I love the Internet. I especially love Google. How did I ever survive without it? But I guess I am revealing something about my age and my mindset when I say that I will never get used to the hatred, vitriol, and, in fact, the filth that spews out on the world through the Internet "tubes" every day.
And it is all anonymous, of course. That makes it worse somehow. All that passion is so...impersonal.
A couple of the websites that I frequent on a daily basis are prime offenders in this regard. Anyone who expresses a contrarian opinion from the accepted orthodoxy is likely to get screamed at in CAPITAL LETTERS AND MANY EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!!! There may even be wishes for the death of the contrarian.
This is something that bothers me all the time, but what really brought it to the front of my mind recently was the news last week that Rush Limbaugh had been admitted to the hospital with a possible heart attack. When I read some of the comments on the news story, I was appalled. Commenters were wishing for the painful death of this pathetic man.
Now I am no fan of Rush Limbaugh. In fact, I can think of few people that I hold in lower esteem. (Dick Cheney, maybe, simply because I think he harms my country every time he opens his mouth.) But I could never wish for his death, not even under the elvish invisibility cloak of the Internet. Death comes soon enough to each of us and, as long as there is life, there is hope for redemption - however, unlikely it might be in Limbaugh's case.
Furthermore, to wish pain and death to Limbaugh would be to put me in the same league with him, who often expresses such wishes for those he excoriates. I like to think I play in a higher league than that.