‘Too pure for this world’: how unfiltered joy became the internet’s antidote

Excerpt from this article:

We live in a foul world that incentivises the exploitation of the many and the indulgence of the few. A world that condemns people to endless, dehumanising work and invasive unfreedom, even (and especially) in what is sold to us as pleasure.

And what’s the opposite of foul? Pure.

You might have seen pure stuff on social media: stories of people spontaneously helping others, innocently misreading social situations, or being playful for no reason. Dogs are way too pure – especially when they do “human” things, like “paying” for treats using leaves. Interspecies friendships are pure.

Cheering on your ex is pure. Being delighted by babies in Pope costumes is pure. Children’s emotions, beliefs and gestures are pure. Using your acting skills to grant a dying boy’s wish is pure. Gentle, creative, non-competitive activities are pure.

Perhaps the pure operates as a genuine circuit-breaker: a welcome moment of surprised relief. Dads are pure because men are foul. Old people’s texts are pure because young people’s experiences of text messaging are foul. Everyday heroes are pure because celebrities and admired leaders turn out to be foul.

Crucially, the pure is redemptive and liberating.