Are You Guilty?

guiltWell, of course you are. You’re reading this on a computer, mobile phone, or tablet and that automatically makes you guilty in someone’s eyes. If you are of a mild and penitent character, you’ll mourn that you cannot atone for your sins. If you are of a more robust nature you’ll also mourn…that you cannot get your thumbs into those accusing eyes.

Guilt is a wonderful thing. It has enabled parents and grandparents to punish their offspring for literally centuries. If it is used well it enables those same offspring to punish the parents and grandparents. Skilful guilt operators can use it to tarbrush entire populations, just as their opposite numbers can use it to whitewash in the same way. I sometimes wonder if it is the same brush – and I am curious as to what they use to clean it between coats. I have a devil of a time getting common enamel paint out of hog bristle brushes as it is.

Is there collective guilt? You bet there is, and there are collectors in all divisions who have amassed magnificent examples. No matter who you are or where you come from – they can find something to shame you with. If not you precisely…not you the individual registered citizen with a number, password, police history, dossier, and soul…then you as a person with a certain complexion or set of gonads. You may not think that you are guilty of anything much at all, but when it comes to having moral and political contumely hung on you, you might as well be made of velcro. They gonna make something stick.

Is there individual guilt?  Well, yes, of course. You are guilty of it right now. In fact, you’re soaking in it. You know what you did…

Can we have international guilt-packages that allow us to feel bad while on holiday overseas? Yes, and these are very popular these days. Wherever you go there was someone who has gone there before you and done something objectionable. The locals have a record of it and are waiting for you to step off the Boeing to tax you with it. And we do mean tax – the only way you are going to get back onto the plane is to pay the locals. You must not complain or you will not be allowed to get back on until many Boeings have come and gone. You wanted to see how the world works and this is how…

Can you stop being guilty? Well, in the case of the overseas guilt, it generally stops when the cabin crew arm the doors and cross-check. You get to pick up a fresh lot of angst from the baggage carousel at your next port of call. For domestic political/economic/social guilt it only stops when your accuser gets either tired of the internet, finally gets their paper published, or is appointed to a board.

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