I believe this will be my 1,000th post on this blog. Let's see if we get a blare of horns or something.
Tonight I was working on a short story and came to a point where I wanted to describe how a police detective would be dressed. Or at least how someone looking to look like a detective would dress. For the second, pop culture images would be fine, and I have watched cop shows on TV. But still, I went to Google image search for a refresher. One of the images that came up was unusual because the subject had a tattoo on her neck. She was also black, a detail that becomes relevant in a moment.
I was curious, so I followed the image to its source. From what I can tell, the person in the picture wasn't a cop. The site I had arrived at was a blog dedicated to obsessively cataloguing every murder and assault committed by black Americans, with cute comments along the lines of "What do all these people have in common?" I didn't stay long because that's not the kind of place I like to be, online or off.
It further demonstrated what I've thought for a while though. Privacy on the Internet is a fine thing, and I wouldn't want it to go away. At the same time, it encourages people to express opinions and feelings that people were learning to keep to themselves for the previous thirty years or so. They were learning that because these opinions are stupid and hateful. Now you get a lot of chances to see them. One hopes visibility is higher than influences.