Douglas Arvidson is a past winner of the WICE/Paris Transcontinental International Short Story competition. His short fiction has been published in Paris, Prague, and in literary magazines in the United States and he was recently invited to be a staff writer for the Prague Revue, a cutting-edge, online literary journal ( The novels in his fantasy series, The Eye of the Eye of Stallion, include The Face in Amber, The Mirrors of Castaway Time, and A Drop of Wizard's Blood. His new novel, Brothers of the Fire Star, was selected as a finalist in the ForeWord Reviews 2012 Book of the Year national awards and as a finalist in three categories in the 2013 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards: Action Adventure Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Young Adult Fiction. It has become part of the pantheon of Pacific literature and is now included in school literature programs. Brothers of the Fire Star is an adventure story set in the Pacific during World War II and concerns two boys of different races and cultures who escape the island of Guam in a small sailboat when the Japanese army invades. They must then struggle to survive as they master the secrets of the ancient Pacific navigators. Appropriate for young adults as well as adult readers, Brothers of the Fire Star is available on Barnes & Noble, ( and Visit the author's website:

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Attack of the Cowardly Anonymite: "Mommy! He called me a schmuck!"

I've just coined a term I hope will catch on: anonymite.

Anonymites are infesting the Internet with their vileness. They're every where! They're every where! But what is one? An anonymite person who makes ugly, thoughtless, hurtful, nasty, non-productive comments or attacks on people on the Internet while hiding behind the security of the signature, "Anonymous." This is definitely a breakdown in the civil discourse. Batman would not put up with it, and neither will I.

I just had it happen to me. I was called a schmuck (me!!! Mr. Nice Guy! a schmuck!!!) because I goofed in a previous blog and referred to a 1,000-hour rule (the time necessary to become good at something difficult--like writing) when it is actually referred to as the 10,000-hour rule.

Now, schmuck is a pretty strong stuff for something like that. I mean, for a mere 9,000 hours I get called a schmuck? If I had done something intentionally hurtful like say, called someone a schmuck for no real reason, then, sure, call me a schmuck (Schmuck, by the way, is a Yiddish word with meanings that run from the relatively mild "stupid," to more damaging connotations like "jerk" or "bastard." At its worst, it implies intentionally mean, thoughtless, hurtful behavior.).

But, you know what I mean. The real reason I'm addressing this is to voice a grievance. Being called a schmuck by someone who doesn't know that you're really an okay guy who just made a mistake isn't all that tough to take if you possess normal, healthy ego strength. But you see these cowardly anonymites  really dishing it out in Comment sections on the Internet. Some schmuckly, cowardly anonymite calls another person something foul--really foul--just, I think, for the thrill of getting away with it. An small act of cruelty that must give a small, perverse thrill to the true schmuck who writes them. In this case, it's writing something you wouldn't have the courage to say to the person face to face. Or even to write it and sign your real name. Go figure.

So, there it is--a new word: anonymite. I hope it gets to be paired in general usage with the word cowardly. They're all big bunch of schmucks.

1 comment:

  1. Seriously?! Who called my father a schmuck??? Lemme at 'em!!!