So I have to admit, I have a compulsion… to read the comments section whenever I’m looking at things online. They’re like a sociology experiment gone horribly awry.
Regardless of how innocuous and non-controversial an article or video may be, there is always someone who feels the need to unload some crazy in the comments, and it usually has little to do with the actual material presented. The comments have more to do with the consumer than the content.
Have you ever read an article about something, anything and in the comments section someone goes off on a rant about Obama (or it was Bush, back in the day)? Or some tool voices some derogatory comments about a woman’s looks in an article about her getting a Nobel Peace Prize or something. What the hell is wrong with you people?!?!
Trolls, as they are affectionately known as, are symptoms of a larger disease.
What set me off this week, though, about the comments section are those resentful, bitter assholes who would rather people suffer than be helped, because they didn’t need any help.
Fuck you! That’s all I have to say. Fuck you.
This particular breed of troll hit an all time low for me after I’d come across this outlook more than once this week. I was reading an article about the utter failure rate of diet drugs and the endless quest for something that might actually work. Habit compels me to drop down to the comments section and I came across this one:
Carol from Canada
I do not know if medical science has discovered a universally applicable solution to permanent weight loss. Drugs and surgery may be helpful for some people but we need to stay skeptical about their long-term benefits and risks. More research needs to be done to find out why some obese people get terribly sick while others get through life without any serious metabolic disease. In some cases, focusing on the obesity might not be beneficial.
For me, the teasing, rejection and finger-wagging I received from my classmates, parents and doctors back in the 1980’s has helped me maintain a lifetime, daily commitment to a modest diet and regular exercise. All this effort to stay non-fat does have its drawbacks: the time I spend exercising and preparing healthy meals could be used to work longer hours or travel more, for instance. My morbidly obese colleagues consider me a bit antisocial because I don’t go out for lunch and I walk by myself instead of taking the car. My boss also makes snide comments about how little I eat and how much I exercise.
Yes, I would be really, really ticked off if a magic cure for obesity was found.
Really, you would be pissed off if someone finally found a medically sound and effective way to help people lose excess fat? Fuck you and your bitter, resentful self. You need a hug or a cheeseburger or something.
The mentality of ‘I did all of this so you must too’ and ‘what about me’ is simply childish. If you are unable to find joy in other peoples’ victories and feel compassion for their woes, you should take a good hard look at yourself and see why that is. Why do you think anyone else should have to suffer if you did?
I think this mentality is at the heart of the conflict between those who believe there should be social safety nets and those who don’t want to pay for all those losers so to hell with them.
One of the things we need to really look at deciding as a country is what our responsibility is to those around us. What do we see as promoting the general welfare (as stated in the preamble to the Constitution) and what belongs in the realm of individual responsibility? The myth of the rugged individualist needs to die. We no longer live on the frontier. Most of us live in cities.
And you didn’t build all of what it took to make you successful. We did, together. You found a way to take advantage of what’s available for your own benefit. Good for you. And the sky is blue.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it forever – we are all in this together. E Pluribus Unum.
Perhaps something from a ‘higher authority’ might help clear things up (and you don’t have to be a Christian to see the wisdom in these words):
“Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” (Luke 12:15)
“For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.” (Luke 12:48)