April 7, 2014
by Richard Reynolds
Facebook commentators, as I've said before, are a crazy, sadistic bunch. They're the internet-age equivalent of a 19th-century lynch mob. I don't believe this is hyperbole. Just check out some of these comments:
"Jessica Bennett What a waste. We can bring a heroine [sic] addict back from the dead but still refuse to stop making billions from cancer and kidney patients to find a cure for them, and they AREN'T trying to die. That's capitalists for you. #disgust" [The preceding comment was in response to an article shared on KSLA's facebook page about the wide release of a commonly used narcotic antagonist that will help save the lives of people who overdose on narcotics].
Another, with replies from yours truly, from the same shared story by KSLA:
Debating irrational facebook commentators is kind of a demented hobby for me. Sure, it's like spitting in the ocean to hold back the tide, but futile gestures are nothing if not necessary to one's own sense that fighting against the ignorance of the lynch mob mentality is something worthwhile.
People like to judge. I understand this; we all carry this obnoxious mutant gene that makes us want to feel better about our own inadequacies by denouncing the inadequacies of others. But wanting people to die instead of getting medical treatment because you object to their drug addiction is a little too much.
I don't think it's being prudish to judge these commentators. They're advocating for death by the withholding of medical treatment for people who are stupid enough to have ever used narcotics. This obviously irrational viewpoint was such a common thread in the comments on KSLA's facebook page that I have no doubt that most people probably agree with these sots. Most people, apparently, are truly fucked in the head. There's a difference between schadenfreude and sadism, and the commentators on facebook readily descend into the madness of a lynch mob's sadism. I don't know why more reasonable people don't respond on facebook to comments like these. Perhaps people with a conscience get frustrated from trying to answer crazy logic with rational logic, or maybe rational people with a conscience just don't ever look at facebook to begin with ... maybe I'm totally irrational for being on facebook. But if you're not spitting in the ocean, the ocean of stupidity is just going to come anyway and destroy civilization ... and at least I can say I was standing on the beach hawking loogies, trying to do something.
Good night, and good luck, lynch mob.