In Which the Prof Wishes He Could Pull the Car Over

Every time I look at my Facebook feed, I see links on both sides of every damned issue about someone crushing or destroying someone else. There are mobs and countermobs, backlashes for everyone.

Once folks on any side decide that people who disagree with them must fall into line or be crushed (and “have it coming”), it is foolish not to expect the other side to take the same approach.

“But… but we’re GOOD!” Guess what? The other side thinks they’re good, too.

That’s the wonderful thing about deciding you’re a crusader for Justice; you get the pleasure of cruelty to the opponents (who are evil by definition) AND a frisson of self-satisfaction (You’re one of the Good Guys, right? You’re slaying dragons! That makes you a HERO!). Crush them. Destroy them. There’s always a Them somewhere. But don’t be startled when Them starts Their crusade as well.

Once either side starts chopping heads (metaphorically speaking), everyone with a neck is in trouble. And no, who started it isn’t any more useful than it was when you were five. The other side will say it started at some other point, anyway. Then it’s just something else to argue about, another bone of contention. Until we accept that the world and the people in it aren’t ever going to be what we wish for, this crap will happen. That last idea, by the way, is what we used to call tolerance. Remember that? The ability to work despite a certain level of imperfection? Nope, I didn’t think so. After all, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” But guess what? There will never be justice this side of the grave — just approximations, some closer than others. And until we recognize that? We’re back to “Crush, Kill, Destroy”, babies!

So happy headchopping, everyone. Give me a holler when we decide that bothering each other isn’t worth the trouble.


About profmondo

Dad, husband, mostly free individual, medievalist, writer, and drummer. "Gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche."
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