…the most depressing place on Earth.
(Needless to say, I’m not cross-posting this one to Facebook.)
Facebook is a fascinating phenomena. You can, for example, find out what Mini-Me is doing right now.
It is certainly also an amazing tool for finding old schoolmates and even long-lost friends. The “net” that the social network casts out has lead me to some really surprising “finds” of people I thought I’d never, ever hear from again.
The thing is… it’s all rather grim. For every one person who grew up and became mildly interesting, 10 more grew up to be ignorant racists, crystal loonies, ultra-rightwing republicans or worse. I have Facebook “friends” who subscribe to religious beliefs that include listening to snakes talk and glossolalia (More commonly called “speaking in tongues” -in effect, gibbering and making bizarre-assed noises and pretending this power is gifted from god.)
It’s all so depressing. These people had the same education as me, where did the system fail them?
I’m not going to deny that I may have had an advantage in terms of raw brain horse-power. It would be disingenuously for me to deny that I was identified as “gifted” by the time I was three and put in a special school. (Hated it!)
Nonetheless, arrogant and self-important that may have made me as a child, I have still always believed that most people can absorb and use the vast majority of the education that is afforded them.
Facebook proves that premise is horribly, horribly false.
I had a brief exchange with one of my classmates from back in the 70’s. It wasn’t pleasant as I was being given a dressing down for both being (supposedly) a smartass and apparently for being educated. Funny thing was, I wasn’t actually being a smartass. I suspect there was some simmering resentment or hatred towards me that has been there for 30+ years.
I’m going to reproduce the last piece of the exchange because, lest you think I’m exaggerating, I want to document just how depressing some of these people can be.
This has had all names changed, but the spelling and punctuation are exactly as I received them. Can you imagine this is from a 45-year old person and not a second grader?
YOU DONT KNOW ME TO WELL TO SAY THAT . OKAY FOR ONE . AND I REALLY NEVER CARED ABOUT WHAT YOU SAY AND 2I HAD FRIENDS AND I HAVE GOOD CHURCH GOING FRIENDS .AND PAGAN FRIENDS AND FRIENDS THAT PRACTIC WICKA AND YOU DONT KNOW ME THANK GOD .. SO DONT ASUME THAT I WAS A PERSON THAT WAS A PROBELEM .. I THINK THAT YOU NEED TO REFLECT ON BEING A BELIVER OF GOD AND STOP ACTING LIKE YOUR BETTER THAN ANY ONE YOU UNDERSTAND ME .. DONT WRITE TO ME BACAUSE I HAVE NO NEED FOR YOU ANY WAY NON BELIVER
Well, I won’t write back, instead, I’m going to ridicule your English skills just by putting them out there for people to see. (Now I am being an arrogant smartass.)
Ironically, the original discussion was started because this person was slagging off our English teacher back then and I think you can tell that this person might not have learned a lot in that class.
Most tellingly, there was not the slightest reference to religion prior to this message. Apparently, they found out I was an atheist from my profile. It’s amazing how some people can really get their backs up against the wall and attack when they learn you don’t share their… umm… as Richard Dawkins would say, “delusions.”