On reticence

A group of gap-year tourists climb someone’s holy mountain, then strip off and wee on it. A female journalist starts a campaign to have a woman on the new five pound note ( hardly a wild rebellious act) and is made the butt of obscene, misogynist abuse. The result of an international football match provokes floods of tears and hysteria from some of the fans. Novak Djokovic almost reduces one of the ball girls to tears because she’s late with a towel.

Let’s deal with our Novak first. He’s immensely rich, the height of a tall building, and he tears lumps off some kid who will be paid the princely sum of £160 for the whole Wimbledon fortnight.
This looks like self indulgent bullying to me. What bugs me even more is what he said when confronted with his loutish behaviour.
“ I’m definitely going to try to apologise to her, if I’ve done anything wrong.”
I’ve never seen so many conditionals in one sentence “ try” to apologise ? How hard is it Novak ? “ If I’ve done anything wrong.” – If ? You mean you don’t know ? You don’t realise you acted like a psychotic five year old ?

Not nice.

Nor was the weeping and wailing when England was defeated in the Womens’ World Cup. It was a football match, not the massacre of tourists on a Tunisian beach. Save your weeping and wailing for something like that.
“ Ah,” they say but it’s so emotional ! “ That’s not emotion,it’s self indulgent mawkishness. It’s wallowing in icky sentimentality.

And the crazies who threatened to rape the lady who wanted Jane Austen ( or some other uppity woman) on the five pound note ? They worry me, they really do. I never realised that misogyny could run so deep and so dirty..

And finally the mountain widdlers. They didn’t know it was a holy mountain, of course they didn’t. But maybe they should have. Maybe they should have recognised that there are bits of the world which don’t belong to them, but to someone else, and shown a bit more respect.How would would they feel if someone pissed on their front room carpet ?

Freedom of speech and action is a wonderful thing. Never have the boundaries been so relaxed. We should have those freedoms, certainly, but they bring with them a responsibility to use them with thought and consideration.

A bit more reticence, a bit of quiet restraint, could work wonders in our daily lives


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