Making Social Media Fun Again…for Me!

I hesitate to do this, but I must. It’s time to lay down the law for you people. You need a set of rules for your use of social media. I’m not so much concerned about how you interact with each other. My concern is more personal. It’s about how you can better interact with me. After all, that’s what important here.

A few years ago, I prepared a simple users guide for newcomers to Facebook. I must say that you failed miserably in following my advice. I am undaunted. My enjoyment of social is important to all of us and certainly worth preserving. Let’s get started.


If I follow you or we’re friends on social media, your posts appear on my timeline. Think about that. I see what you post. You may not have thought that through. Your memes, photos, status updates and sundry ravings all pass before me. Let’s try to keep it entertaining.

What do I like? A lot of things. Babies are cute. Most small kids are, too. Jokes are good, too, as long as they’re funny. I like a clever pun. Pictures of you are okay, too, but try to make them interesting. Your selfies get tedious, unless you’re really attractive. It’s best not to risk it. Let’s keep it PG-13, too. There are other places to go on the Internet for more “mature” material.

There are many things I don’t need to see. Abused children and animals top that list. If there is a person who must see photos to know these things are bad, that person is either  stupid or insane. As far as you know, I am neither of those. Oh, and no one needs to see dead people. People who want to see pictures of dead people are dangerously disturbed. Don’t indulge them.

I know what you’re thinking: I’m unsure of what to do. What if my posts aren’t entertaining? There are three categories which never fail to entertain me:

Baby Pandas

Post a picture of a baby panda or multiple baby pandas. I’ll like it. I might even comment on it. Here’s one:



I’m smiling. Don’t confuse Giant Pandas (the adorable ones) with Red Pandas. According to my research, the Red Panda is a weasel-like beast, a kind of tricked-out raccoon. I’m not saying that they don’t have their merits, but they aren’t cute enough to entertain me.

Monkeys Riding Dogs

Several years ago, a friend of mine posted a video of a monkey riding a dog recorded by him at a minor league baseball game. I laughed. I LOL’d, as it were. Here’s a picture of monkey riding a dog:


I just laughed again.

I realize not everyone likes monkeys riding dogs. Here in Lexington, Kentucky, our local minor league baseball team actually cancelled a dog-riding monkey show because people complained. I guess it’s not good for the monkeys or maybe the dogs. I disagree. I’ve watched those videos. The monkeys are clearly having a blast. As for the dogs, they seem fine. Dogs are pretty affable, you know. It’s not like they’re riding Maltese or Chihuahuas. If it were apes, there might be a point. Apes are big and can be dangerous. Besides, we humans ride horses. We even race them, and I’m not 100% sure the horses even know they are in a race. We are in no position to judge monkeys–or dogs, for that matter.

Cars Hitting Buildings

I’ll admit that this is a little odd. What can I say? I’m a fan. I live in Lexington, Kentucky, a city which has an usual number of car-on-building accidents (if that’s what they really are). I’ll just say it–I am the one who first identified this phenomenon. It happens all the time here. Here’s a typical post:


I don’t know why this happens, but it entertains me, and that’s the point. One rule–don’t post about one if someone gets killed or seriously injured. The humor is in the property damage. Some folks are so kind as to post these and tag me so that I don’t miss out. Those people get it, and I like them for it.


As much as I dislike the topic, I must mention politics, specifically your politics. I’ll be blunt: No one cares about your political views. By “no one” I mean me. I once mentioned this in a Facebook post. One “friend” commented that I was wrong and that all his friends were very interested in his views. This same guy later called me a bigot for saying that the presidential election wasn’t the end of the world. It seems unlikely that he actually has any friends. I certainly can’t be counted among them.

I want to be clear about something. I’m not saying that you can’t post about politics. Of course, you can. That’s what the blocking and unfollow functions handle. I don’t have to see them. Prattle on if you must. Where we need to be careful is on commenting on my posts. I rarely say anything political. If I do, it’s fair game. Comment all you want. What you musn’t–nay, can’t–do is make a political comment on a decidedly non-political post. Here’s an example. Let’s say I post this status:

Wow. I can’t believe this warm weather we’re having.

This banal post doesn’t even merit a comment, unless you want to point out that where you are is actually quite cold or some other such equally uninteresting comment. Here are examples that won’t fly with me:

If Trump has his way, global warming will make every day like this.

What I can’t believe how great it is to have Trump as president. I don’t even care about the weather anymore.

The rule is simple: If my post is not political on its face, your comment cannot be.


Unlike politics, I have no problem with religion. I like all kinds of religions. Like Thomas Jefferson, I don’t care if you worship 20 gods or none. Good for you, I say. It’s important, though, to keep it to yourself most of the time.

As with politics, I’m not too concerned about your posts. I can’t force you to be entertaining. The same rules about political comments apply here as well. If I post about a recent sporting event, I don’t need to be reminded that God doesn’t care about it. I also don’t need a bunch of Bible passages cited or quoted. Believe it or not, I know a lot about that stuff–probably as much as you do. You’re not really teaching me anything.

A lot of people ask for prayers on social media. I’m cool with that. Pray for me, too, if you want. One caveat: I can’t participate in “unspoken” prayer requests. You know the ones:

I have an unspoken prayer request. God knows about it.

I don’t know what you’re asking for here. Maybe you’re calling down a curse on me or praying for something like the eruption of a super-volcano. God knows I can’t have that on my conscience.

As much as I am uninterested in your religion, your views on the religion of others is even less compelling. Resist the urge to deride anyone’s religion on my pages or walls or what have you. This is particularly applicable to my atheists friends–and I have quite a few. You folks tend to be very proud of your non-beliefs. Hey, I would be too if I were confident that all the many religions are wrong. Nevertheless, you must resist the urge to continually remind us of your superiority. Careful now, don’t do it in response to this, either.

I’ve not covered everything–sports, for example. It’s annoying when your favorite team wins and you act like you actually contributed to the win. I do the same thing, so I’m not exactly on the high road with this one. Likewise, we carry on about what fabulous, sainted parents we have, forgetting that we know people whose parents were little more than monsters which could procreate for some reason.

You’re probably wondering or perhaps even saying aloud: Why should I care what his clown thinks about what I do on social media? That is, indeed, a valid and thought-provoking question. I suggest, however, you consider that if you can make one person happy every day, you have not lived your life in vain. If that one person is me, we both win.

© 2017

Help A Drowning Man


I am awash in a sea of bad information. How did this happen? I’ve spent too much time in the ocean of social media where information is plentiful, but accuracy is sacrificed for speed and volume. How does this happen? The easy answer, of course, is that people are idiots. This knee jerk response is just as flawed as the flotsam vomited out on social media even as you read this. People love outrage. More precisely, they love to be outraged. This is especially true when politics and religion are involved. This causes otherwise intelligent and thoughtful folks to randomly post thoughts, memes and links which are related to reality only by the thin thread of having originated from someone’s mind.

Another answer might be that I spend too much time on social media and should do something else like a read book.  No thank you, Egg Head.  That ain’t happening.  We need to work together.

Phil Robertson is now the millstone around my neck.  If you don’t know who Phil is, then good for you.  You aren’t into social media and perhaps spend your time writing poetry.  If so, you’re probably not reading this anyway. Phil is a “reality TV” star.  His show, Duck Dynasty, is entertaining.  It certainly seems scripted to me, but what do I know?  Perhaps Phil and his family became multi-millionaires while bumbling about like…well…reality TV stars.

I won’t rehash what Phil did.  There’s no point in doing so.  He said things that pissed people off or made people happy.  Outrage ensued.  Many folks–again, otherwise intelligent–have risen to his defense by citing his right to “free speech.”  One poster on Facebook said “What the hell happened to free speech in this country?” The answer is nothing, because Phil’s opinions have nothing to do with free speech.  “But, but, but…he got FIRED!!”  You are correct.  He did get fired.  Free speech, unfortunately, doesn’t prevent that.  “YES, IT DOES!” you screamLet’s read the First Amendment of the United States Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

[Note how I helpfully highlighted the part about “Congress.”]   Congress has made no law regarding speech which affects Phil at all.  In fact, no government official has done anything to Phil.  Maybe you love what he said about gay people and African-Americans.  If so, you have found some common ground with radical Islam.  Maybe you’re a Libertarian sort who supports everyone’s right to speak his or her mind. I really don’t care.   But, let’s all agree to never invoke the First Amendment again on this issue.  We’ll all feel better.  I know I do.  Thanks.

It’s not only the plain language of our Constitution which cause confusion.  Easily verified claims also drive us to hysteria.  Here’s a favorite example. Occasionally, a meme makes the rounds about Presidential and Congressional pensions. It reads:


Salary of retired US Presidents……………………….$450,000 FOR LIFE

Salary of House/Senate members……………………$174,000 FOR LIFE

Salary of Speaker of the House……………………….$223,500 FOR LIFE

Salary of Majority/Minority Leaders………………….$194,400 FOR LIFE

Average salary of a soldier DEPLOYED IN AFGHANISTAN ……$38,000

Average income for Seniors on Social Security …………………$12,000

I think we found where the cuts should be made! If you agree, pass it on!

Aren’t you outraged?  This is patently insane.  Why would these people get paid for life!?!?!  What kind of country do we live in?  That’s a valid question but not because of this.  The above information–while outrageous–is incorrect in almost every way. None of these people–not even the President–gets full salary for life. It simply is not true. Does this stop folks from being outraged about it? Of course not. Variations of this meme have been posted many times on social media.  The comments are fairly frothing with their condemnation.   Here’s my suggestion:  When you see something that is so inane as to make you want to immediately post it on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, stop and think.  Since you’re probably on the Internet at the time, do a simple search.  Check the facts.  You’ll be amazed how easy it is to confirm or counter such things.  Again, we’ll all be better for it, and you won’t look like an uninformed ass.

Then there are the half-truths, those items of interest based in reality but twisted into something sort of whole truth.  Here’s a meme making the rounds:


The House of Representatives passed a budget bill cutting pensions for veterans.  (Not “Veteran’s”).   That much is true.  The reduction is actually a reduction of the cost of living increase for certain pensions.  It’s what I call a “Government Cut.”  A “private cut” is where you make less money next year than you made this year.  It only applies to certain veterans–ones deemed young enough to re-enter the work force.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  This seems like a bad idea.  We’ve worn out our military with endless wars.  The least we could do is leave their pensions alone.  On the other hand, don’t worry about veterans actually getting a cut in their pensions.  The private sector, where there are no pensions anymore, is the only place that happens.

This is a prime example of excellent propaganda. Take a grain of truth, twist into something outrageous and scare everyone. Remember that Hitler got elected by scaring the hell out of people. There’s a reason he had a Ministry of Propaganda.  It works.

Finally, there are those debates that rage over opinions.  Most of these involve politics or religion–two topics which civilized people never discuss.  Bear this in mind:  There are two sides or more to each such debate:

  • Obamacare:  POINT–The program is already failing and far too expensive for the country to afford.  Socialized medicine will lead to reduced services for everyone.  COUNTERPOINT–It’s the law.  Give it time, and the kinks will get worked out.  If socialized medicine is so horrible, why do we provide it to our military veterans.  Wouldn’t they be better off buying their healthcare in the market?
  • Phil Robertson:  POINT–He’s free to speak his mind and express his faith.  Leave him alone.  COUNTERPOINT–People are also free to be offended by his comments.  We don’t have to leave him alone.
  • NSA: POINT–The Government is only gathering data. They have no way to do anything with it. COUNTERPOINT: Yet. There is nothing more un-American than spying on your citizenry.
  • TAXES: POINT–Let’s raise taxes on the highest earners. This would quickly fix all our fiscal problems. COUNTERPOINT–Our government has a history of spending every penny it brings in–and more. Until we fix that, more revenue won’t help.

These few examples show how it works. There are two sides to all theses issues. It just depends on your political prism.

Of course, acknowledging differing opinions isn’t our way. God forbid that we be asked to actually respect another’s views.  We prefer to be right.  In fact, we demand it, even when we are wrong.  I am fortunate to have friends from all walks of life.  Their politics range from Left-leaning Communists to budding Neo-Nazis.  The Right’s take on current events is a combination of moral outrage, moral superiority (always Christian), the U.S. Constitution  (if you don’t like something, it’s unconstitutional) and some nostalgia (such things as whipping children are fondly recalled).  The support Republicans and like all Ayn Rand quotes.  The Left approaches these issues from a different angle, of course.  They are intellectual titans ready to make fun of religion (always Christianity.  They don’t say anything about Islam, Judaism, et al.), cite obscure authors, and engage in relentless name-calling often involving obscene language.  They support Democrats and love to quote Barack Obama, Mahatma Ghandi and hate all Ayn Rand quotes, even though most of them are atheists like Rand.

Here is a typical social media exchange regarding Mr. Robertson, who has eclipsed war, world hunger and random violence as the issue of the day:

  • Original Post:  I stand with Phil!  The Bible says that we will be persecuted for Him! Christians have freedom of speech, too!  Our country is being destroyed!  I will never watch TV again!

[See how our friend has concisely encompassed the significant elements of right-wing rage.  The Bible, persecution, morality, patriotism and broad and incorrect legal principles.]

A response from the Left naturally flows:

  • Comment:  You can stand with that bigoted, homophobic, racist if you like.  I have never seen his show.  In fact, I do not own a television having traded mine for a Navajo Dream Catcher.  Freedom of speech is not an issue here–offensive, racist, homophobic rhetoric is.  The Bible supports all manner of prejudice.  I suggest you read the collected works of Bertrand Russell instead.

[Our Leftist chum has countered with his own salvo.  He engages in name calling that far exceeds anything Mr. Robinson has done but does so from a perch of intellectual superiority. He is above mere TV watching.  He concludes his concise commentary by inferring that atheist mathematician/philosopher Bertrand Russell is a better source for moral guidance than the Holy Bible. Well done.]

This exchange will continue with many additional posts by these and other commentators.  The Right will contend they are right because, well, they are right…or Right.  The Left will froth and name-call, even resorting to the use of vulgarities to make their points.  Ultimately, no one makes any sense and everyone is angry.

I’m embarrassed to admit that I have engaged in this foolishness on occasion, especially when legal principles are misstated.  I forget my advantages in this regard:  1) I have actually read the Constitution; and 2) I graduated from law school.  I, too, have been called names.  One Lefty even called me a racist for correctly noting that the ubiquitous George Zimmerman is Hispanic.  I countered with own my stream of obscenities.  It’s easy to fall into this trap.  I do not judge.

Let’s all commit to work as one to make all this easier for me.  After all, wouldn’t the world be a better place if things suited me?  Don’t be a racist, homophobic, liberal, conservative, Communistic Neo-Nazi, Bible-thumping Atheist.

© 2013

How Smart Aren’t You?


Did you ever think you might not be all that smart?  If you’re really dumb, you probably haven’t.  I’ve think about it sometimes, even though I seem to be fairly bright.  Of course, if I’m not so smart, I’ll probably would like I’m smarter than I really I am.

I’d rather have almost any problem that dumbness.  Almost.  Horrible diseases would be worse, as would disfiguring scars.  Face tattoos may be worse.  Morbid obesity, too, but you might be able to do something about that.

I recently wrote a post about stupidity and one its key elements–dumbness. After I wrote it, it got me thinking (See? I’m not dumb).  My observations, while spot on as usual, are of no aid to a man or woman who does not realize his or her own dumbness.  While my post may have been of benefit in identifying the dumb or truly stupid, it left a gaping hole.  How do you know if you yourself are dumb or possibly even stupid?

It strikes me that the truly dumb don’t know it.  How could they?  If someone pointed it out, they may not understand.  This would be especially true if that someone was a smart person.  It may all be above their heads.

I thought devising a quiz for dumbness.  But the dumb probably aren’t good test-takers.  How could they trust the test results?

Instead, I offer certain red flags for your consideration.  Below are telltale signs of dumbness.  I don’t write this to offend, although I surely will.  Consider it a public service:


The dumber you are the more conspiracies you believe.  Even believing in just one is a bad sign.  Multiple?  Uh oh.  Here’s the deal with conspiracies:  They get found out.  People can’t keep their mouths shut.  Someone talks.

Here’s a helpful rule of thumb:  If you believe in a conspiracy and at least one of the conspirators is alive, it probably didn’t happen.

Let’s take the JFK assassination, the grand daddy of all conspiracies.  Quite a few smart people believe this one.  According to the theorists, Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby, Clay Shaw, J.D. Tippit, Lyndon Johnson, The Warren Commission, the Mafia and many, many others were all involved.  There are many variations on this conspiracy, enough to fill several books–which they have. None of the conspirators ever cracked and made public their story.  Weird, huh? Hundreds–maybe thousands–of people coordinated to kill one man and everyone kept their mouth shut.  Do you know why?  BECAUSE IT DIDN’T HAPPEN.

What about the moon landing?  Lots of folks think it didn’t happen.  Are you one of them?  They can point to many “facts” supporting their claims.  All of those have been debunked; however, any skeptic is just part of the conspiracy.  I was a kid when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.  Another kid told me that it couldn’t happen because “the moon would turn to blood.”  It didn’t.

How about 9/11?  Think George W. Bush orchestrated it?  If so, he is the most evil and diabolical mind to ever sit in the White House.  Do you really believe that?

There are a couple of things that drive conspiracies.  One is that some things seem too big not to be part of some larger evil.  How could a little piss ant like Lee Oswald shoot the President?  How could a bunch of loons just waltz into our country and fly planes into buildings?  There must be some explanation!  Other things–like the moon landing–are so fantastic that they lend themselves to wild theories.

Sadly, dumbness also drives conspiracy theories.  I’m sure some dumb guy reading this now thinks I’m in the CIA.  Maybe I am.


Do you think smart people lack “common sense?”  Do you think people who attend the top universities are “elitists?”  Do you call people who excel academically names, like “nerd” and “dork?”  If so, you have a great chance of being dumb.

The really smart folks are the ones who made our lives worth living.  They invented almost everything.  I’m sure there a few things that dumb guys invented, maybe the toilet paper holder or Bluetooth headsets.  Regardless, smart people have made most of the good stuff.

A guy once told me that I lacked common sense because I didn’t know how to trap a bear.  Really?  If you find yourself saying something like, stop.  You are treading the path of dumbness.

Likewise, people who attend the finest universities in our country also tend to be smart.  Okay, there are some “legacies” who get in these schools, too.  (George W. Bush, the entire Kennedy family, etc.).  Overall, though, these are the best and the brightest.  Be glad they go to these schools.  They come up with stuff like microwave ovens, satellites, cell phones, face transplants and computer software.  Of course, you don’t have to go to one of these schools to do well, but it won’t hurt you.

Plenty of smart don’t go to the best schools.  Bill Gates is an example.  They’re still plenty smart. They’re not elitists.  They’re just smart.  If you don’t understand that, well… get the picture.  Or maybe not.

Oh, being well-educated doesn’t necessarily make you smart.  I’m a lawyer, and there are plenty of dumb lawyers.

Smart people are the ones you are tempted to deride by pointing out their lack of social graces or general “coolness.”  They’re also probably signing your pay checks.


There are a lot of words in the English language, probably thousands.  I’m sure other languages have just as many or even more than we do.  There’s really no reason to make up words. I’m not talking about colloquialisms or even words like “ain’t.”  As we know, “ain’t” ain’t a word, but we use it.  Where I grew up, it’s as much a part of the language as any other word.  I’m really talking about words that just flat aren’t words.  Here’s a partial list:

  • Supposably
  • Irregardless
  • Hain’t (the correct word is “ain’t.”)
  • Mater
  • Efforting
  • Ath-a-lete
  • Drowneded
  • Excape
  • Orientate
  • Interpretate
  • Nucular
  • Reoccur

Of course, this list could go on and on.  Don’t even get me started on things like “I could care less,”  which means you actually do care, at least to some extent.  If you continually use fake words, you might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer.  Stop it.  If you can stop, then you’re not dumb.  If you don’t understand any of this…you know that means.  I guess.


The Internet is wonderful. It’s hard to imagine life before it, although many of us remember those times.  We would thumb through over-sized newspapers, staining our hands with news print just to find out what yesterday.  Now, the world is instantaneously at our fingertips. The downside, of course, is that the Internet is available to everyone without filter and certainly without editors.

Here’s a story I heard on the Internet last Fall:

President Obama is planning to throw the 2012 Election.  He has already built a massive compound in Hawaii to which he will move in January 2013.  He will then be named Secretary-General of the UN.  Then, he will be free to live openly as a Muslim.  He will then impose a one-world order.  He and Michelle will get divorced so that he can then live as a gay man.  It is well-known that he and Rahm Emanuel belong to a Chicago gay men’s club called the Down Low Club.

I didn’t make that up.  Google it.  It’s out there.  It seems that this story wasn’t true, but people believed it.  Someone emailed it to me.  If you believe stories like this, it isn’t good.  If it’s on the Internet, it may not be true, especially if doesn’t sound true.  Here are some other things on the Internet that aren’t true:

  • The government has a plan to put computer chips under our hides.
  • Members of Congress get paid their full salaries for life.
  • Obama wears a secret Muslim ring.
  • The UN has a plan to confiscate all our guns.
  • Starbucks won’t serve members of the military.

Again, this is just a small sampling.  If you read something on the Internet-especially if it is about someone you despise–think about it.  If you’re even half-way smart, you’ll be suspicious of the fake ones.

Just don’t believe what you read on the Internet.  In fact, you’re on the Internet right now (unless you’ve taken to printing my popular blog).  You shouldn’t even believe this.  Trust me.

Here’s a test.  Log on to Facebook. Scroll. Soon, you will see a post about some outrageous offense, usually involving a politician.  If you are tempted to “like” or repost it, STOP.  Google the story or go to (which, by the way, is not funded or owned by George Soros).  If you believe the story regardless of proof to the contrary, oh well.


If you question whether you’re dumb, you probably aren’t, unless it’s because people are always telling you that you’re dumb.  Of course, if those people are themselves dumb, it may not mean anything.

I do not consider myself as expert nor am I fit to judge.  I am, however, fit to offer my opinions, dumb or not.  After all, this is the Internet.  Irregardless, it has to be true.

© 2013

The Ultimate Facebook User’s Guide

It’s 2013, and I guess everyone on Earth is on Facebook now–maybe not everyone but a lot of people for sure. I first joined Facebook in 2008 as a way to snoop on my kids. That didn’t last long as I became intrigued, then fascinated and then addicted to its wonders.

In 2008, most people were playing games on Facebook.  Mafia Wars dominated as your FB friends asked you to join their “mafia.” I never did. That gave way to Farmville, and Facebookers became virtual Oliver Wendall Douglases. They needed help building fences and barns and rounding up animals. It was like everyone was Amish after they logged on. Then came Words With Friends, CityVille, Poker and many more games. Now, there is a Farmville 2. We’ve come full circle.

A lot of people who know me well are surprised that I like Facebook. I’m not the most social person. In fact, I’m an intensely private person. Why do I like FB? First, I’ve caught up with dozens of people I would never have heard from again nor made any effort to do so. I know about their families and lives now. Second, I would never have contact with most of these folks otherwise. I don’t do a good job of keeping track of folks. FB fixed that. Third, it helps me to hear opinions of others and the good and bad in other folks’ lives. It’s good to be plugged into to the human race, even if it’s just by a PC or smart phone.  Finally, it’s a way to interact with people without really having to fool with them. Perfect for me.

Even people who aren’t on Facebook know about it. They have co-workers, friends and family on FB. They’ll look at others’ pages and secretly pine to belong. Why don’t they? Usually, these folks are men who have deemed themselves either too busy or cool to be bothered with it. They’ll say things like “I’d never do that. I don’t have the time.” Translation: “I’m more important you are. Blah, blah, blah.” These are the same people who will join LinkedIn and make 2,000 connections, because they think it’s important. Look, I know housewives, doctors, lawyers, teachers, kids, CEOs, factory workers, journalists, accountants and unemployed folks on FB. You ain’t that important. Of course, there are the Luddites of the world for whom the whole thing is overwhelming. These are the folks still trying to figure out if they should get into texting. Don’t let any of these killjoys drag you down. If you want to live in the FB world, join us.

If you’ve never been on FB or if you are but you only log on every few weeks or months, there are some basic rules or guidelines which will help you enjoy the experience.


Imagine if your next door neighbor rarely left his house and, when he did, he didn’t speak to you. Yet, he would read your mail and stare in your windows. Sometimes, he would just stand in your yard. Even if you thought he was harmless, you’d get tired of this behavior. FB works the same way.

Don’t just go on FB to creep on other people. We’re not a shy lot, but we like some interaction. I’m not saying you have to post something every time you log on, but you can “like” a status or even comment on one sometimes. We won’t think less of you. In fact, we might “like” you right back. Even if we don’t, we’re unlikely to say anything. There is no “dislike” button.  You might even get “poked.”

When you creep, I call it going Rondo:

Creepers are scary.  Don't be scary.

Don’t go all Rondo on your friends.

Naturally, you might wonder: “If I post something, what should it be?”


The good news is that there really are no rules beyond a certain unspoken PG-13 standard. Posters fall into several categories:

The Lamenter: This is a person for whom the world is a difficult and troubled place. He or she is ill, has ill family members, job and money woes and usually doesn’t sleep well. We on FB like these folks. They’re part of our virtual family. Plus, they make us feel a little better about ourselves.  Vent all you want. We won’t judge you and, if we do, we’ll probably do it quietly.

The Prayer Warrior: This person is seeking or sending prayers for many things: the country, sick children, sick adults, the dead, the living and the unborn. He or she will post Bible verses and inspirational quotes from a variety of sources. If you have a problem, these folks will step up.  Most people are like I am–we’ll take prayers where we can get them.  It can’t hurt.

The Politico: This man or woman occupies either the far left or right of the political spectrum. He will post a long string of gifs and memes assailing his political opponents. Some of these will even be factually accurate. Many will be libelous. He also likes to quote people like Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, George Washington, James Monroe, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, and Ronald Reagan. Oddly enough, these sources are quoted equally by both sides. You, too, can join in. Now, please understand that none of us change our opinions based on your posts, but we will be entertained, at least to some extent. If we’re not, we can always block you. You’ll never know.

Just like at the Thanksgiving dinner table or your local bar, droning on about politics will eventually offend someone.  The good news about FB is that you can just log off and let other vent at you.

Sports Guy: Based on his posts, he lives for sports, not playing them but watching other people play them. If “his” team wins, he will gloat and insult other teams and their fans, not just the one “his” team beat, either. His very worth as a human being is tied to whether a team of people he doesn’t know beats another team of people he doesn’t know. These victories fill him with joy and make him superior to fans of other teams. He won’t post about anything else. The flip side is that when his team loses, his posts become disturbing and deranged. He is a lesser person, and he knows it.

The Worker: This guy uses FB to promote his job, whatever it might be. He’s usually selling something. That’s cool. I might want to buy whatever it is he sells someday. I’d rather buy from a virtual friend than a total stranger.

Music Man: This guys rarely posts, and it’s almost always music videos. Why? I don’t know. I’ll check one out every now and then. It’s harmless.

Animal Farmers: These are folks who like animals. Well, maybe they love animals. Almost all their posts are about animals. There is an endless supply of comical photos of dogs and cats on the Internet. All of them have been posted on FB. If, like me, you don’t find animals particularly entertaining, you can scroll through these posts. Besides, if you don’t love animals these folks probably aren’t targeting you anyway.

Crusaders: These folks are against bad stuff. Oddly, the bad stuff they are against is the kind of stuff everyone is against. They want you to “like” their posts if you’re against such things as child abuse, cancer, child pornography, violence against women and animal abuse. These are good things to be against. Post all you want about them but don’t expect any spirited debates.

Family Affair: These folks post only about their families, usually their kids. Their kids are uniformly wonderful and blessings from God. We all like to hear about kids, so join in. One word of advice–don’t get too real. If your kid caught the basement on fire with his meth lab or got stabbed by a hooker, you probably should keep that to yourself, unless you need prayers.

They also will ask you to “like” or “share” posts that say things like:

If your mother is a saint, your best friend and greatest person who ever lived, share this status.

They never post things like this:

If your mother was a crack whore who brought home a new “daddy” every week and burned down your trailer while smoking, share this status.

So, if, as is the case with too many folks, your parents or siblings were or are vile monsters, you probably shouldn’t post anything about them.

Tin Foil Hatters: They like to post links to various conspiracies, usually involving President Obama. Such things as implanted computer chips, Kenyan birth certificates and Muslim wedding bands are frequent topics. They never check, and if you tell them to do so, they’ll tell you that George Soros owns Snopes. You, then, will become part of the conspiracy. Try to not to become one of these folks. Then again, if you’re so inclined, the fact that I suggest you not do so will only strengthen your resolve to do so. The good news is that FB gives you a platform. If you carry on like that at work, you’ll probably have to see a doctor.   On FB, we just scroll by you like people on the street probably do.

These folks also tend to think Facebook is evil. It’s sharing your profile and personal information and photos. It’s signing you up in Al-Qaeda. It’s garnishing your wages. They never explain why they want to be on Facebook, but they love to warn you about it.

Suckers: Facebook is a hoaxer’s playground. Folks on FB will believe anything. Follow the same rules you follow in real life. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. For example, Bill Gates, despite his vast fortune and philanthropy, is NOT giving away $5000 if you share a picture of him, even this one:


Also, no one won the PowerBall and wants to give you a million or even a thousand bucks. No beautiful women want to be your FB friends.  If it doesn’t happen in real life, it won’t on FB, either.

Newsies:  These posters assume that none of us watch or read any news, so they post links to news stories.  Some are also Politicos, and their posts only reflect their personal views.  Just like with music videos, it’s all pretty benign.  Who knows? We might even learn something from you.

Posting Tourette’s: This is me–a person who just posts various and sundry things that pop into his head. We can’t control it.  It just happens.  It’s almost like we’ve allowed FB to replace actually thought. Think it–post it is our mantra. We’ll post anything–family photos, videos, gifs, memes, jokes, rants, links. We’ll tell you about last night’s dream, our meals, illnesses and travel plans. We’ll complain about work and our families. We’ll brag and moan about things. In short, we combine all the best and worst of the other posters into one, manic posting monster. We post so often that if you were to read all our posts in sequence you’d be privy to the inner workings of our minds. We’ll wear you out on any given day, but we tend to be entertaining–or annoying. But, we’re never boring.


Facebook is a free speech zone, but all freedoms carry with them responsibilities. There are, of course, things you shouldn’t do:

Keep it clean: This should go without saying, but keep it clean, folks. Foul language, nudity (especially your own) and links to pornography are all beyond the pale. Hey, I’ve got no problem with any of that, but there are plenty of Internet forums out there for that stuff. At least that’s what I’ve heard.

Good taste: I am vehemently against child abuse. Honestly, I don’t anyone who isn’t. But, on the off-chance that you have FB friends who need persuading, photos of beat up or dead children won’t help. And they gross out the rest of us. Same goes for dogs that have been abused and killed. We know that’s bad.

It’s Not All About Politics: If you’re a Politico, that’s fine, but remember: Not everything is about politics. Don’t screw up someone’s post by trying to twist into a political statement. Example:

Post: We just had a great dinner-Steak on the grill, green beans, mashed potatoes and homemade yeast rolls! Thanks to my beautiful wife!

Politico’s Comment: Be thankful that Michelle Obummer isn’t your wife! She’d have you eating sprouts!

The Politico has now invited others of his or her ilk to make similar comments and hijack your wall. Bad form.

No Jesus Jukes: The Prayer Warriors will do the same thing with the infamous “Jesus Juke.” It goes like this:

Post: We had a great time at the game! 23,000 people rocked the place!

Comment: I wonder how many people would show up if Jesus was there and no game.

Your well-meaning friend has just brought you down and made you feel evil for enjoying the game. Don’t do that.


You may be like me and be a spellcheck illiterate. Years of word processing have eroded my spelling skills. I am far-removed from the brash young lad who finished second in the Loyall Junior High Spelling Bee in 1976. Facebook won’t help you.

Its and it’s have different meanings. Same with there, they’re and their. To, two and too are not the same. Facebook won’t help with these issues. You have to step up and take responsibility.


There may be occasions when you must unfriend someone or, God forbid, you are unfriended. It’s happened to me. Yes, me. A girl I dated in college unfriended me. I think it’s because it took just a few months for her to remember that she hated me.

Unfriending is a drastic step. It is the Internet equivalent of a slap in the face. You aren’t even worthy of being a pretend friend. Think about that. In real life, of course, we unfriend people all the time. We just quit talking to them. If it required some affirmative act, we’d be less likely to do it.

Now, Facebook won’t tell you that you’ve been unfriended. You have to be paranoid enough to notice. Let’s just say that some of us notice these things. And we don’t like it.


Post a few pictures of yourself. Maybe we haven’t seen you in years. We’re curious. “But,” you say, “I’m not a handsome person. It shames me.” Relax, my ghoulish friend. Most of us are quite unattractive, especially those of us with a few years on us. We’ve gone bald (mostly men), gained weight, grayed, sagged and generally decayed. It’s okay.

I’m a good example. I was never what you’d call a handsome man. Now, my hair is gray and I have numerous wrinkles. Yet, I’ll post many photos of myself. Why? Well, for one thing, I’m a narcissist. Two, I’m not bald. See? You look better than someone–hopefully.

Perhaps you’ve improved with age, which happens. If so, by all means, post photos. Of course, if you really have improved, I don’t have to tell you to post photos.

One thing to watch is posting pictures of other people. They might not like it. For instance, I posted this photo of my wife:


This made her angry because–she claimed–the lighting made her look pale. I should have cleared this with her first.

Please feel free to post as many photos of your kids and grand kids as you wish. God knows I do. They’re yours, and you should be proud of them. Even if they’re as homely as sin, we’ll still “like” them. Same goes for your pets. I have two rabbits and don’t hesitate to post about them, even though they are boring, do-nothing pets.  Yet, people always “like” them.  Go figure.


Come join us!  If you’re already on board, get in the deep end of the pool!  Join for real, too. Do not share your Facebook page with your spouse.  This will only show that you have trust issues, and we want to trust you.

It’s out there waiting for you, and there’s no time like the present.  In fact, I’m linking this post to Facebook as soon as it’s published.

You can even send me a friend request, and I’ll probably accept it.  I’m waiting.

© 2013

The All-Purpose Facebook Privacy Protection Disclaimer

Evidently, people on Facebook are concerned about their privacy and protecting their posts about their kids, dogs, meals, prayer requests, political rants and family photos.  One can hardly blame them.  I know I don’t want the world seeing this photo of me should I foolishly decide to run for political office:

I fear that my gangsta past will come back to haunt me.

One can even dig deep into my past to find embarrassing photos like this one:

Honestly, I know a lot of people who would vote for this guy.

As a result, many folks are now protecting their rights by expressly reserving their privacy with this post:

Anyone reading this can copy this text and paste it on their Facebook Wall. This will place them under protection of copyright laws. By the present communiqué, I notify Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, disseminate, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents. The aforementioned prohibited actions also apply to employees, students, agents and/or any staff under Facebook’s direction or control. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of my privacy is punished by law (UCC 1 1-308 1-103 and the Rome Statute)

As a lawyer, this fascinates.  Yes, it’s true.  I’m a lawyer.  I graduated from law school, passed the bar exam–all of that.  As a service to my Facebook friends, I decided to use my finely honed lawyering skills to break down this disclaimer and explain exactly what is being said here, as only a real lawyer can explain:

Anyone reading this can copy this text and paste it on their Facebook Wall.  I certainly agree with this statement, assuming you possess rudimentary pointing and clicking skills.

This will place them under protection of copyright laws.  Who is “them?”  That confuses me. “They” must be the cutters and pasters.  I also don’t see any copyright protection in this statement.  If you want copyright protection, say so or use this nifty symbol: ©.  You can also claim a trademark with this: ™.  The bad part is that these only protect the rights you actually have. They don’t create rights.  For example, if I quote from Moby Dick on my Facebook wall (as I might do to show how brainy I am), I don’t have any copyright protection just because I claim I do.

By the present communiqué, I notify Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, disseminate, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contentsWho the hell uses the word “communique?”  Did James Bond write this?  Also, what action do we fear that Facebook will take “against” us?  A drone strike?  I know of no police powers granted to Facebook.  Perhaps we fear that Facebook will show our posts to someone.  Here’s a suggestion:  Don’t post anything that you don’t want people to see. 

The aforementioned prohibited actions also apply to employees, students, agents and/or any staff under Facebook’s direction or control.  I’m not sure what the prohibited actions are, but they must be the actions “against me” that Facebook may take.  I’m also curious about the students under Facebook’s direction or control.  This brings to mind a cadre of brain-washed college kids spending their days reading Facebook posts and then informing Mark Zuckerberg of all the juiciest details.  If these people exist, I fully understand the desire to limit their powers.  Oh, “aforementioned” is an excellent lawyerly word.

The content of this profile is private and confidential information.  Now, this is problematic.  You see, when you sign up for Facebook, you agree to all the Terms of Service, which are quite detailed.  You probably didn’t read them.  I know I didn’t.  It’s doubtful that our posts are considered private or confidential.  This explains the Privacy Settings on our accounts.  I suggest that you don’t post confidential information.  For example, I don’t recommend posting nude photos of yourself, unless you are a reasonably attractive woman.  In that case, post them now using this disclaimer as protection.  Also, please send me a link to your profile, so that I may see if your protection was effective.

The violation of my privacy is punished by law (UCC 1 1-308 1-103 and the Rome Statute):  This is my favorite part.  The UCC is the Uniform Commercial Code, a set of uniform statutes regulating commercial transactions.  Every state has adopted the UCC at least to some extent.  Its application to Facebook is a legal mystery.  Here is what Article 1-308 says:

1-308. Performance or Acceptance Under Reservation of Rights.

(a) A party that with explicit reservation of rights performs or promises performance or assents to performance in a manner demanded or offered by the other party does not thereby prejudice the rights reserved. Such words as “without prejudice,” “under protest,” or the like are sufficient.

This statute is often cited by conspiracy theorists or other folks on the fringe as giving one the right to do anything “under protest.”  For example, some folks will sign their tax returns and cite this section, believing that they haven’t really agreed to pay their taxes or that they have somehow reserved the right to challenge the IRS’s taxing authority.  I won’t bore you with all the legal niceties, but the UCC only applies to certain commercial transactions.  I took classes in law school about the UCC and remember a good deal about it. The UCC just won’t help you here.

Article 1-103 is even less applicable:

1-103. Supplementary General Principles of Law Applicable.

Unless displaced by the particular provisions of this Act, the principles of law and equity, including the law merchant and the law relative to capacity to contract, principal and agent, estoppel, fraud, misrepresentation, duress, coercion, mistake, Bankruptcy, or other validating or invalidating cause shall supplement its provisions.

I don’t even know what to say about this one. All it says is that the UCC doesn’t replace any other law unless it specifically says so.  If that gives you any comfort, so be it.

The Rome Statute:  The only Rome Statute of which I am aware involves the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court to prosecute Crimes Against Humanity, genocide and the like.  If someone of the ilk of Slobodan Milosevic hacks your account, you may have something here, but it’s doubtful.  Although Facebook taking action against you might be offensive, you may have a hard time convincing the International Criminal Court that it rises to the level of a war crime.

Sadly, my conclusion is that this disclaimer, for all its flowery language and copious statutory citations, provides no real protection against use of your photos and posts.  Read the Facebook Terms of Service or the Facebook Data Policy. Those will give you some guidance on your agreement with the evil Zuckerberg.

So, if you’re wanting to post inflammatory status updates like advocating erotic literature for children or threatening to kill someone, you may not have the protection you think you do.  It would be wise to think before posting, especially if you are, say, in the job market.  An even better idea may be to just delete your account entirely.

I’m sure some other lawyer will read this and disagree. I might even get sued.  Nevertheless, I stand by my analysis.

Of course, all is not lost.  I am, after all, a lawyer.  I’ve composed my own disclaimer which you are free to cut and paste:

Under the authority of the International Court of The Hague, I hereby expressly and forever reserve my privacy rights as granted under the Declaration of Independence, Magna Carta, Hammurabi’s Code and any and all other applicable law whether foreign or domestic. By posting on Facebook, I do not waive any and all such rights which are hereby expressly reserved unto me, my heirs, successors, agents, legatees, grantees, lessees, designees, devisees, divorcees and/or assigns.  Nothing contained herein or therein shall be construed as such a waiver and any and all persons whomsoever, whether living or dead, reading this disclaimer are hereby forever estopped from so claiming.  Should any such person or entity attempt to violate any or all such rights, those persons or entities shall be subject to garnishment of their wages and seizure of their chattels.  I furthermore claim copyright, trademark, service mark and any and all other intellectual property rights in and to any and all posts on my Facebook wall, regardless of origin, authorship or preexisting claims to ownership.  Facebook is hereby strictly forbidden from challenging or taking exception to any of the statements made in this disclaimer.

Now that I think about it, you’re NOT free to cut and paste this.  See that little copyright symbol at the bottom?  I told you:  I’m a lawyer.

© 2012

The Politics of Facebook

I’m not ashamed to admit that I love Facebook.  I first joined in 2008 to see what my kids were doing on there.  After I figured out that they weren’t joining any cults or plotting my demise, I started to enjoy it.  I post something almost everyday.  It has brought me in touch with many folks I’ve lost track of over the years.  I would never be able to catch up with all the people I know on FB.  Now, I’m up to speed on people who I knew well for many years, a lot of whom I’d forgotten.

I find social media superior to actual socializing in many ways.   I don’t have any way to keep up with this number of people on a daily basis.  I don’t hang out in bars or go to parties.  I don’t like talking on the phone.  Even if I did, I’d still only be in touch with a small number of people.  Social media doesn’t require awkward chit-chit, although I am very skilled at small talk.  I like looking at photos of people’s families but–unlike the slide show of days of yore–I can cut out when it gets dull.  There are also folks that post things that make me laugh.  I’m really big on laughter.  If you can make me laugh, you have a fan for life.

When I first joined FB, I was amazed at how quickly I could find folks I hadn’t seen in years.  We all enjoyed posting photos and updates on our current doings.  It was like a huge class/family reunion.  At the time, young people dominated it.  Over time, they’ve drifted away, just like with MySpace.  Now, it’s dominated by adults.  As such, of course, a lot of the fun has been wrung out of it.

Religion, dogs, cats, babies and random musings are all still very much present.  Oh, and don’t forget all the games.  Mafia Wars gave way to Farm Ville which has given way to City Ville and poker.  I don’t play any of those, that’s cool. Just don’t expect me to give you a cow or horse or something.  I don’t play.  Myself, I try to lighten the mood on FB.  Oh, and I brag about my kids, also a common FB topic.

As with all good things; however, there is a dark side.  The dark side, as in real life, is politics.  Today at lunch, out of curiosity, I scrolled down my wall and counted 26 posts about politics.  I’d say on a typical day the number approaches 100, far out-stripping dogs and religion–two other ubiquitous post topics.

Everything is political on FB–religion, contraception, medicine, the weather, gas prices, energy, war, peace.  Everything.  Except dogs.  Everyone loves dogs.

Facebook does a decent job of filtering out religious hate groups, so you’ll have to do some digging if you want to join a group bashing a religion.  On the other hand, if you want to wander into the political maelstrom, FB is your place.  Here are just a few of the Facebook groups awaiting you:

  • Republican Bigotry Hate Lies Fears and Distortion.
  • Republicans are Idiots and Arguing with them is a Waste of Time.
  • Obama Is A Dumbass.
  • Obama is A Disgrace to America.
  • Romney Is An Asshole
  • Obama Is Gay.
  • Obama Is So Stupid.
  • Obama Is A Llama.
  • Romney Is A Tool.
  • Romney Is An Animal Abuser.
  • Romney Is a Big Government RINO.
  • Democrats and Republicans are Destroying America.
  • Republicans are Morons.

These are all real.  If you don’t believe me, look them up.  These groups provide a veritable mother lode of material for you to post on YOUR wall, in case your friends don’t belong to the group.  For example, I’m not sure what Obama Is A Llama is about, but they probably have all kinds of good stuff about him being born in Africa.  You post enough of that stuff and people will believe it.  Seriously.

You can go to any of these groups and find incendiary and controversial things to post like these:

I could caption this: Projected welfare spending over the next 80 years and cause a monstrous debate.

You can post this with the comment: IF YOU DON’T WANT THIS FUTURE, VOTE FOR SOMEONE! Of course, I made up this graph and the statistics.  That’s insignificant.  I’m trying to make a point about something important.

Here’s another one I made up:

This chart is made up from whole cloth with no explanation of what it means. Yet, I assure you I could get many “likes” of it on FB.

This bit of total nonsense would be taken seriously and reposted by many.

Another favorite is to post a photo of a politician with an insulting and perhaps inaccurate caption, like this:

The President has never said this, as far as I know. That wouldn’t stop me from posting it.

Or, if your political bent is to the left:

The possibilities are endless.  Scroll down your wall on FB and see the many, many variations of this theme.  Doesn’t it influence your choice?  Oh, it doesn’t.  Welcome to the club, I suppose.

Now, please read the following:  I AM NOT TELLING YOU NOT TO POST SUCH THINGS.  I HAVE NO AUTHORITY TO DO SO.  Okay, let’s continue.  I just have a few helpful thoughts regarding this endless wallpapering.


We all know that politics is like religion.  It can be fairly be thought of as religion’s stupid, obnoxious, deadbeat brother-in-law.  Like religion, people believe what they believe.  Let’s say you’re a communist.  God bless you, I say, although admittedly you may not be receptive to that.  As a believer in the collective nature of property and the state’s obligation to dispense resources, you won’t listen to my well-reasoned endorsement of capitalism.  Likewise, endless FB posts won’t change anyone’s mind.  They remind me of what I heard someone say of religion:  No one was ever shamed or screamed into church.  Same goes for your views.

Even if I were subject to being influenced, what would I believe?  Barack Obama is either a socialist, communist, anti-American, Kenyan Muslim whose sole goal in life is to destroy America and redistribute the wealth to illegal aliens and welfare mothers OR he’s a charming, brilliant, visionary who saved the country from destruction and will lead us into a new era of enlightenment.  What of Romney?  He’s an out of touch elitist who hates the poor, loves the rich, belongs to a religious cult, cheats on his taxes and wants to create a society of super-rich titans OR he’s a visionary businessman, who will cut everyone’s taxes and restore prosperity to every man, woman and child, as well as return American to its rightful place as the leader of the Free World.  Your posts confuse me.


Remember, the more you talk about politics, the more likely you are to offend someone.  That someone might even be your friend.  We all know that some religions believe that you should proselytize, which means try to impose your views on others.  I suppose that politics works the same way.  If you think you can do that without offending people,you are sadly mistaken.  It’s long been recognized that politics and religion are two topics you should never bring up, unless you’re ready for a fight.

In my early days on FB, I had experience with this.  One of my “friends” posted a hateful post about Muslims, suggesting that they should all pack up and leave the U.S.  I commented that we are entitled to worship as we see fit or not at all.  I was told that America is a Christian nation and that if you don’t like that leave, suggesting that I probably need to leave, too.  Let’s just say that the discussion deteriorated from there.  I was “unfriended,” the harshest of all social media rebukes.

As far as I can tell, everyone on FB is either an evangelical Christian or an atheist.  Imagine that I start posting-multiple times a day–anti-Christian photos, jokes, etc.  I’m pretty sure my FB friends list would dwindle rapidly.  Why?  Because I would offend.  I’m surprised that the political posts don’t draw the same fire.

This is probably because that most of us accept political debate.  So, there must be a high level of tolerance for this stuff in social media, too.  But, if you do offend, don’t be surprised.  Now, understand that I am NOT offended. My friends-both on FB and in real life–run the gamut from left wingers who would gladly be Communists if it were still fashionable to ultra-right wing extremists who would have no problem with wearing a swastika were it not for the obvious associated stigma.  We get along fine.


I’m a bit of hypocrite on this point, because I post a lot on FB–probably enough to annoy most people.  I’m sure that a lot of my “friends” have blocked my posts.  If you’re one of them, to Hell with you, I say.  Where was I?  Oh, yeah, politics.

Here’s the deal:  Although politicians hold to the old standard of saying the same things over and over, I’m not sure it works in social media.  One or two posts a day on a particular topic

You don’t want to be accused of ranting.  Ranting is the act of lunatic.  If you’re a lunatic, no one will listen to you, unless they’re in the Tea Party.  (THAT’S A JOKE!  See how I like to lighten the mood?)

The biggest problem with repetition is that it’s just dull.  Who wants to hear the same things over and over and over?  Obviously, some people do, but most of us don’t.   One can be forgiven for being opinionated.  Boring is unforgivable.


As usual, I don’t have one. I’m one of those odd people who don’t mind other people’s opinions, even if I disagree or they get ponderous.  People much smarter than I am have long observed that it’s hard to learn anything if one only listens to people with whom one agrees.  Whoever came up with that would love Facebook, because it’s not possible to go on your wall and not disagree with something.

I don’t discount the possibility that you don’t want me to agree with you.  Maybe you’re a pompous know it all.  That’s cool.  Maybe you hate people and need to vent.  That’s not so cool, but I understand.

I’m going to continue to post odd status updates, brag on my kids and post links to this blog.  You can continue trying to convince me to vote for someone.  It’s a free country, at least until one of those bastards wins.

© 2012

Of Dogs and Men

I’ve been thinking about dogs lately.  This is odd, since I don’t own a dog and have no plans to do so.  As any devotee of social media knows, you can’t escape the world of dogs.  Facebook, in particular, is a dog cult.  Regardless of how diverse one’s friends may be, you will see posts every day about dogs.  They transcend religious and political differences, age, race and sex.  From the most staunch right-winger to the wildest-eyed liberal, dogs are beloved.

None of God’s creatures enjoys such good PR as dogs.  Rin Tin Tin, Lassie, Old Yeller–beloved.  Even when dogs are bad, it’s not their fault.  Cujo was a good dog until that damn rabid bat bit him.  Even Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell was demon-possessed.  I’m sure he was a good boy, yes he was.

People don’t hesitate to say they hate cats.  In fact, if people love dogs, they usually hate cats.  Snakes are universally hated.  No one will admit to hating dogs.  Even Michael Vick–the most notorious dog abuser on Earth–says he likes dogs.  Go figure.

People will post pictures of their dogs on Facebook.  They will post pictures of other people’s dogs.  They will post funny photos, sad photos, sentimental photos.  The captions will range from the humorous to heart-rending.  There are posts about soldiers loving dogs, dogs loving soldiers, rescue dogs, abused dogs, dogs who dress like people–you name it, you’ll see it.  If alien life forms are monitoring our computer usage, they are likely to be surprised when they arrive here to find that the dogs are not in charge.

Anyone with a negative comment about this photo would immediately be placed on the Terrorist Watch List

You have to be careful, though. This humorous photo may draw the ire of both dog lovers and smoking haters.

I’m not a dog owner, but I like dogs, generally speaking.  Dogs are loyal to their owners and seem to be good companions.  They can’t talk (seriously, they can’t.  If you think they can, you may have a problem), which is good.  A mute companion is ideal.  I like the way they understand commands and respond to their names.  I like to see them do tricks, too.

My Granny had a chihuahua named Mousie.  He lived to be 19.  I really liked him.  When I was a kid my next door neighbor had a German Shepherd named Shirley.  We taught her to fetch our baseballs when they went over the fence.  I had a friend with a mutt named Sparky.  Sparky was good dog.  So, I’m not unfamiliar with dogs.

Much like my relations with humans, there are some dogs I don’t like.  I don’t like barking dogs.  I don’t like vicious dogs. I don’t like dogs that bite.  Out of fairness, I should note that I’ve been bitten by more humans than I have dogs, and I don’t like that, either.  Like their human counterparts, drooling dogs are kind of annoying.  I don’t particularly care for being licked by dogs.  Okay, now, I know what you’re thinking:  A dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s, by God!  I don’t where that comes from, and it may well be true.  But, I’ve seen dogs eat feces–and not just their own, either.  Plus, except under very limited circumstances, I’ve never enjoyed having a human lick my face, either.  If this ever becomes the accepted form of greeting, I’m not leaving the house.

Here’s a quick story about a dog–two in fact–that I didn’t like.  I once lived behind a house where there were two dogs.  A young couple owned them and clearly knew nothing about caring for them.  The couple would go out of town and leave the dogs in the back yard.  The dogs would bark…and bark…and bark, non-stop.  At first, it made me a bit sad, but that soon passed over into anger.  When the couple was home, the dogs ran in and out of their walk-out basement.  They (the dogs, that is) spent most of their time digging holes.  They dug around the utility transformer until they chewing through my TV cable–twice.

After the second destruction of my television reception (if you know anything about me, you know that is intolerable), I looked at the hole by the transformer.  They had dug down 2 to 3 feet, chewed through the cable and were working on the electrical cable.  I decided to pay Dog Boy and Dog Girl a visit to explain about the barking and the hole.  They steadfastly refused to do anything about their dogs telling me that the dogs were their “children.”  I kindly pointed out that if the dogs gnawed through the insulated cable, 12,000 volts would silence them.  Then, Dog Girl fairly screeched at me:  “We can’t make them stop barking!  That would be mean!  If you think you’re so smart, you get them to stop!”  In true Harlan County fashion, I kindly responded:  “Think about that.  Do you REALLY want me to shut up those damn dogs?  I will.”  We had no more problems after that.

I offer that tale only so you know that I’ve had my differences with dogs.  Rest assured, however, that I’ve never hurt a dog.  Okay, I did hit a dog with my car once.  I was driving through a neighborhood and this little lap dog ran in front of my car.  People came screaming, calling me names and saying I was driving too fast.  I probably was but–you know–the dog ran in front of my car.  Anyway, it was an accident.

A sad, tough truth that every dog owner should know is that not everyone loves your dog.  Dog owners reading this are now choking back bile, ready to attack–just like a dog.  Slow down, there.  If you have kids, think about this:  You probably love your kids.  You might even like them.  Not everyone feels the same way about them, though.  Some people don’t like your kids and almost no one else loves them.  That’s just how it is.

Why wouldn’t someone like a dog?  Well, I don’t know all the reasons.  Maybe they don’t like animals.  That doesn’t necessarily make one a serial killer, although it doesn’t eliminate one from suspicion either.  What if they don’t like “dog smell?”  Dogs do have a smell, you know.  It’s okay with some folks, but not with others.  Before you scream:  MY DOG DOESN’T SMELL!!” consider that I didn’t say they smell bad.  My Granny’s house smelled like snuff and mothballs.  I’m sure she didn’t notice, but I did.Some people are scared of dogs.  That’s true.  They are.  I’m not saying that’s right or can’t be overcome, but it’s a fact.  So, if someone doesn’t like your dog, they may have legitimate reasons, just like if they don’t like your kids.

Most dog lovers consider dogs to be vastly superior to humans.   Maybe they are.   They love the dogs, and the dogs love them.  The dogs won’t stopping loving them, either.  They won’t get bored with the relationship or go find new, younger masters.  Of course, one could point out that these are just the traits of any pack animal, but that would be unkind plus it would fall on deaf ears anyway.

Although they may be superior creatures, dogs are not people.  They’re dogs, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

If your dog looks like this, consider getting professional help or maybe a human companion of some type.

Even though dogs are dogs, they share certain characteristics with humans.  There are good humans and bad humans, just like good dogs and bad dogs.  Both are products of their environment or maybe their breeding.  Some humans are vicious and attack without provocation.  Some dogs do, too.  If dogs had opposable thumbs (or thumbs, at all), they’d use guns and knives, I’m sure.  The big difference is that we don’t blame dogs for their actions like we do humans.  A bad dog is caused by bad humans.  Bad humans are just bad.

I have a rule I try to follow at all times:  Don’t surround myself with creatures willingly and able to kill me.  That applies to both humans and dogs.  I’m told that Rottweilers, for instance, make great pets.  I’ve known folks that had them as pets. A Rottweiler could easily kill me, and there’s nothing I could do to stop it.  Not a good pet for me.  All he’d have to do is want to kill me, and I’m a goner.  A Maltese, on the other hand, couldn’t take me out regardless of its bad intentions.  I’d beat his ass.

Same thing with humans.  Some people are dangerous.  I don’t like being around them.  They could easily kill me on a whim.  I do my best to stay in the company of only those people unwillingly or unable to do me harm.  Admittedly, it’s much tougher to tell with humans.

I briefly touched on the topic of dog smell above.  Of course, humans smell, too.  Some good, some bad.  If a human is really funky, you don’t want that person around.  Maybe his or her family is okay with it, but you’re not.  Same with the dogs.  I don’t like touching smelly people, and I certainly don’t want them touching me.  Same with dogs.  I’ll pet just about any dog, but if you ever see me pet one, notice something.  I’ll quickly sneak a whiff of my hand.  Of course, I do the same thing after shaking hands with a human.

Dogs and human babies bring out the best in people.  The roughest, toughest people will often melt at the sight of a dog or baby.  People will smile at them, talk to them, touch them.  They’ll baby-talk to them.   Dogs and babies are the keys to peace on Earth.  When I was kid, the principal of my elementary school, Nick Brewer, was the most fearsome person I knew.  He terrified our entire school.  Once, I went to his house.  When he walked in the door, a gigantic Saint Bernard came running to him and jumped up on Mr. Brewer, licking and drooling all over him.  Mr. Brewer hugged him and said:  “Daddy is home! Yes, he is!  Daddy wuvs his baby boy, yes he does!”  Mr. Brewer never scared me after that.

Of course, dogs aren’t perfect.  Let’s say you live alone–except for your dog.  You’re happy together.  Like most dog owners, you fully expect to outlive your dog, but you don’t think about that.  One night, while sleeping, you die quite expectedly.  Being a bit of a recluse, no one checks up on you.  Your dog wonders why you won’t get out of bed and take him for a walk.  After awhile, he says “Oh, what the Hell!” and does his business inside.  He’s still got some food and water.  Eventually, the water runs out, but he remembers the toilet and partakes.  Pretty good.

After a couple of days, he’s out of food and pretty hungry.  He’s given up on you getting out of bed but decides to lick your hand a couple of more times to see if you’ll rouse.  Nope.  Hey….that hand is pretty tasty.  Yep, he eats you.  This won’t bother a true dog lover, of course.  He or she would relish being eaten by their dog, so that they and the dog could become one.

Now, let’s say the same thing happens, except your companion is a human.  After a few seconds to figure out that you’re dead, he or she calls 911 (there’s that thumb thing again).  Of course, there are the rare occasions when your human companion may eat your corpse, too, but we’ll leave that for another blog post.

In some cultures, humans turn the tables and actually eat dogs.  This is unthinkable in our society, but it happens.  Let’s be glad that we have plenty of other sources of protein.  Honestly, I would expect us to resort to cannibalism before we even get to dogs.

Finally, you dog lovers, be patient with those who aren’t or are just dog likers.  If we don’t want your dog jumping on us and licking all over us, imagine if one of my teenage sons treated you like that.  Oh, you might like it at first, but it would quickly grow old.  If we don’t comment on all your dog photos and posts, it doesn’t mean we don’t like them.  Now, go to bed and cuddle up with your dog.

One more thing, I guess dogs had it bad at one time, what with sayings like “talked to like a dog”, “treated like a dog”, etc.  No more.  We should all aspire to a dog’s life.

© 2012