Respecting the Dignity of Those You Fundamentally Disagree With

Something that continues to amaze and annoy me is how wrapped up some people can get in their ideological wars that they completley jettison any sort of common decency and dignity toward others. Yes, I can enjoy (or start) a flamewar as much as the next guy or gal, but some people seem unable to take even a step back even in the most extreme positions.

What I’m talking about is Pamela Anderson. Now I am not a big fan of Anderson’s — to put it bluntly, aside from everything else I’ve just never thought she was that attractive. Add in the lack of acting ability, extraodinarily poor choice in boyfriends/husbands, etc. and I’m just not sure how this woman ever became a household name of sorts (and no, I don’t think the obvious answer that everyone’s going to suggest explains it either).

Anyway, I normally wouldn’t write anything about Anderson except that she is an animal rights activist and an occasional spokesperson for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. I, to say the least, have a fundamental disagreement with animal rights ideologies, and the few times I’ve ever written anything about Anderson has been about her animal rights activism.

Anderson is also afflicted with Hepatitis-C and fears that the disease may killer her within a decade. Anderson is an idiot for following some herbal regimen instead of interferon treatment, and it’s annoying that she fronts for a group that is opposed to ongoing research with mice and chimpanzees that may one day lead to more effective treatments or even a cure for the 175 million Hepatitis-C sufferers worldwide.

But it’s bizarre to see some folks on mailing lists I subscribe to practically gloat over the news that she may die within ten years. (Actually, it’s rather sickening.)

If Anderson dies from Hepatitis-C that would be a tragedy, just as the 8,000-10,000 annual deaths from the disease in the United States alone is a tragedy (and, sadly, that number is likely to triple over the next 20 years if a better treatment isn’t discovered).

I just don’t understand the sort of person who could gloat over Anderson’s potentially fatal medical problems.

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