Make no judgements where you have no compassion. - Anne McCaffrey
Recently I gave in to a childish impulse while on Facebook and just vented my spleen all over somebody. I’d like to say that I knew how stupid I looked almost immediately, but in truth, it took almost 24 hours before I realized that just going off on somebody, and insulting them just because it feels good really isn’t how I should be spending my free time.
The truly ironic thing is that I had complained just a couple of days before about someone doing similar, so to speak, to me on Facebook.
Ah, the Internet, where not only are we all attractive, compassionate and witty, but eloquent as well!
Most of the time when I am “talking” to someone on Facebook, I try to pretend that we are face-to-face, and even my most caustic remarks are not out of line with what I might say to someone in person.
But every so often, well . . . once in a very great while I fall into the “Oh, yeah? Well, you’re a stupid-head, too!” sort of crap which is one of the more charming aspects of Internet intercourse (I mean conversation - get your mind out of the gutter) which one sees all about us, whether it be on listservs, Facebook, or the cretins who post racist or sexist drivel on sites using names like “Loyal American,” Eternally Free” or “Duck Dynasty Fan23.” Gutsy enough to write things which can only make you hope they are sterile, but not quite brave enough to use their real names.
I gleefully joined their ranks for a mindless few minutes one day this past week, typing away so furiously it is a wonder that I didn’t have to buy a new keyboard the next day. And for what? So I could prove that I could be just as much an ignorant lout as anyone else? That given the chance to become a buffoon for a few minutes, anyone can slip give into temptation?
Three cheers for me then.
If you are reading this right now and saying to yourself, “Maybe you, Drake, maybe you. I control myself better than that. I live on a higher plane of existence . . . “ - well, whatever you say, Macrobiotic Reader, whatever you say.
I, however, can easily move from comedian to thinker to buffoon at the drop of a hat. As Walt Whitman once observed, “I contain multitudes . . .”
Or, as the demon told Christ, “Call me Legion.”
At any rate, looking over what I had written didn’t exactly fill me with a sense of pride. I could have deleted what I wrote, but I chose not to, because I just don’t believe in that sort of thing. I believe that life is a Work in Progress, and if we delete too much of ourselves, simply because we said or wrote something stupid in public, we are being dishonest about who are are, or who we have been.
I just console myself with the notion that we are the sum of our parts, and that if I am more careful in the future, and don’t surrender to the urge to be childish, folks might remember my writing for a little more than my idiotic “You’re a stupid-head!” prattle.
I’d like to say that I’ll never do it again, but I am only human, alas, and will probably stray from the path of common sense at some point in the future. I just hope somebody points out to me - the next time I travel down that road - that being a putz really is pretty dumb.
Quote of the Day
When one says that a writer is fashionable one practically always means that he is admired by people under thirty. - George Orwell