Saturday, June 07, 2014

Strange Facebook fellows

I shared this Onion article (‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens) that a friend of mine posted on Facebook, and was amused to see that both my mother and Susie Bright "liked" it.

Opposition to our current crazy gun laws in this country has the power to unite very different people.

Susie Bright is my Facebook friend but also "an American writer, speaker, teacher, audio-show host, and performer, all on the subject of sexuality. She is one of the first writers/activists referred to as a sex-positive feminist."

My mother is a sex-negative anti-feminist. The subject of sex in general is one that she avoids discussing and I believe that to this day she has never willingly seen an R-rated movie. Prude, prig, puritan and Victorian don't begin to cover my mother's sex negativity - she's about as sex negative as you can get for somebody who gave birth to six. 

My mother and I clashed on many things when I was growing up, and in general I found her view of the world to be utterly alien. She once had a plaque on the wall that said "Happiness means not being smart enough to know what to worry about." Few are so open in their hostility towards intelligence. 

We don't engage in fisticuffs any more (possibly because she's old now and I could totally kick her ass) and we rarely even argue much, unless, say, we are stuck in the same car for a ride from the Jersey shore back to Merchantville NJ with only my daughter present to act as umpire. But I had to stop following her newsfeed lest it result in an attack of apoplexy on my part. The item on the left is the kind of thing she posts. You can click on it to read it. Not only is the story horrible at face-value - a little girl is so traumatized by witnessing her parents' murder-suicide that she hallucinates Jesus afterwards, but it is horrible in its revelation of the monstrously irrational belief-system of my mother and over one million people who shared this thing on their Facebook timeline. 

So often when belief is debated with atheists, the believers present their faith as a rational appreciation of some cosmic philosophical groovy non-judgmental abstract-non-entity god. But the rank and file of people who attend church services are like my mother - their concept of god is Jesus, an omnipotent immortal, refraining from preventing a man from murdering his wife in favor of showing up after the fact so that he can sit on a sofa and lie to a little girl that everything will be alright. 

How much more NOT alright does it have to get than your parents murder-suicide right in front of you?

And maybe the best part is the author's free and easy use of the threat of God's wrath to get you to repost: 
"66% of you won't post this, But remember what the bible say's "Deny me in front of your friends and I shall Deny you in front of my father." So re-post this, remember God saw you read this."
Truly mind-boggling.

That is not to say that I always agree with Susie Bright - I stopped following her feed as well because of some annoying things she posted (although I forget what now other than a recommendation of a Sam Harris book) although she does occasionally post fascinating things like that Maya Angelou was once a sex worker

But what a concept - prior to Facebook it's unlikely that my mother and Susie Bright would have appeared together in agreement of an issue in public. 

And in case you're wondering if my mother will be offended by this blog post, be comforted she will never see it. I don't even think she knows I have a blog - and even if she did, she does not have enough interest to read it. Which is just as well because she might have an attack of apoplexy over my views on birth control, religion, Obama, sex, etc. etc.

But at least we agree about gun control.