There was recently a post on my FB feed about Taylor Swift, singer/celebrity , responding to a fan about mean, nasty people. The statement she made to the fan that resonated with me is the observation that people who spend their time doing this do it for reasons of jealousy and envy and because they have nothing else to do with their lives. They abhor a person just being themselves and instead of working on being their own selves, they spend needless energy being, well, an asshole to others. This post popped up about the same time as another Facebook artist friend speaking about difficulties exposing vulnerabilities in acting when she doesn't allow herself to be vulnerable in real life. Since one of art's main facets, in my opinion, is fearlessly exposing vulnerabilities, can you ever truly immerse yourself in your art if you insist on building a walled-in room for yourself all the time?
I read an article the other day about comment sections online and how they devolve into vitriolic rants. The author called for more moderation. Back in the old days of newspapers, letters to the editor were heavily moderated, chosen and then viciously edited. The same can be done online, he postulated. While it is possible for humans to create cesspools of thought on the internet, it doesn't mean it's a good or socially acceptable thing.
There are enough hate-filled, petty, nasty people out there as it is. We have acceptable rules of conduct in society when we walk real streets, we should strive to do the same on the "streets" of the internet. Are there shitty people in this world? In my view, as inherent beings, no, there are no inherently shitty beings. But as inherent beings people can certainly express shitty behavior in minor and major ways, intermittently or obsessively. To them I can only imagine that some kind of primal pain visited them in their childhood, issues that they cannot begin to identify or find the courage to resolve. Sadly, until they uncover what those issues are from within, they will continue to lash out blindly, venting their rage at themselves onto others. In response, we can create acceptable boundaries of behavior in our own lives so we can find the safe spaces for our true nature. And we can strive not to perpetuate the circle of hate but break the chain and replace it with kindness of heart. And as artists, we should continue to examine and reveal our vulnerabilities, if only to give others a bridge to their own inner struggles so that they, too, can break their chains.