The Sum of all Fires

If Twitter was a real bird, it would be a red-tailed hawk.

This predatory meat monger is a relatively small bird with an ginormous wingspan. It builds its nest in highly populated areas. And if you fuck with its crib, you’re gonna get raked by its massive talons.

While there are analogous ramifications to a statement like that, unless you’re living in a Winnebago somewhere in New Mexico . . you ain’t allowed to say such a thing and mean it. So I’m joking, of course. Even if the metaphorical equivalency is righter than Reagan in the passenger seat of a Buick.

Granted, it’s not just Twitter. You can argue that social media, as a whole, is a legal form of opioid addiction. It possesses many of the same qualities: It feels good, it’s damn near impossible to quit and it gives us a specific high that real life can’t touch.

Twitter just happens to be the problem child of social media. It’s the screaming kid in a Target who just will not shut the fuck up. That’s because Twitter feeds our impulsive natures so damned effectively. And for every bridge it builds, it burns a hundred more. Don’t take my word for it, just follow Trump’s twitter feed.

Roseanne Barr is just the latest dope in an endless sea of ’em to get flushed by the red tailed hawk. Was her tweet racially charged, or just the latest stupid shit to dry hump the public forum from some big mouthed Twitter account?

Imma go with stupid. I don’t think it’s smart to attach a racial component to every single stupid shit thing that someone says. I think doing so only provides cover for the legit racists out there. Barr pressed send on a stupid fucking thought that was in her head when she should’ve taken a pill and a vodka tonic instead. And for every asshole celebrity that says stupid shit, there are tens of millions of scavengers whose impulsive natures will be sated in the ensuing crush mob.

I’m much more disturbed by that crush mob of people, who sit in the convenient darkness tweeting back racial epithets to Barr’s first shot. There is a vicious economy to that kind of mean, the kind that spurs growth. And it makes me wonder how it is that we lost the mythological significance of the technology age to this scatological quagmire.

This wingspan has plundered the public consciousness with a bread and circuses manifesto. We consider it a fascination. We laugh and we shake our heads and we move on. We never mind its poisonous talons. It’s all good.

That’s how social engineering works. It’s a slow creep, an advancement whose principles do not need identification in order to move forward. It feeds on our actions, it simplifies our needs. We need more of the less, as if it’s damn near everything.

So what are we doing here? Where are we going? And how in the hell do we ever get back? Well . . we don’t know. We can’t know. And we don’t get back. Not ever. We ain’t putting the toothpaste back in the tube now, seeing as how it’s just too much fun to have every single thing at the touch of a button. And I don’t know about you, but I’m plenty fine with going down the rabbit hole, for better or worse. Because to blame me or the peeps I keep company with for what social media will morph into some day is to blame my grandfather for the hydrogen bomb.

As for that screaming kid in Target who just will not shut the fuck up, my advice to you is simple. Brace for impact . . and enjoy. You won’t even feel it happening.





52 thoughts on “The Sum of all Fires

  1. The disconnect between reality and the anonymity social media provides is astounding. I’d like to think a person would never say half the vile things to someone’s face as is done on social media. perhaps I’m naive but I still hope. Why the latest stupid kerfuffle was even triggered (Ms. Jarrett is in the administration nor hasn’t been in the news of late was so perplexing as to receive scrutiny from Barr) is probably the $64M question. The only plausible and seemingly logical answer was it was racially motivated. And yet, it’s not the first one of its kind by the TV star and likely won’t be the last. You are right about the stupid part. And there’s just no way to legislate around that. With or without the Red-tailed Hawk’s oversight.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I so agree with you, Marc. Stupid is as stupid does. I think Rosanne is a loud-mouthed trash talker with no brains. Let’s let it go at that. All the rest of the haters need to get a life as well.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. B,

    John said exactly what I feel. And yes, if you, as a celebrity – who has way more “voice” than anyone else, whether it should be so or not – cannot control your urges, then by all means hire yourself a spokesperson to ensure your stupid is not shared with the whole world – well the world that is listening. Because frankly, I am not. Yes, I do hear the echoes and ricochets but I sure as shit am not following any of these per se.

    And yes, in some forums… social media is great, dontcha think?


    Liked by 2 people

  4. I find it enlighteningly frightening. I had no idea just how much of an underbelly existed in the U.S. and social media has brought that to light. Terrifying, yet important knowledge to have (once it’s known, something can be done about it, although I’m not sure how one solves the problem of some people are just cruel, mean, stupid, or all of the above).

    And if Twitter is the worst, it’s actually the child of the comments section of every website, where this trolling monster was actually born. It learned it from its parents, like most rotten apples that don’t fall far from their trees.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tara,

      You’re so right about that last point. Fucking A, do those comment sections not have a cesspool effect or what? Me and my friends have this joke about Yahoo articles. The only reason to click on them is for the comment section! Yikes!
      While I am admittedly no techie, I am thankful for social media for having opened my world to peeps I never would have met. So this post isn’t about biting the hand that feeds me a bigger circle of friends. This post is about damning the vitriolic side of things. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, and there’s no reason to ignore that fact.

      Thank you for the chime!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ding!

        I swear, fear of those comments sections is one of the reasons I slowly, over time, stopped writing opinion pieces (I used to do so, like, professionally). There’s no way I could keep myself from reading them and I didn’t want to let all that in — my eyes can’t unsee stuff, ya know?

        There’s a good and bad to everything, I suppose. I just never knew until social media just how bad the bad could be.

        Yes, let’s focus on the positive — it’s a small world after all. Hi, friend I’ve never met, Marco! Hello!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Tara,

          Yeah that’s rough! I liken the vitriolic exchanges to what happens when a person is in their car and they behave irrationally. They find this behavior acceptable only because they are in a ‘bubble’. Of course, as with being inebriated, there is a truth to what everyone does and says, no matter the circumstances.

          Here’s to the positive Tara!

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I read a couple of left wing blogs and a right wing blog on a regular basis. The posts are bad enough — one-sided, hypocritical, fact challenged, etc. Butt he comments sections are where you go if you want to see the true vileness that is our social media universe. Where right-wingers say they’re at war with the left and liberals hate America and liberals are twisted and sick, and worse, and none of their compatriots call them out on it … and the same crap fills the comments on the left-wing blogs, and none of their compatriots call them out on it. I have been accused of being an anti-Semitic, socialist, communist, America-hater on the right wing blogs, and a Trump supporter on the left-wing blogs.
    And, yes, Twitter is the vacuum that sucks all of this stuff up and then spits it all out in a catastrophic flood of fake news, false narratives, and endless, endless outrage and name-calling.
    How do we get it back? You’re right, the toothpaste has left the tube. The standards of a decent society have left the building.

    Liked by 1 person

    • King,

      Leave it to you to give us the straight up on things. And it’s funny how that works, depending on which blog you read, huh? I think these peeps- on both sides- are so intent on screaming out their victory songs that they pay no mind to what’s being said in response. Sad.


      • What is sad to me is that there are far more of us than there are of them. The “Us” that want reasoned, rational discussion. The “Us” that recognizes that compromise is how progress is made. As opposed to the “Them” that believe the only progress worth having is where you get everything you want and the other side gets nothing. The “Them” that believes it’s a zero sum game and hate and rage and noise and conflict is better than resolution.

        The problem is that “Us” — we’re busy getting through our day, doing our work, making rational comments now and then and then throwing up our hands when the noisemakers drown us out. How do we get it back? When we take back the debate! I just don’t know how we go about doing that. What we believe and what we want is not sexy and doesn’t grab eyeballs so nobody pays us any attention.

        Liked by 1 person

        • How sad but true this is! We are so far removed from substantive discussion at this point. It’s become a matter of moving the needle for its irreverent qualities, all mutual benefit be damned.


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