Writing Prompts: What Bothers You?

What bothers you and why?

Hah, do you want the long list, or the even longer list?

Ignorance bothers me. Hypocrisy bothers me. Cruelty bothers me. Often, you will find these three things wrapped up in the same package. A few long-time sparring partners have embodied these qualities, and on my travels (both online and otherwise) I’ve encountered these unfortunate traits in various people.

Perhaps the most common place to find these traits is in the form of religious extremists. To be clear, not every believer will be deserving of wrath, but I have encountered a number of fundamentalists who have clearly gone out of their way to embody all the traits that most annoy me.

Ignorance – ignorance of science, ignorance of facts – grates on my nerves. Flat-earthers are particularly annoying in this regard, because no standard of evidence is ever good enough for them. To make matters worse, they gleefully employ the alternative syllogism fallacy. The alternative syllogism fallacy is built around the idea that if theory A cannot explain everything, theory B is the winner by default. It doesn’t matter if theory B is in fact more flawed, or fails to explain everything, employers of this fallacy hold steadfast to the idea that theory A must be perfect, or else!

Ignorance of facts extends to far more than the flat-earth idea. It envelops politics too. There are people who would still lend their support to the Tories, despite over a decade of failure. To make matters worse, some of them would still vote for Boris Johnson, whose personal legacy of failure is truly spectacular! The failings of both party and person are a matter of public record, yet people will place ideology ahead of common sense.

Hypocrisy is something that we are all guilty of, yet when hard-line fundies do it, they do it in truly dazzling fashion. ‘Don’t interfere with our bodies, don’t let the government tell us what to do, but let us regulate away the LGBT community and women’s rights to bodily autonomy!’ Another popular hypocritical trick I’ve encountered is for fundies to refer to anyone who does not wish to have their lives dictated by religion as ‘selfish’. It is not without irony that these fundies accuse others of trying to force their views upon the religious, whilst doing everything they can to force conformity.

Cruelty is a human trait that serves no purpose. It is petty. It exists for one person to revel in another person’s anguish. Some people try to cloak their cruelty in false claims of displaying love (see the numerous attacks on the LGBT community from fundies), whilst others are openly callous.

To offer one of several examples from one particular fundie:

You are wrong moron. May is the 5th month and June is the 6thmonth. We are halfway when June 30th hits you dipstick

Was I incorrect about the halfway point of the year? Yes. I am only human and I made an error. Was this pathetic insult the right manner for correcting someone? No. It was a vindictive remark, from a petty individual. It came from someone who repeatedly claims to ‘speak the truth with love’ except they rarely speak truth, and they certainly don’t speak with love.

There are many, many additional things that bother me in life. Sometimes these things are minor irritants, yet they still annoy me. The other day I was in a store, trying to reach a specific location down an aisle, and everywhere I turned, someone was faffing about, indecisively twisting and turning and directing their spawn, in an endless game of ‘get on my nerves’. I’m pretty sure one of the kids was throwing a hissy fit a short time later, for added fun. I absolutely hate it when I am trying to reach a location in a shop or supermarket, and I keep getting impeded by people who are blissfully unaware of their surroundings.

That, as I said, is a minor issue, but it’s funny now minor issues can be quite irksome. Still, for the most part, I don’t sweat the small stuff. The original trio of ignorance, hypocrisy and cruelty is enough bother for me.

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