See I've got this theory.
People complain that folks scuttle off to forums and blogs on the internet that they agree with. So they spend all their time listening to their own views restated back at them, and therefore forget how to get along and repsect others that don't agree with them. There's a couple of things I think about that. One is obvious. The internet ain't perfect. Communication here is visual, and in forums is pretty much just written verbage. And most of us, this clayish sort included, aren't even Faulkner wannabes. There's a fair number that relied on Cliff Notes and lucky guesses when honing our written communication skills. Hence the emoticon. I've owned a computer with a good internet connection for almost 5 months now. And out of my extensive experience, I have come to appreciate the use of the variety of abbreviations and emoticons. But emoticons and torturous verbage only suffice for what... 10%? 20%? of human communication.
You can't generally see someones facial expression on the internet. You can't tell how tired they are, complement them on their hairstyle, watch them move their bag when they sit down, or appreciate the soles of their shoes. Communication seems to be limited to the impact suface of a ram's horn when fighting on a mountaintop.
I would plea, be civil people. But when, really, has civil society been civil? I think a lot of people have been conned by the sterile angles of our monitors... Need I sift through history? Public hangings? floggings? the stocks? viewing the insane at Bedlam... mob violence (pick any point in history)... public stoning.... And that's just a scattering of the more grotesque examples. Discrimination, racism, and bigotry are all viciously alive in our theoritically hygenic times. And wars continue...
So you sit down, moving your bargin basement bag as you ease those too tight shoes off your swollen feet and scrunch your greasey face up as you stare, with determined humaness, at the cool grey monitor... Who do you feel in the mood to tolerate?
I'm bummed. But then, I'm human.