Blanking, Blocking & Bitching

Posted by Dan | Posted in Blog, Misanthropy, Rants | Posted on 01-08-2014

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blanking

verb

The act of intentionally (and often obviously) not acknowledging a person’s existence. Similar to ignoring and not speaking to, but without providing the recipient with a preface or explanation.

The Tautological Mantra of the Blanker:

“I’m not talking to you, but I’m not telling you why I’m not talking to you because I’m not talking to you.”

Her name was Kayleigh, and we shared a carton of Ribena at playtime. {Can we skip the anecdote? I’m in a rush.}

Blanking in Popular Culture

Blanking in Popular Culture

One day she wasn’t at our meeting spot. I waited patiently as I finished my half of the carton, then decided to look for her. I found her huddled amid a group of girls. Upon noticing me, her eyes widened and she quickly turned away. I found this behaviour rather baffling so I approached and asked the back of her head why she hadn’t been at our usual spot (to no avail). Then I offered her Ribena.

Perhaps it was the temptation of a sugary fruit drink that did it, but she turned her head a little bit and replied: “I can’t; I’m not talking to you.”

“You can’t TELL him you’re not talking to him,” snapped another member of the group.

“Oh, sorry.”

I felt confused and uncomfortable, feelings which stayed with me the whole afternoon. The grief of losing a close friend  compounded by absolute bafflement as to why  made it impossible to concentrate on my finger painting. Had I done something wrong? I racked my brains but couldn’t remember being bad; I certainly hadn’t been told off recently. How long would this last? Was it one of those things people forget about after lunch (like the time Cherry pulled Vicky’s hair because she wouldn’t get off the swing) or one of those BIG mistakes that ends a friendship for a whole week (like when Ben ate James’s Wagon Wheel)? I needed to understand. When the bell rang for hometime I ran up to her and bluntly asked: “Hi Kayleigh, why aren’t you talking to me?”

She bit her lip, unsure whether answering this question was also forbidden. She eyed the cloakroom for an answer but there was no sign of her posse. She caved:

“I can’t talk to you because you’re gay.”

I asked what gay was. She said it’s when other people aren’t supposed to talk to you, and explained that yesterday Morgan had been the first back in after lunch and had proclaimed “Last person who sits down is gay!” Unfortunately I’d been in the little boys’ room at the time of the announcement, which meant I was now gay and we were no longer friends. Before we parted ways I apologised for being gay.

The following day I knew what I had to do: I shoved lunch into my face as fast as possible, ensured I peed particularly early, then spent the rest of lunchtime hanging around the door to the classroom. I clocked Morgan and a few others doing the same as the bell neared, but enough of the class were busy playing to provide me with a winning chance. As I waited, I wondered whether I also had the authority to announce a contest determining someone’s social status. Fortunately it didn’t matter, as at that moment the bell rang and Morgan & Co stormed through the door screaming “LAST ONE TO SIT DOWN’S GAAAAAY!”

I raced inside and hurled myself painfully into my chair. I knew the pained bottom was worth it as I looked around the room, triumphant: there were empty seats galore. I gave a knowing smile to Kayleigh as she walked in, which she returned. Some other poor kid became ostracised that day (because only one person can be gay at a time) and my friendships and social status were restored. I ensured I wasn’t late after lunch each day until the game was forgotten, and I had my Ribena buddy back for the rest of term.

I’d love to be able to look back on that encounter as one of those silly things kids do because they don’t understand the world yet. Yet I see it as the maturest instance of blanking I’ve ever experienced.

While initially painful and confusing, through honest communication the issue affecting our friendship was identified, enabling me to take the necessary action to resolve it and give the story a happy ending.

Adult blankers don’t allow that to happen. They know that even brief communication is anathema to their plans and would never go so far as to give a reason for their behaviour. They are masters of illusion, putting waiting staff to shame with their skills at avoiding eye contact and pretending not to hear you.

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20 Reasons Ellen Page’s Coming Out Speech Matters

Posted by Dan | Posted in Misanthropy | Posted on 16-02-2014

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When you surround yourself with like-minded people it can be easy to forget that not everyone thinks the same way you do. It’s one of the reasons I make a point to follow people I disagree with.

Today the internet is abuzz with talk of Ellen Page’s brilliant speech where she came out as being gay. I’ll admit that my first thought was “Why did she ever keep this a secret? She’s Ellen-frickin’-Page! It’s not like anyone would’ve judged her.”

Fortunately YouTube’s comments section was there to anchor me to reality, and serve as a stark reminder of the work which still lies ahead before we live in a world free of bigotry.

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Additional Grrr

Posted by Dan | Posted in Censorship, Misanthropy, Religion | Posted on 15-04-2012

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Latest additions to the ‘things which made me angry this week’ list…

  1. A man in Indonesia faces up to five years in prison for writing “God does not exist” on Facebook. [Article][Petition]
  2. A man in London has been convicted for saying “cunt” on Twitter. [Link 1] [Link 2]
  3. An art student in Canada took the following photograph for her coursework: Read the rest of this entry »

No Sympathy

Posted by Dan | Posted in Misanthropy | Posted on 16-07-2011

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As I was walking home a man approached me, shoved me against a shop window, muttered “You startin’ sumfin?” then tried to punch me in the head.

Thankfully his friends, who seemed very nonchalant (as if he does this a lot), called out “James” a few times and eventually he responded and carried on walking with them.

As much as I respect people who say that every human life carries equal weight, I simply cannot agree and people like James are a perfect example of why. Can you honestly tell me it would be a bad thing if people like him met an untimely demise? I, for one, wouldn’t see it as a great loss.

Perfect

Posted by Dan | Posted in Blog, Misanthropy, Pedantry | Posted on 20-02-2011

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Well, that’s it: I’ve found my dream woman.  That particular life goal has been checked off the list and I can now focus my energy on my career or buying a car or something.

In case you’re wondering, here is the lucky lady:

As I’m sure you can see from her OKcupid profile, she’s perfect.  I can’t wait for the day she is the best mum she can’t be to our children.