I like the friends I have on Facebook. I’ve culled my friends list ruthlessly, like a dog breeder drowning puppies while trying for a new type of canine, maybe a Saint Berdoodle. So now my friends list contains real friends, or at least acquaintances I like. This has led me to do far stupider things than I did when my Facebook friends included my dentist’s uncle and the guy I met at the gas station.

The Wise Folk advise us to avoid certain subjects in polite company. We should not discuss sex, religion, or politics. I think this is usually great advice. But now on Facebook I’m not in polite company, I’m among my friends. So I say to the wise folk, “Screw you, you god damn commies!” I feel comfortable talking to my friends about delicate subjects. They’re my friends.

Allow me to show you the stupidity of my ways. Say I’m scanning posts and see that a friend linked an article. It reveals that last Christmas Eve the Republican National Committee held a cross-dressing orgy and sacrificed goats on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. My friend has commented: “This is outrageous! These guys are traitors to the nation!”

Back when my friends list included the guy I met at the gas station, I would no more have responded to this than I would have inhaled Drano. But now I’m among friends. I may freely read this article and offer friendly insights.

I admit that the image of the RNC writhing in ecstasy under Abraham Lincoln’s gaze is amusing. Yet I try to be honest, and I comment: “I read the article and am not sure it’s accurate. The article was written by a plumber in Little Rock who said he’s never been east of the Mississippi, and he relied on his nephew’s field trip to DC for his source material. I couldn’t locate anyone else who saw this event, and unless the RNC has a Romulan cloaking device then someone should have seen them and said something. And while the article appears on a website named www.window.on.truth.com, it’s in fact owned by the non-profit ‘Kill Republican Maggots Who Kick Orphans.’ I’d say exercise some skepticism.”

Half an hour later my friend responds: “Maybe, maybe not. There’s no proof that they DIDN’T have this orgy, is there?”

I suppress my knowledge that it’s impossible to prove a negative. My friend knows how she feels, and I’m not determined to change her opinion. She likes her opinion. We had a friendly conversation, polite on both sides, and I’m happy. So I comment: “I see what you’re saying, and you’re right—I can’t prove the orgy didn’t happen. If some of these guys have their penises fall off later, that could be evidence that an orgy might have happened. But overall, go you!”

Fourteen seconds later a comment appears from one of my friend’s friends. I’ve never heard of this person, and if he was on fire I probably wouldn’t bother to write an app to simulate a stream of urine directed onto him.

He comments, addressing my friend: “I don’t know where this guy came from, but he’s just the kind of shit-for-brains reactionary who’s going to drive this country into a revolution that will end in an influenza pandemic and nuclear war! Just because someone’s a plumber doesn’t mean his words are false—that’s nothing but elitist thinking from a lackey of the rich and privileged who have filled this country’s prisons with the innocent poor and are conducting scientific experiments on them to create a super-soldier! I’ll bet he’s never even been to an orgy! I’d like to see this asshole debate the real issues instead of drooling his opinions—I’d shred him in 2 seconds! But I doubt he has the guts!”

As I read this, I reflect that they are called Wise Folk instead of Pretty Folk for a reason. I should listen to them more. I feel a gut-wriggling urge to respond to this snot-streaming cretin, but it’s evident that hours of spiteful conflict will ensue with a person I do not know, care about, or wish to see in the gene pool. Only evil lies at the end of that path.

There is salvation. It’s called the “Block” button, and I punch it as if it was the ejector seat and my F-18 was flaming out.

Sure, Facebook is a social network, but social isn’t always good. Most murders are committed by someone close to the victim, and the most vicious wars are fought between people with only a few degrees of separation. If I want to enjoy my time online, I’ll keep my fingers in my pockets when those touchy subjects float by. If I want a fight, I can always walk up to someone in a bar and call his mother a clot of nose-filth.

19 thoughts on “Just Sex, Religion and Politics? What About the Drugs and the Rock and Roll?

  1. Agreed.

    It’s often difficult to remove/block friends just like that. The last time I put up pictures of trips with the girlfy, I got a lot of crude tripe from friends I know, but who’re better friends with an ex. As much as I’d like to block them, I wouldn’t want it to be construed as burning bridges. Sadly, friending/unfriending on Facebook does have real-world repercussions.

    • I completely agree. I have my FB friends down to a list of people I like, but of course some of them annoy the crap out of me from time to time. That’s only fair, since no one has doubts about how annoying I am sometimes. Even when my frustration gets high, I don’t want to block my real friends, and that’s when I grimace at my computer, take a breath, and back away from the keyboard for a while. I have a rule that it’s okay for any of my real friends to puke in my car if they need to. So, it takes a lot for me to block a real friend on FB.

      But friends of friends who hack me off? Screw them!

  2. Agreed.

    It’s often difficult to remove/block friends just like that. The last time I put up pictures of trips with the girlfy, I got a lot of crude tripe from friends I know, but who’re better friends with an ex. As much as I’d like to block them, I wouldn’t want it to be construed as burning bridges. Sadly, friending/unfriending on Facebook does have real-world repercussions.

    • I completely agree. I have my FB friends down to a list of people I like, but of course some of them annoy the crap out of me from time to time. That’s only fair, since no one has doubts about how annoying I am sometimes. Even when my frustration gets high, I don’t want to block my real friends, and that’s when I grimace at my computer, take a breath, and back away from the keyboard for a while. I have a rule that it’s okay for any of my real friends to puke in my car if they need to. So, it takes a lot for me to block a real friend on FB.

      But friends of friends who hack me off? Screw them!

  3. but someone in a bar could REALLY hurt me.. and the mud flinging on facebook helps me to hone like a blade my debate skills and helps me clarify to myself exactly what i do and do not believe. i think i would take on the snot-streaming cretin, but only as long as i kept my emotions in check and argued from the side of logic.

    • Helen, I bow to your debate skills–it sounds like politics on FB works for you. And speaking as a member of the fraternity of those with family members killed in bar fights, I appreciate your point about the danger there.

      And thanks for reading & commenting!

  4. but someone in a bar could REALLY hurt me.. and the mud flinging on facebook helps me to hone like a blade my debate skills and helps me clarify to myself exactly what i do and do not believe. i think i would take on the snot-streaming cretin, but only as long as i kept my emotions in check and argued from the side of logic.

  5. Oh my do I ever know how you feel. I like debating but it’s so tiresome when people take it personally and get all defensive and insulting. It really makes you want to put away the “I see what you’re saying but…” and pick up the “fuck off you stupid douche bag.” But then you’d be as tiresome as they are.

    • I know. The high road is morally rewarding, but it’s also a dusty stretch of “can’t call him a flaccid walrus whang because it lowers me to his level.” Well, there’s always Jack Daniels.

  6. Oh my do I ever know how you feel. I like debating but it’s so tiresome when people take it personally and get all defensive and insulting. It really makes you want to put away the “I see what you’re saying but…” and pick up the “fuck off you stupid douche bag.” But then you’d be as tiresome as they are.

    • I know. The high road is morally rewarding, but it’s also a dusty stretch of “can’t call him a flaccid walrus whang because it lowers me to his level.” Well, there’s always Jack Daniels.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.