"The problem here is a totalitarian uniformity, a cult-like mentality such that even allies are enemies if they fail to follow the Exact Party Line. " - Phyllis Chesler

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Difference Between Us and Them

After the dx of Sadie I immediately joined a Yahoo group to gain knowlege to help her. While it has already been beneficial I have already met the nastiest person to date who just happens to be French. How do I know this? Because the very first post I saw from this person mentioned this in his post after telling someone who asked a very simple question for help to "use your brain" and then continued to tell them how it was in France.

Well, I was so offended and I made a post stating my offense. This poor person is asking for help and this nasty person, WHO HAPPENS TO BE FRENCH, couches this rude mean angry response to the entire group and goes on to then say how great it is in France and how inexpensive it is.

What happened when I did this? A very anti-american post reply was given and NO ONE COMPLAINED ABOUT IT. NONE.

Here was the original post:
Use your brain. I have a lot of cats, till recently 19, now 18, and I spent most of my budget on expensive medicines prescribed by vets, medicines that in the end either didn't do anything, or even did harm. The best care for your FIV+ cats doesn't cost any money: good hygiene. Which is a matter of discipline and hard work. Keep the bacterial level inside your house as low as possible, clean the litter boxes on a daily base. Keep the house flea free, keep the garden flea and tick free, and remove all stools on a daily base.The food doesn't have to be expensive. I and some others believe that raw feeding is good. When shopping cleverly, raw feeding can be as affordable as Purina or Hill's biscuits.You are now going through the vet mill and I can assure you one thing; after you tried all the expensive medicines they prescribed to your cat and it turned out nothing helped him, they will say; well we don't know then, and you will be all on your own.The best help for my cats came from forums like this one, and it was all for free.The basic consulting fee here in France is 25 euros by the way. That is about $35.

Right or wrong I was so offended I wrote this:
That was one of the rudest posts I have ever read. "use your brain" You know, as someone new I am going to go at this right back in a rude way, so to the rest forgive me but you can take that rude attitude back to France where it belongs!

This poster then posted although it seems was removed by the list owner, disparaging remarks about Americans and how much we are hated by all especially Arabs (as if that is something to be ashamed of...NOT) and how sad that must be for all of us.

I was then emailed directly and told I was mentally ill, stupid idiot and a myriad of other insults.

In the past two days I also received off list, emails from other members telling me of similar experiences with this person and commiserating with me. It was helpful to get honestly.

So do I think ALL French are like this. NO. But here's something that makes us very different than those from other countries, mainly European countries. When people here in the U.S. start talking like this, just about everyone they know will tell them to cut it out. That there is no place for this kind of thought or behavior. It's not acceptable to justify this hate toward other people and to broad-brush citizens from one country because you don't agree with/like/approve of the politics of that country. Even to the detriment of when, in my opinion, we should be calling out some cultures for their collective bad behavior toward human-kind. But that same thing is what I love most about being an American. We ARE a kinder more socially thoughtful group of people. This would not be tolerated here. And that IS what makes us better.

Well that poster got worse. Since we were asked to respond to people off list with disagreements initially I tried to appeal to this person one on one just human to human, explaining how hurtful the words were and why. Well last night I got an email telling me this: "If you mail me again I will take the right to do with your message what I like, and I will post it in a place used by spammers to gather e-mail addresses, meaning you will get flooded with spam from now on. I want nothing from you, I clearly asked you to stay out of my mailbox, you dumb ignorant cow!"

Now please don't go writing on here or to me directly that I said this or that nationality isn't good, as good as, or isn't similar to how I feel Americans are in this respect. That would just be incorrect.

So in response to the tone on this group, I first forwarded the emails to the group leader. I haven't heard back yet, but in fairness I only did that this morning. I also started my own group and hope it is a safe place to explore options for our FIV+ cats.

And last but not least, I have this blog. And if forced to I will use it for evil as much as the good I always try to do. If I start to get spam I will post that persons full name and email address right here for everyone to see. And then YOU can all go for it! BRUHAAAAAAAAAAH!

To end this post I want to tell you a little about what I was taught as a child. I grew up in NJ and sometimes we would be taken on field trips. The teachers always always stressed that we were to be on our best behavior because we represented NJ and our town and that how we behaved would give the impression to those we were visiting what it was like and we had to make a good impression that we were well-behaved nice people.

Whether we like it or not, and often many people forget that we as individuals represent our countries and ethnicities etc...when we are in public. People will, rightly or wrongly, associate our personal behavior with our larger group we come from. So when you are on a yahoo list or just me blogging about being a Jew, we/I are setting a tone and impression for that group we belong to at large.

Sadly much more than once I have been left with the impression that the French and many Europeans as well, are very biogeted and rude by the way they will immediately attack another about their country and then continue on with personal attacks like being called mentally ill, an idiot etc...when there is an opposing thought or opinion.

That is the biggest difference between Americans collectively and the rest.

UPDATE: After forwarding the hateful threats to the moderator I got this:
"You are the one who dragged nationality in this. Now you are the one going on and on and on about it, in the forum, and in private mail. You can't do that. The forum is about cats, not about people let alone nationalities. And be prepared for other people telling you what they think of you, after you start telling people what you think of them.I am putting both moderators in the cc of this message. You try to make it look that I am bothering you in e-mail, but that is not the case. You e-mail me with nasty language and I reply to that, asking you to stay out of my mailbox. What you did in the forum; posting part of my mail there, and putting yourself down as a victim, is sick and evil. It seems you're out for a flame instead of wanting to help your cats.Again, FOR THE THIRD TIME, stay out of my private mailbox. If you mail me again, that will be unsolicited mail, and that is against the Yahoo Terms Of Service. And I will report it to Yahoo.I can communicate with you on-topic in the forum if it can help your cats, but apart from that, I think you are evil, nasty and mentally ill, so I want nothing to do with YOU."



Da Old Man said...

Sorry you ran into a jerk. Fortunately, he's an ocean away, and you will never come across him in person.
I know you may not want to hear this, but ignore him. Don't let some socialist jerk spoil your joy.
BTW, I found it funny he said Arabs hate us. Right now, Arabs, specifically Muslim Arabs are over running France. Paris should be surrenduring any day now. They are good at that.
Hope your cat is doing better.

Lauren said...

D.O.M. - Thank you for being so supportive. Funny that you say to ignore him because that is exactly what I wrote to the moderators today after that last email...that no matter what that person writes on the boards I will not read them further no stay in that negative energy, or respond in any way.

As for Sadie, it's a wait and see issue. FIV is the same as HIV, well sort of. From what I have read so far it's not as bad in cats. Some develop a lot of problems but it seems more do not at all. So I am hopeful. Since it's not something that can spread from feline to humans and is very hard to spread cat to cat while initially I was concerned, I no longer am. I am concerned about the Vet bills I incurred up to know figuring all this out...but someway I will pay it off.

You've been so helpful. Thank you. NOW I have to get over to your blog.

Drowsey Monkey said...

Did they send that photo? That's nasty.

Well ... you did bring up the person's nationality first ... just saying! lol

Posts are kind of like emails, it's hard to misinterpret peoples intent because you can't hear their voice or see facial expressions, both of which soften then harsh words.

Drowsey Monkey said...

I meant it's easy to misinterpret, lol

And I hope Sadie is doing better :)

Lauren said...

Drowsey, Actually the poster brought up the nationality of France first. CONTEXT is very important. That poor person asked an honest question and was told "use your brain" and then continued on to tell that person basically how stupid they are to pay so much how it is in FRANCE, so much cheaper.

I recieved emails off list from supporters who told me how this person is very abusive and to be careful and that they too have been in this person's wrath.

And what's even funnier is that they just now escalated this to yahoo themselves and tried to make claims I said things about France etc...when I found the post that THEY wrote saying I agree the French are rude and nasty, and letting me know they are living there but really Belgium.

I at no point said any such things. I told them that they could take that nasty attitude BACK TO FRANCE where it belongs. I didn't say you snotty French or the French are rude now did I?

YEAH YEAH YEAH...I'm ready for your retort.

I just sent Yahoo abuse all their nasty emails especially the one where they threatened me with giving out my email if I contacted them only to get ANOTHER email to me, not me to them saying what you saw in my post at the end. SICK SICK PERSON.

OH-- no they didn't send that photo. I thought it was funny. To me it said kiss my ass!

Babs (Beetle) said...

This is one I'm nervous to get into really.

I'm British and part French. My mum had a French speaking mother and English father.

I have never been to America and I've only been to France once or twice. I have to say that I did find some of the French people rather rude. It is also a fact that many people say the Americans are a bit 'gushing'. By that, they mean too nice. We British are told that we are too 'stiff upper lip' and don't show our emotions easily. This is true of us.

Please understand that these are not my personal opinions. I am trying to bring some sort of 'understanding' here.

Whilst this person may have seemed very rude. To him (being French) he wasn't, and possibly felt your remarks unfounded. You (being American) saw it as extremely rude and hurtful, whilst we (British) would possibly have ignored it completely ha ha!

We are all different, and react differently to stuff.

I have noticed marked differences in this area with people I have know from countries around the world. We are all very different.

Hope you didn't mind me giving my penny worth (2 cents worth)

By the way. I think that what he said was very rude too. Being British, and unemotional, I wouldn't have gotten involved :O)

Lauren said...

Babs, GREAT COMMENT. It was thoughtful and showed reasoning and reasonable, in my humble opinion. Thank you!

Babs (Beetle) said...

Glad I didn't offend you :O)

Lauren said...

Babs, OMG LOL. Not in the least!

Gypsy said...

I know you have very strong opinions about various topics Lauren but some people just want to blog to have fun, as a release from their normal every day lives.

Personally I would rather stay out of things like that. That may be seen as complacency, apathy or indifference but I get enough trouble in my own life without looking for it. Blogging is supposed to be enjoyable. If you start venturing into slanging matches with people that negates the whole purpose and only causes you high blood pressure.

I'd just walk away. There are some fights where there is never going to be a successful outcome.

Lauren said...

Gypsy, People blog for all kinds of reasons. I blog to talk about what is happening in my life and to write my opinions in my own way. I have read many a post from you were you are upset about this or that person and how you feel they treated you. While never mentioning the reason behind your hurt feelings at the moment you write about them and we are always supportive of you. If you don't like these types of posts that is fair but I have to write what is happening in my life from my POV in the way I need to get it out.

As it turns out with this person...I have been in contact with the list owner on Yahoo...which is not a blog BTW. She and I are in total agreement that this person is nuts. They have taken something and made it into something it isn't. THEY brought in all kinds of cultural issues and made nasty comments about American, the French etc...things I didn't post because it would have been way too long a post.

Then they went further and broke into my account and sent a remove request as if from me to the group and I got an email asking me if I wanted to leave or not and to respond. Then they made a fake abuse report to look like it was from Yahoo but the full header showed it was really from them.

I also got an email from another list member telling me that when they had a disagreement about raw cat food this same person started and continues to this day to harrass them.

I made comments in this post to bring about a topic that is near and dear to my heart. Perhaps I didn't translate it well enough. But I did my best. Sometimes my posts will be fun and funny and other times they will be political etc...read the ones you like.

I still love you.

Heidi said...

Hippos come to mind, but, no comment. I too can cut and paste excerpts of things to make them seem trashy but you are a master I know. If CONTEXT is so important perhaps you should have posted my FULL comments in your open letter, as well as what you wrote to inspire them. AND P.S. I'm not french!

Lauren said...

Heidi, It was tons and tons of more of the same nastiness. I also left out other people's private emails to me where they told me this person was harrassing them too. I also left out how they are creating fake emails to look like they are from yahoo absuse dept. This person is sick, mean and nasty.

Furthermore -- you my dear are an angry person who doesn't know the difference between a proper cause and creating a problem/cause to make yourself feel better.

If you want to fight go somewhere else, to someone else's blog. This will be the last comment I allow from you here in this manner. I let it stand to show in your own words your lack of character.

Gypsy said...

I didn't mean that in any way as a criticism and I read all your posts. I was actually thinking of you when I suggested that some battles are just not worth fighting. It sounds like you've gotten a lot of grief for your trouble.

Oh and I do appreciate all my friends being there for me, including you. Don't ever doubt that.

Lauren said...

Gypsy, I kind of figured as much although at first glance it did hit rather harsh. However I wrote an entire post regarding what you said...so stay tuned. I think you'll appreciate it. Well, at least I hope you will.

Gypsy said...

I'll certainly be on the look out Lauren x