Yesterday I learned that someone that I am really quite fond of has been forced offline after repeated attacks by trolls commenting on her YouTube Channel. She is a sweet and kind person and certainly does not deserve this. Why? Because nobody deserves to be treated like this. I ran into similar problems nine years back, and was very tempted to quit as a result. It is impossible to describe the amount of pain and anguish that things like this cause. I was told that I should "grow a thicker skin" by people who truly should have known better. But why the hell should I? Surely people have the right not to be targeted online bullies.
Online bullying is not going to stop because of anything I write. And, sadly, I don't think that it is going to stop because of anything that the people in charge of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are likely to do, either. But it might stop if we - ALL of us - support, help, and treat each other with love and respect, b oth online and off. We are going through a particularly unpleasant period of our history at the moment, and there are enough pressures upon us all without a particularly egregious subset of our species choosing to make other people's lives a misery for their own enjoyment. It is a sort of online bloodsport, and like all bloodsports, and indeed all activities that cause death, pain and misery for one group of creatures for the betterment or amusement of another one, should be consigned to the dustbin of history.
Like a bunch of anarchist musicians said 37 years ago: "Strive To Survive Causing Least Suffering Possible" and like a bloke from Liverpool said a decade and a half before that: "All you need is love!"
My brother is the vicar in my family, and I would like to leave sermonising to him. It is not something that I enjoy, and I would much rather go back to my secular home in the badly converted potato shed, where Graham has just changed the filter for Clarence in Wonderland (the clarias catfish) and I am extremely interested to find out what he does next. Catfish are far more interesting than people even at the best of times, and these truly are far from being the best of times.