Back in the summer of 1993, I was employed as the cook at a Presbyterian church camp in Virginia. I had a small kitchen staff, which included three teenaged guys who washed dishes for me. Two of the guys lived in West Virginia; the other lived in North Carolina. One of the guys, a British citizen whose stepfather worked in Maryland, even though they lived in West Virginia, had really awesome taste in music. He made me a mix tape, which he sent to me at my college in Virginia. One of the songs on the mix tape was Tom Waits’ hilarious song, “Emotional Weather Report”. It was my first exposure to Mr. Waits. Below is the version that was on my tape. In it, Tom Waits says, “I wanna pull on your coat about something.” He means he wants to tell you about something on his mind.
Just like Tom Waits in 1975, I wanna pull on your coat about something. Yesterday, I wrote about the song “Ladies Who Lunch”, which is a great Stephen Sondheim number from the show Company. I learned to sing it, inspired by some hate mail I got from a guy named Steven Jenkins. Ol’ Steve left me a rude comment, implying that I’m “stupid”. He didn’t like my negative opinions about Donald Trump and apparently felt compelled to tell me so.
I decided to send him a very short emailed response in which I advised him to stay off my blog and go fuck himself. He wrote back, and admitted that he was overjoyed that I had tossed him a bone. His email was full of the word “fuck” and more insults. I’m assuming he thought that would offend me. Obviously, he doesn’t know me at all. Moreover, in reading the guy’s message, it occurred to me that I definitely wasn’t the stupid one. He actually asked me how one fucks themselves. I would have figured a guy like him would be an expert at that, but maybe the lack of stimulation is what gave him such a “charming” personality and expansive vocabulary.
Anyway… I was focused on learning my new song, and I think I was quite successful with it. Not that it matters to anyone but me, of course… I just derived a lot of pleasure from trying the song, complete with bitchy overtones. It occurred to me that I probably would have been good at playing bitchy women if I had been a musical theater enthusiast when I was younger. Then I watched the movie, Camp, which is a great sleeper film and features a bunch of young people with enormous talent, including Anna Kendrick, Caitlyn Van Zandt, and Sasha Allen. Every time I watch it, I get choked up, and yesterday was no exception.
As I was watching Camp, ol’ Steve visited again, this time hanging around for a bit longer. He tried to post another comment on my blog. To be honest, I didn’t read it, although I did notice that there were many curse words in it, as well as insults… and more dogged, embarrassing, and reverent devotion to Donald Trump. Once again, I realized that I’m clearly not the stupid one in this situation. And it’s obvious that ‘ol Steve is in serious need of attention and validation, or something… Poor guy.
As I banned Steve from commenting and trashed his message, I pondered the situation. I ended up with a lot of questions. What motivates a person to send hateful comments to a blogger? What is his motivation for trying to engage me? We obviously have nothing in common. He likes Trump, and has the verbal skills of an intellectually disabled chipmunk. Was he thinking that I would approve his comment? Was he thinking I would even read it? Does Steve have anything in his life besides an Internet connection?
Does Steve have friends? Has he a job? Has he family– a wife or husband or children or pets? I am curious. Why is he so starved for attention that he would send me abuse on my blog? In fact, I wonder how Steve even found my blog in the first place. Was he looking up rants about Donald Trump? Does he think that my reading his stupid drivel is going to change my mind or silence me? Does he think it’s impressive to worship a malignant narcissist who brags about sexually assaulting women and ripping off people?
I think the American public was duped. Before Trump was in office, he came off as almost likable. Trump had a certain comic charisma, that I think a lot of people found entertaining and refreshing. Personally, I think he should have stuck to being an entertainer. He could have indulged his massive ego and made a lot of money without revealing to the world what a revolting person he is.
Before Trump was president, I didn’t really care too much about what he said or did. But then he was president, and it was like watching a horror movie starring the world’s biggest asshole. And because he was elected, Trump has emboldened many asshole minions who want to be just like him. I can only assume that ol’ Steve is a Trump asshole acolyte who doesn’t understand that Trump wouldn’t give someone like him the time of day. Steve wouldn’t even rate a free Big Mac at the White House.
But then in 2020, the Trump era came to an end. Trump’s minions were devastated as he was forced out of the White House, despite all his cheating and threats, as well as baseless claims of election fraud. I was immensely relieved to see Trump go, although I’m afraid that there’s someone worse than him waiting in the wings. I worry that there’s someone younger, smarter, more charismatic, and better looking just waiting to fill Trump’s shoes.
Ol’ Steve found my blog and was obviously moved by my piece about how tired I am of “willfully ignorant Trump supporters.” I’m even more tired of them today than I was in November of last year, when that piece was written. For some reason, guys like ol’ Steve can’t take it when someone dares to say out loud what so many of us rational people are thinking.
To clarify, I do get people having conservative beliefs. I do understand wanting to vote for Republican candidates, even if I no longer identify as a conservative myself. I don’t understand thinking that Trump is the right person for the job. He was mostly a failure as president. Just my opinion, of course, but I know I’m not alone in thinking that… and at least for now, I still have the right to share my opinions, especially on a blog space that I paid for. And because it’s space that I paid for, I don’t have to indulge people like ol’ Steve. I don’t have to read or publish his inane comments. And I will continue to write my opinions as much as I like, even if ol’ Steve continues to email me with his silly profanity laced twaddle. I enjoy profanity. I also enjoy wit. Steve has shown me that he can deliver profanity, but I don’t think he’s very witty. And since he still worships Trump, a man who wouldn’t deign to piss on him if he was on fire, he’s clearly not very intelligent, either.
Still… I can see that ol’ Steve wants attention, and I don’t mind obliging. I get inspiration from people like Steve. If this keeps up, I might even write a song about him. Or a fiction story… I like to turn negatives into positives. When someone tries to victimize me, I tend to fight back in creative ways. Moreover, I find Steve amusing. My first reaction to his comment was irritation, but when he sent two more yesterday, I realized that he’s just pathetic.
Melania would tell Steve to “Be best.” So that’s what I’m going to do, too… Be best, Steve. Don’t engage in cyberbullying. And while you’re at it, go fuck yourself.