I'm an old, grumpy chap, and as such, fairly little things annoy me. For example, the incorrect versions of You're/Your, Too/To, and Their/There/They're being used. The little paper covering underneath the lids of margarine. Conspiracy theories (Yes, we landed on the moon, no, 9/11 wasn't an inside job and no the BBC isn't biased!). The thing that winds me up more than anything though is the mass repetition of falsehoods and rumours. I'll give you an example. A couple of weeks ago I saw a piece of theatre that repeated the oft told story of how while N.A.S.A spent billions of dollars inventing a pen that could work in zero gravity, the Russians just took pencils. While this makes for a good gag, it's completely untrue:
If I'm honest, the inclusion of that little tale spoiled the show for me a little. If a bit of research into a clearly nonsense story wasn't undertaken, how much attention was given to other aspects? In the grand scheme of things of course, this doesn't mean anything. I'm sure N.A.S.A don't give a toss about some obvious rumour as they land probes on comets and other miraculous feats of derring-do.
Sometimes though, repetition of falsehoods and funny but untrue tat can be damaging and more than just an irritant. Take the following tweet as an example:
This has been doing the rounds on Twitter for a while and shows no sign of stopping, despite it being fishy to say the least. Granted, it's convincing enough in that one can certainly imagine Trump saying it, but it's not on his timeline and he isn't the type to delete anything that's a bit contentious: His whole USP is saying the unsayable and not backing down from anything. But this version of the tweet has had over 2000 RTs at the time I took the screenshot, and I'm sure it's only one of many out there.
Now, you may well think that it's no big deal, Trump is an odious twerp (yes he is) and he deserves a bit of chicanery aimed at him. Don't get me wrong, I don't think Trump should be allowed within 500ft of the White House, let alone live in it, but if the same thing is done against someone a bit more palatable to the Left, say, for example, Jeremy Corbyn:
then all of a sudden it's an outrage and thousands of memes and campaigns are created to set the record straight. You might say that what happened to Corbyn was part of a smear campaign by his enemies, and that Trump is one of the big guys who needs taking down. First of all, how is one more justifiable than another, given that they are essentially *both* smears by their enemies, and secondly, just because someone is seen as powerful doesn't mean they shouldn't be afforded the same treatment you expect of your heroes just because the target of your ire is a prick. We're better than that, aren't we? To me, it's the biggest (or one of at least) double standard the Left has. They're outraged when Corbyn is accused of saying the death of a mass murderer was a tragedy, or Planned Parenthood are falsely accused of selling foetus parts for profit
But when there's a way of attacking someone who they don't like, it's fair game apparently.
Another reason I don't care for this stuff is that it detracts from what *really* has been said. Like Trump's views on Mexicans, Immigration, his damn hair. If focus is drawn to rumour and falsehood then it's another weapon in his armoury. He can claim that his opponents will believe anything against him and all of a sudden *he* looks like the rational one. Him. A man who has seen his corporation bankrupt 4 times but STILL somehow manages to be seen as a viable person to hand America's budget to.
Maybe I'm wrong, but if 30 seconds or so was taken to check something out before it was believed to be true, then maybe it'd be harder for us to be lied to at all. At the very least, it'd help my blood pressure drop a lot.