Nowadays, everyone thinks their opinion matters.
Sure. You’re a person. You’re just as important as the next guy. Which is to say you’re not.
No one is, really.
Obama’s pretty cool. The Pope is kinda awesome. Sure, Hillary is bitchin’. I have that altar to Elvis in my bedroom. But, by and large, your fart in the wind of an outlook is as momentous as the flatulent philosopher sitting next to you.
The downside of the interwebz is that everyone has a voice. And, I’m sorry, but there are just some people – MOST people – who need to sit the hell down and shut the hell up. Right now, I’m especially focused on “people” under the age of 18, who are sitting in algebra class and live-streaming the drama for the rest of the planet to comment on.
And these little soap operas are only such because now we all get to look into the digital magic eight ball presented by Snapchat and Instagram and pretend that we know what we’re looking at when we see perfect strangers doing and saying things completely on the outside of any imaginable context and to which we have no connection or likely frame of reference.
As if anyone knows what’s really going on until the facts have been fastidiously recorded and all matters have been investigated. There are enough movies that have been made based on secret factual stories behind completely fabricated, publically released news items that make me believe that today’s “news” is at least 84 percent live-action comic book strip.
The teenagers who recorded Senior Deputy Ben Fields violently subduing a 15-year-old student who refused to comply when she was told to leave her math class didn’t waste any time in posting those videos online. There was no thought to the consequences of those postings. There was no second-guessing rash actions. They thought only of the attention they would receive and the ways in which they could insinuate themselves into the issue by having their names attached to this story.
There are now multiple videos circulating online, and all of them begin right on the edge of the “attack”. You don’t see anything up to the point where Fields is poised over the seemingly docile student, ready to strike. Yes, students are complaining. Yes, now that this has become news, there are plenty of people jumping on the bandwagon and wailing about how this deputy is such a monster and should be forever removed from polite society.
This is what comes from giving everyone their own global mouthpiece.
This is also what comes – I believe – from a fairly liberal media always coming down on the side of the “victimized” underdog.
Sure, some people are truly 100 percent guilty. Lock ’em up. Lock ’em down. Throw the switch.
But no one gives a thought to how difficult it now is for many people to receive a fair trial when ONE side of an incident paints them into a corner from the very moment that that incident occurs.
We all have a story. We are all raised to be biased against something or someone as much as we all want to believe about ourselves that we are magnanimous colorblind benefactors of the common man.
NBC News reported that, “The Justice Department and the FBI announced Tuesday they would open their own investigations into whether the girl's civil rights were violated. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is also conducting a separate probe.”
And how many of those investigators have already been tainted by public opinion and cutting-edge high school video editing?
After this week, I’m starting to think that cell phones – as well as the privilege of procreation – should not be bestowed until all parties have passed some kind of basic intelligence test with a required common sense addendum.