Sunday, February 17, 2013

Surround Sound Separation

Somewhere on one of my blogs is an entry about exclusivity. Carl Sandburg thought "exclusive" to be the ugliest word in the English language. After a visit to Carl Sandburg's birthplace, this was the moment I remembered, this quote.

I have been accused of having an exclusive club on Facebook, and I have been accused of not wanting to listen to opposing opinions of others. That is not the first time I have been criticized for this on Facebook. I know the specific traits I do not like in a Facebook "friend" and I now unfriend quickly without much regret.

I want to say that Facebook is not a club. And I want to say that I have never turned down a "friend" request. But somehow those justifications do not seem strong enough to counter the Carl Sandburg attack.

I have decided that I am definitely correct in limiting harmful influences from my life. There is only so much stress I want to expose myself to. And I have a very public job.

Facebook was wonderful tonight. I have such a great group of "friends." It really made me feel good to see the community of like minded folks interrelate and express themselves, if only for a short while. Everything is so interconnected that I cannot really think that my slightly exclusive page makes a dime's worth of difference in this dynamic atmosphere. I am but a tiny aspect of a greater whole. I might influence a small amount, which is all I do in real life.

When I was younger I thought I could change the world. I now see how wide the world actually is. Yet I also at times have marveled at my ability to affect things in some small way by joining others in action or thought. I am relatively new to Facebook and I see such potential in social media. I started less than a year ago to think that world changing events could result from the community resulting from the Internet and I have found nothing better than Facebook that represents this open social movement.

And further, I enjoy my life so much more surrounded by kindred spirits. Carl, when I think the accusations of exclusivity are truly warranted, I promise to try harder. But time and age are large parts of the reason I have less of an ability to withstand the stress of seemingly mindless disagreement. I have a role to play and it is a different role than it was in my younger years. Carl, I guess I just want to make a distinction between being exclusive and being reclusive, which I know you can relate to.

Monday, February 11, 2013

My Memory Again

There is little doubt about it. With my memory fading, changing schedules from a Monday - Friday routine has played major havoc with me. I forget what day it is on a constant basis. I forget vacation times. I forget to do things that need to be done.

I was, of course, having these problems before but an upheaval in schedule has just made things worse. It is like I have less ability to adapt. When I worked in Montgomery, I often had schedules that changed on a weekly basis. I did forget my schedule a lot but it was understandable.

My schedule now is just as steady as it was before but different days are involved. I hate it when people get perturbed with me about forgetting things now. I actually had an argument on Facebook again. It was with someone who blamed Whitney Houston for her death. Somehow this struck home personally. It is not like I take drugs. :)  But blaming the victim is really not a part of a civilized society. It is all contained in the metaphor of trying to get people to stand in line and be shot at in the Civil War. Red Badge of Courage is one of the great American novels. Who can blame someone for running and not wanting to be shot, but if everyone ran, then this side (the more civilized side that treated its soldiers like human beings) would lose. Similarly, people make a choice to take drugs. We tell them not to. In this unfair world, celebrities  must bear the full brunt of the type of people who we all know who troll around on Facebook bullying. They get criticized for everything and the meanest form of criticism to me is that found in criticizing celebrities for losing the magic, for being out of touch, for being Barry Manilowesque. Drugs, well, I can see that. It happens so commonly among celebrities one would have to wonder if there is a commonality rather than simply blaming the celebrity.

So, I feel this way when someone blames me for my memory. It is what it is. If there is some major thing I have done on account of my memory being bad, well, in a sense, I am just a victim of the deterioration we all have as we age. I get over things easily these days, also because of age and wisdom. But, it still niggles me just a bit. And what is the sandwich of truth for but to relate those little frustrations.

My answer to the person who was so intent on calling Whitney Houston names and excoriating her? Block. It works wonders on Facebook. Not so easy in real life, but it would be nice.

Two things God forgot to give us that the Internet has invented. The "block" button on Facebook, and the "undo" button in Microsoft Word. These two devices would be handy in real life.