CAROLE JOHNSTONE

British Fantasy Award Winner 2014; 3x British Fantasy Award Nominee

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Never Read the Comments

I know I shouldn’t, of course – everyone knows that, but sometimes I can’t help it.

The media is lying, the government is lying, Lufthansa is lying, the guy’s ex-girlfriend is lying, the black box is lying. He was a Christian terrorist, a Jewish terrorist, a Muslim terrorist. Or he would be called a terrorist if he’d been Muslim, but because he wasn’t he won’t be. He was a psychopath, a demon, a plant, a gay faggot. It was ISIS, it was Netanyahu, it was the US government, it was Lufthansa, it was the CERN Hadron Collider.

From the very few folk who actually seemed to care that 150 people were dead or that Lubitz had probably been mentally ill, there were expressions of horror, disbelief, and confusion: it’s like the plot of a movie! Why should we remember him at all? they screeched. Why should we even mention his name? Before carrying on doing little else. No one ever actually referred to the passengers and crew at all, other than in passing: the object not the subject. Except the one guy who said no one cared about them because they were mostly Muslim.

And, I know, never ever read the comments, I know. But it’s not good enough just to say that, is it?: that the comments are always full of nut jobs and bigots and conspiracy crack pots. In fact, to do so, is probably missing the entire point. Like an ugly, self-perpetuating, screechingly hysterical circle jerk. These are people and this is what they think. How they think. This is what they consider more important than mourning or extending sympathy. Than being grateful for what and who they have, what hasn’t happened to them. Their desperate need for this to be anything other than what it was, or worse, to make it – somehow – all about them. And it isn’t even good enough to dismiss them as trolls, as if they’re just some abhorrent breed of arsehole, which will crawl back under a bridge again soon enough once all the fuss has died down, because these are all essentially monologues; they’re not entering into conversation or argument with each other. They’re just making their very important and indisputably true points, and then fucking off. Sometimes, like today, I wish I could do the same: finish this post, get into a rocket and leave this crummy world behind.

Which is, I guess, kind of making it about me.  The best bloody reason of all to never ever read the comments.

2 comments:

  1. A wonderfully honest post. I'd say - yes, read the comments! As many as you can bear, anyway. They may make for a slanted view of 'public opinion' but we do need to know who's out there. But there's no need to leave the planet; find some spaces away from the human race and you'll remember how wonderful the world can actually be.

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  2. Thank you, Julie! And yes, I agree, people aren't so bad (although I suspect I'll never stop reading the comments either)

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