A public outing on social media of individuals’ misappropriate actions, has replaced the pillory or stocks used in communities during the 1700’s.
A pillory was a device that locked the persons head and arms in the mechanism to prevent them from moving. The stocks was a similar device but only locked the legs of its victim.
A person would be subjected to imprisonment in the device as public humiliation and punishment for petty crime convictions.
Since the devices were in public places, the person endured their imprisonment on display for the public. Throwing things at the person, be it manure or rocks, was considered acceptable. Society was evidently speaking by their actions.
Social media has become a mechanism to aid in the combat of disparaging comments made to female news reporters covering events. https://www.communitynewscommons.org/culture/obscene-phrase-reporter-sabotage-need-to-disappear-quickly/ The tsunami started by social media spurred some employers to terminate individuals and some police forces to issue citation or further investigate to discover the perpetrators.
Before I continue with this writing and my head is locked in a social media backlash, I state: I do not condone the actions of any of the individuals that uttered the comments. I am at a loss to comprehend that a reasonable individual would make the comment and then defend the right to say it. I also realize, I am not without blame.
A mouth and other appendages, that belong to me, have become involved in situations that after more sober reflection (and if I could go back), my participation would have been different.
Isn’t that one of the frail weakness of the human understanding? We cannot go back and change what has occurred in time. We can only hope to move forward with learning from the lesson.
I want the actions, or in this case comments of miscreants to be changed. I really want them to realize they need to be changed. I’m just not confident the governor that throttles social media is up to the task of limited proportionate disbursement that enables people to change their behaviour.
You would think getting pregnant at 16 would be a lesson you would not want to repeat. If it makes you a TV star, is that a mixed message? What are reasonable consequence of one’s actions?
The pillory and stocks used for punishment through public humiliation were done away with years ago. Breaking a commandment like thou shalt not commit adultery sometimes had drastic consequences. This was especially true if during their incarceration, the spouses of the fornicators decided to dispense some of their own emotionally tempered punishment with stones thrown, well aimed.
Society depends on its judicial system to exact punishment for crimes committed. Floggings, the lash and hangings have been eliminated as consequences for criminal actions. Some of us may not agree with the alternative but its does rest in the hands of some learned minds that are not governed by pure emotion. Sometimes it is better if we don’t let the people speak but rather let others do it for them.
This week I sent an email, using the company email, that caused me some consternation. It was a British political-noir cartoon, intending to be laced with humour. On the suggestion it was sent to 1000 people instead of 10, I spent a few frantic minutes playing out the consequences of my actions while desperately trying to find the recall button. Sarcasm is always funny … right?
The email message only went to the intended hosts. Phew! It is now in a limited public domain. I am hoping the people who received my poor decision of humour will keep it that way by not using the forward button to increase my readship. It seems writing for distribution without a sober second thought is a lesson I have yet to learn.
I’m curious, if the comments of a music rapper will create a ripple or wave on the lake of public emotions? http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/snoop-dogg-s-sexist-comments-about-camerawoman-creepy-and-awkward-1.3102580 I was taken aback in following Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr. know as Snoop Dogg dialog. Thick? Thick between the ears most likely. (There I go again writing without sober second thought.) If you follow the Mr. Broadus Jr’s career, there doesn’t appear to be a modicum of understanding of what respect means. What social media break through could teach that old dogg new tricks?
Christopher Hitchens uses a quote, along with his interpretation, that I believe sums up the social media pillory. “There but for the grace of God,” said John Bradford in the sixteenth century, on seeing wretches led to execution, “go I.” What this apparently compassionate observation really means – not that it really ‘means’ anything – is, ‘There by the grace of God goes someone else.”