I deleted my Goodreads account. It was a cool place in 2008. 2006? IDK, I forget. I only logged in now and then, and since I am retiring my old writer email addy (uuuugh), I deleted the account rather than change the mail.
Goodreads coasts on the power of its network. It’s outdated and stale.
I did have success in Goodread ads. But 2002 called, it wants its website design back. And none of my readers were on Goodreads, so, kk thx bai. It was not me; it was you.
I went to a public high school and liked it. Although not a popular kid, and I made social mistakes, my primary social circle had nothing to do with high school. I had a somewhat I don’t get a fuck attitude.
High school takes on a whole new light when you Just Don’t Give a Fuck what anyone there says about you.
There were guys I admired at my high school, and let’s call one of them Bob.
Bob was tall. Bob was well-read and highly educated. Bob was articulate. Bob had a hot sister. Bob was popular with all the pretty girls. The beautiful girls that put out. Guys wanted to be Bob. Girls wanted to fuck Bob. It was great to be Bob.
I wanted to be Bob when I grew up.
Sometime later on Facebook (do you detect a pattern here), I noticed Bob was increasing becoming unhinged over his politics until he was making Facebook videos where he was the most terrible of bullies–disparaging women who did not vote the way he does. I could not believe what I was seeing.
I chalked that one up to “rose-colored glasses” about impressional teen boys. I blocked him and his increasingly also unhinged (no longer hot) sister and moved on.
Now imagine Working Anthony. I may have been young and immature, but I was a pro and a tech.
Occasionally, I had dealings with a guy we’ll call Frank. Frank was sharp, articulate, well-traveled, highly educated, and had this great wit. Sometimes, he would post on the old ARPNET groups and the company’s proto BBS. Thoughtful, empathetic posts with a classical liberal (as opposed to a progressive liberal) viewpoint. Frank was great.
Sometime later on Facebook (do you detect a pattern here), I noticed Frank was increasing becoming unhinged over not just his politics but many other subjects. He was about as paranoid–or more so–than Bob. At least he didn’t turn into a bully.
But he was not, absolutely not, talking like the guy I knew. It was as if he was a different person.
And then I figured it out. Bob and Frank were regular weed smokers. For decades. In my drug intervention classes I took so long ago, they talked about this. Paranoia. Personality drift and degradation. Lack of empathy. Seething hostility.
Weed got them. A moment of silence for Bob and Frank, victims of the drug war.
We interrupt my pent up ranting to bring you Waifu News, coming to you live from my underground bunker in Sammamish, Washington!
Since I archived my older posts on Blog Reboot 2019, some context is in order: I’m a married man, for 25-years now. To the same woman. I used to refer to her as the Wife Unit, but now, in 2019, I believe I will reference her as Waifu Unit. For infosec reasons, yah?
But I digress!
So Waifu Unit comes to me this morning with some innocent questions.
Waifu Unit: What’s a waifu?
Me: (oh shit)
Waifu Unit: Excuse me?
Me: A waifu is an anime girl, as in literally, not a girl that likes anime.
Waifu Unit: SO WHY DO YOU NEED A WAIFU PILLOW!
Me: WHO TOLD YOU!
Waifu Unit: THE BOYS!
(editor’s note, my boys are older teens)
Me: THEY RATTED ME OUT.
Waifu Unit: I OVERHEARD THEIR GIGGLING. GIGGLING BOZ ARE GUILTY BY DEFAULT AND THEREBY YOU!
Me: (damn it)
I need to up my infosec game, fam. Here’s the pillowcase in question:
I admit that I can be unforgiving on occasion. It’s not a significant burden, but a small part of my makeup, yeah? I am only human.
And I admit, based on my past, I can have a lack of empathy for the complainers complaining about innocuous things.
So let’s turn to the neocon-infused boomer lack of any type of analytical viewpoint, much less empathy, over student loan debt. The sneering and disparagement of these people mired in debt are one of the most un-Christian things I’ve ever experienced.
Let’s break it down, shall we?
The Lie of Student Loan Debt
We lie to young kids, before they are adults, that the only way to get ahead in life is to go to college. Their teachers tell them that, their parents tell them that, the colleges tell them that, and on-and-on, so-on and so forth. This message is everywhere, and it is only now that some people are stepping up and saying, “Hey, this college thing isn’t a good idea for most people.”
So based on this falsehood, all of these proto-adults go to college. Many of them get degrees of some usage. Many of them don’t. And many obtain overwhelming student loan debt.
Let me type that out for the folks who don’t get it:
They obtain overwhelming student loan debt.
The debt cannot be discharged by legal means. The government(s) sticks their nose into the process on almost every level. For loan guarantees that artificially raise the price of the tuition to mind-numbing, bank-account obliterating heights–to debts that cannot be discharged like almost all others in the United States.
So now these young adults leave college with overwhelming student loan debt.
These young people cannot buy a house.
These people cannot get a proper car loan.
These young people cannot buy a house.
These people cannot get reasonable interest rates on credit cards.
These young people cannot buy a house.
These people must repay this debt for a degree that increasingly has little benefit.
These young people cannot buy a house.
And if they want to start a family–they can’t buy a house.
The Suck of Student Loan Debt
So here we are, young people, lied to at almost every turn, settled with soul-crushing debt. And the response from “conservatives” and “libertarians” is to ridicule them with memes, tell them that they should have been smarter, tell them they have only themselves to blame, ect., etc.
Economic Suck of Student Loan Debt
Let’s talk about economics. We are describing an entire generation that is fucked in this corporate-capitalistic society. Just royally boned. These former college students have this financial sword of Damocles hanging over their own head, a sword that was put there by deceit and lies.
Societal Suck of Student Loan Debt
How about we talk about one societal aspect that this debt impacts. The cultural cost of not having these folks able to buy houses is legion. It’s hard enough starting a family–could you start one if there was no way you could see that you could put your family in a house? What’s the economic impact of an entire generation unable to buy a home because they need to pay back a debt for a service that, only now, they realize doesn’t benefit them at all.
Is the magnitude of student loan debt finally reaching you?
College costs more today than it did when you were in college.
College cost considerably more today than when your parents were in college.
College cost considerably more today than at any time in American history relative to the cost of other major expenses.
Working a bunch of jobs while going to college today will not prevent this debt.
Personal Suck of Student Loan Debt
And the cost to the actual person in this situation is terrible. These people live in fear. And it kills them. Slowly. And almost all of the conservative and libertarians on Facebook (there I go again, bashing it), when presented with this problem was to point and laugh.
Shame on you.
Let’s confiscate the colleges’ endowments and pay off these students’ debts. Or a multitude of any other solutions other than fucking over an entire generation from This American Life.
These debtors need our help. Right now. They need forgiveness. Like the Bible tells us, right in the Lord’s Prayer.
When I started to blog in 2008, I made new blogging/social media friends, many of them writers.
Sadly, I don’t talk to many of them anymore. It’s sobering.
My friend Rachel passed away earlier this year. She was the first person I bought an ebook from, so long ago. I grieve for Rachel something fierce. We shared common interests, shared problems from childhood, and there were things about Rachel that let her understand me in a way few people do. Baby, I miss you.
Duncan also passed away, and his continued absence is bittersweet. Duncan did the phenomenal cover for the second Lexus book and some art for a novella that I have not announced yet. His artwork is my smartphone phone background. It makes me smile every time I look at it. He was a great guy and sometimes we’d just chat away into the night.
Author Friend 1, who I had a healthy amount of respect for her incredible talent, and I was an enthusiastic fan even before she was published. She got involved with politics and bullied me on Twitter for being an NRA member. I sold all her novels (many of them signed) to Half-Priced Books and never talked to her again.
This was a harbinger of things to come.
Author Friend 2 enjoyed success with a small press, and I learned a ton from her. Sadly, when the small press went TU as small presses are wont to do, she stopped writing and went dark. I sent her a couple of emails to say hello but never heard anything back. I has a sad. This one hurts.
Author Friend 3, she was creative as creative can be, fell in with the wrong crowd and started to say awful things about people I personally knew to be outright lies and slander. We’re not talking drama, we’re talking vindictive meanness. I stopped talking to her. It was about this time I noticed a trend. Can you spot it?
Author Friend 4, I had some business dealings with, but he started to post “you are either with me or against me” on, wait for it, political positions. I used to plug his books, and sometimes we’d collaborate on infrastructure. I don’t anymore.
Author Friend 5 suffered from depression. I wrote a short story for her blog that came in third in her contest. In a low period, she deleted her blog, which included all the lovely comments people left on my story. I tried to get her some help, but she wouldn’t have anything of it, and what is a guy to do? At a certain point, I realized Captain Save a Ho was going to bite me in the ass here, and I disengaged. Man, her stories were great, too.
But at least she didn’t go political, so maybe there is hope.
Author Friend 6 championed the ever-toxic and self-perpetuating Duluth Model of dealing with domestic violence. Her constant men bashing, especially in this area, showed an almost pathological lack of empathy for men. I got sick of her shit, and like I handle all bigots, I disassociated myself from her.
Author Friend 7 is awesome. She is one of the most caring and relentlessly talented people I know. Cassie, I love you!
Author Friend 8 also continues to be awesome. His output has slowed, and so he stopped blogging, but I believe that is a symptom of his cooler-than-penguin-poo day job. Keep on writing, Ken!
Author Aquantence 1 now sells so many books it’s ridiculous. And inspiring! He doesn’t blog much anymore, but he cranks out the books.
Like Author Friend 6, Author Aquantence 2, while not waging a Holy Social Media War on Men, decided to take her vendetta with the more masculine sex to her books. I stopped reading her stories as they became poorly edited and written but managed to hit all the right toxic masculinity canard checkboxes. Just ugh.
I also figured out she was a virgin. It kind of creeped me out.
Authors 3 to 9: I totaled this up. These are authors that I used to follow, repost, and like. And they. Went. Batshit. Crazy. Over politics. Funny enough, and I don’t mean funny ha-ha, their later works don’t sell. And some of them are now on dangerous drugs after Trump won the Presidency of the United States in 2016. I am not kidding, either. Some of them sound as if they are taking lithium.
There we go. I am an imperfect man in an imperfect world.
But I am an empathic guy, and I can spot people who suck over the horizon. I did not intend this post to be a parade of suck. There are highlights in there! Somewhere. And I know I missed several people, and if I did, that means at least you didn’t suck so bad that you went cra-cra on social media for this, that, and the other thing.
My intent with Blog Reboot Plus Plus is not to bash on Facebook, but a bit of context is in order.
Facebook is a dystopian nightmare that warrants disengagement.
In the spring, I realized that I have blocked more people on Facebook than I have friends on my Friends list. Sometime earlier, I realized that I cannot block posts that reference a particular website. I relied on this feature to cut the inane, political bullshit from my “progressive” friends whom as we approach 2020 Trump Reelection, have become increasingly unhinged. Only unhinged by proxy via a link to a click-bait “commentary” site.
(As a digression, the NeoCons and Boomers (but a Boomer that isn’t a hippy is redundant with NeoCons) have gone 90% dark unless there is a snarky meme involved.)
But I digress.
Facebook pokes at me in other ways (and not the fun poke, either). There was good content from my friends’ list, but I increasingly could not get to it. Occasionally I could not link to a YouTube music video because the video was tagged as “fake news.” But that was innocuous annoyances.
So when two out of the three Facebook groups migrated to MeWe after Facebook gave their admins shit, I, like many others of the same groups, disengaged from Facebook. I unsubscribed from all the groups and pages I was following, and posted on my wall:
This Is My Second-To-Last Facebook Post.
Ladies and Gentlemen, other than the ultra-secret squrl private group that has not migrated away (yet), I’ve moved on from Facebook. I’ve left all the groups I belonged to and unfollowed any page that wasn’t a person.
People who know and understand me recognize that I detest being told what to think. Facebook has turned into a dystopian nightmare on the category of “he beats me because he loves me,” but on a global scale.
A couple of years ago, Facebook removed the ability to hide links from external sites. Over time, inane political links have started to clutter my feed, usually from low-IQ Baby Boomers or Goose Stepping Progressive Left Authoritarians.
I have come to the conclusion that many of you are experts in your relevant fields, and therefore think you’re experts in politics. This is rarely the case. Many of you suck at politics. Like, you’re really super bad at it.
I appreciate everyone here. Some of you I would crawl on broken glass through a burning building if that’s what you needed.
My bottom line is I don’t feel safe on Facebook. There is a distinct lack of forgiveness throughout this decayed social network. Some of you have turned bitter and vindictive. We are all flawed creatures; that’s the human condition. I encourage you to reach out to friends and family on more productive services than this creepy online hellscape.
When Trump is reelected next year, I’ll make my last Facebook post—about how this was all too predictable, you only have yourself to blame—and then delete my account. Going out like a right asshole.
Best Regards, Anthony
Immediately, I noticed threads from others that belonged to these groups chastising, making fun of, accusing of hypocrisy (heh), and generally disparaging people escaping the psychological hellscape that is Facebook.
Exsqueeze me? Really? Come on, folks.
They sounded like Stepford Wives in Stockholm with Confirmation Bias.