The computer is perfect. In its binary way. Not perfect like a sea shell is perfect. By depending on our super-fast ultra-coded computers as they speed us through the new lingo of our age, they help make us superficially perfect.
It's yogic cool to transcend the mind. Critical thought cuts like a knife without providing all the tape and glue and gels necessary to unify. But how wise is it to deny the critical mind in a constant effort to always be nice?
Professionals can criticize each other openly as they work towards something together. Amateurs cannot. They are saddled with taking everything personally. No one can show up at an open mic and show displeasure with anything presented. Not anymore. Open mics are therapy sessions.
Chat is in danger anytime someone speaks critically to another. Half the time people do not even know they are being offensive. People who chat to strangers take a huge amount of things for granted, beginning with the decentralized omniscient power of the computer itself. I took for granted that I could get away with chatting from my literary desk. In the end, I no longer got away with being my funny yet serious self as a Chat-Meister ... although I did cheer up plenty of people along the way. With little irony attached, I was pushed out of the chat room by the same person who taught me how to chat.
Luna publishes a good piece about the martyr complex. People are so used to information in capsules that she says at the top "15 minute read". No way is anyone going to leave a comment that exceeds 150 words, and no one does. There is one little point in her piece's opening that I want to address: She says if you're a devotee of Joan of Arc or Mahatma Gandhi you already show signs of having a martyr complex. (Later: But don't worry, we all have it.) I don't say anything because even if I start by saying 'this was a really good piece but-' I'm still nit-picking. In this context anyway. The piece has elusive qualities - perhaps she is joking a little, being a little cunning, or perhaps she is straight up serious. She doesn't say John Lennon, but obviously he is part of that same Big Time Martyred Historical Clan. In a writing tutorial, one can point stuff like this out. Responding to someone's piece online, it's like the spirit of all that hard work Luna offered so freely is being compromised by an uppity ego. After all, no one else mentioned it!
What is the kind critic to do? The tone of one's remarks is also cut off at the waist online. People write as they speak, but the tone of their voice isn't there - and that tone can make a huge difference between the bitterness a reader might project on to the writing as opposed to all the slow methodical caring issued from the commenter's mind. The words on the screen are exactly the same but readers hear it the way they're used to hearing it.
I'm glad we're all supportive of one another. Not every 20th century volcanic ego was as well an inspiring leader. For every Leonard Bernstein there are hundreds of others just as narcissistic but not worth the suffering they put you through in the name of art or family. But since all us good souls are in this terribly polite partnership position and meanwhile world politics is fueled by ego with less substance than before, it feels wise to warn that too often we throw out the baby with the bathwater.