America the Hateful: Why the F-bomb Epidemic?
Yesterday, the following "charming" missive arrived in the Pajamas Media inbox. It was obviously meant for me.
FROM: Truth Teller
I think Roger Simon's turn to the right has more to do with the color of Obama's skin than anything else. Everybody knows Jews don't like blacks. Hitler was right about the Jews. They are all greedy, lying, sneaky snakes just like Roger Simon. Fuck you Jewboy and fuck Isreal [sic].
Meanwhile, over at Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds has been getting mail as well:
I cannot emphasize this enough: your brand of public discourse is hurting our country. It us poison. So fuck you, you GOP utensil, and fuck your mother for bringing you forth.
I'm not sure what a "GOP utensil" is (sterling silver serving bowl?), but, forget the Swine Flu, we may be in the midst of an F-bomb epidemic.
So whence all this hate? Is it actually growing or is it just another manifestation of the routine contempt we human beings have always felt for each other - "Hell is other people," as Jean-Paul Sartre famously wrote? There's certainly nothing new about the rancid anti-Semitism the (naturally anonymous) "Truth Teller" directed in my direction. Nor does the hot head who slammed Glenn seem particularly original. Moreover, the Internet, since its inception, has been a prodigious incubator for drive-by epithet-hurling of the more extreme sort. Godwin's Law exists for a reason.
And yet somehow - hard as it is to believe after nearly a decade of invidious Bush-Hitler comparisons - I think things are getting worse. The Age of Obama, which was supposed to have been one of post-racial purple state comity, has turned into an era of mutual disgust approaching perpetual hostility. Furthermore, the level of the hatred is increasing and is not restricted to those employing the F-bomb. Far from it. In fact, blue language is the least of it. That is just the bile of the linguistically impoverished. More genteel types can be even worse. Everybody is under attack, often for reasons that have little to do with reality. We live in a world where virtually everyone is accused of racism and almost always without any evidence (except perhaps that someone else accused them of racism ten years ago and that accusation never got erased from the Internet - nothing ever does.)
Who is to blame for all this? Well, like everyone else, I have enemies and could name names. But I won't. Because there is a bigger villain. And it is self-hatred. I am certain the contempt "Truth Teller" expressed toward me is a powerful projection of his hatred for himself. So does this mean we will live in a time of growing self-hatred? Could be. With high unemployment and a stagnant economy, there are a lot of people out there who don't like themselves. Check your email.