Trick Falls wonders: ‘Is trailer trash talk the new normal?’

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There’s a certain reality show (I won’t say which one because I don’t want to get sued by anybody) that I believe intentionally recruits contestants that use a lot of in-your-face -profanity, are arrogant and full of themselves, and generally behave like the worst trailer trash on the planet.

Ratings, ya think?

Wikipedia photo

Wikipedia photo

Even so, I assume these people act on the show the way they do in real life. If so and if this is the new normal, then our country’s in worse shape than I thought.

This comes to mind today because a Facebook discussion got started on a friend’s thread about whether people hanging out on the social media should simply expect to the discounted about anything and everything. My answer was no. I thought it was out of line for people to come out of nowhere and randomly criticize people’s clothes, hair, eyes, career choices, and various other personal attributes because (hopefully) they wouldn’t do that kind of thing in person and remain friends.

Others said that if you do anything (or are anything) on the social media, people are going to comment. I think personal attacks there are out of line, but agree that if one posts something about politics, religion, current events, and a variety of other issues, there will be a lot of commenting. That’s why those posts are put there unless people think they’re just preaching to the choir and that everyone who sees the post will click LIKE or say AMEN and move on.

I see a lot of libelous material on Facebook and often wonder why that’s necessary to “win” an argument about whether ABC is better than XYZ. Many of the comments sound like they’re from people who talk like those on the reality show I’m thinking about. But God help us, these are (I assume) regular people. Those of us on Facebook weren’t selected by central casting to come out there and stir things up to increase Facebook’s ratings.

Of course, trash talk is easy. If somebody makes a political point, it’s easier for somebody to say, “well, you’re an asshole” than to come up with anything factual and relevant to say in response. And, should anybody ask where you got your information, it’s easier to say, “those bitches at that place are all f_cked up.” I’ll wondering, of course, when it became okay to use the word “bitches” as a synonym for women and if the people that do think they’re winning any points in the discussion with the “F” word as well.

Sounds like a lot of high school posturing to me. But it’s coming from adults who, somewhere along the line, decided that talking like an immature juvenile in the middle of a temper tantrum was good for their jobs, their friends, their lives and their country.

By the way, if you happen to live in a trailer and don’t talk and act like the people on that reality show, you’re in the clear. If you call me an asshole on Facebook because I’ve just found a factual flaw in your political argument, you’re not in the clear.

My dear old daddy used to say, “trailer trash ain’t never going nowhere no matter how they strut around the block because they end up back where they started.”

I used to agree with him. Now I’m thinking times have changed.

–Trick

A resident of Two Egg, Florida, Trick Falls made a killing in the gigolo business before going into the philosophy business.

 

 

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8 responses

  1. I agree that “trash talk” is degrading, both to the speaker and to the listener.

  2. It’s even more frightening on comment threads under news articles. I used to enjoy the comments because in many cases, I thought they contained more information than the actual article. Not anymore, though. Now they’re just scary.

  3. Personally I think at a prerequisite for anyone participating in any of the social media would be a couple of semesters of “English as a second language”.

  4. It definitely seems like the level of vulgarity and incivility gets stirred by ‘reality t.v.’ (whose reality, I wonder?) and ‘goes viral’ via social media. And so on. The research shows that’s the case, too. And we’re seeing it in the ‘political discourse’ … such that it is. I’m not a fan of it either. Maybe it’s a pendulum-swing kind of thing. I just saw that a survey showed 7 of 10 Americans thought incivility was at ‘crisis levels’ … but that doesn’t mean they’ll link it with their own behavior, or do anything about it. Hmmm. It makes it all the more important, maybe, for those who are the opposite of the trash-talking vulgarity to be role models of a more gracious, less rude way of being?