Facebook Sideswiping & Superman’s Racist Alter-Identity…

Sideswipe:

  1. A glancing blow on or along the side
  2. An incidental critical remark
  3. An unexpected criticism of someone or something while discussing another subject
  4. A character in the Transformers cartoon series known for acting hastily, often at the expense of the safety and/or happiness of others around him

I love Facebook.  I love getting on and seeing what everyone is up to and kind of checking in with my friends and family.  It’s one of the highlights of my morning and even makes me happy throughout the day to periodically check in and see what people are up to.  Lately, though, I’ve been a little less optimistic about hopping on Facebook without a sense of trepidation.  Seeing my stream open up on the browser, I scroll down a little slower than I used to.  I do this for two reasons…

Number one, I don’t want to see that someone I thought I loved (or liked) has posted something about politics and/or this whole chicken thing which shall remain nameless in this post.  It probably wouldn’t be too bad if it wasn’t so damn mean spirited lately.  I mean getting on Facebook used to be about friendship and camaraderie.  Now I can’t stand to see the opinions and comments of people who disagree with mine.  I didn’t used to be that way.  I used to be all about sharing and agreeing to disagree and even encouraged others to have their point of view and debate me.  Now…there is no debate.  Now there is righteousness and a real sense of anger and sometimes entitlement.  And this counts for both sides…I’m not just talking about people I’d consider to be on “my side” of the conversations.  I’m talking about everyone lately.

Number two, I don’t want to see people I respect highly post a remark or comment about something I’m passionate about changing.  I consider myself a smart guy…really.  I’ve been told over my life that I have a keen sense of seeing how things are and an even keener ability to affect change in the world.  But seeing people I’ve agreed to be friends with on Facebook post something that seems SO counter to what I believe, it literally makes me doubt my abilities to choose friends.  I mean when I see someone confusing this issue of free speech with an issue that is clearly about something else, it really makes me wonder how smart these people are that I once admired…even looked up to.  And it more than irritates me…it hurts.  I think to myself…how in the hell did I get it so wrong to think that they would be someone I’d look up to?

It’d be like if Clark Kent all of a sudden posted something on Facebook about being FOR “white” rights since it seems everyone else is getting rights except for the white people.  Clark may post something like “Nothing against the rights for blacks and Mexicans because I think they have a right to be brown or black…but I didn’t choose to be white so I think I should be entitled to the same rights as they get.  It’s not about White Power…it’s about power for all!”  This is totally how this whole chicken thing has occurred to me lately.  SOOOOO off kilter and ignorant with nobody doing any critical thinking about how this surely must occur to the gay men and women it affects.  Seriously?  Of course…Superman is for everyone’s rights.  But Clark has “different ideals.”

So I scroll down my friends posts a little slower so I can catch the hurtful things before they are thrust into my brain without any warning.  Kind of like porn flashing in front of your screen…you can’t get that out of your head for a while.  It sticks with you.  Sarah Palin holding a bag of chicken sandwiches in your neighborhood sticks with you.  Seeing people in line waiting to buy chicken to support a companies right to have opinions that seem so outdated and insulting sticks with you.  Seeing the people close to you post a “word-picture” of something that is so offensive, sticks with you.

So I scroll a little slower these days.  I don’t like to have to do that on Facebook.  And I don’t like to have to be forced to relive those days of not being accepted when I was younger.  Those days when I never knew who would be walking down the hall on my way to class and would scream out the word “faggot” and make everyone laugh or look at me.  My life is a little more evolved than that now.  I don’t put myself in those situations just like as a sober man I don’t go to places where they will be using crack cocaine or things that may hurt me.  But how do you do that on Facebook…the place that is supposed to be our world community of friends and family?  The answer is you don’t.  People are going to have opinions (like I have this opinion I’m writing about in this blog post.)  They are going to have opinions that differ from mine, no matter how outdated and offensive they may seem.  BUT.  I don’t have to be a part of it.  I don’t have to stay friends with these people to hopefully make a difference with them in the future.  My days of trying to be a good gay guy that would hopefully make people see that gay people are good and loving and contributing members of society are done.  I’m tired of empowering others to have their freedom to speech and different ideas.  There comes a time when ideas have to change.  When the line between your right to have your opinion and my right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are crossed.  All men are created equal.  That’s what we all agree is our founding principle.  It’s now time for a change and I don’t know how to make that change happen but we are on the cusp of something here in America.  It’s only a matter of time before change happens.  We are all hoping, secretly, that all people really do have the right to be happy and love who they want and have the freedom to be who they want to be.  I for one am sorry I held my lips closed for so long about the people who don’t or who won’t.  Don’t let my lack of saying something about it make you think that I’ve supported it or that because I’ve been quiet about it means that it should stay that way anymore.  It doesn’t.

So the next time you are sitting at your desk, or on your couch, and you pull up your Facebook page, don’t be alarmed if you don’t see my posts in your feed anymore.  And don’t be surprised if you can’t post anything to my wall or comment on my posts.  The only way to affect change at the moment is to empower myself and not let any of that negative BS live for long around me.  No offense.  I’m just tired of you driving in my lane and sideswiping me.

By the way, meet Foreskin Man.  He fights for the newborn baby boys who don’t have the power to fight for themselves against their enemies.

He’s a blond, blue-eyed superhero out to protect newborn boys from a menacing, hook-nosed rabbi named Monster Mohel, for whom “nothing [is more exciting] than cutting into the penile flesh of an eight-day-old infant boy.”

Enjoy your day and thanks for reading!

@downtownharold.com

3 thoughts on “Facebook Sideswiping & Superman’s Racist Alter-Identity…

  1. bornagaincavegirl says:

    Harold, I love your blog. And I understand what you’re saying. I have a very good friend, who I do respect and, in a professional way, look up to. I’ve only known her a little over a year, but in that time, we’ve become good friends, despite the fact that I am a non-religious liberal and she is a devout conservative Christian. Recently, however, with the chicken business, all I see on my feed sometimes are pictures of the lines, the smiling faces of oppressive people, and “that woman” who’s name I won’t even type. I couldn’t bring myself to delete her completely, because there was a time when she would NOT have chosen this path. She has told me personally that in her opinion “Love doesn’t lessen the meaning of marriage. Shows like ‘Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire’ and ‘The Bachelorette’ do.” And she’s right! Or at least she was. Now all I get from her are this pictures, rubbing our differences in my face, and throwing her religion at me. I actually changed my settings so her posts no longer show up in my timeline.
    I can’t imagine how it must be for you, and for the people I love, to be told their feelings are wrong because they differ from the majority. But I can tell you, that if same-sex relationships were the norm, and it was ME and MY choices and feelings being assaulted, I’d be mad as hell. People don’t put themselves in other peoples’ shoesuch anymore. They’re too absorbed in their own righteousness to see that they’re acting in direct opposition to the way they claim to live their lives.

    Thanks for writing. Your thoughts and your words make me laugh.

    Like

  2. Fr. Joseph says:

    My dear friend! I echo your sentiments, and have been wondering the same things lately, as I read hateful things written by folk I used to respect. I enjoy your FB posts and your blog, and appreciate how you challenge everyone to be better, more loving humans. (Although I must say that “Foreskin Man” cracked me up!). 🙂
    Much love to you!

    Like

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