There has been something niggling away at the back of my mind for quite some time now. Over the weekend, and more especially today, events have conspired to force it to the front. Today, in particular, it was reading Sarah's blog that did it for me. Then there was a report in the newspaper about an on-line troll.
I quite frequently drop by the web site of our local newspaper and occasionally scan through the comments left by readers. What has both puzzled me and saddened me is the number of times people leaving comments find it necessary to resort to insulting others who hold different views. Why can they not say simply, "I disagree with you" and then go on to explain why they disagree. Instead, we are treated to comments (and I shall moderate the language in the presence of ladies) along the lines of, "Of course you can't do that, you blithering idiot!" with no explanation.
It is now more than seven years since Madeleine McCann disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in Portugal. Quite why anybody would want to post abusive tweets about Madeleine's parents is something I cannot begin to understand. Tweets from the @sweepyface account had said that the McCanns should suffer
“for the rest of their miserable, evil, conniving lives”. A newspaper reporter managed to find out just who was so twisted and this morning's papers report her death in an hotel. Reading between the lines, it looks as though she committed suicide.
And talking of suicide, what about those sick people who goad teenagers into killing themselves?
Can anybody really find pleasure in acting in this way (or these ways)? I can, at a pinch, almost excuse some of the newspaper commenters on the basis that their education is sadly lacking. They simply do not have the vocabulary or the linguistic skills to put together a rational argument. But to send abusive messages to the parents of a missing child or to encourage a vulnerable youngster to commit suicide, that really is beyond the pale as far as I am concerned.
And to think that this is going on in our own free, liberal, democratic country while we condemn the barbaric acts of Islamic State . . . Words just fail me. I really do worry about the world my grandchildren are growing into.