There's a lot going on today. Needs some time to settle out. Shorter: we're winning.
I almost forgot that if it's Morford it must be Wednesday. Here young Mark goes on about the Dark Side of the interwebs.
Ah, the Internet. It’s an equal opportunity debaser.Yes, please sign a name or be anonymously ignored.
Hate and meanness, you could say, have reached epidemic levels, seem to have poisoned the national dialogue in ways we’ve never seen before. Witness Congress, the modern GOP and its own pet hate group, the Tea Party, contaminating the US government with an open loathing for the black president so virulent and barefaced, they’re willing to shut down the government, default our national debt, and destroy lives of their own constituents to prove it. Now that’s commitment.
It wasn’t always like this. Sure, we’ve always detested various groups for no valid reason; our prejudices and intolerance for race, gender and nationality are legendary. But America used to be all about broad areas of hate, wide swaths of intolerance: your tribe, your silly god, your heritage, your idiotic national sport. The French! Blacks! Chinese and Jews and the Irish! Gays, New Yorkers, Russians! Feminists who hate love and God and men! My team of violent helmeted thugs is better than your team of violent helmeted thugs, and I’ll shoot you dead and riot in the streets to prove it! See? Easy.
And then there’s anonymous commenting. That one gets my vote – and I’m far from alone – for Worst Invention of the Millennia; few things have done more to destroy healthy, intellectual dialogue than allowing anyone to say whatever they want about any topic, news story or piece of journalism without recourse, without any real knowledge of the subject, without putting their real name, face, or email address to their sneer. The consensus is universal: Anonymous commenting encourages the very worst, lowest aspects of the human animal.
But I have to say, there is a key distinction to be made between pointed satire/cultural criticism, and straight-up meanness for its own sake, just to get attention, just to hear itself scream and draw more bloody hate into the fray. Not surprisingly, this distinction is completely lost on those who think things like higher education, science and books are for elitist jerks.Harrumph. At least us elitist jerks are smarter than them ignoramus jerks.
I'm going dark 'til tomorrow unless something breaks that's wonderful enough I need to tell you about. See yas.