A couple of years ago my friend Janel invited me to join an online political discussion group. It mostly consisted of moderates and libertarians, but there were a few radical socialists, some Republicans with a capital R, and even a few anarchists. Not the kind of anarchists I used to hang out with in high school--the ones who pierced their eyebrows with safety pins, wore all-black, and wanted me to come over and watch their VHS copy of "Sid and Nancy" for the fifteenth time--but the kind of anarchists who are sick of wading around in the muck of political bullshit that seems to grow deeper with each election year. From what I could tell during my time in the group, your political opinion mattered less than your desire to win an argument.
I left the group when another member blocked me. It's no fun to argue with a blank screen. If I post my arguments on an online discussion group's site, but people can't see it, what's the point? The whole point of being an asshole on the internet is the beauty of the human connection. I'm not arguing just to see my own words. Or, wait a minute. Maybe I am.
So, I left the group. I devoted the time and energy I'd once reserved for it to my blog.
Well, dammit! If my former groupmates want to block me, I'll take my arguments to my own site.
Half the time I don't know how I feel about an issue until I write it out. When I was in therapy, my doc was into this treatment where she sticks electrodes to your head and rhythmically taps your left, and then your right side. She calls it bilateral stimulation. Something about how your emotions are stored on one side of your brain and your ability to communicate is stored on the other, so stimulating both sides of your brain unclogs your thoughts and helps you talk out your problems.
I couldn't afford to stay in therapy for very long, but I found something similar that works for me: blogging. I suspect the act of using both hands while typing out your thoughts works the same way electrodes stuck to your head do. Only this way I don't have to keep track of our Health Savings Account balance.
I love to blog about how I feel, what opinions I have, and silly thoughts that come to mind. Because I'm sharing these stories on my own blog instead of with an online group, I don't worry if I'm winning any arguments with my buddies. I just toss my thoughts out there into the web and see what sticks.
Anyhoo, the guy who blocked me a couple of years ago recently sent me a friend request. My jaw hurt from smiling so hard when I first saw his name. There is virtually nothing better than when someone who you feel unjustly unfriended you refriends you. It's an internet apology. I accepted it gladly.
Since he and I are on opposite sides of the political spectrum, he often posts things that make me roll my eyes. I'm sure I do the same to him. But he's funny and smart, and more often than not I enjoy his posts, so I bite my fingers when I come across the irritating ones.
Usually. Sometimes I can't help myself. My fingers get carried away. They must stick up for me. They must let my voice be heard. THEY. MUST. COMMENT.
Like, this morning. I woke up and saw this on my newsfeed:
"A quote from a comedian friend of mine: 'God Bless the Midwest...temp goes up over 80 and fat girls start dressing like cans of exploded biscuit dough.'"
Comedy that ridicules the human body is so lame. Any mean second-grade bully can tell a fat girl joke. Come on, people. We can do better.
So here's what my fingers came up with:
Go on, make fun of fat girls. I'll be over here making out with my husband who loves me in all my doughy goodness.
I'm pretty proud of them. They also found this great meme to share: