Here’s a perfect example of a topsy-turvy phenomenon: the ubiquitous blog ‘Nice Guys of OKC’ (since removed from the web) takes pictures of the dating profiles of men who consider themselves ‘nice guys’ and then posts quotes from elsewhere in their profiles which reveal them to have opinions incompatible with our age. Humiliating men who are already struggling at life for their failed attempts to bargain for sex with their female friends seems rather unpleasant, but then so do they; opinions are divided. What’s amazing to me is that the post up at Jezebel praising the anonymous humiliatrice, with hundreds of approving comments, is written by Hugo Schwyzer, a man who remains inexplicably entitled to comment on matters of morality despite having confessed to attempting to gas an ex-girlfriend to death while she lay unconscious on his kitchen floor
How does this state of affairs not seem crazy to people?
In the West, where life is generally safe and there are few life-or-death moments for the ordinary member of the media/political classes, there are fewer opportunities to demonstrate moral and altruistic behaviour to others through actions. This leaves words as the currency by which moral standards are judged- it becomes an increasingly important social signal to have the correct opinions about any subject, even if one’s power to influence the outcome is non-existent. After a while it seems that actions have become entirely forgotten and if one simply shouts moral opinions loudly enough horrific actions like this are forgotten:
I walked into the little kitchen only steps from where my ex lay. I blew out the pilot lights on our gas oven and on the burners, and turned the dials on everything up to maximum. I pulled the oven away from the wall, leaving the gas line intact, positioning it so that the gas was blowing directly at the passed-out young woman on the floor.
Having not grown up exclusively in the West I am much more inclined to discount proclaimed moral viewpoints as cheap signalling rather than evidence of rightness of thought- people are very likely to joke, speculate or engage in philosophical conjecture about things which may seem distasteful, but this is not a reliable guide to their likely behaviour. It’s crazy but it actually seems plausible that Hugo Schwyzer might have made more problems for himself if instead of actually trying to murder a woman, he had just joked about it.