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"Why do you think violent videos should be shown?"

"Why do you think racists should be heard and not silenced?"

"Why aren't you doing more to protect Trans people"

"Why aren't you stopping people seeing these videos from the middle east?"

"Why won't you be a good corporate citizen"


I sometimes wonder why I'm not asked the last question. Perhaps it's because I can't as I'm not really anyone important. I can't change the way people think, I can't make people reasonable, I can't stop the irrational hatred of trans people or people of other religions. I can't stop the lunatics in the Middle East carving each other up like so much meat in a butchers shop. But I could help hide it away, I could help pretend it doesn't exist. Naturally that doesn't fix anything at all but it looks nice. Then the folks asking me things could move on to doing other equally ineffectual things which sell papers or buy votes all the while watching as the world continues to drown.

Mostly I try to answer these questions as reasonably as I can. After all what's the point in actually giving them a raging Internet denizen who probably masturbates to beheadings? They want that, they want to point at me and those like me and say "See, told you. He's a bad person". Thing is, I'm just a person. I work, I pay my bills, I love my wife and son more than anything else on earth and, at the age of 45, I still don't really swear in front of my parents. I believe in having manners, I believe in respecting your elders, I believe in showing others the respect they show you. Hell, I even believe in eating meals at the table and not having a TV or phone around at those times. I live a reasonably ordinary life. But do you know something, they're right too. Whilst I try to raise my child to be a good person, whilst I try to do the right thing and never hurt others, whilst I try to get through life as best I can there's a part of me, a capering, gibbering, screaming, part of me that's always there. You have the same thing - I'm not special - but when I'm asked the same questions over and over that other me wants to answer differently.

It's because I want to hurt you, I want to damage your delicate sensibilities, I want to crush your vile fucking hypocrisy. I want to take the brutal reality of the world which you helped create, which you constantly enable, and ram it down your screaming throat like so much maggot riddled dog shit. I want to bruise your fucking soul, I want you to cry in the fucking shower every night at the levels of hatred, avarice, and stupidity you are culpable in having brought about. I want to fucking hurt you. That's why I defend what I do, because I won't see it brushed under the carpet to fester and spread its diseased corruption unseen. I want you to face it, to smell the corpulent corpse of reality. Lick its vile sweat and smell its rotten meat breath. I want you to face it every fucking day because you own it.

I wouldn't bother though, they'll never listen. They wrap themselves in a blanket of righteousness and ignore their part in these things. The bubble is always too strong, too many equally ignorant people validating them. All demanding their views, their sensibilities, are protects whilst others are ground into the dirt.

We all have to compromise, but some more than others. I defend that which I find vile, that which I cannot tolerate and I do it not because I'm some champion of fairness, not because I'm anything special because be assured I'm certainly not, but because that's the price. Freedom means seeing that which you don't like, hearing that which offends you, being exposed to information that hurts you.

You can still set the rules in your house. You can close your door against these things, draw the curtains and pretend they don't exist. I'd defend your right to do that to. But you can't demand everyone close their curtains, or beg governments to make it legal because before long you'll find your curtains nailed shut too and there are still too many beautiful days out there to sit in darkness.



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Hayden is the founder of Trigger Warning so it’s all his fault.

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