I have, once previously, a long time ago, been the victim of vicious gossip directed my way by a jealous young woman. It was horrific. This week, I felt that sickening shift again. I have no clue by what means or why I have become dizzy, but dizzy I am.
As I am leaving this part of the
world in a few days, I have no means of knowing and frankly, I have no
desire to know, what was the incident that formed the core. I'm sure it has a basis in something ridiculously innocuous. I am saddened by the realization something is afoot and
even more sad to speculate on the originator of the shift. The effect is
an irreversible change.
Of the many things I hate about gossip, at top of the list are how it victimizes an unknowing and usually innocent person, how it spins innocuous events and conversations into something terrible, and how those participating in the 'sport' support the malignant needs of bullies - because that is what gossip is; bullying .
Gossip seems to be the national pastime in the UK. It is what spurs sales for most UK magazines, particularly those aimed at women, and is the key feature of what pass for newspapers here. The recent breakup of a TV personality's marriage was front-page news, and the 'coverage' - which contained not one interview with either party - was characterized by endless editorializing and ridiculous speculation for the reasons and the fallout. This reporting carried on for three days.
Meanwhile, the USA is fomenting war against TWO countries, with Syria at the top of the list but none of that is interesting to the majority of readers. Rather than consider what effect Britain being dragged into another US-lead war will have on them personally, being that so many here are victims of a nearly-dead economy, they seem quite content to digest the written assassinations of people they will never know, and use the structure of those assassinations as the foundations for their own attacks on people they do.
The main and most devastating effect of gossip is the soul-killing impact is has on victims of it, particularly when that person is directly in the line of fire but doesn't realize it. The clues that something is up emerge slowly and manifest themselves via a growing realization that something in one's environment has shifted and that one is slowly but surely being marginalized.
The bitterest part of all of it is the impossibility of asking "what have I done," because, despite having usually not done anything at all, asking confirms the lie for the weak-minded participants, who know they must side with a gossip or be subject to the same treatment at a later point. The gossip maintains their ill-got power through the amassing of the troops.
Gossip disgusts me. It is the purview of the uneducated, disinterested, bored class and seems to be the only quasi-intellectual pursuit many are interested in having.
As an observer, whilst on vacation in the UK, to watch people participating in this country's deeply-ingrained need to tear others apart, makes for not a little discomfort. Worse - and particularly for one who is not a regular part of the group - inability or reluctance - or refusal - to participate gains one the title of snob. It seems never to enter participants' consciousnesses the reason why NOT to participate.
Perhaps gossip is as prevalent in my country - although I think not, given the absence of it in the press. Perhaps I don't see it or hear it because my friends do not engage in it. Regardless, I hate it for its sickening, devastating, unintelligent and unnecessary presence.