About Sharing Everything on Facebook & Some Additional Thoughts on Shitholes

About a week ago, I decided to make all of my Facebook posts public.  This includes sharing my online activism and reading on current events, as well as my usual musings and occasional pictures.  I did this because I felt that as much as I don’t enjoy arguing with people, not sharing seemed dishonest, like I was hiding something.  Additionally, I thought it might be a good idea to share views with people who don’t agree with me, to get out of my own media bubble.  So, I’ll put it all out there, and see what happens.

So far, the only thing anyone paid attention to was when I questioned how people can continue to support Donald Trump, knowing that they are allying themselves politically with the far right – you know, ethno-nationalists, the KKK, Neo-Nazis, etc, ad nauseum.  For asking this question, I was called divisive by one writer, another shared her belief in a well-known conspiracy theory, and a third writer shared some revisionist history.  It could have been worse, I suppose.  I can’t wait until next week.

In addition to reading with great interest the reactions to my postings, I saw another post regarding the recent furor over Trump calling a whole raft of countries “shitholes” that caught my eye.  The writer stated his belief, based on his own travels while serving in the Armed Forces, that quite a few places he saw were, in point of fact, shitholes.  Now, I’m not going to quibble with his opinion, but it is not just the use of a vulgarity by the president that is the problem here.

The first problem, as I see it, is context. The term was being used in the context of a government meeting about reforming immigration policy.  The president used the term to describe countries from Africa, the Caribbean, and Central America, where the majority of the populations are black and brown-skinned people. According to people in the room, he used it multiple times. This insult was juxtaposed by the president’s stating of his preference for people from, say, Norway, one of the whitest countries on earth.

The second problem is simply basic civility, or the lack thereof.  While I am not widely travelled, I was a cop for many years, and therefore claim some experience with both shitholes and the people who live in them. It strikes me as singularly unhelpful to declare wide swaths of the world to be shitholes.  I am quite certain that if the first thing I did, when walking into someone’s home to take a complaint, was to declare it a shithole, I would have nothing but problems on my hand.  And I would have deserved all of those problems, because I would have been an asshole.

I don’t know where this particular personal experiment will lead, and I don’t know how long it will last.  It springs from a genuine desire to communicate, and I hope, well I don’t know what I hope, only that I have hope.

 

 

 

You Have No One to Blame But Yourselves

So, this is blogging. I type my words into my computer, press publish, and away they go, into cyberspace, for all the world to see. What would possess me to do such a thing?

I joined Facebook years ago, somewhat reluctantly. I wasn’t sure it was for me. Social media seems antithetical to someone who is, at heart, a solitary person, perfectly content with my own company. My hobbies (gardening, furniture re-finishing, reading, cooking, watching movies) are done mostly alone (although company for movie watching is acceptable). Professionally, I spent most of my time either driving alone in a patrol car, or sitting alone in the dispatcher’s booth (this being a polite euphemism for the squalid, minuscule room that was the center of Danbury Police communications during my career). I wasn’t even sure I cared for the language of Facebook. Sharing? What is this nonsense about?

But I discovered I liked sharing. Not just re-posting funny or interesting things from the web, but using my own words to tell little stories & make observations about the world, my life, & the people in it. And my FB friends seemed to enjoy them as well. So, who are these FB friends of mine? They are not a large group. I just checked. By the numbers, they are composed of 110 women & 129 men. These people are all still currently living (It would appear that the deceased live on in our Friends lists. I’m not sure how I feel about that, but I do assume for the purposes of this blog, that my deceased friends will NOT be following it). 34 of my FB friends are family members, 8-10 people are former school friends, 89 are former colleagues (both sworn & civilian personnel from both police & fire departments), & the rest, well, they are from the rest of my life.

Now, of these 239 living people, I probably communicate thru my posts most often with just a couple of dozen or so. These conversations are great fun, & frequently get carried on thru multiple posts. But I’ve also found that many more people are READING the posts, & regularly. I know this to be true, because my husband, the nice Roger, is still gainfully employed, & comes home telling me tales of the harassment he has had to endure because of something I’ve posted. How he suffers for my art. Or something. So, with the ongoing encouragement of a relatively small group of people, a blog is launched.

     What you may find here, on any given day, I can’t say at this point. It may be a story (funny or not), it may be an opinion about current events, or a commentary about something I found interesting. I may delve into the past on occasion (all cops have stories, I am no exception). What I can promise is that what you read has been filtered thru my own, ever-so-slightly absurdist perspective. It is my fond hope that whatever you may find, you enjoy. I welcome comments but be nice, both to me & each other. The world is a tough place. It doesn’t need to be made tougher by unkindness.