I’m not sure how the comedians do it, covering the malenfant’s daily doings. I guess he writes the script himself and they just laugh with the audience. Still, I find it really difficult to write too frequently about his latest idiocy, whatever it is. The Wall thing, for example. It is my understanding that “The Wall” was dreamed up by one of his PR henchmen as a way to keep him from drifting off topic, the general topic being border security. “The Wall” was a mnemonic device used to trigger the emotions he wanted from the crowd of adoring slaves he calls his supporters. It keeps them hating.
So, that’s what’s been going on for the past month plus. Oh, and a lot of people got hurt in the process, but that’s par for the course in TrumpWorld. He hurts people on the way to further enriching himself. It’s called The Art of the Deal, and he’s the chief finagler on The Deal.
But in the other world, the one in which ordinary folks occupy themselves with things other than screwing their neighbor, I am wondering what to think about that thing called social media, Facebook especially. Yeah, yeah, I know that Zuckerberg & Co. spend a lot of their time trying to sell us to his financiers, you know, the ad people who want to capture us. But there is another side to all social media. I know that Facebook is really social media for old people. But, as it turns out, that’s a good thing, not a bad one. Let me give you an example. I’m really old, and one of the characteristics of old people is that they stop communicating. I think actually what happens is that non-old people basically stop communicating with them (us). In the old days, when people actually took pen to hand and wrote things called letters, people would communicate periodically with friends and family. Oh, they used the telephone also, but letters was a main medium for communication. When I was at Stanford, lo those many decades ago, Carol (my now wifey of 63 years) and I used to actually write letters daily to one another—yes, daily. See, that sounds extreme, until you think about Facebook and the other social media. President Stupidhead writes Tweets at 4 o’clock in the morning, every morning, and then tweets all day long. See, he thinks he’s writing to someone, everyone. Actually, he’s writing to himself and his committed slaves. In those golden oldie days, we used to write, sometimes daily, to close friends or family, never to “the world”. And many (most??) folks sign on to Facebook, or the other social media accounts, on a daily basis, and generally write something to nobody in particular.
But then, something happened. I’m guessing the something is the personal computer. Sometime in the mid-1980’s, people started getting these things called personal computers. And almost immediately, communications media began popping up. Remember Compuserve? No? See, I told you I was old. I began using Compuserve, as soon as it became available. It was a precursor to Facebook, or to e-mail, or both. You could send personal messages, or sign onto message boards. And that began to spell the end of “letters”. Initially, it was not the case that everyone owned a PC. But slowly, the world changed and the PC (and I include here that Apple thingie—remember the Lisa??) became a standard home appliance.
No, my mom never owned one, nor did my wife’s mom. They were perhaps the last of the letter-writing generation, whereas I was/am the leading edge of “leaving the letter to join the PC world” generation. Our children and grandchildren don’t really know about letters. Actually, our grandkids don’t really know about/do e-mail. E-Mail, that’s so passé grandpa. Still, e-mail, or social media, we continue to communicate.
But then I have to take account of something that likely would not have happened as readily in the dark days of letter writing. I have become “friends” on Facebook with a wide variety of people, who, in days gone by, I would have lost entirely. For example, I have a “friend” on Facebook, who I last saw in Jaipur India, when he was very young, maybe pre-teen, or just becoming a teen. He was the son of good Australian friends who were working and living in India at the same time we were. We met them through other friends, and then we visited them with some frequency, sometimes in Delhi, and sometimes in Jaipur. And then we left India to return to the United States, and they left India to return to Australia. Now, you may not have noticed, but Australia and the United States are really far apart, a 13 hour flight when it is non-stop and you begin in Los Angeles. So, under normal circumstances, we would likely have lost contact over the past 50 years. But, because we are old, we wrote a few letters and then we established contact on social media. In this case, I did a search on Facebook and found this young man was present. And so, we became “friends”. And we communicate virtually daily. And I am amazed and thrilled virtually daily.
And so it is with dozens of people we have known over the past 70-80 years, but no longer see. We continue to “meet up” with them on social media. And it is an amazing experience for me. We have now folks in Australia, Europe, Asia, and all parts of the US with whom we communicate on a regular basis. And it is not that we might not have been able to do this via the old form, i.e., letters. It is, however, that we would likely have long ago lost contact as people moved and neglected to tell us. See, people still actually move about, and we are not equally good about telling our old friends.
And so I celebrate this newfangled communications system—the social media of our new world, with all its attendant risks. It remains a vital means of maintaining a circle of friends, even if you get really, really old.
And now I guess I will have to return to President Stupidhead (dumkopf??). We have to make sure he is not going to destroy the globe today at least.