Monday, November 23, 2009

The Art of the Insult

I am surprised to see our major newspapers accept comments that are not very helpful: "President Bush is an idiot", "President Obama is a fool"...I think that guys who write like this are wife beaters, always steaming. Are newspapers so afraid of losing their non-paying customers that they do not dare letting go of this mud? To me it is like Hitler showing up around the corner: there are consequences to disrepecting democracy.

I was ready to write a piece on how politics degenerates in this country, but then, when I opened my last issue of The New Scientist, I found that the editor had suppressed about one third of the comments on a paper about some obscure acceleration of a satellite.
There is page after page of: "This comment breached our terms of use and has been removed." I found the reading hilarious: how come readers with most probably a college degree dare insulting one another on a subject that nobody understands?
More wife beaters. I should not be surprised: I met racists and wife beaters in any social category.
Insult used to be more poised a few centuries ago. The Prince of Ligne used to say that Casanova would have been handsome, if he had not been so ugly.
Voltaire once removed his hat when a priest crossed his way. He was asked if he was reconciled with God. "We salute each other, he answered, but we are not on speaking terms."