A semi-regular attempt to address some of life’s minutiae that might otherwise be overlooked…..
Facebook sure has changed in the last several months. I distinctly recall being savagely attacked by friends of a friend (well, he’s not my friend anymore…his loss) during a sociopolitical…discussion…a few years ago. I was called fat, stupid, a Nazi, and various other things by people who didn’t even know me. Where were Facebook’s “community standards” back then?? Apparently they didn’t exist. But you know what…that’s okay. I’m a grown ass man. I took a licking and kept on ticking. Flash forward to the present and I’ve been in “Facebook Jail” twice in the past few weeks, the first time for 24 hours & the second for three days. I deserved the first one and I’ll admit it, but I don’t even know what I did the second time. I’m not usually the paranoid conspiracy theory type, but I feel like I’m being targeted since my beliefs tend to lean to the right and I espouse conservative Christian values (most of the time…I’m not perfect). I am convinced that Facebook & other social media platforms are limiting free speech and exhibiting unprecedented control over the populace. They are silencing perspectives with which they do not agree, and sadly it is working. I am the administrator for two pages other than my personal page, and I don’t want those organizations to lose their platform. I stay in contact with friends & family across the country and beyond as well as utilize Facebook as an online photo album and a place to promote my blog, and I don’t want to lose those options either. So you know what?? You win Facebook. You have (mostly) silenced me. Going forward I will be even more selective about what I post and extremely careful about threads I comment on. I’ll stick to clicking the “like” button or replying with a funny GIF. It’s just not worth the hassle to go beyond that. Isn’t it ironic that a social media site is so arbitrary in the way it administers “justice” (to adults who should be able to post anything we want) that it actually persuades people to be less interactive 🤔.
I utilize my Instagram as a Meme Zone. Nothing but memes. All memes all the time (sadly even those have been “fact checked” a couple of times). Most are funny, while some are meant to make one stop & think. I ran across this one that someone else had posted, but it gave me pause. It’s a nice idea and a pleasant thought, but I don’t believe it to be true. My father told me often as a child that even though people would stop, pat me on the head, & be briefly concerned about the “poor little crippled boy”, the fact is that ten seconds later they’d forgotten all about me because everyone has their own lives and their own problems. Dad has imparted much wisdom thru the years, but that particularly sage counsel has always stuck with me more than anything else. So forgive me if I don’t believe that coworkers, classmates, random little kids & old women, or the waitstaff at my favorite restaurant love me. I don’t even think it is true in regard to my extended family. I’ve been laid up for nine months (hospital, “skilled” nursing facility, homebound), and trust me…I rarely receive phone calls, texts, emails, or instant messages from anyone outside of a select few (and damn do I appreciate those folks). I have been quite lonely & distraught. Some evenings I have simply laid here & wept. I would never take the ultimate drastic action because I cannot fathom devastating my father & sister in that way and my faith, though shaky at times, is deeply rooted. But make no mistake…certain things have run across my mind in moments of despair. Obviously I don’t feel particularly loved or lovable. I think a more accurate word would be likable. I know people like me. I have a few good qualities…a decent sense of humor, fairly intelligent, a good listener, polite (most of the time), reliable, generally honest. But lovable?? Nah. It may seem silly to some, but one of the more devastating things that has happened in the past several months is a lovely gal that I have admired from afar for awhile was briefly single but has now apparently found the love of her life, all while I was immobile & otherwise distracted. It was a pipe dream anyway…she’s completely out of my league. However, what the situation made clear to me is that I have absolutely nothing to offer a potential mate, and at a time in my life when I have way too much time to spend in my own head that realization has been heartbreaking. At any rate, I will continue to be a “nice guy” to friends, neighbors, the drive thru people at Burger King, customer service reps at local retail outlets, and anyone else I encounter…but I labor under no delusion that they love me or that I am worthy of that level of admiration.
I’m sure y’all read stories recently about Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Missouri) finishing a closing prayer on the first day of the new Congress with “amen & awoman”. Actually what he said was “And dare I ask, oh Lord, peace even in this chamber now and evermore. We ask it in the name of the monotheistic god, Brahma, and god known by many names by many different faiths. Amen and awoman.” Okay…this is so stupid I don’t even know where to start. The word “amen” is an Abrahamic declaration of affirmation used in Jewish, Christian, & Islamic worship as a response to a prayer. It means verily, truly, or so be it. In other words, it has absolutely NOTHING to do with gender!! Congressman Cleaver was so hellbent & determined to prove his wokeness, but instead he exposed his own mental illness. Also, in case you are wondering, Brahma is the Hindu god. Folks, I don’t have an issue with inclusiveness & all that jazz. I am a Christian, but I have friends who are Jewish and others that range from “spiritual” to “questioning”. I am not personally acquainted with any atheists or Muslims and certainly have my opinions about each, but hey, if you respect my faith I’ll respect yours. Having said that, I think there are common sense parameters, and recognizing the Hindu god in a prayer in the United States Congress or any other public arena simply isn’t normal. I’ve always known that politicians in general are corrupt, greedy, & morally ambiguous, but I’m starting to get a real sense of evil emanating from Washington DC. There’s so much more I could say, but I’m trying to remain positive and not elevate my blood pressure.