I am told that candor and wit are both detrimental to one's health and longevity; and neither is often prudent. I seem to suffer from fits of both, and often with a face-plant in the concrete. Add to that my natural proclivity for snarkiness, dark humor, and often cynicism - and out comes something very disagreeable indeed.
I'm posting the comment feed from facebook that followed my little "V for Ventriloquist" ditty below. It may be that doing so will only exacerbate this particular fit of candor on my part. But I think the conversation is worth...who knows what it's worth... Maybe a chuckle. One thing I note for myself is I seem to come off sounding cavalier - like I think I'm so so smart. This is a mask for nerdy awkwardness. I only wish I were so so smart. I do have my perspectives, though, and I like to think they're supported by facts. Also, I think that after spending so much time keeping my views to myself, it's a good idea to express them. Fit of candor or not.
So...here's the feed. I haven't changed anything except to add semi-colons after each person's name and, for privacy sake, removing everyone's last name but my own. Also, a little reminder on 'like' next to the time/date stamp - if it says 'unlike' instead of 'like' with a number next to it, that means I was one of the people who 'liked' the comment. Like Like Like. Facebook lingo - did you ever guess back when you were chatting with your friends on a curly-corded phone...? Yes, that's right, I AM old enough to remember curly-corded phones.
Christina: You're not saying that people will blindly support a candidate as long as he supports their special interest!?!? Never could happen. People in this country are way to smart for that. (stated with my tongue firmly inserted in my cheek)
October 17 at 12:21pm · Like · 1
Todd: from where is this?
October 17 at 12:47pm · Like
Nikki: I don't believe he said that.....
October 17 at 12:53pm · Unlike · 1
Julia: Just because you put a name at the end of a quote on the internet does not mean it is real. Don't believe for a second that Obama said any of this.
October 17 at 2:10pm · Unlike · 1
Jason Merrell: I'm paraphrasing, of course.
October 17 at 2:11pm · Like · 1
October 17 at 2:12pm · Unlike · 1
Jason Merrell: Actions, darling. Actions. I'm paraphrasing his actions. You know, with a bit of hyperbole and satire...
October 17 at 2:42pm · Like · 2
Julie: Even behind the satire, I can't see the Obama you're talking about.
October 17 at 3:08pm · Like · 1
Jason Merrell: @Julie & Julia: Well, let's see, let's see... On New Year's Eve, our president signed the NDAA - a document whose powers he, himself, acknowledged in his signing speech as suspect, and sections of which a federal judge has now ruled unconstitutional. A ruling which – signing speech be damned – the Obama Administration is apparently ignoring. So there’s that. There are who-knows how many assassinations and internments without representation or due process. Drone strikes killing untold innocents. There’s the executive order President Obama signed giving himself the power, ‘in an emergency,’ to assume control of all forms of mass communication. There are the TPP trade talks conducted in secret which would allow multi-national corporations to usurp U.S. law on our own soil. These are a few of the little treasures I’m talking about, none of it satirical. And all the while our president continues to garner strong support – much of it, I believe – because he speaks out for LGBT and women’s rights. The majority of people I love fall under these two umbrellas and are people I consider part of my tribe. Jason no like when ‘his own’ are duped or complicit in the duping. Thus…my little SNL/South Park homage.
October 17 at 4:12pm · Like
Julie: Thanks for the translation, Jason. I guess I should qualify my comment with the caveat that your description didn't sound like Obama except insofar as he has acted like pretty much every president ever in terms of making secret deals, signing dodgy and even illegal legislation, and securing his own position in the event of trouble.
October 17 at 5:06pm · Unlike · 2
Jason Merrell: Yes, well, I think - as far as executive powers go - President Obama has upped the ante exponentially.
October 17 at 5:36pm · Like
Julie: I hadn't really given the matter much thought, so I really appreciate your perspective, Jason.
October 17 at 5:58pm · Unlike · 1
Brent: Jason. As one of the supposed "duped" let me just offer this. (speaking as one who you pretend to have all figured out) You don't know me well enough to know my motivations for voting one way or another. You don't know what brought me to my decision to cast my vote for the candidate of my choosing. Your comment is offensive and degrading to both Women and the entire LGBT community. It supposes that we as gay men and women (gay or straight) cast our votes solely on whether or not a candidate panders to our group. We are not as easily fooled as you may imagine. But I will say that I will not for one moment entertain the idea of voting for a candidate who does not understand the constitution of the United States. Who believes that men were not created, and are not in fact, equal. Who would knowingly and purposefully write discrimination into the constitution. Who would take civil liberties away from specific groups of American citizens because they did not subscribe to their religious beliefs or definition of morality. Who would not only perpetuate, but actively encourage and perpetrate acts of hatred, bullying, and bigotry. My vote is not solely based on these criteria but it is definitely informed, educated, and supported by them.
October 17 at 11:58pm · Like
Jason Merrell: Hmmm. Thanks, Brent! I don't think I have you all figured out. ...for the record. You are quite correct, I don't know you well enough to know YOUR motivations. Thanks for your comment!
Thursday at 12:41am · Like
Jason Merrell: Brent, your comment deserves a fuller response. So this is for you and really anyone else who is interested. My little ditty is an outlet for lots of frustration with actual conversations I've had and for a general pattern I see. I do not presume to speak for you or for any one person or to know anyone's heart. It is enough for me to cope with understanding my own heart. Having said that, I WOULD like others to consider the possibility that there are deeper, more foundational issues than the interests of any one group and which are just not being discussed all that much. My concerns with what our president has done, and in giving him the chance to continue doing more, are issues that I believe, underly and protect freedom for all of us. If we allow the executive to assume power to control the media and all forms of communication if he so chooses (by simply saying 'its an emergency'), and if we grant power to that same one person to say "I choose that you shall die and you shall be imprisoned without due process," and allow, yet again the same person, to trade away the laws of the land (in secret, even from members of his own party) for the sake of corporations from other countries, then we are well on the way to surrendering our republic to something else. In which case, the rights of any one group are rendered completely moot. For instance, if he or any future president wants to declare a gay activist or an abortion doctor or a journalist or a pastor an 'associate ally' to terrorists, he can do so with impunity under the very broad terms of the NDAA President Obama signed. What I see is a president who has taken the baton Bush Jr. brought way too far down this road and who is now outdoing Bush by leaps and bounds; running faster and performing olympian feats of authoritarian daring-do like no other before him. And, if you knew me better and how I felt about Bush jr., you'd know, for me, THAT is saying something. AND the fact that President Obama has managed to so out-perform in less than one term what it took Bush Jr. eight years to do in this way, is breathtaking. All of which is very much a deal-breaker for me. And to listen to close friends and media talk about how President Obama supports LGBT rights and women's rights, etc., while ignoring or brushing aside, what I consider these much more important and foundational issues, is so completely alarming to me. LIke hearing someone complain about the furniture while the house burns down. I voted to give Senator Obama a match to burn four years ago. I just simply can't and won't vote to give President Obama another match for four more years. Whew...! So...without writing an entire dissertation (or have I already?!), that's about the size of where I'm coming from.
Thursday at 2:16am · Like · 1
Mary: Pretty interesting, er, uh, scary stuff...http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/executive_orders.php
Presidential Executive Orders
The American Presidency Project contains the most comprehensive collection of resources pertaining to the study of the President of the United States. Compiled by John Woolley and Gerhard Peters
Thursday at 10:10am · Like · Remove Preview
Mary: Proof he has NOT, in fact, acted like "every other president".
Thursday at 10:13am · Like
Julie: Mary, what is the proof you're referring to?
Thursday at 10:20am · Unlike · 1
Mary: Presidential Executive Orders link - see above. It's been GROSSLY overexaggerated but nonetheless, he's gone above and beyond any other president in history with executive orders.
Thursday at 9:31pm · Like
Julie: Thanks, Mary. I saw the link the first time, but to my casual glance the list just shows that every president has issued lots and lots of executive orders, so I was wondering what proof you saw in it.
Friday at 12:03am · Unlike · 1
Brent: Jason, The fears you express are noted but not supported. A statement by Pres. Obama regarding NDAA maintains that "the legislation does nothing more than confirm authorities that the Federal courts have recognized as lawful under the 2001 AUMF". The statement also maintains that the "Administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens", and that it "will interpret section 1021 in a manner that ensures that any detention it authorizes complies with the Constitution, the laws of war, and all other applicable law". Conversely, Romney and Ryan have both expressed that if elected they will actively seek to take away rights and freedoms from American citizens. They have stated that they will legislate morality and pass laws based on their personal religious beliefs. That is precisely the tyranny we were fleeing from when fought to obtain our freedom in the first place. Civil RIghts are far more important than your reference to furniture would imply. Civil Rights are the foundation of the freedoms we enjoy in this country. You may not see that as you are not denied them. However you can imagine what could happen if a president attempted to roll back title 7 of the Civil Rights Act. Image telling women you are taking away their right to vote. Or saying to the Black community that you are going to make segregation legal. That IS in essence what Romney and Ryan have said to the Gay community. They are saying "we will treat you as second class, you will not have equal rights, you are not welcome to the protections afforded by the constitution, we WILL force you to live under and adhere to our religious dogma. As gay members of society you are not free to choose for yourself.". I could go on at length. But let me offer you this. This is only one, ONE, of the hundreds of reasons that I am not voting for Romney. I disagree with his stance on fiscal policies, foreign relations, immigration, taxation, healthcare, abortion, etc, etc, etc... I fundamentally disagree with virtually every stance Romney has taken in this election. Yes by all means Gay rights are a huge issue for me and every Gay person. Women's rights are a huge issue for every woman. But most of us can educate ourselves on the issues and most of us are capable of being objective.
Friday at 1:12am · Edited · Like
Jason Merrell: Keep reading, Brent... They are supported. Including a letter published before Obama signed the NDAA in the NY Times by two five star generals, pleading with him not to sign it. And the suit which led to NY federal judge recent ruling that sections of the NDAA are unconstitutional (which the Obama Administration has ignored). If you'd like a reading list, I'm happy to send you one.
Friday at 12:21am · Like
Jason Merrell: Also, Brent, the statement you refer to from President Obama reminds me a bit of a Harvard dean's defense of requiring college grads to sign loyalty oaths when applying for government grants during the McCarthy era; saying that the practice was merely pro-forma, having no more significance than licking the stamps for the application envelope. To which an Italian scholar, Renato Paggioli, stood and commented: "Mr. Dean, I am from fascist Italy, and I will tell you something. First you licka the stamps, then you licka something else."
about an hour ago · Like
Rance: The great thing about these type of posts....is I can simply block you from my feed and friends list. I support neither Romney or Obama. However, I do support Equal rights among all citizens of this country who pay taxes. And if after this election I am not considered equal...then I shouldn't have to pay for taxes that support your freedoms and not mine.
about an hour ago · Unlike · 1
Jason Merrell: Hmmm, yes, I agree with nearly everything you've said, Rance. The great thing that still holds true in this country is we are free to voice our perspectives and others are free to listen or ignore them; agree or not. But I make it a point, especially lately, not to ostracize others for disagreeing with me. I'm not aware of any problem that was solved by not talking about it. Also, one of the reasons I've stuck with the democratic party is I always maintained that, of the choices available, it was the umbrella with room under it for dissenting voices. This appears to be becoming less and less true. One intonation that sparked my comment in the first place is the one that seems to be growing louder and louder, which says: agree with every bullet-point of our agenda or get the hell out. Don't offer another possibility. Don't ask. Just get on board or get out.
As for drawing a line between 'your' freedoms and 'mine,' I think maybe you're barking up the wrong tree... ;)
14 minutes ago · Like
28 minutes ago · Unlike · 1
...FYI, Rance and I are still friends. He's a lovely man; such a generous spirit has he.