I do not value “nice”.
The tepid, lukewarm standard of civility that declares a politician who orders the mass murder of people of color in far-away lands superior if he does so while delivering an eloquent speech with a polished smile, rather than wearing his foul vice on his sleeve for all to see. It is the malignant balm, salving the would-be discomfort of the privileged elite upon whose fantasy of all being right with the world reality dare not intrude. It is the ready and calm barter of integrity for an illusion of goodness that is the best substitute for moral pulchritude on offer in a toxic culture, sodden to drowning in the liquor puris of reality television and fashionable consumption. Nice is easy. It makes few demands on one’s time, consideration, or thought, and gives no purchase to responsibility or an urgent sense of social and civic duty. Replacing any standard of integrity or honesty, it affords its practitioners a ready alibi for the dereliction of authentic and genuine concern for humanity and the horrors its less privileged members endure.
This is not to say that one should devote one’s attention to being brusque for the sake of brusqueness, but where genuine, life-or-death injustices are being perpetrated, every person of integrity is honor-bound to enjoin them with the fullest measure of rage, refutation, and direct, decisive action, even in the instance that doing so results in the deep offense of many. Very real evils exist in this world, and there is no honor or justice in effacing them with a veneer of measured and practiced civility. The time for such coquettish dalliances is long past, and the time for action is at hand.
I would be dishonest if I claimed to care even a little for your illusions of comfort as our world burns. Rather, I’d call you to action, and real, unvarnished love, to remedy the genuine wrongs of our infected society and set our species in motion to a brighter course and future. Then, and only then, should we relax and take comfort.
I do not value “nice”.Read