As luck would punch me in the face, I spent the evening last night with a sanctimonious arse. Don't ask me why but it certainly wasn't my choice. Predictable topics of conversation came up -the May election, taxes, immigration and how fuckwittingly clueless everyone else in the world is (happen to agree with his views on this one).
But I was struck, as I always am, by how these views are spewed forth by those who, outside of a bad day at the office, have very little experience of hardship and human suffering. Don't misunderstand me, I'm all for being opinionated. It adds flavour to one's personality. But so equally does taking a little responsibility over what you say.
I wonder why people are like this? Is it purely ego driven? Because in the same way that people use jokes and dark humour to deal with the things in life that terrify them, I think it likely that they use simplistic judgements to diminish and distance the lack of control we all too often have over our lives. Example: much easier to denounce single mothers as money grabbing harlots than to think about societal changes, the nature of modern relationships, the importance of fathers and, heaven forfend, that one could end up in the same predicament. Far better to label, criticise and fictionalise them as 'other'.
The sense of satisfaction and superiority is enough to last a lifetime. You hope.