Since school got out, I made a brief first effort to catch up with a semester’s worth of neglect, but I’ve had to take a break. The mountain of correspondence is large, and I am still all achy in the carpals from a hundred pages of paper-writing for finals. So: why am I wasting the life of my wrists to put out some jibber-jabber that won’t go toward meeting my obligations?
I avoided it like the plague during school as part of the great Bermuda Triangle of time-suck: email, Twitter, FB (with the new outposts of Pinterest and Tumblr). There was limited exposure if I clicked the wrong URL in my navbar or deliberately took a glancing break from a text that was reading like cold oatmeal, but aside from a few throw-away comments as I cruised the cocktail party, I’ve been off the stuff.
Returning was necessary. Lingering was a mistake.
A handful of the better people — and I am not one to keep a mile-long F-list — have departed from, or significantly limited their exposure via, the book of faces. What remains? 87% rock solid curmudgeonliness and 13% fun stuff directed at a subgroup, usually local friends, but shared with the universe. Hey, fun party last night! Hey, you gonna make it to practice? Hey, does anyone know where I left my hat?
The latter posts never apply to me, since I am not within many hundreds of miles of anyone I know, but they read like poetry compared to the 87%.
A few people post only memes from Tea Party websites about how George Washington would have soundly thrashed Obama who is an Ungodly Commie.
Another few post only Marine Corps memes that offer either slavering obsequiousness or snide “You’re WELCOME” sentiments that are less oorah and more Kenny Fucking Powers. (NB: my family includes many servicemen, some of whom are Marines, and I have a deep affection and respect for the Corps. But these memes are childish and narcissistic and I see a dozen a day.)
The liberal curmudgeons bring a whole lot of Debbie Downer to the party. Example: the Newton shootings don’t matter because Obama is killing children in the ME with drone strikes, and Obamacare doesn’t matter because other countries get to have universal healthcare, and OH!, eternal mourning that Obama won the election! (Still with this, guys? Would Romney have been better? Your emotional FB postings will not cause a three-party system to spring up out of nowhere, you know.)
Then there are the conservative curmudgeons who are the exact opposite number: the Newton shootings are a plot by Obama to revoke all private gun ownership, and we are saddled with Socialist Obamacare despite being a Capitalist country, and OH! things would have been so much better if Romney had won the election! Sigh. Yawn.
Minor-yet-vocal trends are usually individuals who have too much time on their hands and just spam the feed with random specific memes: Jesus things (“Feel The Holes In His Hands and See How Much He Loves You”; abortion is evil because Jesus; when life gives you lemons, Jesus has the recipe for lemonade; etc.); emotional extortion memes (Do One Million People Have the Courage To Re-Post This to Show That They Love Jesus? -The Second Amendment? -Our Troops? I Bet NOT!!!!); and random idiocy memes (“When I was a child, the streets were safe because our parents whipped our asses and now beating your children is frowned upon by libberrruls, so boys wear saggy trousers just like prison inmates who are ‘available.’ ‘LIKE’ if you got lots of spankings and grew up morally smug because of it!”)
Then we have the gun people vs. the anti-gun people spouting statistics at each other, fingers in ears and screaming defiance. Yawn again. But getting back to my main complaint, one of the other curmudgeons loudly protested this “debate” by threatening to un-friend anyone who posted gun-related comments on “her” wall from that point forward. As you may surmise, no one was posting anything to her wall; she simply wanted people to keep the topic out of her feed.
Sorry, ma’am; that’s not how it works. Go ahead: block people for their opinions, or unfriend them, or hide their posts. But no one should have to self-censor to please anyone else. Not that I don’t self-censor all the time. Anyone who wants to complain about my boring miscellany — odd music videos, tired old “What’s For Dinner?” meal pix, various quotes from movies and books — is free to block me; and yet I hope he or she will keep in mind that by posting the equivalent of bland small talk, I am containing my rage at the stuff I loathe.
This self-containment got away from me last night. I snapped. Someone re-posted an E-card meme saying, “I would like to thank those who came up with the phrase ‘Politically Correct’ for giving us a nation full of whiney-ass pansies who have no common sense nor pride!” Since my grammar is less than perfect, I skipped the flaws of conveyance and ripped on the logic. Guess what? If the pale males with power hadn’t been abusive assholes, there never would have been a PC movement. You can blame yourselves for that.
When a man my equal in age and inferior in intelligence thinks he gets to address me by my first name, or even by a dismissive diminutive, and yet expects me to address him as “Sir” or “Mister Whatever”, the PC movement starts making sense. When people wave the flag and get all emotional about Traditional Family Values (TM), they don’t get to behave like rude, ungentlemanly scoundrels and then whine because some member of a marginalized group stood up and demanded to be treated with the same respect and civility as a member of the majority. And when women, half the population, stand up and want to be treated like human beings, they are accused of trying to act like men, usurp the male prerogative, or get called ugly names. All for wanting fair treatment.
And now the white males are whining about…other people whining. I should have just said, “I dunno, Mister, that sounds pretty whiny to me,” and left it at that. And though I ranted, it wasn’t a perfect or eloquent rant, nor did it vent my spleen. All I can say is that I got it under control and left before I burned down the house.
I thought it would be a good idea to put FB on a back burner, but I have changed my mind. Time to take FB off the back burner and put it in the bun warmer / crumb catching drawer under the oven, along with the strange pans that only get used a few times per year. Whenever I feel like making aebleskiver, I’ll know it’s time to check Facebook again.