Mrs. Nester does not like the fact that one of her chicks (Kendall) is not Facebook friendly. Kendall is a great twitter (@KendallHowen) and Instagram (#ReKendall_The_Flame) follow. Not much on Facebook, though. But is it any wonder? Facebook has become the go-to forum for grumpy old people. Why in the world would a fun-loving young woman want to hang out in a town square full of gray-haired, bulging-veined shouters?
I suppose it is inevitable that a discussion forum with 1.5 billion (billion with a B) members must deal with some pretty low common denominators, but it turns out the “shouters” are my friends. And truth be told, I have met the enemy and it is me. Sometimes I just cannot help commenting on social-political-economic-religious points with which I disagree. It probably says something about me and most other humans that I am not equally compelled to voice my agreement on other points. Of course, I use Facebook to promote Tales From An Empty Nest, including its highly engaging and worthwhile political commentary. Facebook is just too big and too free to ignore for a fledgling publisher like me.
So it seems that the advent of the Facebook conversation has obliterated the old adage that to keep one’s friends, one never discusses politics or religion with them. Still, and I will try to say this as diplomatically as possible: that adage applies more aptly to lunatics and I am not a lunatic. But I swear my Facebook feed often looks like a revival meeting at an end-times church. The apocalypse is on us, thanks to the Kenyan in the White House, the Tri-Lateral commission or Global Warming, Inc. From the Facebook soapbox, it is not enough to disagree with a public figure. We have to impugn his motives, intelligence or, in the best of all worlds, both.
The topper from this morning was a post from “Raging Elephants Radio” shared by a friend. A bit of context comes first. Recently, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (“UNESCO“) named the Alamo and four Spanish colonial Catholic Missions as World Heritage Sites. (Conflict of interest note: my dad did photography work for the application). A World Heritage designation marks the site as remarkably important and worthy of preservation and study. A designation is, in every sense of the word, a big compliment. So much of a compliment that political and community leaders of all stripes worked hard for nine years to obtain the designation; its award was welcomed as a sign of prestige and increased economic benefit to come.
On Facebook, Raging Elephants (and apparently the friend who shared the post) saw it differently:
There are more than a few problems here. But let’s focus on the big one. UNESCO designation is just that-a designation. UNESCO will not “put its hands on” the Alamo anymore than it controls other World Heritage Sites like the Great Barrier Reef, the Great Wall of China or the Tower of London. The slightest bit of research would reveal that the idea that the Alamo is being turned over to the United Nations is completely and utterly ridiculous.
Now, I can live with the abstract concept that there are people in the world dumb enough to buy this sort of nonsense. (On that point, a quick read of the comments demonstrates that, even if Raging Elephants only intended to troll the general public, lots of folks are true believers). I can even make peace with the fact that one of those dumb people is Donna Campbell, a Texas State Senator who wasted oxygen and paper arguing for a bill to “prevent” United Nations’ control of Texas property. My problem with Facebook is that based on this post, I have a friend who I now know to be completely and utterly ridiculous. Mom always said you are judged by the company you keep. If that is true, somebody looking at my Facebook feed is going to judge me as completely and utterly ridiculous.
But I am a problem solver. Originally I saw two options. I could unfriend the offender. Unfortunately, given my expansive definition of completely and utterly ridiculous, that tactic would solve my Facebook problem completely in the next election cycle by eliminating 100% of my Facebook friends. Or I could make another one of a thousand pleas for “no politics on Facebook,” which everyone agrees with in concept but ignores in practice. Unlike the other candidates, I did not give up because I want to save Facebook for my children and grandchildren.
Unlike Donald Trump, I have no secret means of achieving my objective. Instead, I offer a bold and concrete, one-point plan that will lead us to a better, safer world. And that idea is “Anger Management Wednesday.” Recognizing that some of us must unburden ourselves; that it is vitally important the world understand our bat-shit crazy ideas and that Wednesdays already suck, I propose that everyone of us limit our social-political-economic-religious posting to Wednesday. Vent, rage, argue if you must, but get it all out and move on to Throwback Thursday. If you saw the Purge, you know what I am talking about. If implemented, my plan will allow people above the fray–like Kendall–to rejoin Facebook for the remaining 144 hours of the week.
To show my deep personal commitment to Anger Management Wednesdays, I will confine to that day all Facebook promotion of political posts in Tales From An Empty Nest, unless they happen to be something really important that everyone must know about. Finally, while some say my plan will only encourage “Cuddly Kitten Tuesdays.” I say a trade of one day of kittens for six days of Kendall is worth it. Mrs. Nester agrees. If you agree, please share this post. America, we can do this. #AngerManagementWednesdays