Just about a week ago I was semi-complaining about Facebook. Specifically, I was complaining about how easy it is now be misunderstood by fellow travelers who can be way too quick to place you in the basket of deplorables. Political allies or not, people will seize on the smallest damn thing and run with it. The name-calling can begin almost immediately.
Here’s an example. This tempest in a teaspoon is still going on, as we speak. The names have been changed to protect the guilty. In this dialog, I am me, Fred Ceely, and the belligerent is listed as “Opponent.”
The post was about that Brett Kananaugh fascist asshole whom Jimmy the Greek says will soon occupy a seat on our once-respected Supreme Court. These are all of the comments on the thread so far. The Opponent got it rolling.
Opponent: From the greatest political whorehouse in Texas.
(Unrelated comment by me.)
Fred Ceely: Admit it, (name of mutual Facebook friend, redacted), it will be hysterical to watch this sniveling mediocrity immediately switch to "Imperial Mode" when he takes the bench.
(All of the below comments are “Replies” between me and Opponent.)
Opponent: I don't think I would see humor in that prospect and neither would anyone else who has a minimal amount of sanity.
Fred Ceely: (Opponent’s name) I assure you, sir, that I do possess a minimal amount of sanity. My doctor has confirmed it, and I believe him. (You, however, have obviously not been reading the memos about civility. Why, you almost hurt my feelings! Perhaps you should consult with your pastor, you know, or take an anger-management class.)
Opponent: Fred Ceely Fuck You. How's that? This is a serious issue but you think there will be funny situations when he is confirmed for the SCOTUS. I can assure you that it will be anything but funny.
Fred Ceely: Oh, relax, (name redacted). You'll pull a muscle.
Opponent: Fred Ceely You are too old to be so flippant about our democracy being in a crisis. People like you are the problem Fred. Get off fb and go watch some sitcoms or game shows. Moron.
Fred Ceely: You're too easy, (name redacted). Go bother somebody else that you don't know anything about, about something that you don't understand.
Opponent: Fred Ceely Did you join the Peace Corps to avoid military service? You look the right age for it. Just askin' (sic)
Fred Ceely: (Name redacted), now you're embarrassing yourself. In 1967 I joined the U.S. Navy, preferring NOT to avoid military service. I was in my fifties when I joined Peace Corps, serving my time in Thailand, working on teacher-training and curriculum development. Any other rude questions? Maybe I can help you. I've never been arrested.
Opponent: I've never been arrested either and I am a veteran too. BFD. From your comments you appear to have the political attitude of a teenage high school drop out (sic), which I could understand from someone in that category, but you are way too old for that. You just don't get the seriousness of the situation apparently. I have never encountered anyone your age that was as cavalier about politics as you appear to be. Stand for something you worm or you'll find yourself standing for everything.
Fred Ceely: I "don't get the seriousness of the situation?" I'm "cavalier about politics?" Nobody who knows me at all would say those things about me. Come on, you're embarrassing yourself. I have a blog you know, ten years of writing frequently about politics. Instead of stroking yourself in public you could go and find out all about my politics. You read one comment and fly off into a delusional snit. What are you, the Amazing Kreskin or something?
Fred Ceely Hey, Norman, I hope that you are having a good sleep. You can throw around your ad hominem attacks on me willy-nilly if you want to, it's a free country, but just in case it would occur to you to base your opinion on facts, here is a little something to go on: https://spineasytime.blogspot.com/.../our-supreme-court...
Our Supreme Court and Our Future (ed. This is a post from 2014 that I am very proud of. I actually did research!)
Opponent: Fred Ceely "you're too easy" sound familiar? Thanks for taking the bait DUMBASS!
Fred Ceely: Don't you think that we've upset poor (name of mutual Facebook friend, redacted) enough? Isn't it late where you are? Get some rest.
That’s the end, so far.
Honestly, I have no idea what bait I took, but evidently I took it too easily. Because I’m a dumbass, which even I will admit on most days. Did I give away the secret identity of my blog? No, it can’t be that. Google does that in a heartbeat. I hope that Opponent gives up at this point. Not gives up, it’s not a contest, just lays off.
It is kind of upsetting to me when two of my Facebook friends start this kind of nastiness under my name. I’m certain that our mutual friend feels the same. That’s why I have been so gentle with Opponent so far, in spite of all of his name-calling. I love the way people go to your page seeking something that they can use against you. How great is it that all he could find on my page to “incriminate” me was my service in the Peace Corps! Jeez, Louise, what a Boy Scout I am! “Well, he was in the Peace Corps, and he’s a geezer,” says Opponent, “maybe he joined that outfit to beat the draft!” I’ve got quite a footprint on the ‘Net by now, you’d think that even Opponent could find something better than that. You could find a better sleuth in a nursery school.
So yeah, Facebook, a mixed blessing.