Monday, December 04, 2017

People are Still Horrible Bastards

I've said it before and I'll say it again: people are such horrible bastards.  Especially online.  The other day I was given another reminder of exactly why I don't allow comments on The Sleaze and heavily moderate them here.  I was reading an article (originally from The Independent, but syndicated on Yahoo News) about how Christmas should be banned, when I was foolish enough to look at the comments.  Jesus Christ!  The outpouring of hate and Islamaphobia contained there was enough to make me lose all faith in humanity!  Now, I feel that I should explain the article itself a bit better: when I say that it was calling for Christmas to be banned, I'm over simplifying it.  It was offering a critique of the way in which Christmas has simply become a celebration of materialism, with a vision of the season which only the well off can afford being imposed upon us by advertisers.  What it was really saying was that Christmas needed to be returned to a simpler, more spiritual celebration accessible to all.

None of which is entirely unreasonable.  My main criticism of the article would be that it went off on a tangent, bringing in the author's memories of bad childhood Christmas experiences to try and back up their arguments, which not only is largely irrelevant, but makes the false assumption that there is some kind of universality to personal experiences.  But that still wouldn't justify the reaction in the comments, which, in the main, tried to use the article as a vehicle for extreme anti-Muslim sentiment.  "Just imagine the backlash if anyone suggested banning a Muslim festival" was a favourite theme.  Which, obviously, supremely irrelevant and completely missing the point of the article, which as about how Christmas is no longer a Christian festival in anything other than name nowadays.  (Not that it ever really was - it is a hijacking of much older Pagan midwinter celebrations).  It shows enormous ignorance as Christmas is, to some extent a Muslim festival as Jesus is recognised as an important in Islam - which is why Muslims actually have no problem with celebrating Christmas and actually aren't offended by Christmas decorations. 

But leaving aside the ignorance of these idiots, it is the tone of the comments which shocks the most:  they are all insanely angry and hate fuelled.  A hatred against a culture they clearly don't understand, making it utterly ridiculous. But that doesn't matter to them.  Muslims are an easily identifiable (so they think) 'other' onto which they can project their impotent rage.  Because that is what it is all about - a completely irrational rage which increasingly seems to grip certain segments of the UK's population.  A rage which seems to be rooted in their feelings of powerlessness and some vague idea that they've been 'shafted'.  But instead of directing their anger at the real causes of their peceived disadvantage - international financiers, multi national corporations, the entire global economic system, even themselves for continually voting into power the very people who oppress them - they focus on visible minorities.  Because hey, those with even less power than them, who suffer even greater disadvantage and discrimination must be the cause of everyone else 's problems, mustn't they?

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