David Moseley

You're a nasty bunch, the lot of you

2012-12-11 11:39

David Moseley

This is not a new discussion. But it's one worth airing again, especially at a time of year when we're all supposed to be giving, caring and loving (and Jesus!). Which, when you think about it, is actually impossible. Because the lot of us are miserable shits.

It's hardly a new trend (if you'll pardon the social networking pun), but just lately the snark-factor seems to have been ramped up on the twitter and other places of social commentary.

At some stage in the 2000s someone, somewhere decided that being indifferent, cynical and mean-spirited was humorous. People started believing that their "witty" put-downs made them comic geniuses, while in reality it simply makes you look a narrow-minded bore.

Take the latest development in South African cricket. Aside from the blatantly racist statements made regarding the news (for once I think there was actually a case for those people who believe News24 should be stricter with the comments they display), some punters where also exceptionally quick with the "wit" when referring to Makhaya Ntini's possible selection as a South African selector.

Never mind that the man, with a 390 Test wickets, is more qualified to be a selector than 99.9% of the knowledgeable population (this won't automatically make him a good selector, but let's allow him to get the job and fail first before we chase him out of town).

Or how about another popular theme, Justin Bieber coming to South Africa. I'm way out of the target market. I'd never go to a concert, I don't like his music (though I can't deny that his latest track is rather catchy) and I don't see what all the fuss is about. But the online derision at his upcoming performances in SA just makes no sense.

When I see posts like "the worst thing about Justin Bieber coming to South Africa is Justin Bieber coming to South Africa", I have to ask why someone feels so strongly about the squeaky-voiced star that they have to make themselves look a fool. It's not funny. Just tired and lame. An easy target for a wasted second of a non-Belieber's life.

The announcement of Lady Gaga's tour to SA, and the news that Metallica would be appearing also irked the cool kids and sent the scorn into overdrive. But why? Is that all you have to offer, a sarcastic comment on something that doesn't even affect you. Lame-o. More so than the Bieb's funny pants.

It's not cool to be cynical. What's really cool is allowing people to enjoy their lives without judging them.

On Sunday it was the Miss South Africa pageant. If you happened across your Twitter timeline, or popped onto an online report, you would have witnessed all manner of contemptuous comedians deriding the event, sneering at the contestants and pageants in general. But really, who cares.

Sure, pageants are bizarre and seemingly out of touch with modern womanhood, but some people like them. Why do we feel the need to look down so condescendingly on these poor bimbos who just want to help save the rhino? And world peace.

- Follow @david_moseley on Twitter.

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