What’s with all the haters lately?

August 6, 2010 at 9:33 pm (The Serious Stuff)

  Let me preface this by saying I know a great number of people are under stress lately, if only because of the economy.  I know that for the first time in many years, politics are being more closely watched on every level; even the local dog catcher is being scrutinized.

But why spread the hate?  When did everything become so offensive, or so black and white?  When did people lose their internal filter?

Several things made me ask this – on the black and white front – 7 year old in Washington threatened with a $500 fine for having a lemonaide stand without having first gotten a $120 temporary restaurant permit.  A lemonaide stand.  I stopped at a lemonaide stand a few weeks back, and the kids were thrilled.  Luckily, a higher up city employee apologized to the kid, but still higher up than him are people saying  – these kids must have a permit.  I’m sorry, but what’s next, legislating the number of craps we can take in a week?  Wow folks, lighten up – bet you had lemonaide stands too as a kid.

On the “I’m unhappy with the way things are going so I’m lashing out at everyone” front- Damn near every forum I go to in the past month has at least one person doing this.  People normally decent people in public, they get on forums and bash the hell out of everyone, including their close neighbors and even friends.  Hey, we get that you’re stressed and life really is hard right now, but do you really think calling people communists and liberals and even the big “C” word is condusive to your business? To your neighborly relations? Just because you use a screen name – on local forums, we figure out who each other is pretty darn fast.  Now usually, I can let this kind of thing slide right off of me, but this last week, I admit to coming unglued on someone on a local forum and telling him to never speak to me again, on the boards or in public.  Was his insult that bad? No, not really.  was it the final straw in a pile of straws including mysoginy, bravado and outright lies? Sure was. There’s a certain level of crap you can take before you just have to disassociate yourself from people.  I have my own stresses, and help my friends with theirs when I can.  But I cannot carry the burden for someone who is just needing to kick the proverbial dog.

On the “I’m offended so everyone else like me must be too” front- there’s a colleague of mine that writes for the same news and entertainment source I do. Her topic? Most people would consider it a fantasy one, a rather popular meme (No, she’s not the “Twilight” writer) and she’s an excellent writer, and her work is fiunny.  Sometimes, it is real news – like supporting a local event with this theme, or reporting on it.  Well, she gets a lot of hate comments on her column, of the “this isn’t news”, “these aren’t real”, you’re stupid” – you get the vein.  (Heck, you want to get technical, most of what I write is not “news” either, except when I report on upcoming events or  the having gone to the event reports)  So she comments on this issue on the news site’s writer’s forum.  Only to get another writer to talk about how disappointed and outraged “real” journalists who write for the site are about articles like here, outraged with the site for allowing it, blah, blah, blah, ad nauseum – spew, spew, spew, hate, hate, hate.

Apparently this person hasn’t read a print newspaper in some time – because a great deal of the same stuff on the site in is the print media too.  But wow.  Several people have suggested that the “outraged” person should flounce now.  I have to say I support them.  Having been a “real” journalist, I like my colleague’s work and am not offended or outraged at all.

Then I have a friend who is getting a foriegn exchange student. My friend lives in the south, the exchange student – from overseas.  My friend was asked if it was really OK for her to have an exchange student, because – and I had to go grab the qoute here, because I’m astounded that anyone would actually say this –

 “if they are supposed to be learning about the US, they’ll get a bad impression from living in the South. Are you going to make sure she knows the rest of the country is embarrassed by the South?”

What?  I cannot believe that someone was so callous and unthinking they just let this flow out of their mouths.  Yet there it is – said to my friend, who is a mild woman with a steel spine, and she was hurt, upset and shamed by this. I’m also not embarrassed by the South – they just have a different way of doing things.  But then, I’m also not a person who holds an area or country’s history against the current residents.

Whatever happened to thinking before you speak or type?  Are we letting daily frustrations get to us so much that they spill into everything?  Why?

I’ll admt there are days when I’d love to stay home, because I’m in a “Hate the world, FML” mood.  And when I’m not working, sometimes I do stay home.  But otherwise, I still have to get up, dress, move and do – because the job is still there and still must be done.  And I do my absolue best to not let my craptastic mood affect my work.  It’s really not that hard to do, and sometimes, going out in the world makes the day better.

Don’t people think that bit of kindness, some human decency, even a smile might go a long way?  Or have we lost these things altogether, along with jobs, homes, and for some, even hope?

I worry more about the world not for it’s financial woes, but for the state of humankind, and how they treat each other.

I have no solution except to try to smile at people more, to try to keep my anger focused by cleaning or chopping wood or something rather than taking it out on people, and my filter is firmly in place.

So if I smile at you, I DO have an ulterior motive – to lighten things up a bit.

Now, everyone outside and run through the sprinklers and scream laughter at it like you did when you were little.  You need it.

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