On Wankery

Some thoughts on Wankery, genre and otherwise,

The thing that always surprises me is how many folks either make their disappointments the core of their identity, or, worse from my POV, go out of their way to annoy and upset people to compensate for feelings of anxiety, insecurity, and resentment for the lulz.

In my professional life (don’t laugh!) when I encounter people like this I file them under the heading of Button Pusher. They’re the folks who look to annoy and bother people, and I find they’re looking for people to push their buttons back. That’s discourse for them and feeds their need for attention. They’re also most comfortable operating at that level of zingers, and if you keep trying to have an actual conversation with them they move on in disgust, probably calling you boring as they go, because you’re not playing their game and they need to get one last button push in.

Related to button-pushing is something I’ll call kid-brother-itis. I don’t know how kid sisters behave, but I have pretty good grasp on being a kid brother, and one obvious tendency for us KB’s is to be as annoying as shit, not to everyone, but to a person we think is a bit full of themselves or needs to be taken down a peg or two. It can feel like doing god’s work, going around humbling conceited souls.

Of course, it’s not.

Fortunately someone acting under kid-brother-itis can often times be shown the error of their ways and corrected. It might take time, but it’s possible. On the other hand someone who’s a Button Pusher just sees engagement as more chances to push a person’s buttons.

I have no patience for this.

Where this comes back to genre is that it’s not just that Button Pushers are there, but that the internet coupled with fandom’s resentful puddletrout has made Online Asshole a profitable brand, and that’s like the golden ring for Button Pushers. And if they’re a real shitboil, they’ll up the ante from simple annoying button pushing to full on abusive behavior. What’s happening though is that people seem to be moving on, because so many other issues are happening, and the Button Pushers can’t stand it. They are trying desperately to keep the attention on themselves, while no one has time for them anymore.

None of this should be construed as casting aspersions on actual wankery. That’s not my place to judge. You do you.

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4 responses to “On Wankery”

  1. asakiyume says :

    Yeah; your description seems 100 percent on target. I haven’t hung around much with people like this, but you can’t be interested in story creation/reading/etc.–or have been blogging for a decade–and not run into it at least a little, plus I have four millennial children, so.

    The thing you said about people thinking it’s God’s work to bring the stuck-up down a peg really had me nodding vigorously. Seems like people are just searching for others they’re allowed to torment with impunity–not a charming characteristic, to say the least.

    I didn’t realize that Button Pushers were getting upset by the rest of the world moving on, but tough luck, Button Pushers! Grow up and you’ll have people to interact with again.

    • Justin says :

      My most recent insight into Button Pushers came from work and meeting a guy and knowing within a minute what he was. He’s someone who may have grown up, but who’s also settled for a certain life, and is embracing the status quo of the plateau he’s on.

  2. J.M. Williams says :

    Not too concern with the topic, I’ve been lucky to live a relatively asshat-free life. Just wanted to say the writing here is great. Puddletrout, shitboil…what vocabulary! 😀

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