Social Commentary

Tackling Faceism in America

There is a growing trend in the hotseat of social media today, popularly known as Faceism, that has caught the world seemingly off guard.  In a time where the destructive fire of judgement is finally being extinguished, Faceism is taking root in nearly every uncontested playing field.  Initially an outlet for outlier academics and persnickety soccer moms, Faceism has exploded into all segments of socio-economic demographics as a haven of thought where one can assert power over others quickly and easily through the seemingly benign use of statements, or posts.  The danger of such a trend, as leading experts agree, is the dissolution of collective self-esteem on a grand scale and of, eventually, society as a whole.

For generations the educational system and the Department of Education, arguably together the fairest and busiest the world has ever seen, have worked tirelessly to expunge the toxic elements of individual thoughts and prejudices in order to promote a peaceful civilization of moderates:  moderately wealthy, religious, sexual, political, weighted and colored.  To great success, our nation has become the most equal in the world, but the hard fought battle is in danger of being lost even as it still basks in its most recent victories.

The danger of Faceism, a word not even recognized formally by the Department of Vocabulary and Lingual Development, is its rapid rise in incidence among not only Facebook users, but also in other segments of the inter web community.  One not need have a Facebook account to harass another via comments made on other web platforms. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg explained his lobbying efforts to legally limit an individual’s ability to comment across all reaches of the internet as “a move to expunge the ugliness that lies in all human hearts.”  He testified before Congress a person’s ability to be anonymous is the keystone of this epidemic, and that forcing everyone to communicate solely through Facebook, where nobody can be anonymous, is the solution.  He said, “Its adherents stalk the internet in search of victims, strike quickly, and then disappear. You can’t do that on my Facebook. I can find you.”

As one high ranking administration official bemoaned, speaking under the condition of anonymity, “Cyber bullying by the Faceist movement has reached staggering levels at which threaten to undo entirely the progress we have made over the years in eradicating social bullies from our culture.”  Her concern is that the backward slide from progress is much faster than the steady climb towards it because the diligent are no longer keeping watch, likening it to the current resurgence of small pox and measles due to the increasing trend of vaccine deniers and an inattentive medical community.  She also stated a major concern as being “The belief that one person is superior or inferior to another solely based upon their Facebook posts is disturbingly similar to its cousin, racism, and should be preemptively treated as such.”

The official hinted at the White House’s proposal to outlaw “verbal enslavement” by fiat.  Although the president acknowledges such an extra-executive move would be unconstitutional, the belief in the administration that the good so greatly outweighs the bad ramifications of such a law that it is willing to make the move in the face of the opposition in the legislative and judicial branches.  The president went further with this press release in the wake of recent developments:  “The Congress doesn’t care about enslavement and torture, and the Judiciary is simply too slow and corrupt to move us forward to where we need to be, and so some things I have to do on my own regardless of what anybody, anywhere, or for any reason, regardless, ever, has to say about it.”

The Department of Justice has issued subpoenas to millions of Facebook users in an effort to pinpoint the most egregious of Faceists.  Former Attorney General Eric Holder has issued a statement labeling the grassroots movement as “racist, fascist, classist, weightist, ageist, and homophobic,” as well as, “the most dangerous social trend in the  past eight centuries.”  When asked if at his new position with the Plaintiffs Bar Association he would pursue legal avenues if the government failed to act in suppressing what he has labeled “the domestic terror group of our time,”  his response was an enthusiastic, “Duh!”  (Utilizing plainspeak is one of the reasons why this former lead prosecutor remains popular among academics and elites whom in the wake of the Obama years have shed the veil of lingual pretension and adopted the more familiar usage of contractions, slang, gum chewing and swearing.)

The mother of Boy Doe, face covered for privacy, stood next to the president on the podium during his press conference addressing these issues.  Her son committed suicide in the wake of Faceist comments on his Facebook page after an especially grammar mistake-laden post. Through tears she said to the crowd of captivated reporters, “My son never aspired to be a student, or an English major, he never did well in spelling, or in any subject at all, but that is still no reason for the senseless tormenting he suffered from the Faceists who hounded him with grammar and spelling corrections to each and every one of his posts. No child should have to live under that cloud.  I hope he has found peace.”

Members of the media openly cried and shared handkerchiefs.  Long thought to be out of fashion as carriers of viruses, they are making a strong comeback as a show of cultural empathy and solidarity with those who are hurt by others, as well as stimulating immune systems.  Protesters in San Francisco waved their handkerchiefs in the air while marching and chanting the words “Down with Zucker, he’s a greedy F***er.”  One protester claimed she was on her way to work when she heard the chanting and felt moved to participate.  “I don’t really care about my job, it’s stupid. But I do care about other people’s feelings, a lot.”  She bought a hankie from a street vendor for two hundred dollars and tied it to her bicycle handle, claiming it to be the best purchase she ever made.

Designers and actors are now jumping on the hankie bandwagon.  Prada has already released its line of silk hankies in somber hues of blue.  The posh designer explained the color motif as “inspired by the tears of the beautiful and the tormented.”  The hefty retail price tag of twelve hundred dollars was justified by not only the hand embroidery along the edges shaped as pear-laden tear drops, but also the .005% donation of profits promised to fund increased awareness of the dangers of Faceism and counseling for those directly harmed by it.

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Disparage Du Jour

Soooo, I posted an anecdote a while ago entitled, That’s Like So Totally Racist, a critique of pubescent stupidity that happened to reveal itself around the misusage of the descriptor-of-disparage du jour:  racist.  Let me preface this by saying that I write for amusement, the underlying reason why I do and say ninety-nine percent of the things that I do and say.  The story that I am recounting in TLSTR is not about my personal feelings about racism, it is about being both amused by and annoyed with certain vacuous elements of our youth culture, inexplicably promoted and encouraged, as illustrated by the misuse of a word.

SouthernHerf has quite a few followers, but commenters are primarily limited to my mom and a few others.  It is suspicious, then, that the title with the word “racist” in it continues to generate hundreds and hundreds of comments.  It is more than suspicious;  it is revealing.  There is money in racism, in talking about it, writing about it, complaining about it, feeling it, lying about it, inventing and nurturing it.  These comments flooding in daily I’m sure are from bots looking for who knows what, they won’t find anything on my site, but why is that particular word the search word?  What are they seeking, and from whom?

Personally, I don’t believe in racism, I think it’s nonsense if you take the real definition of the word, not the political inferred adulteration of it.  I do not know anyone who believes one race is superior to another solely based upon their race, it doesn’t mean they don’t exist, it simply means they are foreign to me.  I know a lot of people, of all races, who are prejudiced against different religious, socioeconomic and/or ethnic groups, but usually it has nothing to do with race and everything to do with feeling more comfortable around similar groups of people.  If we distort a natural attraction to common denominators for political gain or in order to impose control over one group or another, we are courting a fractious society that will not survive.  How will we be able to uncover our similarities, to overcome prejudices, to find our underlying common denominators, if we cannot speak honestly and civilly to one another on any stage whatsoever without recrimination?  Once the word racist is thrown into the wind, we cannot.

Our lives are separate, and our perceptions are sculpted by our realities, which are also completely individual.  If a black man is suspicious of white cops because all they seem to do is arrest black people, well, he is entitled to his suspicion of white cops, which may or may not be legitimate.  It doesn’t mean that either the man or the cop is racist.  We are all free to choose whether to discover, or to judge, every moment of every day.  For now.  And  this is true for all variations of individuals, and the decision of one individual is no definitive descriptor of an entire society, nor should it be.

I long for the days before identity politics, rampant race-bating, blame-gaming, and scape-goating.  I long for the days of politicians who didn’t feel so important that they deserved entourages, immunity, and insider trading privileges.  I miss the days of the jokes poking fun at every class and strand of human being that stood apart, and the character it required of all to not be offended.  I miss the days when good was good, and bad was bad, and we all knew which was which, and nihilism was safely ensconsed in the offices of academia, a concept to flirt with, but never to marry.  I miss when people were just people and it was the content of their character that mattered, not the color of their skin…ahem.  Mostly, I miss goodness.  I miss the feeling that we as a nation, as a people, are good and kind and generous, a belief that now would be thought of as jingoist and xenophobic and ignorant.

I wonder whether our duplicitous elected officials are reflections of us, or if we are of them.  I hope it is neither, but it may be a sum of both.  The preoccupation in public education with diversity, division and victimization helps keep us as a society internally and externally separate.  It feeds the fire of hatred by packing it with distortions and stuffing it in the walls where it is insulated from the cool wash of reason.  And, yet, we all sense the heat, we sense that something is about to blow, and the politicians and pundits wave their arms and scream and point their crooked fingers and hold out their palms in expectation, all the while telling us that what they need is a little more money and everything will be fixed, all will be perfect… But I don’t want perfect, I want good.  And I don’t want a politician to buy me so much as a hot dog, mush less insurance, food and shelter.  And I don’t want psycho bots trolling blog posts to prey upon people who may be writing about ideology’s racist unicorn.  Leave us alone, already.  Most of us are inherently good.

If you would like to leave a comment, I’d love to hear some perspectives on this…