Has Facebook become the new Westboro Baptist Church? | Street Jazz

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Has Facebook become the new Westboro Baptist Church?

Posted By on Sun, May 6, 2018 at 12:52 PM

Many of us have a complicated relationship with Facebook. On one hand you can communicate with others, and on the other, you often have to contend with the stalwarts who would use it to stir up contempt towards anyone who doesn’t see the world as they do. In other words, Facebook has become the new Westboro Baptist Church.

Westboro Baptist Church used to scandalize most of us, with their morally obscene protests outside the funerals of military personnel, gays and lesbians, and, well, anybody they despise. But now WBC has a new competitor in the Hate Olympics - Facebook, where you can, if you so choose, post ignorant rants all day long.

Lying in bed one night I was reflecting on the some of the discussion threads I had read (and taken part in) on Facebook over the past few days. let me give you just a sampling to illustrate my point.

Supposed adults are still going on and on about the Parkland survivors, most often mocking them relentlessly.
In fact, young people in general are fair game for the “grown ups” who have nothing but contempt for them.

Contempt may be too mild a word; sometimes it seems to veer over into sheer hatred of the young.

John McCain is dying. Now, I may have agreed with Senator McCain a time or two, but for the most part we are worlds apart. But I also know that if I had to go through a fraction of what he endured as a POW I would have cracked like an egg.

Yet, many of the comments from those who label themselves as conservatives are vile beyond belief.

Traitor!

As well, you know, as the usual posts from folks wishing him a speedy death.

Conservatives posting snarky memes about liberals, and the grunts and whistles following from those who fear and despise such liberals.

And liberals doing the same damn thing in reverse. I actually hold these folks in especially low regard. Come on, liberals, we;’re supposed to be the Cool Kids.

Folks of faith mocking those without faith. Atheists mocking those who have faith.

The “patriots” who who post every half-baked fake news story they can find about Muslims.

Fake quotes - or quotes taken out of all possible proportion - attached to the images of celebrities.

Yes, every day, every hour, every minute, Facebook comes to resemble Westboro Baptist Church more and more. The argument has been made to me that, essentially, if my Facebook friend doth offend me, I should just pluck it out, via the high-tech process known as unfriending.

But since I write about the online world so much, that would deprive me of much to write about. So I’ll just continue to take notes, and report back on occasion - even as Facebook comes more and more to resemble WBC.

And, of course, I have given enough examples so that folks can point to those they don’t like and say, “Yeah! I knew it!”

******

Today’s Soundtrack

Listening to Louis Clark and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s “Hooked on Classics.”

Don’t ask me why.

Please.

*****

Now on YouTube: The Gash/Voigt Dance Theater

A personal aside: of all the groups I ever did video work for in the past, the annual Women’s Festival and Conference (Conference and Festival?) were my favourite folks to work with. For one thing, I always got a lot of good programs out of it, and for another, most of the organizers were good, solid working class folks who respected the fact that what my crew and I were doing was work.

I can’t say that for all groups who I have worked for in the past.

The Gash/Voigt Dance Theater


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFhzhcsIgmM

****

Quote of the Day

Emma Watson and I are standing on the 23rd Street platform of an uptown-bound E train in New York City and we’re littering. Literally. And literature-ly. The 26-year-old actress is scattering hardcover copies of Maya Angelou’s book Mom & Me & Mom throughout the station - tucking them between pipes, placing them on benches, atop the emergency call box - in hopes that New York commuters will pick them up and put down their smartphones. This display of civil disobedience was conceived by Books on the Underground, a London-based organization that plants books on public transportation for travelers to discover. “We’re being ninjas,” she says with a conspiratorial grin as she digs in a big black rucksack of books. “If there were anyone to be a ninja for, it’d be Maya Angelou.” - from “The Rebel Belle,” written by Derek Blasberg (Vanity Fair - March 2017)

rsdrake@cox.net

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