You can guarantee a few things in my life, one is my ears will hurt and the other is I will get abused online.
So I woke up Saturday morning with the usual leaky sore itchy ears and spent the day dosed up with painkillers. There is nothing can be done about my ears, they keep being leaky and wet, and specialists don’t know what to do.
I went onto twitter and saw that Armando Iannucci the Scottish comedy writer had been given an OBE by The Queen (something am not really into) but anyway, he was taunted by Alistair Campbell (former press aide to Blair and who Iannucci based his character Malcolm Tucker on the TV show Thick of it) Campbell taunted Iannucci for accepting the ‘establishment’ and added those three little letters make a lot of difference to which Iannucci replied “WMD” referring to Campbell’s involvement in the illegal war over ‘weapons of mass destruction’ made me laugh my ass off.
Anyway I captured the hilarious online twitter spat and uploaded it to twitpic upon which many famous tweeters decided to reTweet and so my timeline went mental. You need to understand twitter to get that last paragraph, to think the words Re tweet weren’t even forming on our lips until at least 3 years ago now we say it daily. Or at least I do. So thanks to Peter Serinafowitz and Rob Delaney I have heaps of new people reading my tweets.
So, after I got swathes of new followers, I got some twitter people abuse me and call me fuckwit and gobshite etc and I embraced them. The thing about trolls (the name for anonymous people who abuse you on twitter) is that they like to think they can hurt from afar or at least from behind a screen.
It’s a bit like being at a huge super bowl crowd and someone sneaking up through the throngs of people and stabbing you in the groin with dirty needle on a long stick, watching your expression and running away before you can call them out.
I tend to block abusive people not because I am weak but I want to imagine I run back through the same crowd and gaffer tape their mouth and run back again to my own space.
The haters and trolls really take pleasure in hurting people as I have found out.
One troll who is related to a comic I know started writing to my daughter telling her she fantasised about my own childhood abuse...this shocked my daughter for a few moments then she laughed her head off as she imagined him with a long stick and a dirty needle...and then she felt sad he would want to hurt someone and begged me not to get angry at him.
I wasn’t angry- I was amazed nobody had said something like that before, as Ashley and I have both cracked very dark jokes about my past and we like to think that’s our way of coping. That poor bloke just pointed that out and I like to think of him as perceptive to a point, but then we blocked him as he did sound suicidal and that’s not my area.
Witnessing haters on other people really disturb me, for instance a wee chubby pre-teen boy uploaded a really cheesy video of him singing and dancing. Personally his parents should have stepped in and stopped him, thats my opinion.- maybe they were unaware he was uploading videos?
You see something that looks cute and cool to a 13yr old with no critical input can come back and bite you in the arse. Am glad YouTube wasn’t around when I was 13 as there would be a plethora of clips of me looking wistful singing weepy touching songs to photographs of Donny Osmond as I hang over damp rocks near the stream at my old home. (it was the 70s all music montages looked like that)
Anyway the wee chubby boy got millions of hits and thousands of hateful ‘kill yourself fatty’ responses. There is the flip side to this, maybe the wee boy enjoyed the attention and can cope with the haters after all Irish irritators Jedward taught us one thing, stupid people with no talent can make millions.
But I digress, I despise people being hurt by trolls online and yet, I will always strive never to have them charged by the police. Unless someone is psychically threatening my life I can cope with verbal abuse, I am a comedian, I fight for the right to say things onstage so therefore I have to accept the things people say to me offstage.
Follow me on twitter @janeygodley