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Cyber ninja fu! 

Would you rather know how to take a punch or a joke? At Arroyo Grande martial arts gym The Pit, you can learn how to take both!

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Owners of The Pit, John and Heather Hackleman, recently got beat-up online after posting a meme to The Pit's Facebook page with a photo of the couple at a women's self-defense seminar, under which they wrote the following:

"Me: I wanna choke your F'ing neck

Her: Try it bitch, I will end you

Me: Ok, wanna make-out

Her: No"

Umm. What?

Well, I don't understand it, but apparently Facebook user Whitney Fugate thought she did and didn't like it at all! Offended and on the internet, she responded as any good troll worth their salt would, calling out The Pit and its owners for promoting domestic violence (which, is that what they were doing?). Then, people with nothing better to do—yep, more trolls—jumped on the anti-Pit bandwagon, with some weaponizing Yelp to get even over being offended. They, including some lady from Tennessee (really?), gave the business its first bad reviews, even though they'd never stepped foot in the gym.

I bet The Pit offers multiple assailant training, but even the Hacklemans weren't prepared for this onslaught of righteous cyber indignation! Once the internet train of outrage gets going, it's hard to stop. Of course, instead of backing down, the fighting Hacklemans stepped further into the offended internet asylum!

"Everyone has different ways of joking," Heather responded to Fugate. "Sorry you don't like it."

Ooh. Sounds like a snide "sorry not sorry" apology, but John went further.

"I'm sorry, it sounds like you were a victim of some type of domestic violence, ... I guarantee you I've been beaten more than you, and it's not offending me."

Really? That's your argument? Good lord. I feel like taking back everything I've already said. And the meme you posted didn't offend you? Clap. Clap. Clap.

"I'm sorry I offended you, I hope you can find some help over this," John continued, because it's the internet and he Just. Couldn't. Stop. Keep digging, John. The internet hole goes deep.

The whole affair also brings up the power of the internet and its ability to publicly shame. Or its ability to make people sound like a bunch of kids on the playground shouting prepubescent taunts at each other.

"For someone that claims to be 'the voice,' for those who 'may have been offended,' you sure were quick to Cyber Bully," Heather wrote in another post.

Dammit guys! It's hard to be on your side when you jump into the fray.

Shockingly, The Pit owners convinced Yelp to take down the negative reviews, removed Fugate's comments from their Facebook page, and blocked her, which is a super adult thing to do. Then, they just kept going and going.

"For us this was a JOKE!!! Mob mentality at its finest," Heather wrote.

I guess it's a just-keep-punching-back kind of thing. Hurt egos and the internet don't mix well.

But hey, man! The Pit is where Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell—the former UFC Light-Heavyweight Champion—trained! It's the sort of dojo that posts 6-minute YouTube videos admonishing parents for teaching their children to never throw the first punch, because they need to throw the first punch!

"Is it OK to teach your child to strike first? Yeah, preemptively, yes, it is," John said in the video. "Will they get suspended? Maybe they will. Will they get expelled from school? Terrible! They might be. Then you go talk to the principal, but you can't talk to the principal if your kid's dead."

Again. Really!? Sweep the leg, Johnny! Cobra Kai for life!

Look, Fugate has every right to be offended, but does it always need to end with the volume up on the crazy dial? Then for the Hacklemans to respond with vitriol after removing the perceived negative comments so they can shout into their own echo chamber is like a couple of teenage cliques squaring off at recess.

And speaking of arrested development, is Andy Caldwell, Republican candidate for Salud Carbajal's 24th Congressional District seat, kidding? In an interview with The Tribune, Caldwell's lack of nuance and dogmatic thinking were on full display.

He said we needed to start offshore drilling because, "We have the second most prolific oil seeps in the world off of the Central Coast. Drilling relieves the pressure from those natural gas seeps."

Yeah! We need to drill offshore to prevent oil from polluting our environment, because there are never oil spills or accidents that can do real damage, right? Dumb.

"I believe the only thing that climate does is change," Caldwell told The Trib. "I'm not going to believe that man is causing or accelerating climate change until somebody explains the Ice Age to me."

Well, you can Google it, Andy! The information is out there, ready for you to consume! And while you're at it, Andy, you can also Google "climate change." Apparently you need a refresher.

Science? He don't need no stinking science!

Caldwell, taking a page right out of the current Trump visiting California Playbook, also claims that Democratic leadership has made urban areas into "third world hellholes."

Dude, you sound just like the right wing talk radio pundit you are. Δ

The Shredder punches up. Send ideas and comments to shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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