Monday, November 10, 2014

My Facebook meltdown

I threatened to quit using Facebook yesterday (on Facebook), and got more comments on a post than ever before. I think. But since I didn't post my threat in order to get comments, it really doesn't matter.

People are mean.

Not you, of course. And it's a free country. Sort of. I think the Koch Brothers have probably spent quite a bit of money buying it up, but the constitution still says you can say what you want.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Obviously I'm simplifying. The First Amendment has been and will continue to be debated. As it stands now, however, there's no law against bashing the President on Facebook. You can't threaten to kill him. That will get you a visit from the Feds. But you can lie about him and use racial slurs to describe him and pretend he's a Kenyan-Muslim-Socialist who wants to take your guns away, and there's nothing I can do about it.

Except back away from the Facebook.

Which I may or may not still do. But at least my knickers aren't in quite the twist they were yesterday, when I was feeling, um, very emotional.

The day began early, as it usually does. I clicked and followed a link to this video, a country anthem by Garth Brooks, first recorded four years ago (I think). (I would embed it here but it is restricted from embedding on some domains.) I don't listen to country music, as a rule. But yesterday I did. Go. Watch. I'll wait.

Remember when the Dixie Chicks criticized President Bush? And fans threw their albums away and talk-show hosts beat them up and they were pretty much ostracized from country music? Yeah, I guess those days are over.

I watched the We Shall Be Free video and wept. Sobbed. A delayed reaction, possibly, to the election results. But a sincere expression of the utter hopelessness I feel for the future of America.

The pendulum swings, thankfully, because later in the day I saw where Kacey Musgraves' Follow Your Arrow was named country music's Song of the Year. You can read about it and watch the video here.

I first heard the song watching the Grammys, back in January, I think. I downloaded it as soon as I could and I listen to it frequently. (Even though I just told you I don't listen much to country music.) It's sassy. And pretty darned different, for a country song.

And if Nashville is willing to recognize a song about weed and lesbians, maybe Garth Brooks' wish for a more tolerant world can come true.

Despite the fact that Tennessee just passed constitutional amendments effectively bannning all abortions in the state and forever prohibiting a state income tax. Oh, yes, they did.


Toledo Lefty said...

I've started to unfollow people who are using Facebook only for posting their political views, as it's kind of dull. I'm more interested in seeing personal posts than rants, whether or not I agree with them.

gingerzingi said...

Debbi, never ever read the comments, ANYWHERE. I don't have room in my heart for amount of rage they inspire. I don't know how much people really mean the things they write, or how much of it is this bizarre new custom of posting the most vile ideas you can think of for shock value, but either way those people are not adult humans capable of interacting with others. Don't waste two seconds of your life reading that filth.

I try to read a variety of news sources, so I don't get that Internet tunnel-vision of choosing only those who agree with my opinions. There's a lot of great journalism out there and a lot of rotten journalism, but at least those people are putting their name on a byline and their organization is [somewhat] backing them and holding them accountable for what they say. It doesn't guarantee quality or objectivity, but there's a lot less frothing racism and misogyny in the articles themselves. For instance, there are some valid criticisms of president Obama that do not revolve around the color of his skin, though you wouldn't know it from reading FB. I want to know these things; I want to know how we can be more successful next time from learning about our failures this time.

So go ahead and unfollow or unfriend people. You know I'm going to unfollow someone who writes "y'all" in every post :) And I have unfriended two people (not recently) because of their hate-filled remarks. It's not worth my time; it doesn't achieve anything to try to engage with them. Keep working FOR your cause and what you believe in - ultimately that's going to pay off. Trying to dissuade haters rarely does.