I recently decided to wage a campaign of complaint against an airline company I had travelled with. Yes, the original incident had happened some time ago. The staff onboard the plane had a typically Euro attitude to the cattle class passengers, the economy section; we were rarely visited by the cabin crew, who clearly were doting, at a one on one ratio, among their first class guests; who can say the aristocracy is dead?
Details are unnecessary. I had no great hope of being taken seriously; indeed, my email sent shortly after my journey was never answered. Since then I had joined FB and discovered what an effective medium it is in bringing an issue to the attention of the public.
However, as soon as I posted my issue on the airline’s FB page, three individuals began replying. None had established any conflict of interest, employed by the company? Which is a contemptible position, entirely lacking in ethical integrity. I was forced, one by one, to “unfollow” them.
I can see how cyber bullying has sprung up as an online phenomenon; the internet is a river whose most common fluid is the pollution of anonymous scammers and hucksters. After such knowledge, what forgiveness? I found out recently, after an incident recently on a public bus, when I tried to reprimand two young guys for conducting a really noisy conversation, that their response was an obsequious and clearly insincere apology followed by a sense that, having been publicly rebuked, they were somehow outside the reach of the conventions that govern normal public behaviour. They proceded to behave accordingly.
I wonder if this principle is generationally ubiquitous, for instance online. Once in a no-man’s land of dubious behaviour, anything goes. In fact, crashing other people’s FB pages and gratuitously jeering and abusing them, especially during funerals and other vulnerable moments is about as sociopathic as things can get.
I noted before I “unfollowed” the last of my anonymous critics that he had “liked” his own comment; I thought that a new all time low in narcissism. It reminded me of a conversation in an Oscar Wilde play between a young playboy and his grumpy old dad. Dad asks: “Do you always understand the things you say?” Playboy: ” If I listen attentively enough!”
My sympathies go out to those harassed by such moronic abuse. The most recent, real time example happened in Ipswich, Qld, to a young guy with Aspberger’s syndrome; he had been bullied in the past, but just the other day one of these thugs gave him a golf ball filled with explosives, which blew away most of both of his hands. Surgeons are thinking of refashioning one of his big toes as a thumb. Poor guy, he could barely comprehend the injustice, though he publicly “unfriended” the guy who gave him the bomb. I have to ask: “what were the trailer trash parents doing, raising such delinquent children?” Enjoying the bong?