DISCUSSIONS: Christie Blatchford confirms our view that society suffers a malaise in criticizing ceaselessly

A topic discussed in the June 30 Better Living discussions was that society was suffering some sort of malaise which made it critical of almost anything and everything.

The discussion group comprised of seniors, mostly all beyond regular retirement age, felt this was an overgeneralized claim about society.

One topic discussed at the June 30 Better Living discussions group was about our view that society today is suffering some sort of malaise, some sort of malady which motivates it to criticize, complain and/or condemn almost anything that appears in the media.

The group felt this opinion was extreme and too intense. In other words, they criticized the opinion justifying this criticism by assigning the intent of most criticisms as intending to ‘fix’ things, improve or repair what was labelled as needing repair. Thus, validating the criticism.

Our point exactly, it is criticism and denunciation which is first and foremost but justification lies with the end goal of improvement. The essence behind the discussion topic was that our society destroys rather than constructs. It demolishes before any message of rebuilding rises to the fore.

And along comes Christie Blatchford with a front page denunciation under the guise of how Canada Day could be improved. Blatchford hits about a dozen areas of criticism ranging from the “bloviating self-congratulation, cloying interviews with hapless children and adults…’Reporter: What do you love about Canada? Child: I just love Canada! Adult: The diversity!” to the CBC and the overly long announcement of Peter Mansbridge’s retirement.

Really you must read Blatchford’s full piece to get the full feeling of her criticisms.
Blatchford’s article about “The dangers of shaming…”

Christie Blatchford is a veteran journalist writing in many Toronto news publications. Her articles are polished works of a professional who has successfully plied her trade for more than 40 years. She is a solid journalist ranking among the very best and comparable to the cream in that field. However, this recent article demonstrates that no one escapes the malaise permeating society today.

Society displays discontent rather than malevolence when it criticizes. It is challenging authority, challenging the establishment, challenging institutions. The challenge may have benevolent intent but too often this beneficence remains muted, invisible to all. The priority of society today is to punch before building, to detract before constructing and no entity is safe from the critical onslaught, no politician, no corporate director, no leader, international or domestic.

To see so much of this destruction taking precedence over compliments and praise is discouraging and disconcerting. Arguably, almost everything can be improved but too often our society’s desire to denigrate trumps any attempts at constructive criticism. Society’s first comment seems derogatory or denigrating rather than positive and constructive. Perhaps these critics see compliments as potentially empowering those they criticize. Compliments may be a double-edged sword, elevating the recipient to new levels of superiority.

A sad commentary of how people see themselves today, implying paranoid feelings of inadequacy and self-worth by condemning others as an essential priority, giving rise to the false credo “that which I can destroy makes me superior.”

Is it time for a bit of self-introspection?



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