Friday, July 18, 2014

Facebook assumptions: sappy, not happy

You know what just happened?  I lost a whole post. I lost a whole post I worked on for at least an hour and a half. So what happened? Was I going too fast? People think I go too fast, that in fact I work at light speed, and when very angry, I do. It's like rocket fuel in the veins.

It started with the last post about unsolicited advice on Facebook. Something was triggered, I guess, and I was off. It was those sappy little "things", like the truncated thing above - I realized that though I see them every damn day, I don't even know the name of them or where they come from. They circulate around and around and around the waters of Facebook like pond scum.

I think it's the smug assumptions behind these things, these announcements of how you are supposed to feel about close kin, that enrages me. EVERYBODY has a wonderful sister, don't they? Kind of like that White Christmas sister act, where the body types of the two women are so radically different that there could not be a genetic link even 100 generations ago.

And oh God, mothers! Here is what my mother was really like, and never mind what my memories tell me. A duck would have made a better mother than mine was. Mother ducks are extremely loyal and protective, would fight to the death to protect their young. My mother may have been somewhat aware that I existed in the house. Maybe she was just waiting it out.

I very much doubt if this quote is by Kubler-Ross, whose theories have been so distorted and overpopularized as to be unrecognizable. (For example, she NEVER wrote about "stages of grief". Those stages described the process of actually dying.) But it doesn't matter. The same quote can be attributed to Einstein, Freud, Mark Twain (a current favorite, for some reason, maybe cuzzada cool moustache), Emily Dickinson, or even JANICE Dickinson, and no one notices, cares, or even wants to know. Though that doesn't stop them from hitting the "Share" button.

I won't even get into the lame misspellings, misplaced commas and quotation marks, and other awkward, careless useage you see in about 80% of these things. This kind of "loose, relaxed" approach to grammar (with "it's" and "its" constantly being reversed, and the verb "to lie" misused, even in news broadcasts, so that "the victim was laying in the road") is trickling down, or up, saturating the culture, to the point that it eventually worms its way into the dictionary and becomes "correct". Language, after all, must be fluid! It must change with the times. It's future lies in being dymanic. Don't let it just lay there.

And oh, this: probably written by some teenage girl, obviously equipped to guide and correct my behaviour and attitudes. This is a sort of Ten Commandments of emotional reaction, a what-not-to-wear of little things like promising, replying and deciding. So let's look at the inverse of this negative life-directive: promise when you're unhappy, reply when you're not angry, and decide when you're not sad (happy?).

I won't comment here. These weren't in my original draft, my polished draft, my GOOD draft, the draft that just fucking disappeared for no reason at all, because Blogger always automatically saves everything. Like I said, I just slapped them up here because I just have to win this, have to win over the forces that would screw up my whole day. But I remember some sort of choice quote on Nazi Germany, now gone forever.

I used to think humans were herd animals, but now I realize they are more like flock animals, with one aberrant member being pecked to death by the forces of conventional mediocrity. Except that in some ways, birds are superior. I mentioned mother ducks. And I forget the rest of this post, so I just have to stop now. And now I know what those "things" are - I think. They're called status quotes (because they're quotes that go on your status updates) or picture quotes (because they have pictures and quotes on them). They're things you sort of "put up", like you'd slap up a poster in the olden days. Except that these are standards, nay, imperatives for how we are supposed to feel, how we are meant to look at life. The average chimpanzee would have a steadier moral compass, but all that doesn't seem to matter any more.

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