I always tell myself that I’m not going to be upset anymore when someone breaks their social media ties with me over something I posted. I have a big mouth (or big fingers, or a big keyboard maybe), but I do my best not to be dismissive or to make fun of the opinions of others. I don’t always succeed, but I’ve been getting better at focusing my comments on my own opinions, and not allowing douchebaggery to leak through.
And yet, I lost friends over one comment I’d make about the Washington Redskins name debate. A former lover broke all ties with me over my failure to vote in a governor election that the incumbent won by about 80 points (well, to be fair, she was probably more mad at me for posting a public prayer to Spirit, forgiving people who had publicly wronged me, although she wasn’t the only one, and I didn’t use her name). The lady who ran a local shadowcasting group, and who had expressed some admiration with my writing, disappeared from my list shortly after I wrote that the Dems didn’t really understand why they’d lost the POTUS election, and they needed to stop whining and get to work recapturing the hearts and minds of the people. OK, too soon maybe, but I’ve never been sentimental.
I’ve adopted a few rules that keep me out trouble, if and when I can remember to follow them. The biggest one is to avoid jumping on someone else’s thread. My experience is that when someone makes a political or religious post, they are not interested in having a discussion so much as being agreed with. If I have something to say, I post it myself, briefly, and with only the amount of cynicism necessary to satisfy my soul. And mostly, my friends who might disagree will give me a pass, after posting a long, long lecture pointing up the error of my ways. Just lately, I’ve found that I’ve adjusted to these strange, new times, and I can just be in the moment, without having to set the world to rights.
Then came the Golden Globe awards.
Full disclosure: I am a big admirer of Meryl Streep’s. I don’t disagree with anything she said, and Mr. Trump’s reaction to it was just dumb. That said, I feel that, just like the “Hamilton” dude some weeks ago, Ms. Streep was out of line. And as soon as my liberal friends stop screaming, I’ll tell you why.
It is true, she had the pulpit, and I’m sure she was told she could do whatever she wanted with it. But it was not her pulpit, the Golden Globes was not her event, and NBC was not her network. By making their platform her own, she called down on them any little piece of trouble she might bring to the party. I’ve already seen a meme pointing out that Ms. Streep is a big supporter of well-known fugitive from justice Roman Polanski, a fact that has nothing to do with any of the issues Ms. Streep raised, but is now part of the discussion nonetheless. Unlike most of us, Ms. Streep doesn’t have to wait for the camera to find her — she can have the pulpit any time she wants it. If she wants to speak out on current events, it would be far more appropriate to create her own time and space, and then the collateral damage would descend only on her.
Ms. Streep is being praised for “making a difference.” I posit that she likely made no difference at all — those who dislike Mr. Trump probably still dislike him, and those who like Mr. Trump are probably burning their VHS copies of “The Devil Wears Prada” as we speak. I would suggest that, if she really wants to make a difference, she invest some money in finding a candidate with moderate positions who has some appeal in a red state, and convincing him/her to run for the Senate in 2018. Or, if she likes being at the podium so much, maybe she should run herself. Of course, she’d have to come up with some spin on that whole Polanski thing.
Now, if I do say so myself, I have taken a reasoned, non-hysterical position. If you just can’t stand that, then I guess you need to go now, because it’s all I know how to do.
*** Copyright 2017 by Mud Toe Sasquatch – all rights reserved