This past Wednesday, May 1, Facebook scolded me. They issued a dire warning that – I guess – was supposed to frighten me and make me reconsider my entire purpose in life and how I fit into this complicated universe. Apparently, some gentle soul was offended by a post I’d made the day before. I used the ‘f’ word in response to the story of Jason Collins, the Washington Wizards player who came out and admitted he’s gay. Here’s part of what I originally wrote:
‘God forbid some pro athlete should come out of the closet and admit he’s queer! I mean, it’s okay to have wife beaters (or baby mama beaters) and drug addicts in the locker room, but fags just won’t be permitted.’
When I logged onto Facebook Thursday morning, I received a message telling me the post had been removed because of the “offensive language.” It also referred me to their “Terms of Service,” which warned about “hate speech” and other admonitions. Keep in mind this is the same web site with groups called ‘Fucktards Need Not Apply’ and ‘Shit That Makes Me Laugh.’ In fact, I’ve seen the words ‘fucktard’ and ‘shit’ in comments all over the site, along with other equally colorful terms.
I don’t know who got upset enough to report me to Mark Zuckerberg. They were allowed to remain hidden behind their computer, while Facebook’s treacherous Word Police invaded my profile overnight and hurriedly stripped away the horrid verbiage. Finally, with the hateful terminology safely obliterated, the pack of Silicon Valley 20-somethings dispatched their carefully-worded ‘Don’t You Dare’ message. For that one terrifying moment, it took my breath away. Then, I realized I just had gas.
This whole fiasco reminds me of the time in February 2008 when I posted a message on AOL in response to a comment someone had made. They had a story about how Christopher Columbus tricked the indigenous Taino people of Jamaica in 1504 by telling them that, if they didn’t provide him and his crew with food, he’d make the sun disappear on February 29. He knew that a lunar eclipse was imminent on that day. The Taino didn’t believe him – until the eclipse occurred. Then, they were terrified and bowed to his commands. If Columbus had been somewhere on the mainland, say in the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, or the Inca capital of Machu Picchu, they’d probably laugh and skewer his Italian ass. Remember, the Aztecs and the Incas charted the stars with amazing accuracy, as did many other Native Americans societies. Columbus simply lucked out that he was in the midst of people who were slightly less educated. As I perused the comments in response to the brief editorial, I noticed some idiot had posted something like, ‘No one has suffered like the Jewish people.’ First of all, Jews had nothing to do with the story. Second, it always pisses me off whenever some Jews think they’ve suffered more than the indigenous peoples of the Americas. So I replied, saying something like, ‘Pardon my extreme political incorrectness, but Jews haven’t suffered one bit anywhere in the Western Hemisphere in comparison to the Indians and the Negroes.’ I went on to use the word – brace yourself – ‘bullshit.’ I think I even threw ‘fuck’ into the mix just because it was the kosher thing to do. Then, at some point, someone got their feelings hurt and complained to AOL who then wreaked revenge by removing my capacity to make comments for a week. Oh, God! I was devastated! I had to drink half a bottle of wine and masturbate for an hour to get over the trauma. And, of course, the offended person remained hidden; a troubled spirit in the digital night – never to be seen or heard from again.
Now, this shit with Facebook.
Somewhere along the keyboard, my intentions got lost. I don’t hate homosexuals. In fact, some of my best friends are homosexualites. Hell, I’ve had my own sexual encounters with other men – including myself! But, my comments centered on the irony – hypocrisy – over the hype surrounding Collins’ announcement. It’s pathetic to see professional athletes reacting with such vitriol at the thought of a homosexual in their midst. Consider that pro sports is rife with wife-beaters (or baby mama beaters); infidelity; drug addicts; drunk drivers, etc. How many times have you heard of professional male athletes going out to bars or strip clubs and getting into fights? How many of these guys have been tagged for steroid abuse in recent years? I guess it’s okay for a pro athlete to beat the crap out of his wife or girlfriend, but they obviously draw the line at queers in the shower. I mean, they have standards, right?
Considering that today is World Press Freedom Day and I’m a strong free speech advocate, I won’t apologize if anyone was offended by a briefly-worded post on Facebook. I made no threats and didn’t slander anyone.
But, I’m glad to know I pissed off someone. I learned years ago that trying to please everyone will lead to complete insanity, so annoying somebody enough to feel that have to contact an authority figure gives me the utmost pleasure. Some folks are so sensitive you’d think they’d just had 3 orgasms in a row! Believe me – I know from experience. Either way, life isn’t worth living if you don’t piss off a few people here and there. At least they know you who you are! And, that you’re not afraid to speak.
11 responses to “Face Butt”
I read your original comment and I understood what you meant. Anyone who managed to be offended by that obviously didn’t read it thoroughly.
I had a debate with an acquaintance several years ago about his reply to an email I’d sent out. He’d made a joke, but it didn’t come across as funny to me. That’s the problem with writing; you really have to read through the words sometimes to decipher the author’s intent. With instant messaging, texting and emails, the true meaning gets lost in the rapidity of the keyboard, or keypad.
Don’t you just love it? You get zinged for expressing your views in a post, but the fucktards who rant and rave in the comments on it get a free pass. I’ve often gotten complaints (from followers) on some of my Facebook comments (although, nothing yet from FB itself), and my response has always been, “If you don’t like what I post, get your ass off my page!” Then, I block the bastards’ comments for a while – or, if they really piss me off, permanantly.
That’s just it! You don’t know who made the complaint, and the company won’t tell you. It happened with AOL 5 years ago. When I called their tech support line (in India) to find out what the hell happened, they told me someone had complained about my comment. But, the rep said she couldn’t tell me who. Then I asked, ‘You can’t, or you won’t?’ She stalled, then said she couldn’t. I didn’t bother trying to call anyone with Facebook. I mean, if I didn’t make a threat or slander anyone, why make a fuss?
Bravo, I salute you! The sad news here is that the far majority of them that populate (police everyone but themselves, do judgement calls, forget what the word “opinion” means, forget an individual’s rights and so on) the facebook arena would not “get” your point, your obvious (to a few), intelligent perspective and thought provoking truth and so forth and so on but move right on to the total idiocy that seems to be a common occurrence today – one plus one equals 11.
Thanks, Penny. This issue reminds me of Brigitte Bardot’s ongoing battles with the French media over comments she’s made about Islam. In France, it’s illegal to slander religion, and lawbreakers can actually be fined and incarcerated. Bardot, an ardent animal rights activist, last got into trouble in 2008 when she criticized the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha in which a sheep is sacrificed.
I think that’s political correctness gone way too far!
I’m not sure political correctness means what most people think it means. I suppose it’s safe to say that today where the spoken and written word have often little to do with true understanding and awareness of any situation, the following may be true: Organized religion has become (saying this nicely) way off-base and unorganized, news media has become like onto an outbreak of an uncontrolled virus, everyone has an opinion on everyone else’s opinion, the word value is ceasing to have “value”, politicians are taking their cues from all of the above and in general it appears to be a free for all where the truly aware and intelligent are ducking under and taking cover! Just my take on things though!
I agree it is a sad state of the world we live when people only look at words and never at the context in which they are used. It often leaves me wondering how the IQ really is. People are amazing in the ability to only look at the narrow road in front of them and forget to peruse the whole horizon to see true meaning in the world around them.
You are also right. If we have make every one happy today then maybe we haven’t truly spoken our thoughts and intentions this day.
My God! Someone got their panties in a wad and someone mistakenly allowed Facebook the power to strip things down. Its so ridiculous, reading your comment I could immediately tell what you were saying, so it begs the question, what exactly is responding to these complaints? Some algorithm written to identify words & remove posts based on single iterations of ‘fag’? I could just about use any word in place of that & still offend someone. Here’s a concept, don’t like what you see? Quit reading my posts.
Facebook, you can fire whomever is responding to these complaints, it’ll help out your bottom-line.
And bravo for the Three-peat; that is quite.a.task.
There are several FaceBook pages that are highly offensive, they should be offensive to any right thinking person. No one does anything. On the other hand, someone gets offended by the use of language (common) and immediately the warning lights go up. It isn’t even slightly ridiculous it is moronic.
Self awareness only comes to those who strive to become more and be more. Moronic is generally the normal state of being. Glad to have found some intelligent people