They say that when you put something on the Internet, it’s there forever. I don’t know if that’s true or not (my original Myspace picture went the way of the dodo), but I do know that the lifespan of a joke you make on social media will only be outlasted by Keith Richards or some Dr. Pepper-loving centenarian.
This is something that everyone’s favorite Canadian Cultural Ambassador to Basketball, Aubrey Drake Graham, learned firsthand this weekend. See, back in November, Drake decided to use an early season ass-whooping that his Raptors administered to the Wizards as an opportunity to troll D.C. fan and fellow rapper Wale.
First of all, such a classic Drake move to gloat after a game in November. Talk about going 0 to 100. Anyone worth the trash talk they spew knows you don’t crow about hoops until Christmas at the earliest, and justice is self-serving when you ejaculate so prematurely. So of course the Wizards swept the Raptors back to the frozen north this weekend in the NBA playoffs.
But if you think Wale laughed that initial joke off as a competitive jab amongst lyrically gifted pals, you’d be wrong. If you think Wale didn’t lie in wait like a lioness, plotting retribution, then you are underestimating the power of a social media nudge among alpha males. And what’s important is that Wale let that slight gestate for months, passing up countless opportunities to clown on Drake until the moment was right, the post was birthed, and the score was settled.
A photo posted by Wale (@wale) on Apr 26, 2015 at 6:35pm PDT
That’s because slow-playing your grudges is en vogue now. Forgive and forget? Fuck that. If someone disrespects you and your Tinder matches can find it on Google, it means they’ve opened up the doors to a covert siege on their conscience.
For instance, let’s examine the case of Marshall Henderson vs. Erin Andrews. You may or may not remember Marshall from his time on the Ole Miss basketball team, years which he spent hitting dramatic three-pointers and then antagonizing southern frat boys, opposing coaches, babies, and nuns. He was also suspended for drug use in 2013, which drew the attention of Andrews, who at the time covered college basketball for ESPN. This led to the following exchange.
And Marshall did not forget. When Andrews’ boyfriend, L.A. Kings center and party god Jarret Stoll, was arrested in Vegas last weekend with eight grams (!?!) of molly and some cocaine on him, Marshall saw the gleaming orb of vengeance floating in front of him and took a swing.
@ErinAndrews …. lol wassup with your boyfriend?!
— marshall henderson (@NativeFlash22) April 20, 2015
It should be noted that Marshall Henderson spent last season playing professional basketball in Iraq. He makes his living on the hardwood in a country that is teetering on the brink of succumbing to fucking ISIS and then he didn’t flinch when the moment he had promised two years prior came to fruition. Heroes get remembered, but tweets never die.
And if you think Marshall Henderson’s two-year incubation was impressive, how about Sacramento Kings star DeMarcus Cousins? When Cousins was attending Kentucky, he was known to be a bit of a head case. Hard to coach. Never mind that he was 18 years old. But that spawned this ignorant and borderline racist Tweet from Clay Travis, who somehow gets paid to talk about sports.
There is a 100% chance that Demarcus Cousins is arrested for something in the next five years. 100%. Write it in stone.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravisBGID) January 30, 2010
We know where this is going. Can’t you just see Boogie waking up every morning, eating fourteen bowls of Wheaties thinking, “Didn’t get arrested yesterday, come at me Clay,” and then marking an X on his calendar? But again, he kept his battle close to the vest. Most people didn’t even know who Clay Travis was, much less that he was the target of a Boogie Cousins five-year slow cooked reprisal plan.
— DeMarcus Cousins (@boogiecousins) January 30, 2015
Drop the mic, DeMarcus. You can feel his giddiness through the screen and off the page. Double exclamation points after each sentence!! After five long years of not getting arrested, it must have felt like his birthday, getting drafted into the NBA, and losing his virginity all wrapped into one.
If there’s one takeaway here it’s that instead of firing back at your online nemeses, take a step back. Let the rage silently build within you and don’t tell a soul. Because if you can hold off returning fire until everyone but you has forgotten there’s beef in the first place, you’re going to get more likes than a middle school sleepover when your pride finally breaches for air. And if you can’t turn a grudge into a public shaming, well then I simply don’t see the point of feeling anything at all.