Don’t mention the war!

By | 2013/10/08

There’s a classically regarded cringe-worthy moment in the British TV show, Fawlty Towers where the manic Basil Fawlty deals with having German guests staying at the hotel. Basil descends into an absolute panic that someone will mention the war, and of course in doing so becomes the prime offender – by a country mile.

Don't Mention the War! – Fawlty Towers – BBC

I’m always reminded of this sketch when a major event (social, criminal or political) takes place and social media becomes inundated with people talking about it as inevitably, the mere thought that people might want to talk about such a thing becomes insanely offensive to at least one person – and you’ll inevitably see something like the following posted:

You all look like idiots talking about the election. Who cares what you think? Who cares what anyone thinks?

(There was a federal election on in Australia at the moment, so that example springs most to mind at the moment.)

Unfortunately the net result is the poster looks like Basil Fawlty:

No-one should talk the thing that I don’t want anyone to talk about! You all look stupid talking about the thing. No-one can talk about the thing!

Except, of course, the person condemning everyone else for talking about it. But if everyone we interacted with shared exactly the same views as us, life would be pretty boring. There’s certainly things I’m not interested in hearing about or seeing. Unless they’re extremely distressing, I accept that these are things other people are interested in.

Once, when I was advertising my technical blog on Facebook, I had someone message me to say:

Stop advertising this! I come to Facebook for fun and gossip, not to learn!

In the end it’s amazing how much you can learn just by sitting back, shutting up, and not complaining that people will sometimes talk about things you’re not interested in.

Keep educating yourself