Against “blingtard”

So can we not say “blingtard” anymore? I’ve come across it in a couple of different weblogs or feeds by people that I generally like and respect lately, and it sort of made me wince. And since I have a weblog now and am required by Federal Law to post my every little thought and feeling, I thought I should mention why I wince. Two reasons.

First, like Prokofy Neva’s “fucktard”, it’s a play on “retard”, the nasty elementary-school name for people with developmental retardation of one kind or another. Some of the nicest folks you could hope to meet have some sort of retardation, and using the condition as an insult is unnecessarily nasty to them, and most likely an inaccurate characterization of the person being described. (And yeah, this is probably taken more or less verbatim from the lecture I got from Mom when I was six and she heard me call someone a “retart” in the back yard; that’s how the world works.)

And second, people who use tons and tons of bling don’t really deserve to be insulted or to have their intelligence impugned anyway. I mean sure it isn’t my fashion sense, and blingy people are probably not members of my immediate ingroup, but that’s not a good reason to insult them. Bling itself is relatively harmless; it causes negligible server-side lag, and most likely less total lag than the 200-prim dress and 300-prim hair that the next person over is getting away with uninsulted. And it’s easy to avoid if you don’t like it; use control-alt-shift-equals to turn off all particles (including bling), or use Preferences to turn down your maximum particle count. Sure neither of those is a good solution if the problem is happening at a particle-art show, but again there are circumstances when the person wearing hundreds of prims would similarly be inappropriate, and again we don’t call that person names.

Not that I’m advocating ignoring blingstorms altogether; by no means! “omg my eyes my eyes!” can be entirely appropriate; it’s just “what a blingtard” that I’m suggesting is overly mean.

So anyway, that’s why I wince. :) End of rant.