Thursday, 3 March 2016

Harold the Barrel - Twitterstorm

Harold has decided he's had enough. We don't know why. He'd rather be on a boat - not an unachievable ambition for a bloke who lives in Bognor, even if he's got a restaurant to look after. Maybe his mum's the one who;s caused all the problems? She's not helping on the ledge.

There can be a terrible, casual hatred for those driven to this degree of desperation. A dreadful hardness - especially for those who die in front of trains. "Selfish bastard" and "Did he have to do it during the rush hour" being two things I've heard. But maybe when you're about to chuck yourself in front of the next 125, you're not really worrying about the inconvenience you might cause a few commuters. You've got the whole world pressing in - the problems you have seem more than you can imagine bearing and you think there's no other way out. So if you're stranded at St Pancras when the departure boards go into meltdown - say a "Lord have mercy", not a "selfish bastard."

Meanwhile on the street in Bognor, the rumours are piling up, piling pressure on poor Harold. Instead of a victim, someone for whom it was all too much, he's being treated as a criminal. And the allegations get ridiculous quick.
"Father of three it's disgusting"
"Such a horrible thing to do"
Harold the Barrel cut off his toes and he served them all for tea"
"Can't go far", "He can't go far".
"Hasn't got a leg to stand on"
When a Twitterstorm breaks, the person the Twitterstorm is about is normally less guilty of terrible things than Twitter has decided. Stuff gets added, taken out of context - in 1972 in Bognor, in 2016 in Cyberspace.

Give people a break. That's all.

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