There’s a meme that is thrown about a lot by people in my part of social media. It utilises a phrase I’ve commanded often over the years. It is an almost stock response in gaming when someone’s having a moment over a particular thing they’ve done, or feature they’ve wanted being introduced. It’s the other person, pissing on your fireworks, that you simply wanna hold a finger up to and say ‘no.’
Let people enjoy stuff.
Except, more and more, this phrase is used to shut out dissent and disagreement. If you don’t let people enjoy their ‘stuff’ you are wrong. There’s a very good reason for this: the disaffected ‘fans’ who asked for Game of Thrones to be re-written, or those who re-edited Star Wars to include less women. There are people out there for whom enjoyment has become dangerously subjective. Because of them, everybody suffers, but not in ways you might immediately assume.
It appears, rather disappointingly, this intolerance is spreading.
Fear is the most destructive thing that will ever control anyone’s life. This is my opinion, based on a lot of very personal, subjective experience. It is NOT a fact. Fear means some won’t vaccinate their kids because they might develop more serious illnesses. Fear makes others believe the World is flat because they cannot cope with any concept larger than this planet’s existence. Attacking people’s race or sexual orientation based on a fear of them being different to what is clearly ‘normal’ … and the list goes on.
Fear is reading someone else’s opinion on the Internet that you know is wrong but you’ve watched someone agree with it who you’re friends with. You have the facts. Science says these things are right, so by disagreeing with such a standpoint, this person needs correcting. Except when you do, they refuse to change their opinion. How can it be that these people are so wilfully stupid? Why won’t they simply stand down and admit I’m right?
Possibly the most important piece of revelation gained from three months of counselling revolves around one intractable truth. If you do something, and someone else objects to it, that’s their problem and not yours. It does not matter how ridiculous that thing is either, if truth be told… until you cross borders of what is laid down as socially acceptable. Killing someone, like it or not, going to cause a reaction. There are limits. Law and statute dictate what is acceptable. These are the rules.
That means people are allowed to ignore science. They can wilfully dispense with facts, and increasingly do to protect what they see as their ‘rights’ as citizens. The consequences of such wilful ignorance are becoming increasingly difficult to ignore, and so we watch people pushing the bounds of decency. We watch those who feel they are entitled to their opinion demonise others, become the enemies of so many.
Except, by ignoring science, our planet may have been condemned to extinction.
So, what has all this large scale postulating got to do with the average angry person on Twitter? Well, let’s break it down: you refuse to try and reason with people whose default stance is to threaten you, metaphorically shoving you against a wall with their hand on your neck. Nobody’s prepared any more to risk the ire of a silent but deadly majority, because there’s better things to do. What, like saving the Planet?
You’re not doing anything, but sitting behind screens thinking that if you’re nice to your friends group and occasionally charitable when it’s demanded, someone else will sort all the issues. Let another person do the work, it’s not up to me. I’ll happily argue on the Internet and make money from it, but don’t ask me to give anything back, that’s not how capitalism works. It’s not how my life works.
Newsflash, snowflakes. You’re not just extremists any more, you’re everybody who thinks the world’s problems are someone else’s job to deal with. All you reasonable mid-income people who don’t have to worry about putting food on tables or paying for holidays are just as fucking entitled as the people you refuse to argue with on Social media for bragging rights in your peer groups. We see carefully engineered indignation that the right are to blame. No, they’re just part of a bigger, more insidious disease.
All of you sitting comfortably in middle-class homes confident you’re doing enough? So utterly not true. Nobody’s doing enough. EVERY SINGLE PERSON IS LEFT WANTING right now because NOBODY has all the facts. Sure, use the argument that black is white when it suits you, but unless you’re willing to accept the infinite shades of colour real life actually presents, your notion of grey needs some serious work. The next time someone disagrees with you on social media, don’t tell them they’re wrong, ASK THEM WHY.
Arguing with trolls, of course, is a waste of time. Increasingly that’s also the case with well-educated, clearly well-meaning, intelligent individuals that cannot clearly discern the difference between opinion and fact. If you don’t agree, your stance is simply negative and must be ignored. As the well-meaning, middle classes of the Internet continue to persist in their belief that you should never criticise and only praise, all of us are more soundly fucked than we’ve ever been before.
There is a world of difference between if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all and here is my well reasoned argument for disagreeing with you. If a climate denier tries to argue the lack of evidence for climate change, that’s quite simple to deal with on an intellectual level. If they refuse to believe statistics and what’s going on outside their window? Maybe you should be asking them what else they’re afraid of.
When someone objects to a company taking money in a number of ways that you have no objection to, because you have a bested interest in gaining publicity or money from said company, neither side really hold a moral high ground. Both opinions are equally valid, but really what you should both be doing is going outside and doing summat far more constructive than wanking online.
But if you’re not doing this with an audience, who are you really anyway?