“A Thread from Underground” with apology to Dostoevsky
Ah, after a drought of two years, I finally plucked up the courage to start a thread. You see, I have noticed a recent batch of, well, less than savory posts, and I thought if, well, if people knew each other better they would be more considerate of each other.... But what a pathetic rationalization that is! Even I can see through it.
Selfishness was my motivator. Indeed, how could I not want to find out my association with those of whom I converse? No doubt I wanted to lure those who are smart and humorous to expose whatever tenuous ties they have with myself. In such a manner I would no doubt raise my standing amongst my peers. But this is faulty logic. One is not intelligent by association....
“What of them?” I ask myself. Why do I care about whom I associate or whom I compare myself? I do not need their approval or compliments or even their groveling if such a thing should happen. I do not even know them. They are people thousands of miles away; if I but removed myself from the Internet they would cease to exist. I do not care about them. Yet, why must I try to convince myself of their unimportance unless I truly believe the opposite? I am at their whim.....
The title! Must you rub my nose in it? Do you honestly think that I have not regretted the title of my thread every day since its existence? How could I have used it when it practically drowns in falsehood, inanity, and imprecision? And yet I did use it, I used it to draw people into itself.
Do not ignore the date either, my dear reader. Notice that I could not wait for a full two years to pass between threads like a sane man. No. I could not contain my thoughts or my worries. “What do they think of me?” I thought. “How can I show them that I am like them?” I wondered. But a mind like mine is meant for plotting. I decided I would prove that I was like them. Carefully I wrote out the opening post and waited. Each month that ticked by I attempted to start the thread, but could not follow through.
These people, my peers, they knew. I swear they knew! Each attempt to complete my mission, my plan, was deviously foiled by the start of someone's thread. How could they appreciate me, how would they notice me, if there were others to distract them? No, it would be better to wait, I decided. And wait I did, I sat, patient for the perfect time. At the right time, my thread would take center stage, and those people would unconsciously declare their allegiance with me. By proving that they were like me, they would place themselves at my level, and I would become one of them..... But I could not wait for the right time, of course. I failed even at that.
But that is a lie right there. It is not that I couldn't wait, it is that I did not want to wait. You see, my reader, you felt sorry for me. You pitied my pathetic attempts, you felt sorry for even me. Let that be a lesson to you. I am a manipulator and am fully untrustworthy. With my turn of words even you can be brought to pity one such as I. It is dangerous to be swept along by my cunning, you do not know were you may end up..... But here I go again, bragging, threatening, trying to gain your respect. Do not listen to one as deplorable as I.
My thread was started, finally, when whims would not be controlled. I was lucky, in truth. I was able to capitalize on one of our dear moderator's call to graciousness. It was the perfect cover, so I thought, to disguise myself as one trying to help people understand each other. “Oh here I am to promote civility!” It was truly a lucky day, a lucky circumstance..... But didn't I tell you to ignore me! I am twisted man. Lies, they come so very easily. I planned it, really. I wanted it this way, I waited for discord to boil. I saw my opportunity and took it. That is the truth. Call me heartless for preying on dissension, I do not care.
This final part was the masterstroke. I knew that my supposedly generous help would be the perfect bait for moderators. Indeed, what moderator could resist placing the stamp of approval on a thread so helpful as mine? The trap worked beyond my wildest expectation. Not only did a moderator personally visit my thread, but it declared itself to be of the same personality as myself. They, those commoners of CAA, could not ignore me now!
It was at this point, of course, that Failure, my ever constant companion, reared his demoniac head. As I watched, my thread became a satire of my ambitions. Those of greatest popularity shunned me. One of them made a joke out of my creation. The other moderators ignored me. Oh how crafty are you, you denizens of CAA. How carefully you posted, and raised my hopes without granting real victory. I take some solace in the fact that you have been made, by some reason, to read this rambling....
What you have not realized, of course, is that I do not care what anyone thinks, how could I? My thread was nothing but a game between you and those of CAA. I pretended to care, so very carefully, and you fell for it. You expended your energies to humiliate I, who can not be humiliated.
Of course no one believes that, and rightly so. We all know how sad I am, we know how desperate I am for affirmation. How quickly I will posture for a few moments of recognition. We know that I will deride myself incessantly for a moment of your pity.....
Truly, I am a sick man.