Tuesday, August 14, 2018

My Own Robert Mueller Scenario

I once wrote:
Years ago, a few horrendous assholes swaggered onto the message boards of Chowhound.com and proceeded to post in vast profusion, relentlessly pummeling anyone who dared disagree. We asked them to give others a chance, rather than monopolize every conversation, but their compulsive output continued to spread like kudzu. We expunged the nastiest stuff, and, when they howled with indignation, we begged them to start their own forum...which, praise Jesus, they finally did. Predictably, they used the new forum to prattle on about how they'd been forced out because I'd felt threatened by their superior food knowledge.
Here's the thing. Those assholes - and the assholes they kicked out of their forum, who in turn started new forums of their own, plus the assholes those second generation assholes kicked out who went on to launch third generation assholic forums - hurled accusations at me via their own operations, sympathetic bloggers, and any journalist who'd listen, and kept this up long after they'd split off. A nonstop spume of ditzy belligerence and lies.

I was busy. I had a site to run. So I tuned it out and never once responded. Ever. In fact, this posting and the one linked above are the only public utterances I've made. Yet, then and still, it is common knowledge that there was a "feud" between them and myself.

How on earth can a feud be entirely unilateral? Well, it seems that if you taunt someone bombastically enough, you can create the false impression of a relationship. A friend quipped at the time that this was a "feud" in the same sense as Rupert Pupkin vs. Jerry Langford.

The trolling and lies were never a big deal. Just a source of amused consternation with human nature (one of the many mysteries kindling the pondering which fuels this Slog). But the fact that these tactics actually landed for reasonable people was a small trauma which I'm currently reliving thanks to this supposed "feud" between Trump and Robert Mueller.

Mueller has not said one public word, nor done anything but keep his head down and perform his assigned job. There's nothing to judge him on, aside from a splendidly efficient set of indictments and guilty pleas. Yet it seems - to both sides! - like a fight. Once again, a unilateral feud! Forget the apeshit projections from Planet MAGA; even those who sanely recognize that this is nothing but Trump's empty flailing appear to project gnarly reciprocity onto the special prosecutor. Mueller will show him what's what! Mueller's gonna bust his ass!

Is it possible Robert Mueller's just doing his job? Neither a witch hunt nor a Rambo assault, and that it's entirely impersonal? Or that I was earnestly working to foster honest, civil, and useful food discussion in the most principled possible manner?

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