Friends keep morphing into angry people I never knew existed before
Image Credit Yoga on Adobe Stock
“To be of good quality, you have to excuse yourself from the presence of shallow and callow minded individuals.” ― Michael Bassey Johnson
When I was in elementary school they took a selected few of us on a field trip. I can not remember where, other than the city Amarillo, Texas, there we entered a room with a huge computer in it.
They ran a war simulation and the machine sputtered and spit out a paper with rectangular holes punched in it. I was mesmerized but soon forgot about the experience.
About 15 years later, a couple of guys built desktops computers that could be acquired by anyone. So, in 1987 I purchased my first computer, a Tandy 1000 from Radio Shack.
This machine became an important part of my daily routine. One had to know MS-DOS commands as the user interface had not evolved to the level is has today.
Yet, it could do computing, spreadsheets, games and connect to the first version of internet bulletin boards. It was all very fascinating to me, I explored late into most nights.
More computers came along and I began to do graphic design while digitizing my photography collection. Several scanners were purchased and now hours were spent saving scanned images.
Then Ebay came along and I jumped in deep sustaining myself making, finding and selling items. My online umbilical cord was important and growing.
The Rise of Facebook
Then came February 2004, in Cambridge, MA a man named Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook. It was love at first sight. By this time, I had desktop computers in two rooms plus a laptop. Once again late into the night I searched for old buddies and girlfriends sending friends requests. I suspect most of you did too.
Our friends list became a growing indicator of social media prowess, the more the merrier. Since I had moved away from several cities where friends were made over 4 decades, I believed they would never been seen again. One by one they were found or showed up, it felt good to reconnect.
For the next 10 years there was little strife and mostly appreciative comments on the content I was sharing. But then, a big change came along.
Then came the new POTUS.
I’ve never thought of myself as a political person, as a matter of fact, I’ve never even voted. Although, this may be the first time I have admitted it. This time I had a strong feeling in my gut that he was going to win and he did.
It was the beginning of a broader education on the human condition.
So many people lost their minds. Most of them had said he could never win, and now, instead of supporting the system that has been in place for centuries, they rejected the outcome.
Trump supporters somehow became targets, and it has intensified over time. Some people began to post statements like “He’s a POS and so is anyone who would support him” For those of you who don’t know the acronym, POS stands for piece of shit.
This is where it goes off the rails for me. If you were to Google POS which I just did, all the results come back as a computer. Not a person.
A Point of Sale terminal. Hmm?
“If you choose bad companions, no one will believe that you are anything but bad yourself.”
Then Came Covid 19
A new issue, yet so many behaviors appeared the same.
The arguments, picking sides, making others wrong, those who support different beliefs. Wear a mask or not, blah, blah, blah.
I lost friends on Facebook over this issue again, just like Trump.
So called friends…
Early on, they said, if I wear a mask I’m an idiot, it’s not more than the common cold. Why would anyone 2,000 miles away care whether or not I wear a mask?
There is only one reason, their commitment to judgement, hate and the love of their own ideas above all else. Those same people now wear a mask as the rest of the world demands it. Are they admitting they were wrong, no.
Then it was the killing of a man by the Minneapolis Police.
Again, the anger and picking of sides, name calling, protesting, burning, more death.
One of my oldest high school friends decided this was enough to blow up a 45 year long friendship. He said “he was a thug who deserved what he got, period.”
He doesn't care about all that has come since, riots, destruction, the proposed abolishing of the Minneapolis Police Department. He is just comfortable in his own position, he sees himself as the supreme decider of all things.
I can not imagine anything more arrogant. He is the same as a man who is killing people with impunity, if only in his head and with words.
As an artist, I spend most of my days trying to create beauty and share it. My soul is too dark otherwise, maybe that’s why those that don’t seem so foreign to me.
This may be my saddest piece to date and I’ve said enough.