It wouldn’t be a stretch to describe me, in my weaker moments, as having a passive aggressive temperament. It’s a maligned trait; people would much rather you be aggressive aggressive. That way you get everything out in the open. People may get maimed or killed, but at least everyone knows where they stand. (Or not, if there’s been maiming and killing.)
Aggressive aggression led to two world wars during the twentieth century, and countless other territorial and religious conflicts throughout the ages. One wonders how the world might be different if Hitler had merely stood at the border of the Sudatenland, glowering across Western Europe and wearing a ‘Fine, keep your lebensraum’ T-shirt.
However, there are times when I can see the unhealthy and unattractive side of passive aggression. One manifestation of it in particular makes me pity and despise the passive aggressor. You may have encountered it yourself. It’s when someone in your workplace or sharehouse puts up one of those trite, sarcastic and judgmental notices concerning the kitchen fairy (more specifically, the non-employment thereof on the premises).
I’ve seen numerous examples of the kitchen fairy notice, most recently a version in the form of a job advertisement. I can only presume that a simple ‘Please clean your dishes’ notice would fail to a) achieve the desired outcome, b) fill the author with the requisite degree of self-righteousness or c) deliver quite the same Martin-Luther-nailing-his-95-Theses-to-the-Wittenburg-church-door feeling.