So I was halfway through the epic comments on a post at this blog* with my head throbbing more and more every time my jaundiced eye spotted some new commenter parroting the phrase “Jedi hugs!” that I finally gave up reading and began Googling for some Firefox addon that could block annoying phrases for me. I found some that would block the entire site, but that’s not what I wanted. I just wanted “Jedi hugs!” to disappear from my world, as it rightfully should.
So far, my search has been futile. If anybody knows how I can block this one phrase from a webpage, I’d love to hear about it.
What are “jedi hugs”, anyway, and why are they so annoying?
The origins of “jedi hugs” seem to lie in some glurge-y anecdote about somebody’s child who coined the phrase because he was “hugging with his mind.”
An internet meme was born! Now, whenever someone talks about some bad experience in a libfem blog, all hurt feelings are soothed away by massive choruses of “Jedi hugs!”
Massive and massive choruses of them. In fact, people are now spewing this phrase instead of, you know, actually thinking of something original to say to the person. It’s a way to seem sympathetic without making any real effort.
And that’s the very moment my frontal lobe started throbbing. People parroting each other isn’t just lazy and sycophantic; it’s creepy. The urge to conform is so strong in some people that they actually imitate other people’s speech patterns, down to their very neologisms. And we’re not talking about children still learning language skills; we’re talking about adult human beings.
If I were confessing online about something awful that happened to me, all these offers of fake internet hugs would make me feel trivialized, not comforted. If someone can’t empathize with me in their own words, I’d rather they kept that to themselves, rather than fob me off with a cute cliche.
Also, not everybody in the universe is such a big fan of Star Wars that they want to keep hearing about it more than 30 years after the first movie came out. Can we move on, please?
* I cannot recommend the blog because it’s one of those ‘fun, fearless’ libfem sites that seem to understand feminism until they let it slip that they think antifeminist crap like prOn, “sex work” and BeedyEssEm are Valid Personal Choices that are Automatically Beyond All Criticism, and feminist, if self-avowed feminists are doing them. They tell longwinded stories about their own personal experiences, loaded with irrelevant details, about how fulfilling it all was and how great their Nigels are, and how they are totally equal in their polyamorous marriages. Their Nigels are always great guys, total feminists even though they don’t act like it about this one particular thing, but it’s just this one particular thing and all he needs is somebody to explain to him that women are people just one more time, and he’ll work on his issues and, maybe, hopefully, his behavior will improve and then everything will be just great.
Also, “pantsfeelings”? Hand me the barf bag.
That said, I have no problem with most of the advice that site actually gives out.