are armed to throw around apologies like candy from a parade float. They think you cannot see through all the glitter and their filtered shining aura. It is a countermeasure like chaff dispensed from an aircraft to overwhelm radar. Press them further and you will find they have no deep understanding of any of their hobbyhorse issues or any genuine qualifications. Maybe they resort to gaslighting and apologize for triggering some trauma in you. They put the onus of the problem on the offended, they deflect and say the offended is suffering some mental issue. After all, these types are so perfect, how could they truly have an issue themselves or intend to offend? These shallow ray of sunshine types would not know what trauma was if it bit them on the ass and swallowed both of their legs. They have devalued that word just as they have the apology. When you make everything trauma, then nothing is trauma. Trauma for them is having to wait for a parking space outside Starbucks for longer than two minutes or speak to their landscaper about the bill.  Another tactic this type of person will attempt to evade responsibility is the minimization tactic. They will present some minor issue or problem they suffered and try to equate it to a much more significant problem in an attempt to minimize it. See I suffered too, isn't it awful? Imagine a person trying to do that to a person that has endured a violent rape. If pressed further, they try the ultimate trick, they claim they are the victim. These types have no limits, they are a net without a bottom. If the real victim is not sharp enough they fall for this trap and watch the offender wrap themselves in the untouchable cloak of victimhood. That is the golden robe that is akin to the get out of jail free card in Monopoly.

What's an apology to a person when none of the words mean anything?

These types are shameless manipulative hacks and masters of the inauthentic apology. Words have no meaning to them, an apology is like a pretty flower gifted to you and you are supposed to accept with graciousness. Thank you is the expected response and they walk away feeling so much bigger and better about themselves. Yet, nothing changes and the offended is supposed to take it on the chin. They further marginalize the already marginalized.

It is dishonesty at a level that is worse than the upfront asshole or bigot. You at least know where that kind of person stands from the beginning and you can interact accordingly. The manipulative hack will smile to your face and stab you in the back the first chance they can or need when you are  no longer useful. It is their purpose to climb over the marginalized and stand atop them like a champion for the accolades. "Love me. Thank me. Can't you see? I've helped you," they bellow as they push your head down into the muck. Get back where you belong! Know your place! I have watched this unfold in street protests and on social media. It is more and more common in the age of social media to encounter these types where people crave attention and meaning in their own lives. They believe the struggles of others are like trying on costumes and role playing in a game. They will know all the right chants, never have an original thought, deviate from the accepted in-group opinion and their cell phone will always be in selfie mode. Unfortunately, enough people are gullible enough to slurp it down.

The marginalized person will remain marginalized. Call the bluff on a person like this and you will be the one to get the cold shoulder from others or told you do not know what you are talking about. Dissent is never easy or as Kermit sang, "it's not easy being green." It is very high school and groupthink is the rule of the day.

Thank you for the pretty flowers, I have rooms of them.

Coming soon, maybe in the next week, I will write about more serious issues that I touched on a few days ago on Facebook. Though my account sits there, I do not believe I will return to that service even in a limited capacity. People have managed to ruin that for me. For those that are interested I may be reached at chrisvise at gmail dot com. I reply to all emails and for now and the foreseeable future it is the only method I can be reached.


Maybe the best concert I attended, it was my first anyway. I saw Duran Duran at The Fox Theatre in Atlanta in 1989. I still love them.