I have a problem… well I have many, but at the moment I can not stop reading online comments; I get no pleasure from this but it’s like when you have a spot brewing (you know those bruised under-the-skinners) and you can’t help poking at it to see how much it hurts.
I know people can be assholes, I’m not naive, but sometimes online people are a special breed of asshole. This week all the newspapers shared the news of Ibrahim Halawa’s release and I knew when I saw lots of angry face emojis that there would be a load of racial, scare-mongering comments… there was… loads of them. I read them almost with one eye closed and then I’d come across a lovely, exasperated person trying their best to plead a case for humanity and how Irishness now came in many shapes (I’m a pear) and colours but nope they’d be shot down with desperate grammar and shouty caps.
Who are these people? Why would you be so angry that you’d sit down at a computer or phone and engage in arguments that don’t involve you or your life in any way? Are we angrier now? Or is it that everyone now has a platform? I suppose years ago the only outlet Joe Soap had for venting his opinions were on Point of View or in the comment section of newspapers and that involved buying a stamp and making a trip to the post office. Then there would be no immediate kick back from people with differing opinions so they’d have to have an angry wank or watch Jerry Springer.
My Mam has a saying for every occasion like most mothers but her favourite is ‘if you’ve nothing nice to say, say nothing at all’. Now that should be the universal web motto. Although she is constantly embroiled in battles online about Trump; You’ve never met someone who hates him more… she stays up late watching American news channels and throwing things at the TV but I think the UWM (universal web motto.. yep I’m trying to make it a thing) could be put aside for Trump bashing.
I occasionally write for The M Word and when I see the shite that Maia has slung at her time and again for some perceived violation of the mammy code, I have to sit on my hands so as not to tell them to fuck the fuck off. I once got a major backlash because I used a picture of my kids in car seats and their jackets were too bulky… people were delighted to point it out and smugly pat themselves on their perfect backs that they’d never be that reckless. Maia was great on the Late Late last night but still a lot of people made a point about being pissed off she dared to call some kids assholes… some comments teetered on novella territory. Guess what? Kids are assholes, they’re selfish, demanding, messy and ungrateful! I even wrote an entire post about it called assholery ; Nonetheless, we all love them but if some profanity helps us day to day then shout it sister! Maybe that’s what the mammy comment brigade need to do more of so they’re less uptight in threads. I had a woman complain that my article was too complainy the other day…. the irony passed her by but I’m glad she decided to leave that one negative comment amidst the nice ones just to keep me awake with self loathing that night.
I’m all for bitching behind someone’s back… that’s cathartic… I hate people who want to tell you to your face like that’s admirable… it’s not, it’s fucking awful… please wait till I’m out of earshot and then go bananas.
So, I’m going to try to steer clear of all comments and threads for awhile until I feel that all is well with the world. NO anti-vaxxers, no NRA and no pro life asswipes. I will watch some quality TV, read some gentle Stephen King and pretend all is well with the world.