I just got into a discussion on Twitter about whether the death of a fugitive was tragic. I don’t even know why I walked into it. I’m not going into why, or if, there’s a gradient of whose life is “worth” more than another persons or if words are used too loosely to describe situations. Without going into a thesis about sociological factors which drive certain people to become criminals or the impact a single death can have on a community namely emergency services personnel, families and the like. I think death is tragic full stop. And yes, every single death.
I should have stepped away from my computer, I’ve been doing a lot more of that lately. All that happens is you have discussions with people you quite like about the use of words. It could go-and-on-and-on into infinity. Arguments over semantics. No-one wins. You just get grumpy.
Lately I’ve found I’ve gone blank in these situations. My brain is experiencing numbness. Aside from the odd moment I’m becoming less inclined to jump into the fray. What’s the point? This is not good for someone who writes about topics and issues. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one overloaded with other people’s points of view.
When I hear something or read something that makes me feel angry, I think about it, internalise my displeasure and then move on with my day. In the past, I’d open a blog post up and write. I’d put in my two cents worth. I’d shake my fist and stomp my feet. I’d yell into the internet about how unfair the world can be, how unjust and unkind.
Now I shake my head. Read a few shouty tweets, grab a cuppa and eat a biscuit.
I’m not sure where this fits in with my writing career. Judgement and anger and vitriol sells pitches to editors. In the past, I quite enjoyed crafting a response to society’s ills. Now I just want to cry out: “Shut up everyone”.
I’ve been seeking out different types of articles. Ones about love and courage and overcoming obstacles. People doing great things with their time. I want to hear about people’s lives, but I’m getting a bit bored of everyone flinging their opinions all over the place. Mud slinging feels dirty. No-one is really taking the time to craft a good mud pie. Arguments are no longer dissected into segments, it’s all just flung together and thrown with such ferocity it’s meaningless. You know what they say about too many cooks?
I want to read more about action, rather than reaction. All these bright minds who could work together, or separately, to make some changes. You see most of the busy people, taking real steps towards change, don’t have time to hastily pull together an angry blow your horn piece. They’re actually doing something about the problem.
And here lies my conundrum – I like to think that writing about your experiences does help. Writers are doing something – they’re sharing when others are too afraid to. Maybe it’s time to be a little less shouty and bit more considered. Pointing fingers, flinging mud pies, it all counteracts each other. It’s becoming simply a war of words and nothing more.
Social media has given rise to so many new voices, it’s opened up the opportunity for anyone with access to unregulated internet to comment about anything and everything. And they do. And I do, I’m not saying that I don’t. In fact I’m doing it right now. But my initial excitement about a platform to yell and scream has waned a little of late. I’m finding it harder and harder to get fired up. Maybe it will return. In the meantime, I need some new inspiration.
And until I get the fire in my belly again, here’s a picture of a cute rabbit. Hopefully its tiny feet haven’t been glued to the table because, my friends, that would be tragic.