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#028 Societal Sniper

posted 4 May 2018, 02:39 by Aaron Brownlee   [ updated 4 May 2018, 02:39 ]

"When you're a threat you're always a target" - Unknown

I sometimes see the Media as an unpredictable sniper, made up of millions of people. They can be completely calm one minute, then suddenly one of those millions of people points at someone's message. Their voice on the news, their message on a show, or even their tweet. And suddenly the Societal Sniper snaps its head round to point directly at it's target.  You only need to hear stories like Justine Sacco's to see how a small message can be turned into an international problem. The Sniper begins it's vendetta, shooting at the target, attempting to destroy as much of their life as possible. It doesn't matter how small their crime was. In the moment, they are the embodiment of every single person like them, every person who's ever made the small comment like theirs. It almost seems Ironic, that their trial by media for being a tiny fraction of a large problem, is held by millions of people, each making up a tiny fraction of the resistance. It's like if you needed 1 gram of poison to kill someone, and a thousand people walk by and drop a thousandth of a gram of poison in someone's drink. They are well aware that none of them can ever be blamed directly for the crime, and as a single face in a crowd, they have nothing to worry about.

The Societal Sniper carries on shooting, every bullet a mass of retribution, not for what the victim is, but what they represent. They know that nothing will be done about this person unless they intervene. As the target is downed by the backlash of what they've done, the sentencing begins, not that there is ever any doubt what the outcome will be. As the judge, jury and executioner, the Sniper sentences them to a fate worse than death, and takes the final shot, shattering their life. Any job they have, any friends or family, are smashed into pieces, not wanting to be anywhere near the target, in case they get caught in the crossfire, or even worse, targeted themselves. The Sniper does not rest until it has proof that this one person that they have chosen to represent every problem they've ever had, is now destroyed. Removed from society, never to return again.
But eventually the Sniper moves on, deciding the person has learned their lesson of disagreeing with people on the internet, and leaving behind a trail of destruction that the target can never clear. Having been internationalised, all they can do is get down off the target they built, attempt to rebuild, and wonder why such a small target was suddenly filled with millions of bullet holes. The Sniper on the other hand, continues to sit on his tower. Motionless, pretending nothing but justice has just happened... Until a small voice in the machine points the finger at something else, and the Snipers head Snaps around once more...

Anyway, Thought Over,

- Aaron