Friday, June 16, 2017

For Sale

Facebook is a marvelous work and a wonder, full of opinions, ideas, politics, and philosophy. Everyone is talking. A lot of folks are trash talking. Most people are talking at each other, rather than to each other. Some jokers are frothing at the mouth, and still others don’t talk at all, they just eavesdrop.

When in the history of this world have more people been talking?

The problem: Society has, maybe, never been more uncivil or paranoid.

The answer, according to everyone on Facebook, is that more talking is needed. Facebookers call it dialogue but really that’s just a fancy word for talking. The conventional wisdom is that more talking is needed, and then when we reach some level of excessive talking a wormhole of cosmic understanding will open and all will be well.

Hmmmmm . . . not seeing it.

A Facebook friend of a friend of mine, of anonymous acquaintance, (you don’t know them so quit trying to guess) recently left my church, trashed my leaders, and castigated my beliefs. There was a lot of talking. Please understand; I stand firmly in the camp of freedom: religion, speech, choices. 

Your right to talk is sacred to me, but don’t be surprised if I talk back. My friend talked and talked and talked, but there was no reaching of some beautiful wormhole of cosmic understanding. There was no ranting and no raving but there was also no miraculous discovery of common ground. Sad. But true. It’s life and living and I respect that.

Want to know when the conversation got moderate? When the friend of my friend, who is someone no one knows, started selling stuff and suddenly, the agenda changed: You have what I want, and I make what you need. Let’s make a deal. And boom! The world got a little more civil.

If the world wants civil, then sell more stuff. It’s amazing how thoughtful people become when they want your money or your circuit boards or your business. Trade tempers the temper. Historians understand the importance of goods and services that trade hands, open borders, and broaden horizons.

“Trade was also a boon for human interaction, bringing cross-cultural contact to a whole new level.” (Live Science, Heather Whipp)

America has always been a nation of shopkeepers. It kept us civil. It kept us polite. It keeps life personal. Small business keeps us united. Keep that in mind when folks talk, talk, talk about bigger and bigger centralized government. 

I have heard that the rule of thumb for those on Facebook, doing business of one sort or another, is to not say anything on social media you wouldn’t say at a cocktail party before the drinking.

Of course, there are ALWAYS exceptions to the rule and people who feel free to trash talk regardless of what they’re selling in their lemonade stands: rock stars, comedians, talking heads, and other curmudgeons. 

Let the free market decide.

Linda (Fifty Percent Off) Zern 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

E is for Everybody

I hate technology. As soon as I figure out Facebook, here comes Twitter, or Pitter, or Pat, or whatever. I spend a major part of my waking life trying to master the latest method of embarrassing myself in public—online. It’s exhausting.

For ten years, I’ve been posting, emailing, and flying our family flag, in written form, from the flagpole of public humiliation—many find my observations humorous, a few have been offended, and a couple of people have threatened legal action. Several individuals have wondered if my disclosures damage my children’s delicate psyches—not if I pay them a dollar every time their name is mentioned.

I recently joined an online writer’s website where you can post your work, read other writer’s stuff, and introduce oneself to a larger audience. I tried writing a brief introductory biography, but my life and history defied the E rating (E is for everybody) necessary to post a general site wide introduction. I got smacked down by the automated-techno word police.

Here’s my rejected online BIO:

Writing is in my blood for the following reasons: I am of the southern persuasion; moonshine and madness run through my family tree like freckles on a redhead; murder, betrayal, and abandonment were family traditions in some branches of the tree. Family rumors speculate that wild dogs raised several of the long dead ancestors and a couple of individuals were suspected of and arrested for the theft of poultry—no word on convictions.
It is my firm belief that if I don’t write I’ll become a chicken-stealing drunk. When I read anything by William Faulkner, I wonder when he had time to peek through the windows of my family history and write about the nimrods he found there, and my favorite author is Shirley Jackson because she wrote a book about her family called “Life Among the Savages.” 

Here’s why my BIO was rejected: 

An E-rated Intro is suitable for everyone of any age. There are absolutely no references to sex (other than gender), drugs (legal/illegal), alcohol, violence, cursing (of any kind), derogatory names or any combinations thereof. These titles are displayed for members who have their rating preferences set to 18+ and below.

Here’s my E-rated, revised BIO:

See Jane write. Jane loves to write and write and write. Write Jan write. See Jane write about Dick. See Jane write about butterflies. Fly free butterflies. Oh no! Run Dick. The butterflies have fangs. Run Dick run. Too late, the butterflies have ripped Dick’s throat out. Sad Dick. Sad Jane.

Oops! Still trying . . . 

Linda (Name that Nimrod) Zern 
To read more from L. L. Zern see  
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