"...I thought we were friends
I guess when reality sets in it all depends."
"Some rise by sin and some by virtue fall."
--William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure Act 2, Scene 1
I started this post a million times in my head and deleted them all because I didn't think it applied to Barry or his fans. But finally I found the connection. Bear with me, I'm a little raw.
We elected our city council this week. One of the winners in my district ran a standard negative campaign - twisting facts to suit his POV, lying about his opponent, etc. What's the big deal, you ask? This candidate and the election as a whole in this city was supposed to be different. We organized ourselves as neighbors and friends, campaigns were supposed to be civil. But not for this dude. There were no boundaries, all actions were fair. The candidates in this election were all neighbors and colleagues in civic activities, even friends. This guy turned on a "friend". The opponent in question ran a very clean campaign, answered every query with diplomacy no matter how rude it was, and refused to resort to name-calling or lying, or even pointing out someone's faults. It was already hard enough to cast a vote in this election between people you consider to be close friends without hardball tactics.
Now here's the worst part of all: on his blog this morning, he spelled out step by step how he used his civic group, and his neighbors in achieving his election goal. His wife, well-known for charity work in the city was not doing charity: she was buying votes for him by pretending to do good deeds in public, as was he. He used the ploy of "keeping the public informed" to trick people into thinking he was more qualified than he was. And he admitted this in public to the world!
I'm going to change my name to Charmin because my family and I were wadded up by the handful, dragged across our "friend's" hairy rectum and tossed down the bowl.
There's a lot of crap in Manilow World now as well. When you sit at a computer it's so easy to look at the words and forget that you're really talking to people, not a machine. Some people even forget that Barry is human. Some jerk edited Barry's Wikipedia page last night to include a very disturbing (and untrue) detail in his biography. I managed to find my way in and edit it out in the wee hours this morning. I hope Barry's friends and family didn't see it.
No one has such a surplus of karma points that they can squander them on treating fellow human beings poorly. No matter what religion or other philosophy you subscribe to, there's a line somewhere that says your actions will always come back to you at one time or another. My former friend achieved his goal - but at what cost? His neighbors will never trust him again and should the day come that he or his family are in need, there will be fewer people to turn to. When you sacrifice relationships with people for a goal, you may actually get what you want, but that's all you'll ever have. And if you don't get what you want, you'll really have nothing.
Sometimes people ask about those of us who keep our real identities private, "What are you hiding or something?" The answer to that is a resounding, "HELL, YES!!" I don't want to be involved in backstabbing or anything else dehumanizing. Keeping my name private seems to be the key. Please remember that even online, we're talking to people. Treat each other kindly, even if you don't like each other. Just avoid someone you can't stand if that's the best you can do, it's better than open hostility. It's going to be hard, because it's an election year and passions run high but I'm positive it's worth the effort.
I'm off to mourn my lost friendships and have some good quality time with my daughter. She's known nothing but kindness for her almost 3 years and I'm going to make that last as long as I can before that inevitible lesson about life.