We’ve become a nation of gossip-mongers from the Mean Girls growing up to the celebrity gossip that clogs the grocery magazine racks and TV airwaves to our political discourse. Gossip holds sway.
“Gossip” used to be a pejorative but society rewards the best gossips with TV hosting contracts.
[amazonify]0691122946:right[/amazonify]Nothing new under this sun. The Bible discusses the sin of gossip Romans 1:29b-32. Today, Harry G. Frankfurt’s best-selling book touches on gossip in a different way, making the argument that gossip, or bullshit, whether true or false is more harmful than the knowing lie.
“One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit,” writes Frankfurt.
Frankfurt’s short book is reviewed at an intellectual philosophical level here.
Psychologist Dr Pam Spur discusses how we should respond to gossip as it occurs in our daily lives, attempting a slippery differentiation between gossip that is harmless and harmful.
“Malicious gossip excludes the person being gossiped about from the group in a negative way. It becomes a form of bullying.”
The impulsive need for social inclusion makes gossip appealing and drives the gossipy nature of chain emails leading up to the Presidential election.