It’s hard to tell if some of the internet’s favorite darkest jokes are funny anymore. Some white guy shoots another dozen people, we ask “WHERE WAS HE RADICALIZED?” The President says something rash, and we nervously laugh about nuclear war. And in recent weeks, we quip about how everybody would be fine if we just followed Mike Pence’s rules, or if we wouldn’t be better off if we just got all men out of government, or how we’d rather hear that beloved public figures had died than that they’d done the seemingly inevitable act of harassment or worse.
It’s common, is the point. Astonishingly common. The rule, rather than the exception, maybe.
Maybe some of these more intentionally-strident statements on Twitter are actually right. Maybe it’s ironically right to stereotype based on gender, but the stereotype is that men are likely to turn bad. Maybe we’re all carriers of this disease and its emergence is more likely and tougher to battle than any of us might care to admit.
Logically enough, i then wonder, what if it happens to me? When do i become compelled to do something this (pick one on a range from: stupid > shitty > immoral > horrible)? What happens, does a switch flip? Is it age? Is it triggered by wealth or advancement in society? Is it lurking?
There’s something that naturally bristles when you see people say that all this awfulness is partially your fault when you know you’re not awful. Like watching the umpteenth episode of DuckTales where the boys learned that Webigail could do anything they could, and 11-year-old me thinking ‘i fucking know that already’. It doesn’t matter, until someday in the distant distant future it’s somehow made right, it’s for those of us carriers of the evil gene to deal with. Not being evil is not enough, you have to at least support the idea that it exists and still requires work. Maybe it’s complacency, decades of conviction and assurance that you’re a good person, that allows it to sneak up on you, and one day you find yourself defiling a potted plant and thinking you’re still okay.
Don’t get me wrong, i don’t actually think that i’m going to turn evil someday, but maybe considering the possibility that we all might be capable of this behavior is a good reminder to, you know, not.