Theory of

Taunts, Insults or Attacks

Codewords Inside Aggressive "Tricks"

"Wings" to Fly
Back to Yourself


Six Choices

Essays | Art

Street Smarts

Presskit | Publicity



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Kids' Pages


The Way Out





Patient refers to it as stargate-six-seven

A Patroniser.3






Don't panic!

—Not so!


—Regenerate it! I don't care.




Challenging Authority — Direct threat differs from "Appeal to the Big Stick" because it is not an argument - Try not to forget, some people are raging bulls posing as refrigerators - Interactions with them are like an endless bait-and-switch.





[road rage, popping the cork] - Out on the open highway, in an automobile near you, are (1.) psychotic drivers, dangerous and high on drugs, (2.) aggressive drivers, overflowing with anger and rage, and (3.) neurotic drivers, wrapped in fear and indecision - The angry ones are the safest! - It's funny, isn't it? - Not many people see aggression as a good thing.

The Age of Detachment, ages 16-19




Exactly what someone said [or did]
... usually not very original.

The thoughts of a "bad child"
... to free your mind again.




"There is something psychologically wrong with you, my friend, but I'm sure I'm not the first person to tell you that." :: WildCard-21


—Growing pains ... The only thing that cures mental illness is air and liberty ... Dad always said you should just go through things ... It's just to understand what's going on ... People who can't do that are just out on the streets ... Just what is wrong with me, Adolf?

"Aren't you Walt Disney?"

—Not so!

—Because you can't see them, you're at their mercy.

"The president seems to be running just to hang on to power. I think he will do anything in his power to try and get reelected." (–Mitt Romney, "CBS This Morning," August 15, 2012)

—Not so!

—We have a small group of intelligent people ... I'll be okay in just a minute ... Did they ask you what time that was? ... Look, I'll be long gone ... small businesses, small states ... East San Jose ... the working class mom ... a beautiful daughter, a child ... a Black history ... a loving mother ... a struggling artist ... a small voice ... a five-speed bike ... I don't think you've spent a lot of time with soldiers ... You're not based in California ... Wearing pajamas for two or three weeks ... Mitt Romney.

"Oh, and Jessica? You're a total freak – Hide your ugly and dumb!"

Don't panic!

—Your pain is your fortune when you understand it, because you can see it's in everyone.

["Jessica says hello."] "You talked to Jessica?"

Don't panic!

—It's just a pleasure ... You can start a torture chamber.

"To me, Taxi1010 represents an incoherent perversion of the standard elements found in most digital text and websites. And, in many ways, it illustrates (and exaggerates) the (irrational) fears that many educators have about the harmful effects of new digital literacies on student composition." [Link from Amy's Technology and Rhetoric Blog, September 19, 2011]

—Regenerate it! I don't care.

—It hasn't helped you out in any way I can see.

"I don't know jack shit about what you do."


—I'm beginning to hate the boss ... He's not working hard enough! ... Maybe I should start a health clinic ... a milk farm for dogs ... I've had it with the boss! ... The boss is a liar and doesn't do anything!

"Something's wrong?"

—Not so!

—Not by a long shot.


Don't panic!

You bet! ... Something magnificent ... Twice a week now ... Really rudimentary ... Where else?


Don't panic!

—I figured out it's easier to write than it is to read.

"Can't you read?"

Don't panic!

—What's wrong with this picture?

"Yeah, that sign is for people who can read."

Don't panic!

—You're overlooking something ... There's nothing wrong with meYou're an asshole.

"It is all random and unpredictable." [Exaggerating or distorting your claims, then attacking the distortion]

—Not so!

—And don't add water ... This isn't England.

"In order to understand what another person is saying, you must assume that it is true and try to imagine what it could be true of." (–George Miller; 1980)


—What difference does it make? Everyone can swim under water.

"The only meaning an utterance has in the real world is the meaning the listener understands it to have." (–Suzette Haden Elgin)

—Not so!

Sumimasen! ... We're not that fancy ... It may be so cheesy, we don't even want it.

"So now you can get to work on your core passion."


—It's like a pose.

"What have you done to support new product development in the past six months?"


—You guys missed everything.

"You used it's, the contraction of the two words, it is, instead of its, the possessive form of the pronoun it."

—Regenerate it! I don't care.

—Big mistake.

"Now I'm going to have to kill the doorman." [Alluding to some long-forgotten pissing contest]

—Regenerate it! I don't care.

— They're practiced in the art of deception.

"I couldn't read him."


—As if it even matters.

"Are you anti-Semitic?"

—Not so!

—Stoned and toasted.

"Do you read the Bible?"


—Is it against the law?

"Read this."

Don't panic!

—Just the best parts.

"Hi! How are you? I send you this file in order to have your advice. See you later. Thanks." [An e-mail with an unknown attachment]

—Regenerate it! I don't care.

—I'm so busy, I can't read this until the fall, ... and can you please send this in a format I can read?

"Two? Is that all you can take?"

—Not so!

—By any means.

"Take your time!" [Sarcastically]

—Regenerate it! I don't care.

—Double check!

"Take care! Keep your head up." [From a stranger who just asked you for money]

Don't panic!

—That's a pretty good start.

"What do you mean? That's one block! You don't need a taxi – You can walk right over there! What the hell is wrong with you?"


—It doesn't cost that much.

"Yell at me, Chris!"

—Regenerate it! I don't care.

—Better than nothing.

"You're kissing the right asses, that's for sure."

—Not so!

—It's just a funny thing.

"I believe I'll understand everything at the moment I die."

—Regenerate it! I don't care.

—That would really be tragic, wouldn't it?

"You shouldn't have said that – We'd have thought you were clever."

—Not so!

—You can try that when you go home.

"I've got a butler." [Disparagingly]

—Not so!

—Different people do different things.

"Where did your ancestors come from?"


—It's just more parents.


—Regenerate it! I don't care.

—Bring that up at the next meeting!

[Belch symphony]

Don't panic!

—Now, here's this!

[Belch chorus]

—Regenerate it! I don't care.

—The sound of the fisherman.

[Belch finale]

Don't panic!

—Years of experience.

"Oh, he's using one of his famous comebacks."

—Regenerate it! I don't care.

—If Jesus could do it, you can, too.

"This movie is just one cinematographic cliché after another."

—Regenerate it! I don't care.

—Now you can endure your own suffering.

"I don't want you parking in front of my house – Go park someplace else."

Don't panic!

—Lions, lions, lions, lions, lions ... Lions on stairs ... Millionaires.

"These two spots belong to us."

—Not so!

—It's just the law.

"This is not a parking lot!"

—Regenerate it! I don't care.

—Why aren't YOU king of the jungle?

[A recording from a parking lot ticket machine blasting away in your ear]


—Aw, blow it out your ass!

"Does the gay marriage issue hurt your chances of advancing in politics?"


—"Some of the most miserable human beings I have ever met in my life are in politics." (–San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom on CNN, December 20, 2004)

"Don't be evil."


—Popping out an eyeball, stepping on it.

"What's eating you?"


—Nature's Babylonian behavior.

"You're not eating anything?"

—Not so!

—It's a good place to stay healthy.

"Your responses to insults make no sense at all. Stick to driving a cab."

—Not so!

—Why try to get rich when you're already rich?























28-MAY-1999. The two-word "wings" for flying back to yourself are the important thing, not the follow-up. The "wings" are purposefully brief, ambiguous, poetic, and powerful. As David Van Ness says, "This is the Roach Motel for insults — 'They check in, and they don't check out.' — It's a labyrinth — It spins them around in three dimensions and leaves them right where they were. —This is no fun! So they decide to go on down the road and check out the candy canes."

The follow-up gets very specific and serves as an anchor for someone who is defending themselves. For seventeen people the follow-up may be wrong, but for the eighteenth person it may be right. That's because there are so many permutations of "particular person," "particular tone of voice," "particular situation," and "particular aim." It's best to stay open, and to use the follow-up as a reinforcing idea rather than as an absolute thing to say. It's an attitude. The whole thing is to get rid of the friction.


Proscriptive Sarcasm

A sarcastic command often takes the form
of ordering a person to do what they're already doing,
adroitly changing the frame of reference.

For instance,
if you're cautiously watching out for traffic
at a busy intersection,
they might cry out from another car,
"Take your time!"

It's fun to scream back,

"—Regenerate it! I don't care."


(1.) Descriptive


(2.) Proscriptive


(3.) Spin Sarcasm


(4.) Transcendental









As follows

CODE WORDS: advancing, ancestors, anti-Semitic, asses, [belch], bless, block, brain's, butler, cliché, comebacks, core, development, doorman, eating, evil, exaggerates, form, harmful, jack shit, Jessica, lecherous, moment, order, parking, perversion, psychologically, random, read, [recording], reelected, responses, sanctimonious, something's, spots, stick, take, utterance, Walt, we'd, yell


Piscis Austrinus
"S fish"

Don't panic!