Adele's Baby, Twitter Trolls, and the Media

The Huffington Post recently reported on the nasty Twitter messages in response to Adele's giving birth. Comments on the story generally revolved around the problem of cruelty and insensitivity, as  was the basic gist of the article. "What can be done," the people lamented, "about Internet trolls?"

The question keeps coming up as though no one had ever said or heard an insulting thing in their lives prior to this incident. This not a case of cyberspace bullying among kids - which, I agree, is a serious problem. This is "hating on a celebrity," which has been going on since the first tabloid was ever published. Adele probably doesn't care what some random idiots post about her. But if she does, and for anyone who thinks "trolling," or inflammatory remarks are some kind of isolated social ill in need of a remedy, let me offer a bit of perspective.

What's the first thing people ever do from the second they're born? They cry - that is, they react to their environment with a negative emotion and they vocally express that emotion without any conscious thought. It can be inferred, then, that the most basic thing people do is unconsciously react negatively to the world and express their negative feelings with no inhibition whatsoever.

What does a baby know about anything the second it pops out of the womb? Not much. So we can say that the default nature of a person is ignorance, negative reactivity, and uninhibited expression. See what I'm getting at here? Why should it be any surprise that people say utterly insensitive and hateful things? Lacking any positive conditioning, knowledge, or maturity, people are born to act like this. Any prejudice - racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia, materialism (possession-based esteem), and so on - is rooted in our nature. That's why its called baseness. We have to strive to overcome these limitations.

This isn't the way it "should" be. But it is. Acceptance doesn't equal consent, it just means that we ought to respond to hateful remarks the way one responds to a crying newborn. If it's not yours (and it isn't), what do you care?

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