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The trappings of entitlement

We are a people imbued with entitlement. Our students expect stipends till kingdom come, people supporting either side of the house expect to be handed jobs they are not remotely qualified or capable of doing and, in the latest twist in our sordid tale, carnival has been extended by another week because of the weather.

Like the stereotypical teenager, we will stamp our feet, curse up and down and well, withhold that all-important vote should our every whim not be acquiesced to by the powers that be.

If at any point you choose to go down what is normally considered to be the grown-up way and question this entitlement armed with facts, reason and plain common sense, you will be inevitably met in battle by the pity police, who will try to wear you down and cow you till you’re left feeling like a spoilsport at best and the playground bully at worst.

In our fair country, feelings and opinions are the real currency and woe betide he who doesn’t get with this brittle, ego-centred programme

It doesn’t matter whether or not you are right: in our fair country, feelings and opinions are the real currency and woe betide he who doesn’t get with this brittle, ego-centred programme.

Ironically, while we are all about protecting our own fragile feelings and parading their validity, we care little about the feelings of others and never was this more apparent than in the spectacle displayed last weekend.

You see, at the same time that people were wearing American Indian headdresses without a care for all the genocides in the world, another group of carnival revellers decided it would be a good idea to poke fun at the mentally ill. While I’m cautiously hopeful that in both cases no deep-rooted malicious harm was meant, it’s this kind of tasteless, ignorant ‘humour’ that makes me wonder whether many in this country suffer from some disorder that allows them to ignore other people’s suffering while amplifying their own.

Of course, there will always be a sector of the online population defensively and dare I say, aggressively, stating that people are making mountains out of molehills by commenting on these incidents.

However, if more of those same people picked up a history book once in a while and tried to develop some empathy instead of parading their inept grammar on their friends’ Facebook profiles, they’d understand the issue with cultural appropriation, mass extermination and the very real struggles those suffering from mental health issues face daily. Experience that yourself, or watch a loved one go through it, and then give me your misinformed and entitled opinion.

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