Well with others, there's a comic book-esque personality transformation-- a once kind and noble man or woman becoming intoxicated by the power their newfound "power" (physical attraction) has on those they seek to attract. They seek to "punish" or get revenge on those whom they believe have wronged them in the past... or maybe not those people exactly but people they perceive to be "the same type" by proxy end up feeling the brunt of their pent up anger and angst.
So the once kindly humorous homely gent who used to get teased in school-- rather than treating the ladies with respect because he felt that was the only card he had to play, now has a whole deck of tricks and he aims to use each and every one of them to humiliate, put-down, and/or berate all those he views as having been the prom queens, cheerleaders, and other girls who in the past, didn't give him a second glance or acknowledge his existence.
But perception creates reality, and false perceptions can turn into truth by way of self-fulfilling prophecies. The once homely gent who has cleaned himself up... it used to be he couldn't get dates because he was unattractive to those he sought to attract... now he'll have trouble getting dates because he's an asshole to all the women he does date... He's cashing in all the bad karma he's collected over his life and dishing it out to people who had nothing to do with it...
Or as Jay McInerney once described it in his Story of a Life, it's a "chain of pain."
It's not right, of course, but it is inherently human... We get hurt and the first reaction is to lash out and hurt those who hurt us. When they're unavailable the urge is sometimes there to hurt others whom we feel are representative of those who did hurt us... hurt them and by proxy you hurt those who hurt you. It's quite flawed logic, but when one is hurt and/or angry, sound logic seldom gets paid attention to. And thus we end up with the "chain of pain."
What makes it such a huge mess, is that many of those who are caught in this chain don't even realize it. And the trouble is, it's really hard to break the chain. You can't be blunt after all, I mean telling an asshole that he's being an asshole will only piss off said asshole that much more and only further perpetuate the chain of pain... You might or might not end up being the next link in the chain but someone else certainly will be-- even if you aren't...
So later on, after reading about body image and how a change in body and thus body image can adversely affect some people I was reading on the late Dennis Wilson (the Beach Boy, the only one who actually was an honest-to-God surfer). And in the article I was reading on him there was a quote and it made me think to myself, maybe that's how to break the chain:
I give everything I have away. What I am wearing and what’s in that suitcase is it. I don’t even have a car. I have a 1934 Dodge pick-up truck which someone gave me. I could have anything I want. I just have to go out and get it. If it’s worth having, it’s worth giving. The smile you send out will return to you!It's a chain of love-- it's not about giving back to the world what you get out of it... Because quite honestly the world has heaped some serious piles of shit on some people and you don't really want that spread around, now do you? It's about giving back to the world BETTER than what the rest of the world has given you. If the world has been good to you, give EVEN BETTER back to the world.
I won't deny that there are some folks out there who probably do legitimately deserve the shit that gets piled on them. And on the occasions when I come into contact with such people there is that part of me that would love nothing more than to give such people just what they have coming to them... But if I give them that, it just means it's going to go right back into the chain of pain... and while dishing said shit out might not put me in the chain, I would certainly be contributing to it. And in the end, you have to ask yourself, is it really worth it?
*My apologies to both Lauren and Barbara as I've taken this discussion from their blogs in a very different direction... My mind just started going in a different direction and this is where I ended up.