Anti-Social Networking

facebook-dislike-2-300x200I’m one of those people who are constantly cleaning up and organizing. No matter what my wife says, I do like things orderly. I just don’t like housework… But when it comes to keeping my social networking accounts in order, I’m on that shit almost daily.

Sometimes it’s a wonderful thing to be exposed to varied and diverse opinions and experiences but when it comes to politics, religion, and cultural issues, I refuse to argue or deal with uninformed people or those who seem to only deal in extremes. Because life is too short and so is my fuse, I will unfollow, unfriend, or block folks with little deliberation and very rarely any second thoughts.

I know what you’re thinking. “But diversity of thought is a good thing! We need to learn from each other’s experiences!” For many things, I agree with that. But I’m not ever going to change someone’s mind when that person has no desire to learn about the experiences of those who don’t look or live like they do and I refuse to waste my time and energy trying. There was a time when I would debate and offer fact-based evidence to those folks who were misguided, confused, uninformed, or unaware but I just don’t have the energy for trying to change minds when there’s no desire to understand. I’m happy to listen and try to understand the views and teachings of those who I don’t agree with and have been enlightened many times when I had the wrong understanding. I’m open to conversation but as soon as it becomes clear that someone has no desire to actually discuss and teach and learn from the encounter but is, instead, interested in simply repeating the same talking points over and over, I’m done.

I am done with reading posts that criticize protesters when the authors of those missives have very likely never felt violated or outraged enough to actually participate as one. And I’m done reading posts calling for balanced discussions when it’s clear that the authors are incredibly biased, themselves, but don’t seem to recognize it. Discussions have to include facts on both sides but blanket statements about how not all of one group will act in a certain way don’t say anything of value. All men don’t rape but that doesn’t lessen the effect of the act on the victims of those that do or mean that we don’t need to work toward eliminating it.

I also won’t even finish reading posts that begin with something along the lines of “Cop Haters Should Unfriend Me” because I’m too busy unfriending them. Not because I hate cops but because I don’t know anyone who hates cops as a whole. I know many, many people who are upset with the current system and culture that we live under where people of color are seen to be suspicious and killed or seriously wounded by police at much higher rates than whites. I know people who are frustrated and sad and angry that there are police officers who are quick to pull triggers or don’t follow correct procedures and appear to be subjected to no disciplinary actions. But I don’t know anyone who hates all police and using language that implies that questioning the events and outcomes of the past several months (years?) is tantamount to cop hating seems to beg for posts supporting police and the “not all police are bad” replies. Those posts, to me, are meaningless because no one has ever said that all police are bad and the “they put their lives on the line and we need to be grateful!” replies take away the ability for people to calmly and rationally deal with the reality that, while the vast majority of police are awesome, caring people who want to help others, there are some who shouldn’t have a gun or authority over anyone. Ever.

We need open and honest discussion, not baiting people to complement the police or condemn the protesters without thought of what actually needs to be done to fix our broken system. Without simply acknowledging that people of color, as a whole, ARE seen differently by police – and our society in general – and accepting that White Privilege really is a thing, there will be more beatings and killings of innocent people of color and there will be more violent protests and there will be more division in our communities.

So, if there are posts by people who truly want to engage in a discussion about our broken system and what can be done by us – actual work in our communities to engage with police and local governments to effect real change – I’m there. I’m not wasting my time on the rest anymore. It’s pointless and divisive and doesn’t do a thing to address the real underlying problems with our justice system or American culture in general.

So there.

NaNoWriMo Wrap-Up

Since we did a quick video at the beginning of the month, we wanted to do another at the end.

Even though both Micah and I experienced quite a bit of stress at the mid-month point and over the past couple of days, we both agree that it was a wonderful event and we’re happy that we were able to do it together. I was surprised by how much I relied on my 10 year old son for support and motivation but without him, I know I would have quit.

No NaNoWriMo Mid-Week

Participant-2014-Facebook-ProfileIt would appear that I’m not a fan of writing on Wednesdays and Thursdays (Fridays are out due to Fuller Family Fun Night). The work week slows me down and I’m just tired. I think part of it – a big part of it, probably – is that I’m up later than usual watching football with TJ Sunday and Monday night and by mid-week, I’m wiped out. But whatever the reason, I think I’ll be playing catch up on the weekends. Micah will be, too.

Ok, I promised myself I’d post a quick update and then get to writing. You can see my daily progress in the little graphic below.

Have a great weekend!

NaNoWriMo Update

nanoJust a quick update on where Micah and I are on our NaNoWriMo quest. I am completely caught up after knocking out an epic 8000+ words between Saturday and Sunday. Micah will get caught up tonight. He pounded out just over 900 words yesterday and decided to tackle the remaining 233 with his daily goal today. I eventually had to throw him out of the den because he was just a little too happy about making his goal when I still had not. He didn’t seem to care that I had to write a considerably larger number of words than he had. Little braggart.

While Micah seems to be still full of ideas and moving on along, I wandered around for a good 30 minutes muttering about having no idea what happens next. I finally came up with something but I’m mostly in the same spot now. It’s my understanding that this isn’t rare so I’m sure I’ll push on through. Eventually. Most likely.

I’m also trying not to stress out about all of the things I’m not getting to and all of the people that I’ve made commitments to that I’m now super late delivering. Luckily, most of those commitments are to folks who are either writers or work in the publishing industry so they understand.

I’ve no plans to try to publish whatever I end up with and have no illusions that it’ll be any good at all. The only reason I’m doing this – stressing myself out, putting added responsibilities on TJ because she’s picking up my slack at home, and locking myself away from my family for too many hours – is because I’m not sure I can. This is a challenge that I’ve never thought I could complete. Beyond proving to myself that I can tell a story of sorts that spans over at least 50,000 words, this is a pointless exercise. One that I’m forcing other people who had no say in my choice to deal with. Totally selfish of me but if I can get through it without giving up, I think I’ll gain a pretty big chunk of confidence. No matter how the story turns out, it’ll be something that I created. And that’s pretty cool.

Playing Catch Up

As anyone stopping by this site can see by the little widget at the bottom of this post, I didn’t make my daily word count goal Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. A head cold had me sidelined for the first two days and my commitment to Fuller Family Fun Night took up Friday. But on the upside, a great time was had by all watching Maleficent! I think it’s the film that has made me really like Angelina Jolie again. I actually wanted to watch it again once Micah went to bed but we watched Devil instead. It was a much better movie than I thought!

Ok, I’m procrastinating. I’ve got over 8000 words to write this weekend and a few other commitments that I can’t postpone.

Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend!