Contrary to the belief of my haters, I have apologized and made peace with many different people over the course of my online career. But there is a strain of shit stain that deserves no apology. They don’t want peace; they want your destruction. They don’t deserve forgiveness or grace. The only thing they should be given is disdain and hatred. Also, public apologies don’t really mean anything in the first place.
I think maybe when you apologize to a body of people in public, that might be a little more effective. I apologized to my audience, for example, when I came back from the Sedated Spring I experienced this year. My personal habits became unmanageable and it began to take its toll on my work with the Killstream. A general apology to the people who pay my bills and support my endeavors seemed like something I should do. I felt like I owed it to the supporters. But apologizing or trying to seek favor with enemies is almost always a mistake, particularly in public.
When you have an army of psychos, pedophiles, stalkers, and welfare cases aligned against you every day, there is no benefit in prostrating yourself in any way whatsoever. Your words are never good enough. There always has to be more given, more taken. Nothing good can ever come out of seeking favor with your adversary. Also, it is truly a fool’s errand to attempt anything from a position of weakness and docility.
When you get sober, as I have the past forty days or so, you naturally want to try to put as many old feuds to bed as you can. You think you can get over a lot of the old bullshit through changes in your behavior and public posture. The only problem is you need the other side to reciprocate. Most of the time, they won’t, however. They see your apology as a weakness. Peace is not something they want. Detente isn’t the goal. Your defeat is.
There are some exceptions here and there. I’ve been known online for almost a decade. As I mentioned in the opening, I have made peace with many different people. Just recently, I made peace with Alex Stein and Nick Rekieta after major feuds. But there weren’t really any apologies exchanged, certainly not major public ones. I simply messaged both gentlemen and it was decided it’s best to move on. At one point in time, we were good friends and colleagues. There was no great discussion of what needed to be done. No demands of public prostration…nothing at all except a desire to move on and get past the conflict.
That’s because both sides wanted to move on. You have to have that or else you are left on the back foot. The hate machine sees blood in the water, not an opportunity for personal growth and forgiveness. I think back over the years, and I can count on one hand (without using all five fingers) the number of times a public apology has actually succeeded. There’s this belief that you can solve it all. If only you say and do the right things, key enemies you once hated will come along and do their part.
The thing is, you hated them for a reason. In the case of Stein and Rekieta, I never truly hated either. Yes, it was very acrimonious, and I did many vitriolic streams on both men. They hit me pretty hard in return. In both examples, though, the original feuds started from professional disagreements. However petty those original problems were, they weren’t based in personal disdain. Yes, they were public and high profile. But there was always a bit of old reverence in there. These people were once your friends, for fuck’s sake. Yes, there is a breed of former friend that fits into the other category I mentioned above. Still, you have a much better chance of making peace with this sort of enemy than you do with the other. Most of the time, they don’t really want to be fighting with you, either.
For the other breed, you need not even try to make things right. They were never fair to you in the first place. Their days were filled with backdoor politicking and conspiracies against you. The evidence is right there in your face. Trying to make peace with such a snake is a fool’s errand. Never reach a hand out to those who would rather chop it off over putting the discord down. You know who and what they are. They want you broken and alone. It’s that simple.
By the way, I’ve known all this for twenty or more years. But sometimes, the desire for harmony and healing gets the best of me, though. I was in a place that wanted peace. That was my mindset and so I let that though color how I believe others felt and how they would act. I knew better, and still I went down the path of weakness. Look at my history and experience. It can truly happen to anyone. The good thing is, you don’t have to stay static. The breed of enemy I’ve discussed only respects power, wins, and overwhelming force.