02 July 2009

Freedom of speech

I've been fighting the misanthropy lately. Honest. In Vegas, I was sitting next to an older Japanese man at a slot machine, and I don't like to be talked to when I'm gambling. I don't gamble to socialize. But he commented on a bonus I was in, and he was funny, and for the next half an hour we had a lovely conversation about Vegas and money and 108 degree weather. So I decided I would try to be more open in my heart, and not assume all people were morons. It's been a nice month, really.

But then I go online. In our local paper, my neighbors write comments of such nastiness, hiding behind usernames and bravely, aggressively yelling at one another, that I can barely stand it. Now, I live with a contrary man, so opposing opinions do not really phase me. But these people write things so full of vitriol and hatred and racism that it makes me want to cry. And I remember again why I shut everyone I didn't know already out in the first place.

So I have to stop reading the comments. And I wish the Forum would not allow comments on some stories. But I do know people have a right to free speech, and I'm a proponent of it. I just don't want to read that kind of awfulness. It makes my heart sad to see that much ignorance, that much willingness to be cruel, in words anyway.

I gotta go find me a slot machine.

3 comments:

The Arffs said...

How is it going assuming not all people are morons? haha....you have to wonder sometimes. I don't really have a comment on your post but I wanted to let you know what a beautiful photographic eye you have! I just love the pic on your blog title.

Mink*e said...

OMG, I know exactly what you mean. Our Strib has stopped allowing comments on any article that might invite the racist, nasty dredge of humanity from spreading their hateful slime, and I'm glad. At least here, I know they're pretty much from the burbs and not my actual neighbors. It must suck to know some of these commenters are your actual neighbors. It's been interesting to find out how many wealthy suburbanites just hate our city and everyone in it (the term "Murderapolis" is used frequently, though crime hasn't been lower in years and crime is going way up in many of the burbs). "Leave Murderapolis to the welfare queens and the liberals" is the kind of comment I'm talking about. They pretty much know not to say "blacks" or something worse, because it'd get deleted. Makes me sick. I must say, all this is a pretty good arguments for getting past Minnesota Nice and having some real conversation about real isues with people. An awful lot can happen when we have to look one another in the eye. As a teacher, I'm sure you already know all about that, though. (Totally unrelated: would you e-mail your sis's cell #-or Brad's - to minkesundsethATgmail.com ? I can't get ahold of her, and she's at Kathy's. )

Tenessa said...

GO BACK TO RUSSIA BEFORE I SHOOT YOU WITH MY GUN!