Politics

Exploiting grief to engage in moral preening

“I cannot but conclude that the Bulk of your Natives, to be the most pernicious Race of little odious Vermin that Nature ever suffered to crawl upon the Surface of the Earth.”

Swift

Something really terrible happens, and because the Internet a bunch of people are sure to say one or more of the following things:

(1) It’s not really terrible at all. Your reaction makes no sense, or you’re faking it.

(2) OK it’s terrible, but it’s not as terrible as X, so why are you so upset when you don’t seem upset about X?

(3) Even though I’m a complete moron who knows nothing about this subject, I insist on opining on it because everything always has to be about what I’m thinking because otherwise some other subject than me me me might become the center of peoples’ attention, and that’s intolerable.

If you find yourself in the first two categories, engage in some self-reflection. Even if something doesn’t cause you grief, that doesn’t mean other peoples’ grief isn’t real. Telling them it isn’t, or that they shouldn’t feel that way, is incredibly obnoxious, provoking, and exacerbating of the grief people already feel about the terrible thing that omniscient you thinks isn’t really terrible, or terrible enough, or threatening to cause a crisis of grief scarcity, or whatever reason you have for being the kind of person who reacts this way to terrible tragedies. Try to become someone who doesn’t react in this way.

As for the third category, I don’t think it’s possible for me to hate anyone more than I hate Donald Trump. What an utterly worthless and loathsome human being. His idiocy, his narcissism, his belief that he has anything valuable to say about anything, are all disgusting beyond description.

Still this tweet, which seems to based on the belief that dropping tens of thousands of pounds of water on a fragile cultural monument is a good idea, is shocking even by his non-existent standards:

This man was elected president of the United States.

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