Friday, January 20, 2017

A Few Thoughts on Today's Inauguration

I mourn.

I mourn that what was once unacceptable
Now holds the highest office in our land.

I mourn.

I mourn an American course opposed to
Rational thought
Human kindness

I mourn.

I mourn for elections so broken
That we voted for one thing
And got the opposite.

I mourn.

I mourn for the loss of good things
For new good things that will never be.

I mourn.

I mourn for all the people
Whose lives will be diminished
Or lost
When empty rhetoric
Takes the place of informed policy.

I mourn.

I mourn for air.
I mourn for water.
I mourn for earth.
I mourn for our globe.

I mourn.

I mourn for all of us:
Those who voted for this
Those who voted against this
Those who didn't bother to vote
Those too young to vote.

I mourn.

I mourn, but I will fight.
I will put my shoulder to the wheel.
I will join with my fellow Americans.
I will find my place.
I will find my voice.
I will keep trying to make
My home
My community
My country
A better place for all of us.

But today,

I mourn.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Keeping my social media sanity over the next four years...

I've started to make a bit of progress on the "making my life more manageable" pledge from my last post (Kvetching and resolutions.) Here are a couple of the first decisions and steps.

I intend to treat the Republican Congress and Donald Trump with every bit of the respect that they've shown for Barack Obama over the last eight years. So ... that probably means I'm going to say some pretty ugly things about them on a regular basis. But I'm going to try to keep partisan politics -- especially Trump bashing -- off my Facebook page and over on Twitter where it belongs. Longer thoughts will mostly go into this blog, and I will continue to link to it from FB when I post something I think people may want to read.

There are a few reasons for this:

1) I have yet to see anybody's mind changed by anything partisan on FB.
2) Mostly all I want out of FB is little updates from friends and family about their day-to-day life. I kind of assume that's what most of my FB amigos want from me, too.
3) I've often described Twitter as a place for awful people saying awful things. That makes it an excellent place for me to finally say awful things back to some of them.
    3A) In particular, look for me to tag things with #ThisIsALie whenever I happen to come across something from Trump that is egregiously untrue. It's shouting into the wind, but at least the shouting will help to keep my sanity while a compulsive liar is our president.
4) Twitter is Trump's preferred communication channel. That probably makes it the best place to communicate my opinion of what he tweets, says, and does.
5) Genuine politics are complicated. Every now and then I'm going to want to make a complex case and point. This blog is my platform for writing longer things. I originally thought I'd keep it relatively politics-free, but there's no reasonable way for me to do that when I have complex political things to say and this is my place to say complex things.

If you do want to follow me over on Twitter, my handle is @Patioboater. My feed there used to mostly consist of me making the occasional comment, but mostly retweeting cool sunsets, astronomy info and photos, random items that amused me -- especially from Drunk Hulk, Drunk Miggy, and Conan the Salaryman -- plus links to new posts on this blog. That stuff will still be there, but it's likely to be accompanied by a lot of reposted Trump bashing as well as a good deal more direct Trump bashing from me. You've been warned.

This also means that I'm likely to ask my FB algorithm to hide most of the partisan repostings that fill my feed, and this includes crap from both parties. My Democratic amigos whose posts mostly consist of reposting aggravating partisan stuff are going to be hidden, too. I'm not likely to unfriend anybody, but some of the things I see posted there on a regular basis make me think genuinely less of people that I otherwise like. I don't want to think less of any of you because you're addicted to thoughtless reposting on Facebook. And I don't want to have to spend every day fact-checking your feeds because crap that you've reposted. It's a waste of my time and a pointless aggravation, since you couldn't be bothered to fact-check things yourself.

As a particular point, most of my FB friends who are politicians who use FB to say political things aren't likely to get hidden. Why? Because they're saying these things for themselves. It's the endless reposting of crap that I can't take any more.

If I do see something genuinely errant, I may point it out or link somebody to Snopes, probably just before asking FB to hide more crap like that from me. But I just can't spend all my time and energy every day trying to refute everything in the crapfest.

Related item: it's time for another round of "unsubscribe" in my email. Mostly this'll be for a list of vendors that I like who insist on emailing me on a daily basis. But it'll likely also include a lot of political causes and organizations that I like. Y'all need to stop asking me for money all day every day.

That's it for now. More to come, I'm sure. It's a start towards making my life more manageable, but just a start.