Creative Gossip 101

We’re cautioned by religious texts and those who read them to avoid gossip. I suspect someone long ago found out how effective it was as a tool of both control and disruption – and wished to reserve that power to themselves.

Well, genies rarely stay in bottles, and gossip escaped early on. As it is a common mechanism of daily life, we might as well learn how to operate it safely. Here are a few tips for the first-time gossiper:

a. Gossip concerns itself with the bad aspects of life – particularly as they can be imagined to apply to people we hate. Confine yourself to the bad – if you start to whisper about the good it becomes advertising. And un-paid ones at that…

b. People in real life are rarely as bad as they are portrayed in fiction. But as we’ve all read fiction…or at least seen it on a screen…we are ready to believe the very worst. Some are prepared to go to extremes – sausage makers in Kassel believe the wurst about everything.

c. All this having been said, you can do harm with kindness as well with condemnation. We all know the phrase about damning with faint praise. It’s a delicate poison that can take years to work, but that gives you ample time to escape from any suspicion.

d. Gossip is best spoken – and within a single, private conversation. You may be tempted to take the front page of the newspaper and print it out, but this leads to far more trouble – written evidence can be presented in court. Chinese Whispers works far better and can leave the hearer hungry after an hour…

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