Beware of People Who Say They Want to “Help” You to Not be Offensive

The scourge of passive-aggression

Mather Schneider
4 min readSep 6, 2021


Photo by Mrg Simon on Unsplash

Recently on Facebook one of my friends posted a silly thing about how arrogant teenagers are. Why are modern teenagers so arrogant and entitled? Most people had fun with it. Teenagers have always been that way, etc. One person said, “Probably because they didn’t get sent up chimneys when they were little.” Meaning as chimney sweeps and the horrible conditions many children worked under in the past. It was obviously a joke and everybody in the comment thread knew that.

Except for one guy. There’s always one guy. This one guy, a professional “poet” and world-saver, got offended. But was he offended at the joke? No, he didn’t even understand the reference.

He got offended because he thought it was about burning Jews in the Holocaust.

Naturally, good samaritan that I am, I explained it to him. Did he thank me? Did he back off? Hell no. As is often the case when “intellectuals” and “poets” misunderstand something, he couldn’t just admit he made an error and move on. He had to double down. He didn’t like the tone of my explanation. Didn’t I realize he was a genius? Of course, he understood the reference! He was only pointing out that many Jewish people would be offended at the image of a chimney, just as black people are offended at the term “boat load.” He was only trying to be “helpful.” He was only trying to help the commenter be a better person.

What a nice guy. Nice guys always label strangers on the internet racist, anti-semitic Nazis based on a knee-jerk reaction after they misunderstand a comment in a jovial thread. What could be more helpful than that?

Can’t you feel the world getting better?

Predictably, he immediately started playing the victim, because I also was obviously a hater of the Jewish people, holocaust denier and general evil monster. My name is Schneider, after all. In fact, everybody in that whole thread were probably MAGA people, that was clear because he was the only one with sense enough to…



Mather Schneider

Small press burnout. Stories and poetry the best I can. Become a member and help me out: