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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Taking Pot Shots at Hot Shots -- is it Fair Game?

"Fuchsia Fantastic" will be my next painting; I'll adjust composition above --  a photo I took in Minnesota.
Have you noticed that in the arena of life, it is those that “haven’t made it” who throw hateful darts and arrows at those who have? Envy? Sour Grapes? Both?

This phenomenon was birthed by the Internet. A recent study said that this spiteful and destructive behavior was spawned by the “anonymity that the Internet provides.”

People concoct pseudonyms to hide their real identities, and then take pot shots at those they hate, dislike, or are jealous of. It’s one thing to harp at policy or behavior you disagree with; it’s quite another to defame, bully, bash character or reputation in the name of truth and justice or simply “getting even.”

Civility is not only a little used word its meaning from lack of use is almost meaningless. It is more fun (at someone else’s expense) to gang up on someone and hammer away at their faults and foibles. It’s not cool to “play nice” anymore. It’s hip to be first to notice a fault and to throw the first stone.

“Ah so,” the people say, "that’s true; and have you noticed that pussy pimple on his fat ass?”

Before you know it a barrage of negative ugly thought gains strength and is propelled in a slew of wicked words and e-mails intent on bringing the intended target down; down to the level of the insidious few who sling bad fortune and bad taste for fun.

How do we put a stop to this kind of mudslinging that in some cases has resulted in the death or suicide of the recipients? 

Some would have us outlaw “hate speech!”  But hate speech changes over time, depending upon which side you’re on? Should the government be the judge? Should the democrats? The Republicans? 
I loved the yellow sunflowers against the blue cloth, and the shadows! May paint this one, too!
Should women be the judge of hate speech if a man is the speaker? Should men be the judge if a woman’s speech is suspect? Should a thin person judge someone who is fat or vice verse? Should a government in the process of taking its citizens rights away accuse another government of Human Rights violations?

You can see where this triangulated thinking leads. We’d all end up in jail eventually. You can’t control everyone’s speech, and you certainly can’t control anger even with fines. In a free society, people have opinions and free speech not just for a few, but for all.

I'd like to paint this, too, but would anyone buy a painting of sea gulls?
Would that everyone was kind and tactful, but they’re not. Sometimes people get “hoof and mouth” disease, as my mom used to say when I’d speak out of turn. We can’t punish everyone. But we can use common sense. We can be more tolerant and forgiving. We can put our verbal and physical weapons away and try to salvage common decency and good sense.

My granddaughter, the cook, would be fun to paint!