Naturally Dinesh has come to scandal, squiring a (much) younger married woman around, introducing her as his fiance, while legally married himself. This is delicious in so may ways, not least because both he and the woman alleged to be involved with him collect fat fees describing the end of marriage if we allow two adult people of the same gender who love each other to get married.
But, as with so much in life, mindless glee is tempered by real humanity. Harold Pollack writes about how, in all of these situations, the impulse to dehumanize the object of our glee causes so much more damage. And that:
We know these stories already… I’ve spent many years working on interventions for individuals trying to avoid or to recover from harmful behaviors that damage their lives and hurt people they love… I think we should resist the ugly pack mentality, which creates a permission structure for gleeful cruelty..
Here’s my comment from that post:
I am so torn about what you wrote.
You see, I do not trust the human beast. We are natural pack animals, far too willing to trot gleefully behind the snarling (perhaps pheromone dripping?) alpha who howls the message that resonates with us. In that mad rush it doesn’t matter who or what gets trampled, savaged, ravaged, or killed in that mad dash. Our weakest, youngest, poorest, oldest, and most vulnerable all get left behind in the surge, lucky if all they end up is hungry. My impulse is to help *these* folks; my charity in time, money, and devotion goes to them.
To see someone who not only was in that pack, but sought to lead it, and profited from it, brought down by the pack? It is so very, very hard to re-humanize someone who so actively sought to de-humanize so many (just sample a little of his Dartmouth Review oeuvre), instead of chanting to push him forward into the maw of public derision and ruin.
Harold Pollack, you are a mensch, a human of the first water. For you, I’ll try.