not with a bang but a whimper

A friend of mine blew up last week. Worse yet, she blew up all over Facebook.

People don't deal well with anger/anguish anymore. It makes them deeply uncomfortable. Anger, especially, is bad. It's so negative! And being negative is about the worst thing you can be these days.

Being explosive or enraged or negative on Facebook -- the great flattener, our new social amplifier and distiller -- is like performing Arthur Kirkland's opening statement for a children's birthday party. On a cancer ward. In an orphanage.

Facebook is 'liking' things. Facebook is pictures of cats being hopelessly (read: charmingly) fat or destroying things. Facebook is inspirational sayings like, "What matters most is how you see yourself" (I think Kim Jong-il has that one taped to his bathroom mirror). Facebook is 'funny' quips like, "When life feeds you lemons, smile as you are having to pucker up!" (motivating and almost literate). Facebook is everyone telling everyone else how great their book or cd is, or how wonderful their new mixed-media collage is, or what a fantastic job they're doing, or how pretty they are. Hurray for everything!

So when someone goes off the rails, and spits venom all over her news feed, it's a bit disconcerting.

My friend was angry and upset because her relationship ended and she perceives herself as being wronged. I don't know how true this is, but I do know that in the end it doesn't matter, because done is done, and time will prove this out. In the meantime, I hope she can stop detonating on Facebook.

It's not that it bothers me at all -- any web/marketing 'expert' would be absolutely horrified by my own pessimism, and fatalism, and (lack of) self-promotion skills, and I frequently get myself into trouble for not playing nice (and for my all-round smart-ass-ery) -- but I just don't think she's going to get any satisfaction from doing this, because it's a shallow venue not worthy of her anger.

Besides, these kinds of things can only properly be screened to an audience of one. And after awhile you put that tape away, and get on with life, in all three of its dimensions.


  1. Anonymous9:22 am

    Nice drawing! I would have to agree, as I am too guilty of falling into or being dragged into drama or simply negative crap. Nobody really cares and it's not their business, plus it's too much info. I think you handle it quite well with your "negative sense of humor". As for myself most days, the less I say the better. However, I think people should just be themselves at the same time.

  2. Almost as bad as venting on a blog! ;)

  3. Where can we safely be angry these day? Is our only option to yell into our pillows? We are so fearful of anger (and angry about fear).

    When we are angry, we want others to be angry along with us (not at us). Being mad and alone just doesn't seem to work. Often we just want someone to stand there and take our words. And when we are done yelling, we just want a little smile and a pat.

    Or sometimes we just want to invade another country.

    And just what the hell is wrong with fawning over someone's mixed-media artwork? I want someone to looooooove mine and include many exclamation points when they comment. Right now. Before I get angry.

  4. I ended up deleting my Facebook last week mainly because I would always get too angry on it and leave negative status updates on a daily basis without actually realising. Since deleting it though I've felt a lot more positive, it kind of feels like Facebook was a massive negative nuisance in my life and I'm so happy it's gone. Plus it means everyone I ever hated at school and college is now out of my life forever with one swift click.

  5. Facebook reminds me of a cocktail party. But without the drinks.
    or the canapes.

  6. Anything you post on Facebook becomes less important. I include photography and art in that.

    I used to be "friends" with someone who would mass message his short stories (not you, I swear) and I was so annoyed with the message I never read them and eventually un-friended him (instead of having the conversation about message etiquette). But if he had printed out the stories and handed them to me in person I would have considered them.

    I'm impressed you can still post your art online. "Ah, that only took 12 hours to complete, now time for the comments and 'likes' to roll in." But I guess you have to nowadays. What a terrible time to be an artist.

  7. Sheri: listen to you, you little Pollyanna

    morange: fuck off, you're a robot

    Beth: totally -- I can totally dish it out and not take it

    Kim: hey, i'm a big fan of anger, too! I'm just saying that it won't fly on Facebook; as for your work, it's never a stretch to say good things

    Wreckage: you sound liberated -- good

    Julie: it is a party ... a loud, nonsensical party

    Jeannette -- I miss your Panglossian ways

  8. I like your drawing. Is it done with a brush or a feather? Also I like to hear the vitreole. Facebook can be so smarmy.

  9. Julie: a Chinese ink brush

  10. Anonymous2:33 pm

    Be glad you didn't know me as a teen. ;)

    I was a -- what do you call it? -- oh, yeah: A street-walking cheetah with a heart full of napalm.

  11. ahh anger...usually by the time I have typed out my feelings of anger..I am no longer angry and delete delete delete. I wonder at the facebook thing. I am on it. I have an artists page, and a wall or whatever..I am constantly deleting posts that piss me off or people that I wonder why they are even "friends". Then I can't wait to see if anyone has commented on my latest crap! I really need to get off facebook and return to my life of one or two friends and always begging off on events they invite me to. Of course I am blogging too...God I need therapy


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