Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Why are people so mean?

The problem with trying to write regular blog posts (or regular writing of any sort) is trying to decide ‘what will I write about’? Some things might write themselves, and some days writing is easier than others. Other days (which is most of them quite frankly) I sit in front of my computer and feel like the dog in the ‘I have no idea what I’m doing’ meme. I’m ruminating on a blog post about the challenges I’ve faced in my (limited) CRM experiences as part of a blog sharing thingy. But today? Yesterday I had a ton of ideas. Now, not so much.
I was going to write about how mean the conservative political movement has become. How once upon a time, conservatives in Britain believed that people of different cultures should not be forced to assimilate, but be allowed to with the own beliefs.  The Republican race in the US is more than a race to the bottom, it’s a race to see who can be the meanest.  It’s hard to believe that a party whose leading candidates are falling all over themselves to prove who hates brown people the most, was the party of Abraham Lincoln. Even in Canada, our own conservative movement, which was supposed to be about free trade, low taxes and small government (although they failed miserably at the last two), was never, at least to my memory, nasty. Brian Mulroney was probably an asshole, but you never got the sense that he was mean. However, there’s many a good journalist (some of whom are former conservatives who are unhappy with the direction of the movement) who has written eloquently about this topic, so what wisdom could I possibly add?
However, it makes me ask myself-what makes people mean? The obvious answer would be say, poverty, except that plenty of rich people are pretty nasty. Lack of education, perhaps, which you might believe unless you’ve ever been to a faculty meeting at any university probably anywhere in North America and realize that there are a lot of miserable, nasty, mean well-educated people. Racism, then. It certainly makes people angry, although the conservative movement seems to be most popular among white men, which also negates rampant sexism as the cause. So why are people so darn mean?
I can be mean-but usually it’s a mood. I have a bad day, I’m snarky on the subway, I make a comment under my breath, I think very bad thoughts. But would I pee on the belongings of a homeless person like a group of men did in Philadelphia recently? Would I leave racist comments on the #blacklivesmatter Twitter feed? Would I shout FHITP at a female reporter? No, and I’ve done my share of shitty and stupid things. I have felt bad about them after, and I think I’ve tried to at least apologize. But this meanness that I see, it’s like it’s done without any thought, any feeling for our fellow human beings. I mean, these people could be classified as psychopaths. Do we have that many psychopaths running around?

Maybe a solution. We need a war-between the mean people. Not invading a country-I’m thinking something like the Roman Forum. People who make horribly racists comments, beat up homeless people and rape women should all be sent into the ring and fight to the death. I know as a good person, I shouldn’t feel this way-perhaps the meanness is contagious. I need to go cuddle my cat.

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