I hope most if not all of you watched HBO’s venerated series, The Sopranos. If you have, you may remember the scene in his therapist’s office when Tony Soprano explodes with frustration at the “bullshit, bullshit, bullshit,” which terminology he had assigned to the small, cumulative frustrations of moving through one’s day. The rude bank teller, the blank stare of the clerk after your detailed explanation, the condescension of the kid at the Apple Store. The bullshit indeed.
This blog will work hard to be apolitical. It will be necessary at times, however, to reference current events.
Yesterday, a political extremist opened fire on a baseball practice. The two participating teams were opposing polical parties. Several people were significantly wounded and, most certainly, traumatized. Scrolling through my own Facebook feed this morning, i came across a post by an acquaintance; to be clear, this is not someone I would call a friend, but someone I had met before and had conversations with. Many of us have these people in out lives through social media. Perhaps they’re a friend of a friend. We let them in. We are privy to a great deal of information about them, and they about us. We presume, often correctly, that they must be okay.
This particular acquaintance, had written a post (not a share of someone else’s,) lamenting that a different congressman wasn’t on the pitcher’s mound yesterday. The implication, clearly, was that he wished this object of his invective to have been as critically wounded as the congressman who was shot. The post was immediately taken to task as offensive by several people. The poster was taken to task, and he responded that his post had perhaps indeed been in poor taste, but went on to make a point that in the future, better aim should be taken at better targets. He was conciliatory, though non-apologetic. He then bullishly informed his audience that if they didn’t like it, they knew what to do. So I did. And I don’t have to see that anymore.
The good trick will be what to do with the action and the reaction. I could have responded and had a rousing argument with the faceless Internet. Scrolling down, there were scads of replies. The only really nice thing about this approach is that the participants can’t interrupt each other. You just watch for the response.
I could have spent today seething. It was an appalling post.
I could have privately messaged him. See the first choice.
In the end, I’m hard pressed to think that any of the above choices are viable. Our voices and arguments become so many pennies in the well. If one perceives nihilism as clarity through reduction, the only possible course of action was to delete him. I visualize him standing there becoming more and more transparent until he’s soundlessly gone. Make no mistake, his post made me furious enough to sit down after a long day and write this. But….clarity……through reduction. Reduce my anger, and focus on how much clearer everything is when one ceases to care about anyone else’s opinions. Acknowledge the egregious, then let it go.