Being a good Gemini, I have two Face(book page)s. One is my personal wall, where you must be allowed inside the velvet rope to enter, full of family photos and party girl antics, rants and raves about whatever is annoying me (think “Basket Case” by Green Day: “Do you have the time to listen to me whine about nothing and everything all at once…”) and, of course, cat videos. Lots of cat videos.
The other wall, however, is public, relatively professional, and similar in tone to my more cantankerous columns … maybe a little less patient and PC than I can get away with on newsprint. There’s very little personal information there, and just like “Letters to the Editor” in the newspaper, the entire spectrum of opinion is usually tolerated. On my public wall, you post your comments, your rebuttals, your whatever, and I’ll let it fly, even the incorrect opinions with which I don’t agree. That said, I reserve the right to shred you in response. Fair’s fair. I’m a big believer in “matching energy,” and also in slapping back.
So, my public wall, quite appropriately, has a cover photo of a cat licking its very sharp claws, just to set the tone and offer fair warning. Kitty is quite agreeable most of the time, but if you annoy her, she will cut you. And she won’t be sorry, either.
Yes, sometimes the fur flies freely on my public wall, and I’ve only blocked someone on rare occasion, when that person was clearly just a troll and wasting my time. But, it’s a rare event. I can count the trolls I’ve blocked on one hand and still have plenty of fingers left to block some more.
Yes, my public wall posts are fair game. But my private wall is a different universe. It’s my personal space, like my house. You only get to come inside if I like you, and you only get to stay if you behave yourself. Piss on my sofa, and I’m going to bounce you out the door.
No, it’s not fair or equitable on my personal wall. There are no First Amendment rights there. My personal wall is my little queendom, and I am Her Royal Highness. There’s no democracy there. None, whatsoever. When I post an opinion, I’m not inviting rebuttal or debate. Sure, feel free to chime in and agree with me, but if you don’t, move along to some other wall, because I’m stating my own opinions, and I’m not really interested in your preposterous blather, particularly if it contains the words “Trump” or “Bernie.”
“My opinion all the time” is the law on my personal wall, and first-time violators get a warning … a calm reminder that they have their own walls where they can post their conflicting opinions, but this wall isn’t it. This is my sandbox, all the toys belong to me, and I’m not sharing.
Yeah, I can be a bitch.
You say that like it’s a bad thing.
Now, just hop on over to your own wall and post away. This mine — that yours.
(Warning: Kitteh is twitching her tail.)
Some people, apparently unfamiliar with signs of feline irritation, persist in their misguided attempts to sway my opinion, and I tell them outright that I really, truly do not care what their opinion is, do not appreciate their posts, and just stop. (Kitteh’s tail is now whipping back and forth, her ears are flattened and her eyes are dilating.)
And yet, they continue to persist, and their unwelcome bilge and baloney is met with one last warning, usually in all-caps (the social media equivalent of shouting) and often peppered with profanity just to get their attention. (Kitteh’s now growling … retreat immediately, or there will be blood.)
Most get the point, but some do not, and foolishly make that one last “Crooked Hillary” comment.
Kitteh must now shred you.
And here’s the pathetic part: When those who ignore all the warning signs get exactly what they had coming, they’re stunned or insulted or offended that I could be so vicious. These folks have probably never owned a cat, and think that cats are just smaller, prettier dogs that will play nice, and cooperate and obey, and lick your hand after you’ve smacked them.
Stock up on the Bactine, bucko.
Now, lest you get the impression that my personal wall is strewn with the remains of all who dared to contradict me (over and over and over like a windup-toy that keeps banging against the wall until you crush it under your heel), be assured, it’s not. It’s a rarity. Like most cats, I’d rather avoid confrontation. I’d rather be peaceful, quiet and comfortable. Whatever it is, it’s not worth it. Leave the controversy for my public wall, post a cat video or two on my personal wall, and call it a day.
But it’s an election year. An excruciatingly contentious election year, where it seems like the future of the entire world is at stake. My political views leaked onto my private wall because it seems like dereliction of duty not to speak up. And here’s what I spoke: “I’m With Her.” Period. It’s not open to debate or rebuttal, and those who attempt to portray Donald Trump as a reasonable, qualified candidate, or even worse, whine “I’m voting third party because Bernie was robbed, and boohoohoo, I just pooped my Big Baby diapers because I didn’t get my way”… prepare to bleed.
Last week, my personal wall got a little Red Wedding, and with six more weeks until the election puts us out of our collective misery one way or the other, I must establish a clear boundary: No anti-Hillary nonsense allowed on my wall. I have another Facebook wall for that sort of bilge, and unless there’s a cat licking its claws on the cover… this ain’t it. Fair warning, however: Just because you don’t see the claws doesn’t mean they aren’t there.
— Email Debra DeAngelo at firstname.lastname@example.org; read more of her work at www.wintersexpress.com and www.ipinionsyndicate.com