I hope everyone will ‘like’ this page. Hey! Let’s talk about politics! And religion!
I created a MovingToFreedom Facebook page, because I’m very excited about “using social media to enhance my brand.”
Some of you subscribe to the feed here — thank you — and may not have known about the page. But most of the actual visitors to the “new stuff” seem to come from Facebook, and I’m already shamelessly promoting the page there, so the Facebook people are probably thinking, “Oh, god, not more of this.” (Note: that is all of the religion included in this post.)
I must be careful. With Facebook pointing to the blog, and the blog pointing to Facebook, and all the self-involved me-me-me-ness of the whole thing — there is real danger of getting stuck in a narcissistic feedback loop.
Now, in order to make “friends” on the internet, it is of course essential to be completely inoffensive. For example, for myself, I really don’t want to hear about your politics. (Unless I agree with you. Then let’s rag on the “other side” together.) But if you want to gain attention, it is critical that you be as outrageous and divisive as possible. It’s the only way. There are no other options.
This makes me uneasy because I want people to like me and I want a lot of attention. I’m quite needy. But I don’t really want to host the divisiveness here, because it gets so tedious, and I don’t want to be bothered to logically think through and rigorously defend my own positions.
Yet I am interested in truth and honesty, at least in theory, and want to talk about uncomfortable things. And since I’m not going to come up with some brilliant manifesto of how our world works, I’ll just have to move slowly in the tall grass and approach my prey cautiously so it doesn’t run away. (The prey is the truth, get it?)
(I also want to point out that with my usual morning writing constraints, I don’t have nearly enough time to get into this today, and my better judgment says I should let it age more, but, ah hell, let’s just do it. Oops, there’s more religion. I wanted to include religion to balance out the politics, because religion isn’t divisive at all.)
In politics, I like what David Brin has to say about rejecting the left-right political axis. It seems like a bunch of crap, like two competing products in the marketplace that are differentiated largely by marketing.
But I’m particularly susceptible to competing marketing campaigns.
Growing up, I was willing to make the tough choices and stand by my opinions. I was for Coke over Pepsi and McDonald’s over Burger King. For no reason other than advertising and early childhood indoctrination, I’m sure, but my support was staunch.
As a thirteen-year-old in 1984, I was for Ronald Reagan, and embarrassed that my state, Minnesota, was the only one that went to Walter Mondale.
But I haven’t been totally locked in. I still prefer McDonald’s, but once in a while I might want onion rings from BK. I tend to prefer Pepsi products now. And I’ve changed my political brand preference to the Democrats. By 1988, as a not quite old enough to vote seventeen-year-old, I was all for Michael Dukakis.
In both elections, I doubt my choice was much more conscious or informed than my choice of caustic carbonated beverages or greasy food. And I don’t know if I’ve grown any more independent in my thinking now, or if I’m only dancing on strings. But I do think there’s a choice between American political parties today, however unsatisfactory it is.
Maybe I’ll write more about politics, but I’m out of time for today. If I’ve offended you by my “leftward” leaning, I’m sorry. (Not really.) You can unsubscribe, unfriend, and unlike me, but some of you already knew this, just as I know that some of you are “doing it wrong.” And it may aggravate each of us, but hey, maybe we can still be friends.
(And I really do wish I had more time to edit, but I have to go to work now. There is potluck today and we’ve been promised that “Pepper Nuts” will be served. The person that signed up for Pepper Nuts has now earned that nickname. Try saying it. Pepper Nuts. Isn’t it fun to say? If more of you would buy my books, I could stay home and do more writing and editing. You would see less of the words “really,” “very,” and “was.” But sentences would still frequently start with “and” and “but” because I like doing that. I have to post this now because I know some of you prefer your LoBloPoMo fix in the morning. And I realize that LoBloPoMo is still a dumb word.)