Can I just take a few moments to be incredibly fucking frustrated that it's entirely impossible to take nuanced view on certainly issues (or be seen as taken a nuanced view) without people losing their minds and furiously arguing against straw men?
This is the second time in a week I've made a comment that people have gotten absolutely furious over, even though what they're furious over and what I said were about 10,000 miles apart. The first was a case of a severely handicapped teenager who was rescued from her father, covered in feces and weighing only 40 lbs. After literally dozens of comments expressing disbelief that a teenager could be alive and weigh only 40 lbs, I left a comment explaining that severely handicapped people are often quite small, and that while there was no doubt this was a case of horrible abuse, it is indeed quite possible for a teenager to weigh that much without being dead. And then I got comment after furious comment demanding how dare I condone abuse, accusing me of being a bully who hates people with disabilities, and so forth. I dismissed the worst of them, but there were a lot, and there were all absolutely livid about something I not only never said, I specifically clarified in the comment that I was not saying.
Then last night, on an article about a police officer not facing criminal charges after punching a handcuffed woman in the face after she kicked him in the head (according to Gawker's reporting), I said that while the cop had clearly overreacted and deserved to be punished for it, I was conflicted as to whether a lack of criminal charges was as clear a miscarriage of justice as in other recent cases. The entire first paragraph of my comment was taking about just how fucked the entire system is, and how I'm fully aware it's set up to allow police to injure and murder people with impunity, and I ended it by again making clear that the cop was absolutely wrong and deserved to be punished. And once again, comment after furious comment about how dare I say he acted professionally, what kind of horrible person am I that I am taking a clearly lying cop's word for what happened, etc.
In both cases, the angry people included posters I am well familiar with who I know damned well have the reading comprehension to understand what I said, and yet. It's like once people make up their minds about something, they completely lose the ability to realize that there is a wide, wide gulf between "This is the worst evil that has ever or could ever exist in the world!" and "Obviously everything that happened here was perfectly justified!"
So I am starting my Monday frustrated, annoyed, and desperately wishing the refusal to engage with what someone actually said because railing against straw men is easier wasn't ubiquitous on the Internet. Blech.