This story comes from two places: a childhood that had it’s fair share of insults slung at me and from the feelings of intense anger that have awoken in me since November 2016.
You can see the first place reflected in some of the lesser, totally repeatable insults (e.g., poopy pants). Other, more hurtful insults, may have been directed at friends or myself. Some possibly (and shamefully) may have been said by me (e.g., inbred hick).
You can see that these characters’ insults (if the insults have relation to the election) reflect a perceived entitlement to forgo politeness or political correctness some hateful homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic, misogynistic, and racist individuals have displayed in their words and actions since a conman conned our nation.
These insults—from name-calling to blatant attacks on our environment and education—have made me angry. Stressed. Tribal at times.
But this story also has two characters who have something different to say than a comeback. Or maybe they say the most effective comebacks of all. I am too angry at times to feel such a non-confrontational reaction is the right reaction. After all, I’m hurt. Friends are hurt. Good people I won’t ever meet in person are hurt. And I feel dismayed and angry. And I want to do something about it. I want, in fact, to lash out.
Yet, I know that I want to stop feeling this way — angry and without control — every single time another insult comes along from this administration or its base. Instead, I want to learn to to feel a different way. Hurt, yes. I’ll always hurt, and I flee from temptations of apathy and lassitude. I want to learn to be in control, to not feel enraged. I want my reaction to be modeled on something better than the forces that are tearing at the fragile seams of our democracy. I want to find a way toward peace — if not outside myself then inside, where it must start, where it most counts.
When you get a chance to see this story, just note it does use explicit and abusive language.
When it comes out in the future, I suggest you just skip Insults Two by Two if you feel the trigger warning pertains to you.