Plucky-but-misguided Aussie commenter Musey, who has appointed herself my nemesis, is constantly failed by her poor reading-comprehension skills, which are part of her overall reality-distortion filter. When she first arrived at my blog, full of self-righteous fury, it was because she had utterly—and embarrassingly—misunderstood a satirical piece about the Irish by PJ O'Rourke (a known satirist, if only Musey had bothered to take ten seconds to research him). I had linked to O'Rourke's piece on Twitter; Musey, dim bulb that she is, took it literally, so she attacked my character, wrote racist comments about Koreans, then acted like the aggrieved party when I told her, in no uncertain terms, what shit she was shoveling and what kind of person she was. Don't poke a stick at a gorilla if you don't want your arm ripped off.
It seems that since March(!), Musey, obviously obsessed with me, has gone crying from person to person like a grade-school tattle-tale, pointing her finger at me and shrilling, "He called me a cunt!" As I wrote in my recent post, this is false, and not because I'm making some lawyerly distinction: Musey's claim is simply a lie. I don't think Musey—who's not that well-equipped, mentally speaking—quite understands why her claim is a lie, so I've done her the service of laying out the obvious in graphical form. Here we go:
To spell it out: in Scenario 1, Madam Horse has every right to be affronted because she has been, quite directly, called a cunt. In Scenario 2, however, what we're hearing isn't a direct insult: instead, it's a true claim about Jackass's earlier state of mind—with the implication that Jackass no longer thinks this way. To the interlocutor, Madam Horse, this ought to come as a relief: Jackass might once have been her enemy, but now he's not. It's not obvious that he now actively likes Madam Horse, but at the very least, he no longer thinks ill of her. Sure, in Scenario 2, Jackass's confession might come as a startling revelation, but he's merely talking honestly about a previous state of mind, not actively insulting Madam Horse.
If someone said to me, "You know, Kevin, I used to think you were a fucking asshole," I'd merely nod and maybe ask for clarification (e.g., "Oh? And why'd you think that way?"). There's nothing to be incensed about. Whatever threat there might have been has passed.
If only Musey understood this, but she doesn't. She's also never apologized or retracted anything she's said, instead attempting to justify her behavior and to continue to attack me (her recent ambush tactic over at Malcolm's blog is exactly the tactic she used when she first befouled my blog: once again, I was minding my own business when she appeared on the scene in a nimbus of fart gas). She may have earned her supposed moniker, after all.
One concerned citizen, who shall remain nameless, emailed to ask whether I had, essentially, called Musey a cunt by apophasis (assertion via denial: "Oh, no, sir! Ha ha! I wouldn't dream of calling you a fat motherfucking pig to your face!"). As I hope I've made clear above, this situation isn't apophatic: what I did was make a true statement about past sentiments. Not the same thing at all.
I've been called a cunt before—"a fat cunt with no clue," I believe the expression was. This was in the context of my 600-mile walk in 2008. An asshole commenter claimed he had given me advice that I had ignored, which is why I'd ended up injured. I didn't publish his comment (go read my comments policy; it sits over the text field every time you want to leave a comment), but yeah, it stung. Part of why it stung is that the commenter, asshole though he was, may have been right to some degree. The insults that hurt the most are the ones laced with some measure of truth. Having written insultingly to me and about Koreans, Musey knows full well that I had every right to think of her as garbage. Even if I didn't expressly call her a cunt, the term stung her because her behavior was, to a great degree, cuntish. But instead of reforming herself, she's been in denial this entire time, preferring to attack instead of to engage in some much-needed introspection.
Anyway, the point I wanted to make is that I survived being called a cunt. I put the insult aside; the commenter never returned; life went on; the sting faded. With Musey, I tried for months to delete her comments and just ignore her baiting, but she seems to want what's coming to her, so I'm strapping her in a chair, shoving a hose down her throat, and giving her a full load of the warm, brown material that she's trying to dump on me.