Monday, January 18, 2010

Laughter of the Anguished

Last week a reader who wished to remain anonymous left comments to two older posts. Both comments were devoid of intellectual content, which usually results in an automatic rejection (I moderate all comments). However, I did find them interesting in what they reveal. I allowed one of the comments, but the second was rejected because it contained a personal attack on someone I admire and value immensely.

The comment that I allowed was in response to "Blaming the Victim". This post addressed the city revoking a permit for Spec's Liquor to operate a store on Washington Avenue. The comment follows:
"The law required that Spec's seek permission to open a store, which is what is truly offensive about this story. Spec's--and indeed every business--has a moral right to operate where and how it chooses " [this was quoted from my post]

that's hilarious! LOL, you really believe this nonsense ? What a loon you must be.
This is what was offered in response to my moral defense of an individual's right to live for his own sake, to seek his own values, to pursue his own happiness. Rather than point out an error on my part, or faulty reasoning, or have the intellectual honesty to state his own position on the issue, Mr. Anonymous resorted to laughter. "You are wrong," he said, "because ha, ha, ha."

This is not a very compelling argument. Indeed, it is not an argument. It is an attempt to "prove" one's point by calling names, as if someone who takes ideas seriously would find such childish tactics convincing. But then, Mr. Anonymous does not take ideas seriously, as evidenced by the comment that I rejected.

In response to "A Pyrrhic Victory" (which addressed the developers of the Ashby High Rise finally receiving permission to proceed with the project), he wrote (in part):
What a complete load of theoretical BS. It's sad that developers were ever given permission in the first place to do anything more than private homes there. It was outrageous and pure short sighted greed to try to stick all they wanted there, so no tears over the loss on their gamble.
Again, rather than address any of the points I raised, our brave Mr. Anonymous retorts with an angry dismissal. Anonymity may provide him with courage, but it certainly has not endowed him with intellectual prowess. Given the actual facts of the situation, his comments make little sense--the site has long been an apartment complex. In addition, while not repeated here, his comment contained an ad hominem "argument".

Perhaps more interesting (and disgusting) is the apparent glee that he feels towards the suffering of others. That Buckhead Development--Ashby's developers--had to spend years groveling at the feet of petty city bureaucrats for permission to use their property is apparently a source of pleasure to my anonymous reader. That he gloats when entrepreneurs are shackled by city officials speaks volumes about his character.

Such hatred and hostility is not natural--by "natural" I mean appropriate for man's life. Such hatred is not aimed at a criminal, but at the men and women who create the values upon which our lives depend. Such hostility is ultimately aimed at life itself.

Many years ago such depravity would have led me to hope that some ill-fortune would befall the advocates of such ideas as a measure of justice. And then one day I realized that justice was being served. Despite whatever material trappings or prestige such individuals might enjoy, they are not and cannot be happy individuals. No matter what facade they present to others, their soul is wracked with envy and anger. Their laughter is a mask for their own anguish.


Mo said...

they are self-haters deep down inside

Brian Phillips said...

I agree.

Rational Education said...


my salute to you for the nature of this post. Thanks.


Brian Phillips said...

Thanks Jasmine. When I encounter such individuals, I remind myself that they are living the miserable lives that they deserve.