Posts Tagged ‘social media


Some random turn-offs

I know I’m an opinionated asshole. That’s not news. I like to think I’m a reasonably open-minded opinionated asshole, though; if you can express an opinion in a functional way and there’s logic behind it, you may be able to change mine.

A lot of the folks who would like to change my opinion don’t seem capable of rational discourse, though. They just want to shut you down if you disagree, shriek as loudly as possible about what sort of oppression disagreeing with them is, and conjure mobs of similarly minded folks to descend upon you like a pack of the Wicked Witch’s flying monkeys when threatened or challenged.

A lot of those people have certain tells, that you can spot from quite a distance away; a quick click of a profile pic can save you hours of pointless arguing and quite a few clicks of the block button. Because I’m cranky and can’t think straight today, I felt like sharing some of those warning bells, the things that almost immediately make me just click away, saying “Nope, do not engage.”

* If they can’t be bothered with at least a vague attempt at correct punctuation, grammar and spelling. I’m told this is elitist, but if you don’t think your thoughts are worth enough to put them down coherently, then why I am I supposed to think they’re worth trying to puzzle out the reading? Double this sin if, when questioned or called out for it, they scream about elitism or claim they don’t have time to bother with it.

* If they make a point of referencing their gender/sex/sexuality/race as often as possible, often in places where it has little to no relevance; if they consistently use the phrase “as a <insert identifier here>” any time they chime in; if their skin tone, dangly bits (or lack thereof) and relationship with those dangly bits (or lack thereof) frequently seems to be the focus of discussion as opposed to any other subject, accomplishment or personality trait.

* If they use the phrase “if you have to ask” on a semi-regular basis. Obviously, someone has chosen to ask; if you have touted an opinion, situation or feeling loudly enough that someone has stopped to listen, and has an inquiry, why, yes… we have to ask. Funnily enough, people are different, and someone would like your opinion on why a given thing has occurred or what you think of it. Dismissing it in this way seems to indicate you’re a shallow twat who can’t actually explain their stance, or that you’re an elitist ass who considers others questioning you as being beneath your notice. Either way, it’s not a good look.

* I have multiple Twitter accounts. One of them is essentially “clean,” with no followers and following no one. This second account is primarily to see what folks have to say when I’m on their block list (since I’ve found myself on many block lists for no discernible reason and I’m a curious sort.) If you block people who you haven’t interacted with by virtue of who else they follow (*cough* Steve Shives *cough*) or who follows them, or you block them when they ask a question or disagree with you, I’m almost immediately wary. If you retweet someone after blocking them with captions like “blocked, bitch,” you’re definitely on my shit list.

* If they use the clapping hands emoji more than once in a sentence, if they repeat the same phrase more than twice, especially in all caps, or worse, both at once, that’s pretty much a one-way ticket to “nopesville.”

* Anyone who ends a post, story, sentence or post with “everybody clapped” or anything similar. You, sir, are a liar.

…and then everyone clapped.

I may delete this later. I’m just hangry right now.


What I’m Afraid Of

I call myself a writer. When pressed as to what type, I typically fall back to “horror,” mainly because I have a tendency to throw in all kinds of oogity-boogities. Just my nature.

But that doesn’t scare me. I may believe in spooks, and there may be times when I hear a noise in the night and suffer a brief flash of worry. There may be games, books, or movies that make me a trifle anxious or give me a “nuh uh, not going in there” mentality. But that’s not real fear.

Sometimes I worry that my asthma will get the better of me and I’ll just drop dead at some point, having been unable to get to my aspirator in time. Or that I’ll go to sleep and just not wake up, a fit of apnea doing me in quietly with no fuss, muss, or bother. But that’s not really fear, either.

Instead I fear judgement, the judgement that seems unique to the last few years. I am paranoid about every word I write and say, and most of those I think, because at any moment it feels like one wrong word can summon the mobs to crucify me and leave me with nothing, a very special kind of nothing that clings to you for years, decades, potentially the rest of your life, and all for the crime of voicing an opinion that ran counter to the current “acceptable” ones.

But that’s not all. I fear that I may have said, done, Tweeted, blogged or commented somewhere years or decades ago, and something in that might be considered offensive and worthy of assault for mindcrime or wrongthink. Even if it was off-hand, written in anger, an opinion I no longer hold, humor – pathetic attempt or otherwise – or just baiting someone.

I fear that what is acceptable today will become unacceptable tomorrow, and some screengrab of something that was totally okay and unoffensive when I said it will turn into criminal evidence a decade later.

Result of that fear? Complete mind-freeze. A couple of my projects have gone into the trash drawer, not because I don’t like them or because they stalled, but because I was informed that I didn’t have a right to write about certain things. Once upon a time I would have told someone saying that to me to go fuck themselves, but now doing that is a great way to get blacklisted.

It seems like a ridiculous situation, especially given that the apparent thought police who have created this situation are frequently claiming to be on the side of free speech, free expression, anti-fascism, diversity, and inclusion.

I don’t get it. I don’t know what to do about it. Do I throw Lune de Amant away because it’s apparently criminal to include Marie Laveau in a book set in Louisiana during the 19th century with werewolves and ghosts about? According to a pair of e-mails I have received, yes, yes I must. Removing Ms. Laveau and inserting some fictionalized version isn’t allowed, either; I’m culturally appropriating voudoun at that point. Make them a generic white sorcerer of Hermetic traditions? Now I’m whitewashing. Given that one needs a wizard character, and one really likes the late 19th century New Orleans vibe, there doesn’t seem to be a way to do it that isn’t sending the trigger police out in droves. So into the trash my darling goes.

There’s other examples. I choose not to speak about it right now, because honestly, I think I’ve probably said too much as it is. I’m not going to be surprised if even posting this gets me a target of some kind, or leads to being referred to as regressive, a Nazi, a racist, or god knows what else. It doesn’t seem to take a lot. But I had to get it off my chest.

What about you out there? Are there subjects, characters, concepts or stories you’d like to write about but can’t, either due to fear or the reactions of potential readers? Do you think the way social media and the public trial of any opinion currently operate is good or bad for artistic pursuits and creativity, or society at large? Let us know down below.

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