A Restless Evil

I haven’t been writing here lately for a number of reasons.  For one, there are lots of things competing for my time;  church, the farm, my radio show, print media commitments, turkey season – the list goes on.

We’re all busy, but we can usually find time to do the things we really want to do.   I just haven’t had the desire to post blog entries and contribute to the noise pollution that is the internet.  I fear that sometimes I’m just one more source of confusion.

The blogosphere is always awash with uninformed opinion.  Usually, the least informed speak the loudest.

Take for example the recent teapot tempest over Lean, Finely Textured Beef (LFTB.)  I refrain from referring to it by it’s more colorful and pejorative appellation.

A Houston-based self-appointed nutrition blogger (sans portfolio) jumped on the non-issue with both feet, fueling a foodie firestorm of unreasonable and biased misinformation and public outrage.  The result was the near destruction of a valuable company that made significant contributions to its own industry as well as its community and society at large.  I was especially upset about hundreds, potentially  thousands of good people losing their livelihood because of uninformed opinions.  The unintended consequences are rife.  Countless other amateur – and some professional – wags and pundits are grabbing on to LFTB, Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy and legitimate livestock production practices (among other “causes”) to build their reputations and force their beliefs on others.

James, the brother of Jesus, shared some very relevant thoughts in James 3.

How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind,  but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

There’s a level of responsibility we all bear when we begin recklessly tossing our thoughts and opinions into the winds of cyberspace.  It’s quick and easy to dash off a few spite-filled lines when you disagree with something.  With blogs, Twitter, Facebook and so many other electronic soapboxes available to us, a great forest can quickly be set ablaze.

Realize the power of these tools and use them appropriately and responsibly,  just like we do our machinery and equipment on farms and ranches, so that the job gets done but no one gets hurt.


About raybowman

church of Christ elder, farmer, grandad, agriculture writer and broadcaster

Posted on May 7, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. The internet is the Tower of Babel.

  2. Very well said, Ray. I’m afraid that the people who began the LFTB fire knew what they were doing…and harnessed the power of the tongue to bring destruction. They won.

    I try to not add to the confusion, as well. In my blog, I rarely get on a soapbox…I just write about the things that I do and know. When I get questions that I am not qualified to answer, but I do have an opinion, I try to be able to back up my statements with facts and links to facts. Other than that, I refer the questioner to someone who truly knows the answer.

    We need to be teaching people to think again–just because it is in writing, doesn’t make it true.

  3. Nice thoughts, Ray. I have similar thoughts as well. My internet theory goes like this. If you look long enough online you can find the answer you really wanted in the first place. I think it’s a natural tendency to feel validated in your thoughts. I’ve learned and am still learning it’s often a good thing to find out I was wrong about something or at least not totally right.

    I have days where I think my little blog is a pretty small whisper in a storm of sharp-tongued scare tactics, but inevitably something comes up that keeps me going.

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