I’m so exhausted. I’ve spent the past three days stalking the streets of York with a bike lock, blinded by rage, looking for Liam Neeson. On Wednesday night however, a friend pointed out to me that Liam Neeson actually lives in NEW York which is apparently in America, and so my lust for revenge was thankfully brought into sharp focus.
In a horrifying interview on Monday, Neeson spoke about a time in his past when for no reason at all he became so racist, he wanted to kill all black people. Going so far as to drive around Ireland in a big tank for several months, with the aim of ruthlessly mowing down every PoC he saw. Thankfully, we are going back many years when there were very few black people in Ireland and so his evil plan was scuppered. ‘Curse you [vile racial slur]!’ I imagine he cried from the roof of his (probably stolen) armored vehicle, ‘I’ll get you next time!’ This is a level of intolerance common among white men, although rarely openly acknowledged.
Admittedly, I have not seen the interview, because I simply cannot bear the Irish accent (even reading the transcript would result in my mind being violently infiltrated by the voice of an angry leprechaun) but from the resulting backlash it’s obvious that Neeson is a racist.
After reading a few tweets about Liam Neeson on Monday morning, I was immediately overcome with an intense feeling of hatred. I wanted revenge. I wanted to go out there and eradicate every Liam Neeson I saw. I wanted to have him removed, permanently from the world. I wanted his face to be CGI’d out of every film he’s ever been in and replaced with the face of an actor of color (Idris Elba perhaps?), until he no longer existed. Until he was forgotten.
When my personal crusade around York had been rendered fruitless, I decided on a more drastic approach. I don’t have money, but what I do have are a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career in online social justice. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like Liam Neeson. I went to work, posting my virtuous opinion of his unforgivable racism across all forms of social media. Influencing news articles, expressing my righteous disgust of Liam Neeson’s forthcoming appearance on the red carpet to promote his latest film. My fingers were a blur, typing on various forums, screenshotting news headlines regarding Neeson’s dangerously toxic views and uploading them to my Instagram feed. I was lost in a frenzy of hate, my desire for revenge the only thing sustaining me (along with a couple of gluten-free Graze boxes).
At around 3am this morning, I suddenly came to my senses. I sat up in my bed, my MacBook Pro slowly falling to the floor as I tried to come to terms with what I had been doing. It’s taken me 12 hours to fully process what had happened. I did learn a lesson from it, when I eventually thought, ‘What the fuck are you doing’, you know? Revenge had made me irrational. It had twisted the events of the past few days out of all proportion. Made me sick with anger and loathing for what I imagined Liam Neeson had probably said during that interview. And you know what? I loved it. I felt alive. I felt like it had given me a real purpose. The sense of superiority I experienced while judging this man was so pure, almost spiritual.
Liam Neeson may say he regrets what he did, but I feel no remorse for having ‘Taken’ my own form of revenge on him.