I started out writing something to encourage people to get to work on their Surrey limericks but the whole thing sort of got away from me, it turned into this commentary on recent American events...
If, on Facebook, you’ve engaged in a flurry
Of unfriending Trump voters don’t fret
You may be premature in your worry
He’s not done any damage, not yet.
If you’re concerned that the wall he’s proposing
Will plunge the US into debt
It might have been nothing but posing
He’s not spent your tax dollars, not yet.
If minority rights you see dripping
Away under a bigotted threat
And the gains that were made are now slipping
He’s not turned the clock back, not yet.
If global warming is giving you nightmares
And you spend the whole daytime upset
That he calls it a hoax, just hold tight there
He’s not burnt off the ozone, not yet.
If you are scared by the anti-vax voices
That it seems rather sure he’ll abet
In the name of quite spurious choices
He’s not started a plague, well not yet.
If the thought of nuclear conflagration
Brings you out in the coldest, cold sweat
Don’t be hasty with your condemnation
He’s not blown us to hell, well not yet.
But give him the time to get sorted
And appoint his quite crony-filled set
To ensure that his schemes are not thwarted
Then will he lead us to doom? Well you bet.This message has been edited. Last edited by: BobHale,
Today I caught part of a press conference or something wherein Obama excoriated T. Rump for his naivete and his willingness to undo what most of the civilized world had agreed on regarding climate change. I suspect T. Rump wil face a rude awakening once he takes office in the Trite House.
Love it, Bob! Do you mind if I post it elsewhere, and send it to some friends with your name included as author, of course?
Sure. go ahead. If you repost it can you let me know where?
Yes. If I do, it will probably be on Facebook.
Love it, Bob! I'd want to post it, too - though I have left FB for the time being, just because of this whole mess. I had some friends (some of them were relatives!) who irritated me to the point that I thought FB was not longer worth it. I enjoyed this article about FB by one of my favorite Chicago Tribune writers, Eric Zorn:
"Why did you block me on social media?
I know I'm not the only one getting this question lately. During the particularly ugly presidential campaign and its bitter aftermath, a lot of us have been quietly, methodically detoxifying our online lives.
And sometimes those we have unfriended, blocked, ignored, sent straight to the spam folder or otherwise banished come back demanding an explanation.
Here, in case you find it handy, is a boilerplate version of mine:
I blocked you not because you disagree with me politically. I blocked you because you're disagreeable.
Maybe it's because you usually attempt to derail conversations rather than add to them. Or maybe it's because when you do try to add to conversations, you quickly turn to personal attacks or generalized taunts that ooze bile and intolerance.
Or maybe it's because your contrarianism is tedious, predictable and annoying — a waste not only of my time but also of the time of those who are participating in my social media communities. Even when you try to play nice, you offer nothing of value, no food for thought.
Or maybe I find you disagreeable because you violated my strict one-strike-and-you're-out policy, a rule I enforce against those who come onto my digital turf simply to throw punches.
In short, I blocked you because, in one way or another, you were being a jerk.
I would not — I do not — socialize with jerks in real life, at least not if I can avoid it. So why would I socialize with you online? Why would I invite you into my virtual parlor or offer you a seat at my virtual lunch table? Why would I waste my time reading, much less answering, your ill-considered jabs? Your off-point challenges? Your snark?
To me, the "social" in the term "social media" implies pleasant interactions. Not necessarily harmonious, but respectful and worthwhile — a break from the rage and shouting all around us, not an amplification of it.
You evidently feel otherwise. To you, social media is a forum for you to attack, berate and jeer at those with whom you have differences.
And that's fine with me, really it is. I'm ignoring you, not censoring you. Facebook has about 1.8 billion users, and the other major social platforms — Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and so on — have hundreds of millions. I urge you to seek an audience among these other users or on the zesty discussion threads of countless websites.
Don't congratulate yourself that I'm afraid of your views or have no answer for them. I love a good debate and always have. Emphasis on the good. When opponents bring their A-game to a clash of ideas — facts, logic, reason, insight — I learn a lot. They sometimes reshape my outlook.
And don't accuse me of wanting to exist solely in an ideological echo chamber. Conventional media are robust with contrasting views. The best publications and cable-news shows offer a range of opinions and I consume them eagerly.
That said, siloing and sorting is a problem. When we spend too much time in the comforting, mutually congratulatory surroundings of those whose politics we share, we tend to start seeing the other side as cartoon dupes, dopes or ideologues.
But social media is a cause of that problem, not the answer to it. Social media is a wonderful place for bonhomie and commiseration, but generally a lousy place for constructive engagement across partisan and cultural divides.
Social media, with its remote and sometimes faceless access, encourages sanctimony, superficiality and humbug. Not depth. Not understanding.
So no. I don't want or need your predictable naysaying and rude potshots in a part of my life that's supposed to be fun and interesting.
I would say it's nothing personal, but, of course, it's intensely personal.
Maybe it's you. Maybe it's me. But we're done here.
Did you see my performance of it posted in the community section? (And the other performance videos I put there?)
I only saw the election one, and it was wonderful. I'll watch the others too - where are they?
There are links to nine altogether in the Community section
Plus a request for comments which so far hasn't produced a whole lot of response
Got it - sorry about that. I have a little difficulty with your accent, but they are good. You are quite the professional!
I can send you written copies if you need them.
I would love to read the words as I hear you speak them, if it wouldn't be too much trouble.
Sent you a PM
Bob, they are wonderful. You are so talented!
A legend in my own lunchtime.