Thursday, January 24, 2019

best responses I've seen to the Phillips v. CovCath brouhaha (both from The Atlantic)

This on the media's failure in this episode and then a huge wow for the 2nd article: We could use a lot more of what this writer models, but true liberals are few-- and more broadly, humility and repentance are tougher than pride and making excuses. And note her reference to spiritual disciplines at the end: practice patience and humility; don't succumb to the temptation to outrage; put down your phone and get a life.

"As I watched the longer videos, I began to see the smirking kid in a different light. It seemed to me that a wave of emotions rolled over his face as Phillips approached him: confusion, fear, resolve. He finally, I thought, settled on an expression designed to mimic respect while signaling to his friends that he had this under control. Observing it, I wondered what different reaction I could have reasonably hoped a high-school junior to have in such an unfamiliar and bewildering situation. I came up empty..."

"The story is a Rorschach test—tell me how you first reacted, and I can probably tell where you live, who you voted for in 2016, and your general take on a list of other issues—but it shouldn’t be...Why are we all so primed for outrage, and what if the thousands of words and countless hours spent on this had been directed toward something consequential? If the Covington Catholic incident was a test, it’s one I failed—along with most others. Will we learn from it, or will we continue to roam social media, looking for the next outrage fix? Next time a story like this surfaces, I’ll try to sit it out until more facts have emerged...And above all, I’ll try to take the advice I give my kids daily: Put the phone down and go do something productive."


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