“Public opinion… an attempt to organize the ignorance of the community, and to elevate it to the dignity of physical force.” –Oscar Wilde
The Definition (courtesy of gnosisarts.com):
Court of Public Opinion: A phrase that is used to emphasize the fact that the public tends to believe whatever the media portrays as being true, whether it is true or not.
For example: Many people believe negative reports about their favorite celebrities in magazines like The National Enquirer and People Magazine. As a result, the celebrity’s reputation can be tarnished by the negative judgment of this “court of public opinion” – even though s/he may not have engaged in any objectionable conduct.
I thought I was going to post this extremely long-winded tirade on the court of public opinion and how believe it exercises the willful ignorance of society but nah, I’ll keep it short. Whether I, myself, practice this same exercise can also be up for debate since I (like all of us) am human and capable of fallacy.
Now that that’s covered, I’d like to “wag my finger” at the advent of the internet, social media
, and the wildebeest that comprises the internet community
. Certain people have taken the podium and run away with it; like everything
they think, feel, and state emphatically, matters. Like in any other case, I am not excluding myself. I am simply pointing out that some of us out there in The Matrix
go too far.
Whether it’s vitriol towards celebrities or someone is implicated in a crime, basically vilified, the court always has something to declare. And I know…the sensationalized nature of media reports and their beat-you-over-the-head frequency just forces you hand, whether you realize it or not.
While the exchange (of information) relieves this pressure, it often comes from a place of divisive, apathetic, and often, holier-than-thou attitudes; misdirected anger at those who have set as a target by the populace. For this reason, I would never want to be in the public eye; the cost is too high.
In closing, no one who sits in front of a computer has the right to judge another. Period. I don’t think it has to be much clearer than that. Everyone has failings.
Granted, there are those who commit acts of crime and frivolity too vile to be forgiven but in most cases, especially the ones the court of public opinion ends up evaluating, are nowhere near this scale and should be treated as such.
Either we can dial down the emotional intensity and subsequent blindness to the reality of said situations or use a practice long abandoned: closing our mouths.
We don’t always have to press send. There ARE times when it is NOT a good idea. Pump the brakes…if there’s any trepidation.
So there’s my two cents…and they may not be the last on this particular subject, but they are the first.
Bye for now, KS.