Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cinco de Mayo!

It's been a tough week for blogging. But at least I saw another antique Chevy when I went out to grab a bite earlier in the week!

I am grateful I woke up this morning without any notifications of direct threats, as I did last Saturday. It is not a day I am likely to forget. Five people sent me messages as soon as I signed on, several making sure I TOOK THE SCREEN SHOTS. I obediently did as they told me to do, but I did not visit the hate-page after I initially took the shot, because I found it too unnerving.

I have spent the last week decompressing from disaster, even though I gained a parcel of new Facebook friends and radio-show listeners. At the same time, I have been extremely careful, looking over my shoulder. Is this what it's like to be well-known and controversial? Apparently so. I have been wondering if I am up for this.

I was blocked from Facebook for about 24 hrs. I am not sure of the specific reason, since all my requests for clarification were totally ignored. One of my comments was deemed "threatening"--which is pretty ironic under the circumstances (as stated above, there was a whole Facebook page threatening me physically), and my questions ("Why or how is this a threatening statement?") sent to the proverbial round-file. I have since learned that if your comments are deliberately targeted (as mine have been) and reported X number of times, THAT is what deems it offensive, not the actual content of the comment(s) in question. It's all about the clicks. The warnings and blockages are executed by Facebook-bots, not by actual people. This explains the wildly-varying standards: on one Facebook page, you can talk filth and nobody cares, but on another, a simple factual statement such as (for instance) Bob Jones University-affiliates are covering up for rape-apologists is considered "offensive."

The truth is now subject to censorship for being "too offensive" for certain overprotected, neurasthenic people to be able to tolerate. And their intolerance is what makes it "offensive."

I am suddenly reminded of a bone-chilling line in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by the legendary Philip K Dick, a line that (tellingly) did not make it into the screenplay of the film, which became Blade Runner. Paraphrasing: What proof do we have that empathy exists, asks the android, except the humans' word for it? Isn't it something they just made up to prove they have this special thing?

And the Bob Jones University-apologists similarly ask: What proof do we have that your truth exists, except your word for it? Isn't it something you just made up, to say something bad about us?

It's scary, isn't it? After all, they already say this about science and evolution, global-warming and gay people.

I've long been claiming there is no such thing as objectivity, and I think this whole debacle is proof of that. The word "offensive" is no longer about unacceptable cuss words and sexual terms; the word is now assigned to any statement that bothers you, for any reason. Whether the statement is "objectively true" is of no importance in this determination.

Empathy is next. What proof do we have that it exists? OOOPS, is that an offensive statement? BOOM, down the memory hole.

You should NOT have to read such disconcerting, disorienting notions.


I attempted a joke on my show this morning, off the cuff, and it bombed. Nobody's perfect. Better luck next time and thank you for playing!

Podcast of bad joke and other topics, is up.

And last night, saw another cool car and took another picture. My favorite color! I am not sure of the make/year of this very lovely, cherry-red beauty, but if you know, speak up.

Biographical aside: I used to work in the purty pink building, which is at the corner of Main and East North Streets in Greenville. It is now a clothing store, but was a GNC when I worked there.


Lots of interpersonal ups and downs in local Occupy groups, including mine, as well as groups in Spartanburg and Columbia. (I haven't yet checked the astrological charts, but I am sure something must be going on.) I shall refrain from bad-mouthing liberals and their inability to SUBMIT TO COLLECTIVE DISCIPLINE (Yes, Barack, I am lookin at you too) but.... well, they DO have a problem submitting to collective discipline.

Simply put, if a whole group votes that you are disruptive, stay your ass away. Is that too difficult to understand? People seem to get this concept in ANY endeavor but politics. It appears that some folks think they are just so wonderful that they deserve to be heard and listened to (including their sorry excuses) more than other people, certainly more than they have ever listened to anyone else. How does that work exactly?

In any event, I am once again reminded of my mentor, Steve Conliff, and his rule of thumb for the Yippies, that I know I have quoted numerous times previously, in this space: If you let anybody in, anybody WILL come in.

And yes, they do. The confused, the argumentative, the power-tripping, the lecherous, the whole Hee Haw gang is present and accounted for. I always take their presence as a given. I can easily accept these people, if they are aware of their personality-issues, as I am (mostly) aware of mine. I want people to cut me slack, so I cut others slack, too. But I notice many of these people do not think they have any personality-issues, in fact, they think they are just peachy-keen and wonderful. Unfortunately, that is often where the liberalism comes in: they have been believing their own press. They believe they are compassionate, aware and kind, just because liberals are said to be compassionate, aware and kind. (By contrast, radicals never get this kind of good press; radicals are dangerous, crazy, insane, outside agitators, etc.) Thus, when these folks go off the rails, you also have the attendant spectacle of other liberals going into catatonia: But I thought he was... NICE!

And there is often no evidence that this person was EVER "nice"--except that they agreed with us. We tend to assume a lot about the people who agree with us: they MUST be good, since (it goes without saying!) WE are GOOD!

Maybe the operative difference is, I don't think I am particularly good. I try, but I fail repeatedly. Thus, I assume others are trying and failing, repeatedly, all the time. And as we know, passing the kid who has consistently failed is ultimately a mean thing to do and sets them up for more failure. So it is with people who repeatedly fail us.

At some unavoidable juncture, it is time to send them back to Decency 101, that class they obviously missed. We tolerate their continued failures at our peril.


Greenville Occupiers, bringing the radicalism! Yeah!

There will be an Occupy Picnic in McPherson Park this afternoon, 3:30pm, be there or be square. General Assembly is tomorrow at 2pm in Bergamo Square; Main and Coffee Streets, across from Coffee Underground... which is especially handy for quick coffee-junkie fixes, also a very good refuge for bad weather, which has only happened a couple of times.

Bergamo Square is currently under construction; it will soon be the home of some monstrous new building, currently given the ominous title of PROJECT ONE. (Wasn't Kampuchea named that by Pol Pot?*) It is growing fairly enormous by the day, and we usually picket right in front of it.

The Greenville Antiwar Society used to have our yearly candlelight vigil exactly where the construction is now, but the small building with two giant flights of steps (where I took this photo from) is now gone.

Since we are standing there with signs, several people have asked us if we are protesting the construction.

They seem disappointed when we say no.

*Correction, that was THE YEAR ONE. I always get capitalism and communism mixed up, sorry about that. ;)


JoJo said...

I didn't know you were kicked off FB for 24 hours! Remember in 2009 when I got kicked off for 17 days? Apparently I was interacting too quickly, clicking 'like' and commenting and their bots picked it up as spam. Ridiculous.

Glad it was a more quiet day for you, still, don't relax your guard. If there's a wasp in the room, I want to see it, you know?

Daisy said...

That car is pretty! My Mommeh just found you on Facebook and sent a "friend" request. Her name is Abby, in case you do not recognize the name.

Anonymous said...

Good for you and Katharym Graham, Wahington Post, who in her book once said, "There is no such thing as objectivity." She would be horrified today to see how totaly unobjective most of the media ae today.