The minions have spoken — well, two or three of you have — saying they’d like for me to continue on with a column.
After retiring from the column motif several years ago, I have thought about whether I actually want to try to bring it back. What would it look like? What would I say? What would I wear?
As you may recall, the return of my column last Sunday was unplanned, potentially a one-time event and done in haste to quell the riots I started with my accidental post on the Bulletin Facebook page.
But, gotta give the minions what they want. For as long as I can keep it going, anyway.
I don’t intend to continue on indefinitely with the topics of last week’s column, but I will re-visit some of those topics in today’s column before moving on.
Now, some folks seemed to get rather excited when I asked why people who vociferously and continuously complain about Brown County, don’t just leave if they find it that bad.
I was described by one of my new fans as a “total mental midget,” which I found somewhat entertaining. I believe some others asked, rather than leaving, shouldn’t they keep working to try to make it better?
Certainly, by all means, people should try to right wrongs and improve the bad — if you’re actually doing something more than bashing, attacking, insulting and belittling on social media, showing off for each other and playing off each other. If that’s all you’ve got, you’re not going to accomplish much.
Brown County has seen some brutal elections these past 12 months, and they were made brutal by, in some cases, the fanatical use of social media to brand anyone you don’t agree with as Satan incarnate. With some individuals and groups, it was simply not possible to have a vigorous and spirited, but civil and rational, debate on the issues.
With some groups, the theme seems to be “swear allegiance to our candidate or we will burn down your house.” And it s almost universal that those who can dish it out, can’t take it. One individual was particularly good at firing off insult-laced broadsides, smugly declaring his opinion as fact. When people pushed back, he began crying and pouting in shocked disbelief, asking how people could treat him this way after he’d been so nice.
At one time, I blamed social media. I have concluded that social media is just a vehicle for mean people. There have always been mean people, but they didn’t have access to social media until recently.
Now I don’t expect anyone to read my words and say “wow, I’d never thought of it like that” and change their ways. That’s not going to happen and I fully understand that.
I conclude with some words spoken recently by a professional person in the community, who observed:
“Individuals need to know it’s okay to voice their concerns but there is a right way and a wrong way to do that. Belittling, attacking, posting negative comments incessantly on social media, does not make them look good, nor does it make someone want to come around to their way of thinking.
“Before we had social media it would be the equivalent of someone knocking on your door everyday, maybe several times a day, and ranting about the same thing, same person, same grievance. You wouldn’t think, oh boy, I can’t wait to see them again to hear the same thing. Nope. You just get annoyed. So imagine they start bringing people you don’t know with them each day, that just throw out nasty comments about the person, issue, etc.
“You start to draw your curtains and try to avoid them. Even if they had a legitimate gripe, it no longer matters to you. They’re behaving poorly, and even being disrespectful of your time, and the worst part is they don’t know how bad they look, or don’t care because they have their own gang roaming the streets casting insults at anyone that doesn’t see everything the same way they do.
“Either you just accept it, or in a moment of disgust you yell at them to shut up — now you’re a new enemy. But you can try to redirect their passion and energy to do something better, or take positive actions to make a change instead.
“Then there are those that just want to agitate and start a riot. They don’t care what people think of them.”