This will be the last time SJ Smith puts pen to paper. He is a character I have been playing for several years and has served his purpose, but the time has come for him to be killed off. SJ exists in a world I can no longer stand to be a part of; the social media bubble.
More and more people are saying that Facebook and, to a lesser extent, Twitter have become toxic, and I find myself in full agreement. No one thinks twice about spewing vitriol at anyone who disagrees with their opinion, and I have removed the SJ presence from both platforms following a particularly nasty altercation last week.
I made a comment about the hot potato of the transgender world. I didn’t actually say anything derogatory about transgender folk, but that didn’t matter one jot. Ultimately, I have been sacked by the publisher that carried the bulk of SJ’s works. Now, I’m not going to make out this is some freedom of speech violation, because it isn’t. I said what I said and I’m not in prison. The publisher pays the bills and owns the company, and it is her decision what she does and doesn’t publish. I respect her decision to no longer produce my works, and will remain grateful for everything she has done for me. However, I do not respect the patronising and insulting remarks fired in my direction, which I will return to later.
This is going to be a lengthy rant, so strap in.
As this rant develops, I will be using one or two labels I have invented to describe certain groups of people. The first of these is ‘Groovy Fuckers’, a term borrowed from Jools Holland, which refers to those who inhabit Facebook and believe themselves beyond reproach. Groovy Fuckers typically live in a social media landscape which renders their entire universe an extension of a student union bar at a university, allowing them to exist perpetually as right-on eighteen-year olds. No descent is permitted in the world of the Groovy Fucker.
The other term I invented is ‘Inverted Bigot’. Inverted Bigotry occurs when a person uses methods akin to that of a jack-booted bully boy to attack other social media users. Screaming abuse, wishing of harm and even death threats are all weapons in the arsenal of the inverted bigot, who inevitably believes they hold the moral high ground because they are a Groovy Fucker.
The Big Argument
The big argument occurred after a Facebook comment I made regarding the transgender debate. For the record, my opinion on transgender people is this; I don’t care. If Bobby wants to become a woman then that’s up to him. It’s none of my business. Good luck to him/her – I have no desire to interfere in his/her life. But – and this is the crux of the matter – I would appreciate it if the same courtesy were extended to me. Don’t interfere in my life either, thank you very much.
However, someone, and the more I think about it, the more I start to suspect it’s not actually Bobby at the heart of it, but rather the circle of Groovy Fuckers that surrounds him/her, wants to change the rest of us too. They want to invent new labels to place on us, force upon us their Groovy ideas of what constitutes gender, and – best of all – some Groovies want every single one of us to live in a gender free world. Wouldn’t that just be so. . . Groovy. If only we could shed our sex as easily as our underpants, and identify with whichever gender we felt like when we got up in the morning. Wowser.
A Gender Fluid World
My problems with this are twofold. Firstly, it’s bollocks. Gender wasn’t invented by some evil dictator to make Bobby feel bad about him/herself. Gender has developed over four billion years of evolution as part of nature. Secondly, I foresee it as an unworkable nonsense. Several people have chimed in with the ‘What about women’s changing rooms?’ argument, which Groovy Fuckers dismiss as TERF (whatever that means) rubbish. Perhaps they have more faith in the human race than I do, but can just imagine that, given half a chance, every unscrupulous character in existence would be using gender fluidity as a convenient excuse for wrongdoing, as it would give them unlimited access to the vulnerable. Jimmy Saville didn’t do work for children’s charity because he was concerned about kids’ welfare, he did it so he could get inside kid’s homes and hospitals. A predator is predatory and doesn’t need any extra opportunities handed their way.
When I raised this point, I was treated to a patronising lecture, delivered straight from the Groovy Manifesto. “Actually, no one is pushing for a gender free world, because they know people aren’t ready for it.”
This was what really got my hackles up. We aren’t ready for it.
Us Neanderthal Non-Groovy types just aren’t equipped for total Grooviness because our brains haven’t yet developed enough to deal with it. We’re way too stupid to have thought about the issue, to have weighed up the pros and cons, and drawn a conclusion of our own.
Everything went ballistic after that. The Groovy Fuckers formed their hit squad and came at me one after the other, calling me, amongst other things, a homosexual and a child abuser. Inverted Bigotry at its rawest. One woman blasted onto my timeline screaming FUCK YOU. I responded by opining she was a cunt, as I am nothing if not equal opportunities when it comes to arguing. Hilariously, one Groovy Fucker reverted immediately to old fashioned chivalry; Sir, how dare you offend a lady? I challenge you to a duel.
The Harry Potter Woman
There are several prominent people who have publicly questioned the idea of the gender free society, most notably JK Rowling. As a female and a feminist, one might consider her worthy of a seat at the Groovy table, but unfortunately for her she now falls into a sub category of Grooviness called a Pis-Groove; someone who is no longer identified as Groovy because they pissed off the Groovy community by having an opinion which differed from theirs. As a Pis-Groove, JK has opened herself up to frequent attacks from Inverted Bigots, who regularly scream abuse in her face and even talk about burning her books. Now, I’m not going to draw the parallel between book burning and far-right extremism. I’ll leave that to your own imagination.
As a side note, I was hoping that disgruntled Groovies might start burning the books of SJ Smith, but as there are so few copies in circulation, they wouldn’t provide enough kindling to ignite a small barbecue.
So there we have it. The final rant. If you’ve read this far, then congratulations to you. You may notice I haven’t said anything derogatory about trans folk, but as a Groovy Fucker you’ll likely stick your fingers in your ears, completely reinvent what I’ve written and go tell your chums I’m a fascist. That’s up to you. I no longer care.
The point is, while I haven’t attacked trans people at all, I have attacked you: The Groovy Fucker: The self-appointed guardian of public morals who scrolls through Facebook looking for things to be offended by: Who thinks they know what’s best and show nothing but contempt for those who disagree: Who has turned social media from a place to communicate to a place to foam at the mouth and hurl abuse.
And in the end, that’s what really offends you, isn’t it? You take yourself so seriously that if anyone has the audacity to argue with or mock you, you go fucking apoplectic.
Here Lies SJ Smith. Died 2020. Former writer, tragically crushed to death beneath a massive pile of bullshit.