I've been on a self-enforced and necessary break from my keyboard but, like any other addict, I just haven't been able to stay away from loops and feeds. Getting my fix of reviews, commentary and snark just never gets old. People, with all their myriad complexities, are facinating. And scary. The sneaky bitch-assery they do to get their point across blows my mind. The fact that they think they're being clever, even when the true intent shines through like a beacon, makes me chuckle. The overabundance of anger evident in some posts just makes me sad. I definitely don't subscribe to the "If you don't have anything nice to say" school of thought, but I also don't subscribe to the 'let me rip you a new one' school either. For me moderation, or a clearly defined style of snark, work a lot better.
And please note I said 'snark,' not vitriol/rage/destructiveness.
Whether we like it or not, words have power. Whether we like it or not, our opinions are simply that--OUR opinions. Just because I don't believe something to be right, or even true, doesn't mean someone else who holds the opposing opinion is necessarily wrong. I learned that a long time ago, forced into the realisation by circumstances and my wise grandfather's words:
"There are three sides to ever story; yours, mine, and the truth."
And often the truth resides in the gray areas we don't want to inhabit or even examine. In this hard-edged world people seem determined to be the blade, the stabbing point, the bludgeon. Slice, dice, obliterate the "enemy,"; be heard by screaming the loudest, even if what they're screaming is opinion, unsupported by anything other than conviction that they're RIGHT, DAMMIT! Often there is no hesitation, no apparent urge to temper a response, even though it will cause pain, escalate conflict, make someone else feel small or stupid. Debates aren't won that way; they're destroyed, and in the destruction is also lost the chance to listen, to learn and to grow.