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Place Your Bets | Main | Top Headline Comments 6-1-11
June 01, 2011

In Which I Attempt To Explain Human Behavior To the Reality-Based Community

I wrote this as an update to the post below, but it's "Classic Ace," by which I mean it's smug, gloating, lecturing, hectoring, dickish, prickish, arrogant, condescending, superior, and douchey.

It's all those things. It's also kinda right.

I love how we're all wingnutz because we've been out of the house enough to know how human beings behave. Like if they're seriously victimized in a malicious crime, they tend to get rather angry. They don't toss off casual jokes about it and try to change the subject right away.

They dwell. They vent. They use ALL CAPS or shout in real life. They make threats of furious consequences.

They do not say "Hacked!," like "Jinx, buy me a coke!"

Do any of these guys know why detectives always want to tell the next of kin of a murder victim that the victim has been killed?

They want to see the reaction. Whether it's normal or off, whether it's genuine or counterfeit. Whether the person is out-thinking himself and trying to guess at how he's supposed to take the news, and guessing wrong.

Are they overdoing it? Are they underdoing it? Are they saying one thing but showing, emotionally, a completely different state?

Are they, simply, play-acting?

Did these guys ever watch Law & Order? You don't even have to talk to people just to watch Law & Order.

Any of this ringing any bells? How people? Are supposed? To really? Respond?

But we're wingutz. Because we figured out that if you were seriously victimized with bad intent, you'd be angry about it, and probably call the FBI.

Oh, and probably that's the first thing on your mind, not the part about the Tivo eating your hockey game.

This isn't because Weiner is dumb. It's because people don't act well, usually, when they've been caught doing something wrong. They panic. They lie, and what's more, they don't lie well.

Because they're kind of in shock. Right?

Is this making any sense?

Did any of Weiner's passionate defenders ever stop to just ask if Weiner was acting like any of the various human beings they have known, or perhaps had at least heard stories about?

Here's a little experiment if you don't believe me, or are unfamiliar with the emotion of justifiable rage. Go tell a friend that some teenagers just keyed the words "SAD LOSER" into his car.

You know what his reaction will not be?

"#Keyed! It happens!"

Yes, that will not be his reaction. But if you're unconvinced, try it.

Oh, and also be prepared for your friend to be extremely angry at you just for throwing that heart attack at him.

You know Weiner's best play after he made this mistake? To say, in all caps:


That's a real reaction. If he had said that, I wouldn't have dogged him. Because my thought would have been, "Uh-oh, someone on the right just hacked a Congressman and this is going to be embarrassing. Now we've got a real hellstorm coming our way. Better back off...!"

But he out-thought himself. Because he was conflicted. He was trying to play it two different ways -- one, claim a hack, which requires an angry response.

But that will drive attention to it, right?

So, two: A lighthearted dismissal in hopes everyone will just blow it off.

So this is the problem. He's got two different reactions going here, all mixed up, and isn't committing to one or the other, because he's trying to get the good benefits of one (claiming a hack) while also getting the good benefits of the other (making it just go away).

But since he's trying to do both, he winds up with neither. They don't make sense together. If it was a hack, he shouldn't be playing it down. If he's playing it down, he should't claim it was a hack.

He did both. It makes no sense. It never did.

And this may not be as persuasive as Charles Johnson's and Daily Kos' "smoking-gun" technical proof, but this sort of thing actually identifies a lot of murder suspects who are eventually proven guilty.

His Pantomimes were all mixed up. Pick one Pantomime and commit to it. Don't mix and match Pantomimes like you're ordering Chinese.

He's not dumb. He's probably a good liar. If he had time to think about this and compose himself, he might have picked the right Pantomime and stuck with it, and who knows, maybe gotten out of it.

But he didn't have time. He had a couple of minutes. He was panicking. He went with two Pantomimes that just don't go together. Like, ever. In 100,000 years of human history, the words "I HAVE JUST BEEN CRIMINALLY VIOLATED!" have never been genuinely followed by, "And hey, anyone catch the score in the Bruins game?"

Content Warning, but you've all seen it.

Gotta commit to a lie. Or just commit to the truth.

Ummmm... in the last thread, Milo writes:

For a hundred grand and a cushy post, say Director of NCIS, (I think Abby is hot), I'll cop to hacking the account.

Um... Hundred grand? Nice job?

Eff you buddy, I hacked it. Or I may have hacked it.

Call me, someone. I am prepared to be that guy.

Let me be that guy for you.

The Testimony of One Clubber Lang:

I got caught cheating on a Spanish test once in the 8th grade. Got called out right there in the room by the teacher. She looked right at me and said, "What are you doing?"

I froze. I panicked. I was busted. My genius reaction was to claim that I couldn't hear her. Temporary deafness. I just pretended I didn't understand the words coming out of her mouth.

But I also tried to play cool. Like, yeah I'm 14 and occasionally have bouts of temporary deafness, no big deal, nothing to fuss about, I'll just get back to this quiz on preterite vs imperfect -er verbs. I'm sure my hearing will return eventually. No, no I'm fine. Happens all the time. What? Oh, yes, I do seem to be able to distinguish sounds. You are correct. Sometimes it's total deafness and sometimes it's just a mild stroke-like aphasia. Probably just my allergies.

Everybody just needs to calm down and forget about it. I already have. No big deal. Just me hangin' out here working on my quiz with my little stroked-out 14 year old brain. Ha ha, woo hoo, we'll all have a good laugh later about the time I stroked out during the Spanish pop quiz. Hoo boy. Hey, how about that Volleyball game last period in PE? That was a good time, am I right?

digg this
posted by Ace at 12:40 AM

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