As the fires raged out of control in Southern California, and continue to do so in some parts, a lot of people were online trying to relay information to people who had no other means of communication due to power outages, etc. Some, using only laptops, could get evacuation information from going to message boards, chat rooms, and mainstream media news sites. A lot of good people put in some very long hours, waiting for mainstream media to catch up, and took a break only when sufficient information was finally available on the mainstream web sites.
That being said, as all of the confusion, pain and suffering was taking place, some, who think of themselves as funny, but in reality are just cruel and inhuman, sought to disrupt what a lot of us were trying to do by breaking the chain of information flowing, and posting some of the sickest, twisted, inane drivel I'd ever seen in all of my time posting on message boards.
Some called for letting California burn to the ground as it's full of illegal immigrants. Others said we could do without the gays any way. The so called 'Christian' far right declared that this was God's punishment, in much the same manner that Jerry Falwell declared the same thing after 9/11. The outpouring of hatred and venom was so intense at some sites, that any right thinking person would have been sickened.
There used to be a time in our nation's history when Americans stood shoulder to shoulder during a catastrophe. There was a time when it didn't matter what your political beliefs were, and the color of your skin, or the amount of money you made. We could argue the finer points of issues until we were blue in the face, but at the end of the day, we'd go and have a beer together and agree to disagree, knowing that we'd always work something out.
But a new reality has taken hold of our country, and something dark and filthy has seeped into our national soul. I call it Anti-American Americanism, because that's basically what it amounts to. If you dare to disagree with the fanatics on either side of the aisle, left or right, you are a target for the vicious attacks that they can post anonymously online. The intent of these attacks is to silence dissent with their opinion, and most of these posters are little more than gutless charlatans, who couldn't fight their way out of a paper bag.
Yesterday though, with some saying the California fires were no big deal, even as we saw raging infernos rising high into the sky in the backdrop of downtown San Diego, and others really saying that we should allow these people to die and give them no help, because some are homosexual, or liberal, or for whatever reason, exposed these Anti-Americans for whom they truly are. The true 'fringe' element of American society. The true bottom of the barrel.
These people don't like the free flow of ideas, it doesn't fit into their Hitleresque view of the world. And so, knowing this, I suggest that if you are posting your thoughts on any message board, and you are attacked by these online freaks, do something that will drive them absolutely insane. Thank them for posting and for bumping your thread. Don't give in to the temptation to attack back, that's what they seek. Someone to argue with and to distract from the message that you're trying to deliver. Just say "Thanks for posting and bumping my thread." And be consistent about it. Every single time they attack, do the same thing, and eventually they'll move on to look for their fight elsewhere. But if we all do it, from all sides, then possibly we can use the Internet again as a meeting place, to truly discuss and dissect issues that we are faced with. We may even find that most Americans are really alike in much of their thinking, despite the wedges that these phony Americans try to place between us.
California: America loves you, and we stand with you in your time of need, despite the ravings of the few lunatics. You grow a great amount of our food in your state, the latest technological advances usually come from you guys, we know this. And deep down, we admire your radicalism, the movies that you make, and everything about your home is what makes this country so great. We mourn with you your losses, and stand ready to help you rebuild when all is finally over. Take heart and know that we are with you in spirit.
To the Anti-American Americans, if you hate so much about our country,and can not brook voices of dissent, why do you continue to live here? Batmanchester