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An Open Letter to my Facebook friends

me in SpainWell once again I see that I’m “Old School” because I have the perhaps quaint, old fashioned view of friendship. In my view, friendship is based on several things but one of the key requirements for friendship in my book is Respect between one another. I believe in holding a door open for others if I’m walking into a store and someone is close behind me. I also believe it’s important to say please and thank you.

 

For well over a year now, I have been posting essays as ‘Notes’ on my Wall, I have often written long comments on articles that were posted which I felt were serious issues, I started a separate page, etc. but only once in a great while will someone bother to write perhaps a sentence or two in response. Oh many people are good at clicking the ‘like’ or ‘share’ buttons but that’s about the extent of their response. When people like myself go to such efforts, it’s because we’re trying to communicate and how can we communicate when it’s only us doing the work? I’ve asked in a dozen different ways for people to leave a comment or a response but that seems to be asking too much of my friends.

 

I’ve been giving away the knowledge that I’ve worked hard at learning for well over 30 years. Perhaps it’s as the old saying goes, people don’t appreciate what they’ve been given for free? It also says that they don’t respect me because they can’t find the time to respond. Oh, every now and then a few of you will compliment me with something like “I’ve learned so much from you Rob,” or something to that effect but talk is cheap. I recently sent out about two dozen e-mails to those of you whom I felt were sort of like my inner circle of friends because we’ve done more communicating than most. I got two responses from Emilia and Jeanne & I appreciate their kindness in doing so. I purposely stopped doing any ‘sharing’ or writing any comments since 9/17 as a sort of experiment to see whether any of you would notice or bother to say anything. And nope, not a word.

 

I now view Facebook as I do FOX “News” in that both are contributing to the dumbing-down of America. Seems that most people will watch video clips of cute kittens, sports celebrities, anything with a sexy twist to it, etc. but I bet the overwhelming majority of people don’t bother to read the serious, political articles that I see on FB. I copy them so I can then print them and study them in my continual search for the truth of what’s happening to us and our world. I’m clearly an odd one, a dinosaur for caring about the mundane things such as wars, climate change, corporate corruption, etc.

 

And since you clearly don’t care about such critical issues, I’m not going to bother wasting my precious talents or time on commenting and trying to connect the dots for you. Once a year, Americans love to proclaim their patriotism on Memorial Day but the rest of the year they could give a shit less. These are the people Tom Paine referred to as “Sunshine Patriots.” If you truly gave a shit about our soldiers, you’d at least discuss the issues such as why are we going into yet another senseless war where again we will lose soldiers and many others will come home with a missing limb or so screwed-up psychologically that they might take their own life or go on a homicidal rampage. Hollow patriotism just like hollow friendship.

 

Our so called ‘leaders’ keep on sending us to war because they are arrogant enough to believe that the U.S. should rule the world and they count on our ignorance as a people. And it’s as clear as a bell that we are truly some of the most ignorant people on earth. And what’s really scary is that we have more weapons & nuclear missiles than the rest of the world combined. Powerful and Stupid, that’s us.

 

Yeah, all this marvelous technology and especially the “social networking” sure is liberating. We’re so “liberated” that we’ve become the New Russia and we’re too dumb and lazy to even care. My hero, Noam Chomsky, quipped awhile back that he found it amusing that young people actually thought their Facebook “friends” were actually friends. I now feel like such a fool for having believed this as well. I did a little research recently for a lengthy essay I just published and this is what Chomsky had to say on the subject of “social networking” and many of the e-mails he gets;

 

“It (Facebook, e-mail, Twitter) has a sort of cheapening effect. It has a superficiality because it reduces discourse to if you can’t say something in 200 characters or less, it doesn’t exist. So, any complicated thought is gone.” He went on to say in another video clip regarding e-mail that most of his e-mail is comprised of short, one sentence queries from prep school students asking him what they should say regarding an assignment they have been given. He responds by suggesting that they read a particular book or article & they reply by asking where they can find it on the Internet. Chomsky then suggests that they walk across the street to the library at their university & their response is that they don’t have the “time.”

 

As usual, the Master sums it up nicely and right to the point. This is what’s wrong with America and a large part of why we will continue to be shit on by the corporate cockroaches i.e. we’re too damn lazy to walk across the street to the library and actually read & write (communicate with one another)!

 

—Rob DeLoss, Astoria, Oregon, Sept. 30, 2014

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