One of the things where Facebook seems to be particularly useful (much to the frustration of a number of people) involves political posturing, especially during this American campaign season. Why is it we can feel free to post gazillions of FB posts steeped in propaganda, interspersed between cute kitty photos and Happy Birthday announcements, and yet, it's not possible to discuss the things that really matter in your day-to-day life? Considering a new job offer was a big deal, but I really couldn't say anything about it. However, I apparantly can post all I want about Romney's latest political gaffe, and while I'm annoying a good percentage of my FB friends, it's acceptable.
On that note, one of my favorite games to play on FB is stirring the pot of right-eous anger. I have one right wing friend who will chime in each and every time, invoking the wrath of my more centrist friends, and she won't give an inch, either. It's been the topic of much debate among many of my friends (private messages that say "Who the fuck is this person?"), but for me, it's just part of FB's natural manscape, and I wouldn't trim it for anything.
Sure enough, last night, after I innocently posted something about Romney's latest gaffe involving the 47 percent, she was in my face (or at least my FB post), with stats and links to articles discussing who pays the most income tax. Which really wasn't the point of my post (or his gaffe)...it wasn't meant to be a discourse on who pays more, but rather, a comment on how insensitive it is that Romney should dismiss half the country (soldiers on the line of fire included) as lazy freeloaders who feel entitled to everything and he doesn't care about, anyway.
To which she responded: "This video exemplifies what he's referring to." And then, she posted a video from YouTube of a black woman who had taken her children to an Obama rally and was all sorts of excited afterwards. The YouTube headline was "Obama is going to pay for my gas and mortgage!"
Well, wait. That is a lurid headline, but in fact, what she actually says on the video (if you actually bother to listen to it) is "I'm not going to have to worry about paying for my gas...I'm not going to have to worry about paying for my mortgage."
Now, some people would listen to that and think, "Oh, isn't that nice? This woman thinks that Obama is going to help improve her life so that things such as paying for her gas and mortgage (concerns I think most of us have) will be easier because the economic environment will be better." But clearly, the point my right wing friend was trying to make was that, because this is a black woman saying these things about a black President, what she is clearly saying is that she's going to benefit financially...and not the way Romney might mean it if he were to say that (he'd be talking to the one percenters). No, she obviously means that she wants to live off the public dole and get free gas and a free mortgage, which is why she brought her kids to the rally and was so excited by President Obama!
This is where I do get annoyed, because it's so blatantly racist and hateful, and this friend did catch a whiff of my righteous anger. Of course, she then turned around and said, "No, no...she wasn't insinuating that Obama would pay for them...she was Hoping that the change she'd get with Obama would make those who weren't rich more comfortable. Unfortunately...that hasn't been the case."
Good point, I guess, except that that's not what she said in her initial response. Her point wasn't that this woman must now be disillusioned, it was clearly that this woman expected to have her mortgage and gas paid for because she felt entitled to it. When I challenged her on that, she grew snippy, said she had a wall to remove, and couldn't discuss this any more, which is the first time she's ever backed down from anything, frankly.
I was discussing this friend with Ashes the other day, and she asked me, "Why do you keep her on Facebook as a friend? You guys just disagree about everything."
Well, yes. Yes, we do. But that's part of the fun of it, I think. As long as we can maintain our decorum (for the most part). it's kind of fun to engage in a debate, every now and then...or maybe every day. That back and forth can help to sharpen the mind, make the day more entertaining, and provide you with a nice way to blow off steam. It's all good clean fun, right?
Plus, on some days, you actually win the debate, which I think I did, this time. Those are the days you just have to cherish.