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One of the lesser crimes of evil is that it makes good boring. Protesting is a chore. Instead of spending time exploring and creating, energy has to be channeled into pointing at a thing and repeating, for the millionth time: “This thing, that has always been bad, is still bad. You know this. We know this. But it is important, and exhausting, and mind-numbingly boring that we have to say it out loud, to prevent you from being able to pretend that it was just accepted. We cannot stop you; all we can do is force you to acknowledge that you are not the hero.”


John Fisher believes he is the hero, as evidenced by his cringeworthy remark to fans: “All that time it’s been a lot worse for me than it’s been for you.” It was an offhand comment, insinuating that because of his wealth and status, he had suffered more in reputation than these common, invisible fans could ever have to lose. It’s a lack of awareness, or empathy, that only money can buy.


His apology is written from the perspective of the protagonist: not as hero, but as narrative device. Fisher treats his role as the subject of some invisible author. The most shocking thing about his statement is not the lack of empathy or contrition—these are, of course, the least shocking things—but the sheer absence of agency. This is a man apologizing despite believing in his heart that he’s done nothing wrong, the sort of behavior every parent with young children can instantly sense like a gas leak. It’s also a man apologizing despite believing that he couldn’t have done anything wrong, that he had no choice, that literally every branch in the path that took him here was the only one that could have been taken.

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