Monday, February 1


Welcome to the age of bombast and vitriol. Where anyone can post scathing, mean spirited vitriol on any subject without ever having to defend ones self. Imagine a pedestal in the local park with “I am right and you are inferior” inscribed in stone. Everyone is welcome to stand on the pedestal as a monument to their own ego- with their head covered in a paper bag.

Ranting and raving is what every blogger does in one way or another. I used to think the internet chat rooms were vicious- I stopped visiting them, but comments left on blogs, YouTube and news sites make them tame by comparison. The worse part is that no one is saying anything of value.

Words have enormous power. The poet Thomas Paine wrote "These are the times that try men's souls" that was the rallying cry for the American Revolution. Emile Zola wrote “J'accuse” pointing the finger of blame at the French government in the Dreyfus Affair. Both offerings changed the course of history.

I look at the impact all this verbiage with growing concern. So much of it is judgmental blather after the fact rather than critical analysis. Someone posts a video on Youtube of say, kids getting splashed by a car going through a puddle and everyone is ready to charge the person with a crime. Someone makes a unsavory remark about women, Jews, blacks or gays and everyone expresses outrage even if they have the same thoughts in private.

We no longer burn people in a public auto de fe, we incinerate their reputations instead. We no longer place a person in stocks to be ridiculed in the town square, we vilify them in the media.

In this time of instant news and armchair punditry perhaps we should all step back and reflect before putting in our two cents worth and that's exactly what it’s worth, two cents.
Remember, what goes around comes around and the golden rule- treat others as you would be treated.

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