When I write a comment on Facebook or Twitter, I often start with one thing in mind but end up coming up with a different take half-way through. Either one would be nice and punchy, but I like them both. So I mash them up in a way that doesn’t effectively make either point.
Example: Some jerk on Twitter posted, “The mask culture [is] fear driven. Masks+cowardice. It’s a regime dominate by fear of infection and fear of causing of infection. Both are species of cowardice.”1
One could object to the toxic masculinity. There’s nothing wrong with being afraid in the face of the genuinely fearsome. My reaction, though, was that it’s wrong to see masks as being an expression of fear at all. Wearing a mask might or might not be effective, but it’s an action one can take when there is so little one can do. So I started out writing this:
No. Mask culture is about empowerment. …
The I realized the punchiest version of the tweet would go this way:
Mask culture is about empowerment. Just ask Batman.
That hid my actual sentiment behind a joke. The sober and thoughful version would go this way:
Mask culture is about empowerment. It’s about doing small things to make a small difference when the world has spun out of control.
The tweet I actually posted was a mash-up that both expressed the sentiment and made the Batman joke, which softened the sentiment and messed up the timing of the joke. I puzzled about that for a minute and then decided to blog about it.
TL;DR: Wear masks and stay safe.2