The fear of public shaming is greater to most people than the fear of death. I never really considered that before now in quite those terms, but given that the general fear of public speaking is akin to the same thing — that we’ll say something stupid and live to regret in perpetuity — yeah, I can buy this premise. Ever wonder why or how that came to be?
Are you on social media? If you’re reading this review, you already know the answer. In which case, this book is for you.
We live in an era of self-appointed Social Justice Warriors who are all about making sure everyone treats everyone else fairly and with dignity. Heaven forbid somebody makes a joke or goes about their day simply being human. When that happens, it’s open season for even the smallest of transgressions. We live in a world of bullies. There are few things in life truly worth destroying people over, but now skins are so thin that they’re practically transparent. And that’s really what this book is about, taking a look at this idea through a microcosm of cited examples on both sides of the shaming line, both the shamers and the shamed.
Dying is easy; comedy is hard. In today’s world, that’s more true than ever before. Too many people today are potentially armed with a digital trebuchet and blissfully unaware of the fact that they live in glass houses, and others who also live in glass houses are similarly armed and ready to fire back. Ronson’s book could be considered a reminder to all of us to step back and get some perspective. Will it happen? Maybe for about a week and a half after reading this book, but it’s nice to consider that someone was proactive enough to send the rest of us the memo.