If we weren’t officially entering into the season to be jolly, I’d mistaken it for the winter of spite.
Tetchiness, rudeness, ignorance disguised as wisdom, rattiness and pure nastiness are on the menu this Christmas.
I took a whistle stop tour of the septic tank also known as social media to find the judgemental deflect their discontent by abusing people they don’t know.
On the Royal Family page- an image of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall was muddied with ‘I stan Diana,’ ‘shame on you,’ ‘Diana would have aged better,’ and so on.’
Oh so you watched the Crown?
Needless to say Prince Charles wasn’t spared. He was nailed to the cross for having an affair 40 years ago after being portrayed as a total drip on said TV show. Not wanting to give away the plot, but Diana had affairs too.
Ah but that doesn’t fit the righteous narrative, so let’s keep it one sided.
For young people hearing the Royal story for the first time- be warned, anything that happened before 2015 will shock and offend you. Charles marrying a 20 year old is gross in modern day. Back then people didn’t question fashion, equality or cultural appropriation. It was the 80s. People watched Dallas and thought it was acceptable TV viewing.
Luckily times are more more just and equitable now. But everyone has a platform and they like to abuse it willy nilly. Meghan Markle wasn’t spared when she announced her heartbreaking miscarriage in the New York Times. Commentators called it ‘PR fluff’ and shamefully, much worse.
Back home, we have #rtegate, #golfgate and it’s more boring cousin #woulfegate. It seems every week, a public figure is sent to the gallows, Ben Hur style.
That’s not to say our leaders and public figures aren’t worthy of critique and question. It’s our right as citizens to do so.
In the case of rtegate, I’m baffled as to why Miriam O’Callaghan, David McCullagh and Bryan Dobson allowed themselves to be photographed beside another human for fear of repercussions. But being questioned by Gardai? That’s just laughable? Al Capone they aren’t. Or golfgate – why sit in a room (without the room divider) with 80 people?
I assume attendees are baffled too, but maybe, at the time, they didn’t want to offend. Being Covid compliant goes against every instinct of politeness.
That said, I don’t understand why Sean O’Rourke retreated and they didn’t. The double standards are immense and cruel.
Either way, just because they are doing it, doesn’t mean we will copy them. RTE news presenters and members of goflgate aren’t such important role models.
The various gates we were privy to this year had the markings of rank amateurs, so they haven’t ruffled my feathers.
What amazes me is the fact that photos and videos get leaked whenever someone commits acts so terrible, they are worthy of a trip to Abu Ghraib.
This week, a video circulated online of a large crowd gathered on Grafton Street. Previously, a barman was seen distributing shots in Berlin D2 in Dublin. Outrage ensued.
There is something grotesque about ratting people out. Obviously they were breaking the rules, but not worthy of the subsequent punishment, especially when there is real stuff to be disgusted about.
Globally all anger for the last four years was vented at Donald Trump, but people say little about China’s human rights records and don’t seem to question the origin of the virus, which has decimated our economies and destroyed so many lives. That’s just an afterthought- ‘oh yeah the bat, pangolin dude. Whatever happened to him?’
Others are beyond vitriol, like Maradona, who surely committed acts more ludicrous than posing for a photo during Covid-19 time. Lucky for him, he was a legend before offense culture. Sadly, if he were born now, he wouldn’t be allowed to be a legend. Big bad, bold personalities are banned in modern sport and modern society.
I fear, as we countdown to Christmas, that rage won’t just be targeted at the rich and famous. People are ready to blow. A packed car park, a nose hanging out of a mask (very annoying) or a drunk family member is all it takes.
Judgement and curtain twitching are already in freefall. Remarks are snide, resentment is simmering, intolerance is rife.
Not wanting to come across like John Lennon burning sage, but where is the love?
I’m not saintly when it comes to the art of chill. Quite the opposite- I regularly fell foul to road rage, while my petty irritations lie with jobless conspiracy theorists, woke social justice warriors,and instagram influencers selling body positivity to line their pockets.
You can’t blame people’s tempers for being a little frayed. It’s been a long year and people have lost family members, jobs, careers, money, friendships.
Being out of work for a lengthy time causes frustration and self doubt. More time online and not engaging with humans, makes us distant. I’ve found myself questioning my ability to chat to people. What if I offend them?
The world could do with some cognitive behavioural therapy. Once people realise that others aren’t ‘doing things to them,’ they are merely doing things, then they may find peace and reconciliation.
After all, even in its muted form, it’s Christmas – that magical time where all is forgiven and we can lay down our arms and our labels and enjoy a brief but meaningful ceasefire.