Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Have I Got this Right?

Most people don't get that bent out of shape because someone says something they don't like.  None of us are happy to hear infuriating things, but we don't tend to do anything about it except grouse.  We don't go downtown with signs, we don't get up petitions.  Actions, on the other hand, can bring forth actions from a lot more people.  A grim death at the hands of the police gets a lot more people moving.

Yet as soon as this starts happening, the word-people try to take it over, trying to gin up rage over words.  Because people are already angry at that point, they have a fair bit of success with this, and victims get intimidated or fired. There is a subset of us who live in the land of words, and even worse, in the land of social media words, and for them life and death really do reside there.  Reputations are made and lost on the slimmest of evidence: a belt that is a touch too wide, an author that is no longer on the approved list, a phrase that is sooo 2019. Very Screwtape, really. They will eventually be eaten, but until then they still hope to make food out of others.

The job of the rest of us is to not be distracted by their sad, panicked existence.  Silence is not violence.  Silence is the glue that keeps society together in the face of minor irritations.  We should be slower to anger, reserving our force for those situations where it is truly required.


Sam L. said...

There are words I can't say? Well, you and the dog-faced pony you rode in on!

Jonathan said...

There is nothing either good or bad but social media makes it so?