Had a chance to sleep on it and thought of a few things I'd like to say. It's hard not to beat yourself up about something like this. If I'd gone earlier... But I didn't and hindsight is always 20/20. My hope throughout this whole thing is that be talking about it maybe I could get a few people over their embarrassment of the issue and to the doctors, where hopefully they would be tested and told it was something less severe than this and get it fixed. I'd rather people not die needlessly from something that can very much sneak up on you and is unfortunately in an embarrassing place. hurrdurr butt cancer, as much it might sound like a joke and it's good to have a positive outlook on something like that with humour, hopefully this is a bit of a wakeup call to some people my age that its a real thing and it's not just something that happens to people in their 70s. Naturally, talking about this opened up an attack vector as I knew it would, that a small minority of people decided to go for in order to get their pound of flesh.
In 2011 I was stuck in England away from my wife and kid. It had been like this for several years. In 2008 I was kicked out of the US on a technicality and forced to move back to England. We were barely getting by. I'd taken a job at a financial advisory which was just enough to pay the rent on my place in the States and moved back in with my parents in the UK. It was very frustrating, I'd moved out of my parents house when I was 18, gone to Uni and never looked back, relishing the independence. Anyone who has had to move back in with their parents following financial trouble knows what I'm talking about, you feel like you've failed. For several years I was stuck in a rut, I couldn't earn enough money to get the lawyer I need to sort out my visa troubles and I couldn't quit the job I hated because if I did then we'd all be fucked. In 2010, after losing my job during the recession, I struck lucky and got big on Youtube. The money starting coming in, my finances stabilised, I started to pay off my debts and worked on getting my wife and kid over here, at least just to visit. It failed, the UK immigration authority refused to let them come, believing they would stay permanently. I was furious. After years of shit, a light had appeared at the end of the tunnel and it had turned out to just be some fucker with a torch who ran away giggling. In a stupid move, I took to Twitter to vent. Twitter is a bad place to vent. You are instantly accessible, your words can be easily twisted and misinterpreted and frankly, nobody wants to hear your personal shit anyway, especially not if you have over 100,000 followers which at the time I did. A few people from a certain messageboard we all know decided to take it upon themselves to mock me for my separation. In a fit of rage I lashed out at them, saying all kinds of awful things. One guy got caught in the crossfire, he was genuinely just asking a question, but I told him to get cancer and die.
It's water under the bridge between the both of us. We talked it through and made our apologies years ago, but that's the thing about the internet. Nothing ever gets deleted, even if you think it has been. Knowing that, I left the offending tweet up, as a reminder to myself that this was not acceptable under any circumstances, you can't just go around wishing that upon people even if you don't mean it. Obviously with this new development that's the obvious point of attack. A vocal minority is a huge crowd is still a lot of people, that's worth remembering. Someone in my position is being talked at constantly, it never stops, it's 24/7 every minute of every day. Once you reach a certain audience size and the internet becomes away of you, you have a permanent target painted on your back and I did myself no favours over the years. Whether it be that braindead post on SA in 2007, whether it be the piss-poor way I handled someone trying to tell me that I should do what my viewers tell me to that ended up blowing up all over Reddit, whether it be this cancer remark or hey, even the admission recently that I likely have some fairly serious mental issues that will require therapy to resolve. Everything is an opportunity for people to attack you, because hey, you are only an internet person, you're not real and it feels good in some way to yell at the TV.
That's where calling people like that "trolls" falls apart though. If we follow the argument that these people are dehumanizing someone mildly e-famous and that's how they feel ok attacking them, then we should also follow the argument that merely calling these people "trolls" is also dehumanizing. They're not a concept or an enemy, they're real people and they all have their own problems. Who can say why they choose to say what they say? Bad day at work? Bullied at school? Problems at home? Depression? Drug addiction? Mental disorders? Personal tragedies? There are a million and one reasons why someone would lash out like that. I do not genuinely believe that anyone more than a handful of actual sociopaths would genuinely gloat over someone elses cancer. As much as the internet is prone to hair-trigger morality judgments, where the slightest slip up is excuse enough to unleash your most vile and horrible thoughts on the offender, the vast majority of people are actually decent human beings just trying to make their way. That's why I've never met one of these people at any of the numerous trade shows and esports events I attend. You'd think I would, based on how many there apparently are, but in reality people aren't really like that. So I'd like to say I'm sorry. Not for the tweet, I apologised for that a long time ago and you weren't affected by it anyway. I'm sorry about whatever shit is going on in your life that would make you say something like that. I hope it gets better for you. I hope you make it through it. It sucks that you are having to deal with that, you don't deserve it so I hope things improve for you. I also hope that you don't say anything online in anger that comes back to bite you later. The internet is weird and we are the first people have to deal with the idea that everything we do could potentially come back to haunt us and that there is no such thing as a delete button. In time I'm sure we'll come to understand how best to handle that, but as it stands most of us are just stumbling in the dark.
To the tiny, tiny few that genuinely wish cancer on another person, I gotta admit, I'm giggling in anticipation of rubbing it in their face once I kick the shit out of this thing. I'm many things, I'm very flawed and I want to be better. But I'm also a stubborn piece of shit and that will never change. This life is too good to give up, so I put my faith in modern medical technology and my own refusal to give an inch. I'm the sort of bastard that will beat this just to spite people and I will apologise for many things, but never that.
Don't suffer in silence. If you have issues, toilet or otherwise, see your doctor.