See, the thing about the Golden Rule is that it almost encourages you to think of everyone else as being more or less just odd-looking versions of you. Of course, they're not, but who really believes that, deep down? So you do unto them as you would have them do unto you, which is why my wife gives me pants for my birthday, while I take her to a hotel with a huge whirlpool tub on hers. She thinks I should be thrilled to have more pants, because, hey, free pants. I think she should be thrilled to spend an evening in a bath with me because--- and I'm just going to dispense with the false modesty here for a moment---what woman wouldn't? Don't go yet, I have a point.
Anyway, sometimes we do the wrong thing without any bad intentions. I posted a person's real name publicly recently without a second thought (it's gone down the memory hole now, don't bother.) I've been going by my real name for years now, ever since I realized that 99% of the people on the internet thought "Gwinnydapooh" was a girl. And thought they had a shot with her.
It hasn't been a big deal for me except that guys on the internet stopped agreeing with me so much. In fact, there have been some downright liberating moments, like the time a neo-Nazi called "Micetrap" posted my named and address on his website. Having posted them myself on my site, I was entitled to yawn in a dismissive fashion. But a lot of folks on the internet couldn't write what they do if their friends, families or even enemies knew who they were.
So sometimes, you're brilliant. Sometimes, you're not. And sometimes, you're lunching on the veranda when your cell phone rings from a completely unfamiliar area code, and a deep, somewhat unsettling voice intones:
". . . not smart enough for *&%$@ing Callwa- . . . YOU'RE PIERCING THE VEIL, DON."
R.I.P. Pat Rogers...
10 minutes ago