Beware!  Low flying monkeys! 

It’s a sad indictment of the modern world but if you google “flying monkeys” the first hit is not actually “The Wizard of oz” but a psychological term derived from it. These flying monkeys go out and do shitty thinks at the behest of someone else. It’s not always a case of directly ordering someone to do something and it’s not always an active or even conscious decision, it is often a case of a third party (the monkey)  reacting to a set of circumstances of someone else and wading in on their behalf either by request or in response to their reaction. 

Flying monkeys are quite often very unhinged people, some are just looking for any excuse to pick a fight and have a predilection for causing trouble and harm, while others draw parallels with their own issues and try and fix them through the person they claim to be championing. Then there are those whom have boundary issues with the person who they think need to be protected and go and fight their battles for them, whether they want them to or not. Some have such low self esteem that they will do anything to be accepted by those they think are their friends.  There are also reciprocal flying monkeys who will take turns in being the one doing the dirty work and the one keeping their hands clean.

My own experience with this phenomena has been deeply unpleasant, from realising your private Facebook page has been spied on and that screen shots have been taken of comment threads and emailed to people who had no business reading them. The online verbal abuse I recieved bore all the hallmarks of being a flying monkey with its, demented, crusading tone and scant regard for the reality of past events and circumstances. When some spineless coward seeks to attack you from the safety of an annonomised account routed through the Netherlands, it’s impossible to redress the catalogue of errors and wrong assumptions that have sent them flying your way. The truth is that it by the time a monkey comes hurtling your way, they are beyond help, they are too far gone to be told they that they have got the wrong end of the stick, partly through conscious or unconscious indoctrination and partly because you are really nothing more than some proxy villain on which they can work through their own issues.

I guess this phenomena has always be here in some form or other, shakespear’s Julius Caesar is a tale of flying monkies as is the sad death of the turbulent priest Beckett at the hands of vengeful swordsman. As long as there are people willing to overplay their perceived victimhood in any given situation, there will be people ready to stir a bit of shit for their own amusement. If there is a moral to be learned from this I guess that it’s to think long and hard before deluding yourself to the reality in any given situation and think harder still before sharing that delusion with those around you because it only takes a moment to lash out and say something rash within the  earshot of a poorly chosen friend but the consequences of their subsequent reaction could last a lifetime.


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