Thursday, January 21, 2016

Leaving Facebook: Nixon and Me Go Hunting.

By getting away from FB I’ve taken a step away from Dog Rescue that I really do not want to take, but at the same time, the reality is there are four dogs living with me right now. I’ve got more pounds of dog than I have had in quite some time. There are other things I can do to help rescue but work is devouring more of my time every day. Between work, writing, and having a girlfriend, both FB and Dog Rescue are losing out. As much as I would love to spend my Saturdays at adoption events my girlfriend would like to see me more often than I see my coworkers. At least twice a week.

FB is an insidious time suck because whatever you go there to find you will find it and you will find a lot more as well. There’s a FB App called “FB Purity” and with it I can filter out key words which eliminate a lot of posts by other people. Keywords like, “Trump” and “Clinton” and “Election” and “Liberals”. I grew up reading about Richard Nixon, who was quite possibly the most evil individual ever to hold the office of president. Moreover, he was flanked by some people who were as scary as any Hitler hired and there are still countries with war crimes warrants issued for some of his cabinet members.

Don’t get me wrong here; I’m a big fan of Nixon’s in the same sense that I appreciate the history created by smallpox. I just think electing the man to any office where nuclear weapons were at his fingertips was a colossal mistake in judgement and a pretty good indictment against Democracy as a whole.

America hasn’t done much better since Nixon and that’s fairly frightening. Both Bushes were truly corrupt pols who got us back into the idea that war is a great idea when history shows us that war is a form of insanity that keep getting worse until we get out. Some people want to point at World War Two as the last time we fought a war with a successful conclusion but sixty million people died, and Japan got nuked in the deal. Now, that’s what we’re led to believe is a good war.

Take a moment with that one. I have time.

FB is in a very accurate sense, Democracy in its purest form where everyone has a voice and the most loudly heard voice is the collective. The trouble is that there has become a very large demographic of lower level informed speakers who knee jerk to whatever lands in the trough. This is a truly magnificent tool when taking down animal abusers. Keisha Curtis discovered that social media can make a person an overnight sensation. She also discovered that life on the run isn’t nearly as fun as it might look.
Walter Palmer discovered that there is no safe haven from the people of FB. In a matter of days I had his Florida address, his cell phone number, where all of his employees lived and their names and their phone numbers, and where he was making calls from. Some of this information, I’m certain, wasn’t legal. But if a million people are sending out the same signal who do you arrest?

There’s a certain danger in this sort of mob mentality. It’s the same sort of thing that elects Bushes and a Nixon to the position that has a button that really doesn’t need to be pushed. Even when I’m sure I’m on the right side of things and the person we’re hunting needs to be held accountable I still have this odd fear that I’m opening a dam that will be damn hard to close again. Both Curtis and Palmer deserved what they got and more, too, and I don’t regret being a part of the mob. Sooner or later, and much sooner than later, mistakes will be made with this power, or there will be collateral damage, and who has your soul by the toes then?

Is it ethical to obtain the personal information of a dental hygienist who just happened to be hired by a monster? Is it ethical to possess than information just because someone sent it? Is it legal? It is moral? Is it something that I can deny having culpability when I encouraged action against her employer? Bring me his head on a platter and suddenly I find a twenty year old’s life being breached because I helped start something I can no longer control or predict.

Is this ethical behavior? Even if it brings down a monster and it helps raise awareness, is a twenty year old woman worth the trade if someone hurts her or if she feels hunted or if we make her afraid to go to work?

Suddenly, excuses are made and explanations are given. Photoshopped or stolen nude photos are an idiot away at that point and it is far too late.

With that same power a photo of a lost dog gets passed around and in an hour some terrified terrier is reunited with his mom and there’s a sense that we’re really good people and we do good things, and it’s true. It’s very true. We save lives. We help people find their dogs, even if they’ve never had one, and there’s a sense of compassion being raised. At times, we’re more Gandhi than Nixon and I’ll take comfort in being a part of that. I’ve met some truly great people whose hearts know no limits.

Right now, I have to take a few steps back and look at this thing I’ve been a part of for a few years. Do I want to continue? Can I considering what happens and what can happen? Do I have the time? Does this make me a better person? Does it make the world a better place?

I’m taking a break from it all. Likely, I’ll be back.

Just not yet.

Take Care,



  1. Facebook: All grandchildren. All the time. Or at least that's the impression I get from the posts of my cohort, which is made up of people in their early fifties. Oh, and politics. I've tried to start discussions about books or movies; nothing doing. So I don't post as much as I once did, and spend more time in groups.

    1. I'm down with that, Roadie The only grandkids I have are four footed. But politics? No thank you.

    2. Well, when you come back let me know. I enjoyed the conversations about WW 2 history we had.

    3. Hell we can have them here without the interruption of someone trying to make a lame joke in the middle of it.

  2. FB Purity? Where have you been all my life??