Thursday, January 22, 2015

Self-control versus self-destruction

As I've said, I think Team Charlie is (was?) a pack of jackasses. I'd rather their killers have been stopped, but I don't view them as saints, much less martyrs. There's plenty of unjust deaths in the world, even unjust deaths due to Islamic terrorism, so pardon me if Je Suis someone more worthwhile than this particular sack of corpses. If anything, Je suis that police officer who was gunned down and who had nothing to do with this shit. Je suis the people who support protecting this group of shitty people, despite believing that they are, in fact, shitty.

That said, I recognize a dilemma in all of this.

I've written before about the perpetually aggrieved people, who have weaponized their own fragility and quite literally try to find offense whenever they can to get further ahead in society. I have little problem flipping them off. At the same time, I regard pissing on the Koran to be the act of a supreme schmuck. I don't want to offend people needlessly, but I also have no intention of responding to ever-increasing levels of delicacy with retreats into ever-gentler tone.

How does one draw a line in this case?

I don't believe there is a line to draw, at least not insofar as a line is a strict set of rules to follow. Really, the moment you write rules for this sort of thing down is the moment people start looking at the rules to try and exploit them - and until there's a way to literally measure sincerity (and even then, also measure if the sincerity was *intentionally* cultivated), rules are incomplete ways of dealing with these things anyway. I'll reserve my offense for the idiots who intentionally offend others, or whose offense comes across as a would-be beachhead in a cultural assault.

But even as I try to do that, I more and more wonder if mutual respect requires a certain amount of mutual values, without which civility is an insincere farce.

Edit: Oh, by the way - while France just had their adorable 'Je Suis Charlie' marches, French courts convicted several people for #gaysdeservetodiebecause hashtags. But the LGBT groups are upset, because apparently the penalty is only up to a year in prison and 45k euros - too light a sentence!

Some shitbags are more equal than others.

1 comment:

Athena Carson said...

"I more and more wonder if mutual respect requires a certain amount of mutual values, without which civility is an insincere farce."

Interesting thought - I don't know if I would call it an "insincere farce" but I do think mutual respect requires enough mutual values to at least agree on a baseline definition of mutual respect. Without that minimum level of shared values it's going to be impossible to get to a place where all parties think that mutual respect has been achieved.