Thursday, January 31, 2019

Disagreeing on Disagreement: the Upside Down of 'Them'

Three examples of online arguments vexed me enough to further explore them. The first was being scolded for calling Starbucks coffee drinkers dumb, the second for getting rightwing hatred in a rock music group, the third being outright rabid hatred for ads with my new book trailer. They're each strangely connected, and worth comparing.

First off, reviews are good, so it's not about my books, although they could certainly use some new ones! That's one thing I can take, a critical book review that focuses on the storytelling. 

Of course, if more people were buying it, I wouldn't feel compelled to spend a few bucks to promote the very nice trailer for my book. I'd uploaded it to YouTube and Instagram, hoping to promote them both, but had to re-upload it on Facebook to try to get it on Instagram, which failed. So I simply paid about $30 to get the trailer show up as a sponsored ad on Facebook. I chose three categories; people in the U.S., who like the band Queen and, when searching for Gay Interest, chose "Gay Life." Okay.

A day later, I got a notification about two comments on the shorter book trailer. Yay!

But they were abrupt virulently bible-hatred of 'the gay.' A day later, another one 'Heck no' was less offensive. Each of these people happened upon my ad, whose thumbnail shows the two cover models in the back of a truck being affectionate.
  These are Diane Mcallister Nichols' comments. I could show you her anti-Muslim, anti-everything not her posts, but I'll spare you.

What I'm not sparing her is a reveal of her name, because she posted it publically. That's what these folks don't get. You share your hatred, and we pay attention. So does the FBI.

Don't like it? Fine, Frowny-face emoji it. 

But "Burn in hell" and other comments are downright stupid. Of course, looking at the complainer's social media profile is easy because they don't make anything private, they don't know how the internet works, and look, both of them had nothing but pictures of guns, Confederate flags, and pro-Tr#mp memes.

It was like stepping into The Upside Down in Stranger Things. Except I knew that they thought the same thing of me. For every triumphant meme supporting Nancy Pelosi, there's an opposite meme 'over there' circulating among people I hope you don't know.

As an artist, what obligation do I have to teach and engage? "Here's my book with two gay guys and a barn. Some sad stuff happens." Good? Not your taste. Okay, fine.

Instead of engaging these people, turning the comments section of my sponsored ad's page into a soapbox of back and forth arguments (Hey, maybe it would get more attention), I deleted the comments, hid them, blocked those people both on my page and my author page. Buh-bye.

Because there is no sense in 'engaging' with idiots.There's definitely no cents in paying to reach them with an ad.

"Never get angry at stupid people," Erasure sang in an MP3 of the band's music I recently converted from cassette. That's what I do in between absorbing this horrifying underbelly of our world.

So, along with blocking haters, while playing some very gay music, I went back into the Ad admin and added 'people to exclude.' Facebook would not let me exclude people whose interests were "GOP," "Republican," or "Christian" (still several million to target without them!). But it did let me exclude anyone whose interested in "Donald Tr#mp." Note how I deliberately misspelled that.

I don't even want them reading this. I'd rather not be known by anyone who attacks my ads, attacks gays online and in person, particularly a target market that also most likely owns several guns. They even bring their guns to invade a library reading. Avoiding them is not dumb. That's logic.

Buzzer the Buzzard
The same thing happened in a Facebook group for fans of the Cleveland radio station WMMS. This station gave me a teenhood full of rock music. It's even referenced in Now I'm Here as the soundtrack for truck rides and more.

I had shared a few of my meager photos from the 1979 Queen concert I attended. I knew the majority of group members were straight (y'all have a way of revealing it without stating it clearly, folks.) I discreetly focused on saying that the novel is set in'80s Ohio. No antigay comments for my few shares. Yay. Also, little sale clicks. Not yay.

But it was a simple question that reminded me of the pig bigot rightwing assholery that I left in Ohio. 

It's in the book, probably given a nicer treatment than it deserves; the dozens of antigay pastors, including the closeted ones; the ex-classmates who stayed, never to see see the world in all its diversity, the grey days and winters their only perspective.

That, and clinging to their teen years, like me, in away, while completely no longer "getting" their beloved rock music.

Someone linked an article where some band manager explains why Pink Floyd broke up.

The first comment from a"Build the Wall" Ohioan was, "Because Roger Waters is a liberal idiot."

A political shitfest ensued after I replied, "Anyone who adheres to Tr#mpian politics no longer understands anything about Pink Floyd's music."

More slinging ensued, and dumbass rightwing memes from Down Under (Elyria, actually).
One of them slotted over to my author page and tossed a gibberish bit of MAGA spittle. I blocked him, too.

Granted, some have said that Waters' political stances were part of their last years' problems. But I'm not going to acknowledge that as reason for giving some MAGAcider satisfaction. Ignoring them is the worst and easiest thing.

So I left the WMMS group altogether, partially because the assholes had been revealed. But also, I don't care much about bands other than Queen or Pink Floyd these days, content-wise. They're in my new novel. Read it or don't. I don't need to see more old Agora flyers every day. Ciao!

It's all for the best, perhaps, since my taste for such rural nostalgia has served its purpose for Now I'm Here, as material and reflection, but not a daily need since I've encountered some of its angry red-hatted inhabitants.

But I still don't get it. How could any sentient being claim to appreciate Pink Floyd's music and dismiss their politics, while supporting a rightwing despot who's Putin's whore? Particularly after their cofounding member's solo/back-up band's 2016 performance of "Pigs" visually mocks Hair Furor onstage with dozens of his inane deranged quotes?  

Dude, 'The Wall' is not a commercial for one.

Coffee, covfefe; let's call the whole thing off
Oh, I forgot to explain the coffee argument. 'Anyone who pays $5 for a cup of that burnt swill is dumb and should vote for Shlutz, because, whoops the barrista misspelled his name, again,' I wrote. Funny, eh? #snarky.

But no, a few well-intentioned acquaintances tone-policed me about the 'dumb' part. An equivocator said we shouldn't boycott Starbucks because despite its already-inane Republican CEO Howard Schultz announced his candidacy, because they're nice to gays, even though he deleted idiotic tweets. And this is from my not-Down Under.

I couldn't. Delete thread. I'm done, but now home to spill this all for you. because apparently, I'm #butthurt a #snowflake etc. So if there's going to be any wall-building, for now, for me, it's gonna be a firewall.

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