May 5, 2014

An Interesting Perspective

>When you think about it, this is an odd posture to assume in front of our friends, even our Facebook "friends." Our complaint is meant to put us in the right and some other guilty party in the wrong; but because we are complaining to our friends, not the guilty party, the effect is to make us appear powerless. This is the letter we would send, the tone implies, if only—if only we could afford to antagonize our colleague, if only we thought the faceless corporation would respond, if only etiquette didn't make it impossible to confront a stranger. In this sense, it operates as a safety valve, increasing the passivity it implicitly laments—just as Moses Herzog's angry unsent letters did. What would happen if, instead of turning to Facebook to complain about ill-treatment, we actually went out and did something about it? What if all those unsent letters were turned into e-mails? It would be an angrier world, but perhaps a more well-adjusted one.