When, in 1945, U.S. military psychiatrists needed a term to describe a certain type in their ranks — soldiers who felt underappreciated and misunderstood, and steeped in resentment — they settled on passive-aggressive. But where are these peevish sorts to be found today? According to the amusing website Passive Aggressive Notes, they’re busy running government agencies, record stores, strip clubs, and preschools. Do you have a problem with that?
The site, run out of aggressive-aggressive Brooklyn, carries wide-ranging examples of petulant notices — our favorites being those found in the workplace. “Would you rather be doing shifts at McDonald’s?” seems to be a common threat thrown down by bitter bosses (suggesting a question: What do McDonald’s managers use as a threat?). It’s always a delight to witness full-on bluster come undone by simple misspellings (Stop! Theif?). So the next time you find yourself slandered in handwritten print, you can confront your accuser directly . . . or passive-aggressively submit the note to this site. Ah, sweet irony.
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