[Question] Is there a mu-like term that means something like “why is this any of my business?”

[Context: mu is a way to respond to a question phrased in a yes or no way but that can’t be answered with a yes or a no.]

I’ll quickly try to explain my predicament.

I’m two episodes in to the HBO series Allen v. Farrow, a documentary about Woody Allen and Mia Farrow’s relationship and Allen’s relationship with Farrow’s children.

I’m watching it because I subscribe to a film critic on YouTube, Rick Worley, who made a documentary By The Way, Woody Allen is Innocent, that I found very compelling. I thought the HBO series would be a good counter-balance to see what the other side would say.

Tonight I found myself thinking, “why is it important that I have an opinion one way or another on this?” The knee-jerk responses that came to mind were along the lines of “yes, this is totally a waste of your time” or “there are forms of entertainment with higher RoI.”

Perhaps that’s true, but another side of my brain retorted with “hey remember when you saw Gideon’s Trumpet (the documentary about the events surrounding Gideon v. Wainwright) that you drop in conversation all the time now when you’re discussing someone going to trial who looks guilty as sin but then looks completely different once they have access to a competent lawyer and other legal services?”

I started thinking “of all the high-profile controversial scandals, why are any of them my business?” In some cases, perhaps there are things I could do to change the outcome or there may be ways that the outcome would affect me by way of a legal or cultural precedents. In many cases there aren’t or the reasons for concern aren’t clear.

I believe this situation and others like it may be improved if there was a term or phrase for them that could be invoked when, specifically, a scandal is framed apriori in a way that implies it’s really important for you to understand and have an opinion on it when the default position should be “it’s none of my business.” So when someone brought up something as complicated as the Allen v. Farrow story you could respond “etaoin shrdlu?”* which would mean something like (1) what obligation do I have to thoroughly investigate the claims being made to the point that I have very little doubt about my conclusions? (2) by what right am I being obligated to have an opinion on them? and (3) what is the expected benefit to me or society from (1) and (2)? This would then shift the responsibility to that someone who brought it up to explain the particular salience of the scandal.

And I don’t mean (1), (2) or (3) in a sneering or “so what?” kind of way. There may in fact be good reasons to invest time thinking about these situations, but it’s also possible that you’re just getting too involved in someone’s personal life… or are maybe living vicariously to the detriment of other things.

Ideally such a term, if it already exists or exists in the future, could also be used as a response to political slogans that would enjoin someone to a cause at penalty of falling in to a Kafkatrap.

*etaoin shrdlu is already taken, but it seemed like an appropriately randomish set of characters.

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