Seems like shaming is a favorite pastime for certain forum members. Why do some shame more than others? What gives them a sense of moral superiority, entitlement, and chutzpah to do it? I am not a psychologist. But I am certain there are a few theories out there to explain it. These are the Shaming Threads that have been erected (or resurrected) since January 1 of this year—the last four months— in the Off-topic and Pigsty forums. The archives are full of them, I'm sure.
Thread title is followed by thread starter. It is ALL about the thread starter. The lynch mob, however, obviously has a hand in it as well, otherwise the thread would simply die. I'll start by listing the epitome of a shaming thread, started by the resident Shamer No1Uno, who is not an outright troll but more of a passive aggressive instigator. Hides behind a thin veneer of civility when in fact he is the most self-righteous poster on the forum with an unhealthy dose of narcissism. Judge, jury, and executioner rolled into one (seven out of the fifteen threads were started by him). This thread was quite popular. And very revealing. Especially when the shaming was done to a person who was not even around to defend himself. The thread was two dimensional, as it also was an attempt to shame me for defending the shamed target. Anyone studying lynch mob mentality should have a look at this first thread. Most of the shaming threads are in the Pigsty. Are you surprised? I'm not. The thread starter knew it was going to get ugly. That was the point.
Steve Croce - disappeared - Shamer No1Uno (almost 17,00 views)
Omitting Personal Pronouns - Shamer Skylarker
The truth according to whom - Shamer No1Uno
Regular Posters - Shamer No1Uno
Have you forgotten Robby? I didn't. - Shamer Viva Hate
The FBE Appreciation Thread - Shamer Mozza220559 (a dud)
Which takes more of a pounding? - Shamer Viva Hate
Post then.........delete - Shamer No1Uno
Celebrities lookin' at ass - Shamer Viva Hate
Pathetic Losers Trying Desperately to Look Like Morrissey - Shamer Skylarker
Pray for realitybites - Shamer CrystalGeezer
Oh what manners we have - Shamer No1Uno
Shaming - Shamer No1Uno (oh the irony)
Symbolic stuff one person gives a crap about - Shamer No1Uno
Who should realitybites date next? - Shamer CrystalGeezer
There are also threads that start out as normal threads about various topics but get hijacked by the Shamers and thus become shame threads:
Misnomers - Hijacked by Shamer Viva Hate
The BBFC (BrummieBoy Fan Club) Thread - Hijacked by Shamer Viva Hate
Of course, the hijacker of all hijackers of threads—with the attempt to shame—was (let's hope it is a was) Pet Troll.
Notice how all the threads were started or hijacked by one of the resident trolls or instigators?!
Have I ever started a Shaming Thread? No. Have I made shaming posts? Yes, guilty on many occasions. FBE is my signature Shamemark.
Is this a shaming blog post? Yes, it is.
Have I made other similar blog posts? Probably quite a few. What is the appeal in shaming? Separates us from the shamed. Defines what we are not. Reinforces our values and beliefs—solidifies them. Seeks to change the behavior of the shamed. Or, at its most base, it could be to seek revenge or to lash out—humiliate another.
Morrissey is the master of shaming, btw. Almost all of his TTY posts are about shaming someone or some group. As are his statements in the press. But if you really want to see his shaming at its finest, don't look to TTY or the press, simply open Autobiography and start with page one.
Look at the list of threads above. Look at who started the most threads. Is there a correlation between shame and overachieving? Do children who are shamed become either deeply insecure, troubled adults or neurotic perfectionists? Is shaming ever a good thing? Does the Shamer ever have the right to sit in judgement? Are some things just flat out wrong that they warrant shaming? Or is shaming just one person or group trying to impart their values, beliefs, and ways of doing things upon another person or group? Kind of the opposite of live and let live. Curiously, so many fly that banner; so few actually believe it deep down. Shaming proves this. Do things this way or you should feel ashamed. I am better than you. I am right; you are wrong. Get in line. My way or the highway to Shame-hell. It is interesting to me that the people who cry the loudest about being judged are the most judgmental of all (Morrissey and the trolls, and yes, myself). The anti-regulators and libertarians who shame are the biggest hypocrites of all. Think about it.
There are also Shaming Signatures. Viva is flying one, as is Brummie and Fer, and so am I. There are probably more.
Here is a little song to close out this post. Don't be ashamed to admit you like it. I'm not.
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