Saturday, 11 February 2017

Of Trolls and Straw-men

In the Year of Her Majesty Two-Thousand and Ten, the old order of purpose built and driven web-sites was put asunder and slowly, like ice cubes melting into a fine Scotch, elements from the fringes began to seep into mainstream, usurping into dedicated platforms where they were never really meant to be. It is to the point, in this day and age, that the term 'Tumblr Feminist' has come to denote the sort of young lady who posts an image of herself proudly displaying the hand she broke whilst striking a chap who said something with which she took umbrage. 

The atmosphere has gotten so egregious as of late that the old alliances and loyalties are in no way clear and the most popular style of coat appears to be 'turn'. Perhaps the most famous case is that of the new found acrimony within the Atheist/Skeptic 'community'. Particularly following the induction of the 'Atheism+' iteration, which attempted to combine elements of social justice  with Atheism. An action akin to attempting to introduce the principles of Peace, Order and Good Government into the doctrines of Anarchism. 

What appears to be lost amongst all the sound and fury that constitutes the contemporary Internet, particularly the 'social media' quarters, is that such attempts to engage opponents and sway hearts and minds through shouting, derision and other forms of vulgar insult is as effective as angry kittens hissing at one another. 

Dire as the situation may now seem, it has not yet become irredeemable. All that is really required is for a basic sense of decency and restraint to enter the conversation. Or, to paraphrase Lord Wil of Wheaton: One shan't be a prat. 

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