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Of Paper Tigers and false bravery

Dedicated to my fellow (disgruntled) DC writers in recognition of their literary efforts.

A phrase used by our own temporal in response to one of my comments stuck in my mind - paper tigers. This was with reference to all those 'critics' who jump on a blog author's throat no matter what the blog is about and generally do a 'Mexican three bean dance' (another one of t's gems!) over the tiniest issue. No matter if the issue in question is a random innocent remark - it would still get jumped on by these paper tigers like vultures on carcass.

That set me thinking. Why? Why would you rip the throat of a nameless, faceless stranger who's just sharing some blog space with you over anything? Why such intense, strong reactions, such caustic attacks? Would you behave the same way face to face?

The answer, simply, is no.

Face to face, you are forced to put on a mantle of civil respectability and manners, and behave like a civilised human being - not like a gorilla on Speed. But from the safety of your own home, hiding behind the anonymity of the computer, one sort of breaks free of the shackles of society-imposed propriety and lets loose the inner animal.

The first time I came under a direct attack, (well, as direct as one can get in cyber space!) I was taken aback! Such vehemence, such venom - not what you expect in response to an opinion you have expressed, surely! But after the first couple (of hundred) of insults and random attacks, I got used to it - in fact, have even come to expect it! It's a sad, sad situation and its getting more n more absurd.

How do you identify a paper tiger?

By its growl. No, this is not a PJ but pure fact. These paper tigers cannot but help growling - they do so freely, without any qualm, at every single thing that might or might not come their way. They also are a lot more vehement than the average Joe. Rather free too, with curses and swear words.

They come in all shapes and forms - some of them are part-time doctors ("DesiGirl, better take your Ritalin"), while others are a bit confused on the gender issue ("NYMOM uncle or auntie"; "Desigirl uncle or auntie"). Some of them are blessed with Sight ("watch out! Once 498a becomes a reality, then pop goes the weasel"). But all of them share one common trait - complete and utter inability to follow the plot. Navigators they ain't, coz they are prone to go off on a tangent, far and away from where the post in leading.

So, what next?

Well, you can deal with this in couple of different ways - the most sensible of these would be to just ignore them and carry on as normal. Easier said than done, I know. When you have bashed your head against the wall, trying to turn out a post that means something to you, it cannot be exactly soothing to your soul to find that a few paper tigers have come and made mincemeat of it in your absense.

That's when you go with option 2: counter-attack. Nothing is more satisfying than this, I should say. I know it is not as sensible as turning the other cheek - but sometimes, this sane action can get interpreted as cowardice and cause much jubliation in the tigers' midst, which in turn makes them even more rampant. Going on the warpath might just dispel this feeling of euphoria amongst the tigers.

Option three is a version of option 1 - to try and see the funny side of it. Again, easier said than done, I know! But this makes sure your blood pressure doesn't shoot up or you end up chucking your PC in the bin. At times like this, friends come in handy - Saks and t came to my rescue recently by composing songs / poems and cracked me up, thereby forcing me to stop seeing red.

All in all, these tigers are part of our fauna - deal with them, we have to. Funny part of all this is that some of these tigers profess to help those in despair from killing themselves or doing something else equally extreme, in their regular guise - what they fail to see is that, in the meanwhile, in cyberspace, the land of the brave and home of the free, they are driving us poor souls to therapy!

Posted by DesiGirl 9:02 pm  


  1. Shirazi said...
    You hit the paper tigers very well here.
    Anonymous said...
    Here are some links that I believe will be interested
    Anonymous said...
    Very pretty site! Keep working. thnx!
    saveindianchild said...
    Latest Update: Haramzdhi's Group so called Deshi Critics or Deshi Cowered writers/blogers dirty face get exposed due to the Voice of Kush "Why 498A can't be applicable for both Mum and Dad ?".

    They all get scared and lost thier Night Sleep.

    As a Result they thretened to Ban the Name of Kush in thier Group otherwise they will Chop off the Balls of DC Editors/Moderators. At the end the Editor surrender in the Hand to Haramzadhi Feminist writers/blogers and Baned the Name Kush.

    AamanURLAugust 4, 200606:04 AM "No prizes for guessing who is 'Baned'"

    Fight between Child Killer vs Child Saver will Continue till the time all those Haramzadhi will not be behind the bar for Killing the Child/Child abuse/forcing a child to live under single parenting system.

    Save Indain Child form Haramzadhi Feminist group, if you you have some social responsibility , otherwise continue your money earning business through Legal Terrorism in India.

    We do not want part time Fathers every night basis...
    saveindianchild said...
    Why the stastics and no Law are Present any where , "How many Rape had been done by a women to a Men and child?"

    Have any one answer?
    Anonymous said...
    I like it! Keep up the good work. Thanks for sharing this wonderful site with us.

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