The silence of our friends

“In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

Martin Luther King said that… And as in America it is Martin Luther King day this week I thought I would take note of a few things he said. The one above and the one below spring particularly to mind as being rather appropriate.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” 

And with the latter in mind I shall begin. There is a rather poisonous and revealing  character trait that persists amongst a certain clique in the town where I live. I’m not the only one who sees it, but I’m the only one who seems willing to acknowledge it in public even in an identity stripped and homogeneous form such as this. The trait is this… Being selectively nice. Most people I know are lovely to everyone, it isn’t actually that hard, it doesn’t actually cost anything except perhaps a few more seconds of someone’s time and a little bit of breath to form words. The same thing has been witnessed by multiple people about every member of the same particular group, and that is that they are lovely and charming to anyone who may be of use to them and at best cold and at worst absolutely foul to anybody else. I first noticed it a few years back, not being someone who craves or even likes attention (quite the opposite in fact) I have tried my best to remain invisible locally as much as I can do. To that end, a lot of these people were actively rude to me (and to others, I’m not that paranoid) on our first meeting. This situation  only started to change when a few of them cottoned on that I probably had skills and/or contacts that would be of use to them and at that point they suddenly changed their tune. I have a long memory though… And I’m not subject to flattery.

I’ve watched over the years as the same faces have clawed their way up the greasy pole of popularity in the local community, and watched new people arrive in town who have employed the same, self serving methods, ingratiating themselves with the people who they think matter whilst giving anyone else the cold shoulder and in the process have quickly scaled the aforementioned lubricated log themselves, getting support for their awful gigs, terrible events, shoddy products, and crappy establishments in the process. It’s tiresome to watch as yet another rat boards the rising boat, scratching up the flesh of the unwitting on their way up the gangplank.

The thing is though, what can be done about it? As I have discovered to my own frustration, no one wants to admit that it is happening, well not out loud anyway. Whether through fear of getting shunned themselves or just not caring enough to be bothered, no one dares speak a word of what goes on in public. What’s more, there are people who won’t even be seen talking to me (except at my home) because I have dared to speak out about all the shittyness that goes on. It seems that everyone locally relies on the patronage of everyone else to either turn up at their thing or to buy their stuff… (Un)fortunately  people locally are either mystified by what I do or just plain hate it, leaving me in the unique position of being able to say what I like without it having much effect besides the almost daily filthy looks. But there lies the problem…. Just me spouting off about the actions of rude, manipulative, people is just some nutter ranting away on his blog, the mad eyed screamer’s platform of choice for the new millennium , and until other people choose to grow a pair this town will just continue to sink into the silt under the combined weight of the egos of all its human barnicles. The silence of our friends is powerful and while it continues, the fakes, the frauds and the egos large enough to cause gravity wells will continue to poison the town in which I live. 

I have tried… But it falls on deaf ears and in most cases people are unwilling to believe that half the people are as bad as I or anyone else will say they are. Most people will try and think the best of people if they are given the option and under those circumstances these sharks in human clothing go in for the kill, shamelessly taking advantage of human nature on the way. Criticisms and accusations slide off them and someone like myself who speaks about it comes off as looking bitter or mad. But what choice do I have but to draw people’s attention to it all? And here I am again, not being silent. And the best I can hope for? That like with the local psychopath I spotted in five seconds as opposed to the five years it took everyone else and the government’s work capability assements I spoke about for years before the whole business was turned into an award winning movie, everyone will get it years later. People are so slow to believe anything that isn’t in their best interests and they seem determined not to believe me, all I get to do is to turn around half a decade later and say “I told you so.”


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