Thursday, July 2, 2020

The Cruelty Is the Point: It's Not Just for the MAGA Crowd

Every day there are more reports of people throwing tantrums because they've been asked to wear masks while shopping.  The most recent I've seen is a woman in a Fort Worth Seven-Eleven who spat on the counter to show the cashier who was boss.  That's better than the California woman who coughed in the face of a bartender rather than comply.

Then there's the woman in a Hollywood Trader Joe's who claimed she had a medical condition that precludes wearing a mask, and ran to the media to claim she was scared for her life, which reminds me of a white woman who called the police on a black man who'd asked her to leash her dog in Central Park, claiming he had threatened her life (he hadn't, but she threatened his).  This woman's story is excessively complicated, and I don't believe her.  The store rejects her version too.

The woman in the video I've referenced above is more of the same, but what really got my attention were the comments under the tweet that spread the clip.  The bulk of the comments point out that she committed vandalism and should be charged for the food she damaged, if not prosecuted, with deploring of the anti-mask faction.  That's okay, but it does become repetitive. Such comments were less prevalent when I first noticed the incident, though.

I was struck by remarks like "This is a nationwide phenomena [sic]. We need to start tagging and tracking Karens, study them. Spay & neuter. Science!"  When challenged, this person qualified it somewhat:  "Not if it's the crazy Hitler eugenics. But if it's only people who act like shitheads in public, or that treat employees like this, I'd be kinda ok with it."  Sterilizing people is the "crazy Hitler eugenics," and as with Hitler's victims, there's no reason to believe that this woman's bad behavior is determined by her genes. 

Then there was "No wonder we are the laughing stock of the planet. I hope they got her license plate number and called the police", followed by "If there’s life on other planets we are probably the laughingstock of the galaxy".  Someone has a wildly inflated idea of the significance and interest of events on our little rock.

A related theme: "Does anyone realize we are the only country that acts like this when they are asked to do something? Unbelievable".  No, we aren't the only country seeing behavior like this.  The South Korean churches that spread the virus through church services, Israeli ultraorthodox fanatics, European politicians scolding their citizens for ignoring the danger, and so on; the difference is probably that this person can only read English Twitter, but also that they don't pay attention or forget disconfirming cases. This is just another form of American exceptionalism.

What really got my goat, however, was this theme: "She’s a spoiled brat. Her parents probably never told her ‘no’. This is the result."  Or: "Such bratty, hardly ever been told NO - behavior! Shame".  Or: "She needs an Asian mom's whopping."  Or: "why does no one punch her in the face?"  Or: "How is it that parents in this country have raised such rotten young people?"  Or: "Why is smacking these people illegal ? It might even reset factory settings".  Or: "Her house needs eggs on the outside. Also maybe some Oreos on her car's windows? Hopefully she gets doxed."  Or: "jesus christ her parents never said 'no' to her did they",  And a lot more; I was hoping to find again the people who said this woman hadn't been spanked enough as a child, but no luck yet.

No matter: my point is that I got the feeling some MAGA types had wandered into the wrong thread: the tut-tutting over people's upbringing, the claim that Kids These Days have no respect or self control, they should have been beaten more by their parents and that's where this country went wrong.  The fantasies of violent punishment.  That's MAGA, as I know from the sewers of Facebook; so why are ostensible Trump-hating liberals parroting the same vindictive garbage?  It's nothing new, alas -- I remember the same phenomenon during the Reagan years -- but I think it's getting somewhat worse, and it's dispiriting to see liberals once again imitating the people they claim to despise.