Reality Bites by James A. Norton


There’s almost no sensibility when it comes to having a simple conversation online anymore…


Where have the simpler days gone? When did the social network go from being a flight of fancy into a soapbox for every person who thinks their opinion matters to the vast expanse of the interwebs?


Oh for the old days of MySpace and AOL – when you’d log on to see if friends you can’t stand in person but love interacting with online are at your beck and call, where you can hook up with that girl from high school who invited you over to watch a movie last week, where you could check your emails which actually contained more substantive information than spam.


Speaking of spam – now the new thing is the election was hacked. Oh man, please stop. Good thing our clandestine services are on top of things 24 hours a day and this hack story wasn’t about a dirty bomb attack. Odd how this has replaced the recount in the news cycle.


One of the things I have been banging the gong about for many years locally is how certain segments of the politically active community treat others. They pick a subject that is sensitive, to a point, and then warp it just enough to fit their narrative. If you don’t completely agree with them 1000% then you, sir, are a racist, a xenophobe, a homophobe, an Islamophobe…any way you slice it, you’re now a phobe. How could you act so rudely? You support that way of thinking, so you must be one of those, you deplorable bastard. Whatever.


It’s getting kinda old. I wrote about this kind of silliness last week. I figured if I kept my head down, got back to work, and stayed out of the nonsense, I would make through to the other side unscathed and maybe enjoy some online interactions whilst I worked. No. Nope. Nada. Not gonna happen.


I read a repost of a story from the Globe about whether Somerville should remain a sanctuary city. Nevermind that the sanctuary city issue is a genie let out of the bottle a long long time ago. I assume now that every other news story is going to go along these lines…similar to the whole electoral college voting debate: “Will they, won’t they? What if they don’t do it? What if the sun doesn’t come out tomorrow, tomorrow?” – you know the kind of silliness where let’s put this seriously not going to happen wildly hypothetical situation in play and then see what the public thinks. Then run a poll. How original. Well, then again, it did keep the attention of the common folk on the electoral college and the recount, right? I feel reading these types of articles, which are quite common over the last few weeks by the way, is like having laser pen fun with a box full of kittens. You can figure out that one, right?


Getting back to that repost of the Globe story, it went from 0 to 100 in a hot minute. The debate over a few things got going fast, even though some of the participants were trying to agree with the other participants, but that message went nowhere fast. Then the finger pointing began. It’s beginning to look a lot like boring time, yet again. It boring because unless you agree 1000% with these folk, then you must be ignoring this fact, or you must not know about this fact, or maybe you’re racist, just like Trump. Good God. To be very specific, and not to encourage further debate on any of the issues, please – the conversation turned when someone mentioned there being a pathway to citizenship of illegal/undocumented immigrants and how some people might get on board with an amnesty type program if there was some kind of not too terribly painful penalty add on for the whole going from illegal to legal citizen. Something like some community service – nothing painful, nothing financial – something to instill maybe a greater sense of citizenship.


All of a sudden it went to why the US isn’t penalized for meddling in other countries affairs and why should the word “retribution” be used in any of that pathway to citizenship and how about the government really messing around with and causing it’s own immigrant problems. It then went to the assertion that there is no pathway at all for some to gain citizenship, which is why they just ignore the law and don’t bother. Then you know it went to we should all ignore laws that aren’t fair and equal or that we don’t agree with. I blinked and we were in the Land of Delusion. It was fun. I excused myself.


Hey, there was a comment about not having to abide laws we find offensive. I know of plenty of laws I don’t like – but that doesn’t mean I violate them. That’s why they’re laws… So stupid.


Look, I could go on and on about how idiotic this conversation online was after it devolved from the very simple statement of how if there were to be some kind of amnesty for illegal immigrants, that it would make it more attractive to opponents of amnesty to create some kind of add on penalty of sorts that would be more symbolic than it would be actually painful, in order to play the age old game of cooperation that includes “give a little to get a little.” That isn’t quid pro quo or pay to play – it’s really that simple. Give what you expect to get – and maybe a lot of this nonsense will seem less and less important, because there’d be solutions that honor all sides of an issue, not just one completely and if you don’t agree you must be a phobe.


Christ there’s that phobe over there – I heard he was a deplorable too. Good grief. #GMK #FML #GTBTP



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