Much like alcohol and organised religion, Facebook can ruin your health, wreck your marriage and make you appear stupider than you are.
However, it brings great happiness and joy in so many other ways. Take brunch, for example. Too often we take this simple meal for granted. If brunch had feelings (and who is to say it doesn’t?) it would be hurt by our callous disregard for it.
“I am not a late breakfast, nor am I an early lunch!” it would cry, were it allowed a voice at this unholy buffet we call life.
Fortunately, there are kind people out there who, through postings on Facebook, remind us that brunch can be a deeply moving if not life-changing event.
“OMG! Just had most DIVINE brunch eva!!”
“Y u not invite me I thort I woz yr BFF?!!??”
“Sorri babe! Nxt time ROFL!!”
“Won’t be a nxt time coz am cuming round to cut yr hed off.”
The same goes for children. If it weren’t for some parents proudly posting pictures of their progeny, we would labour under the misapprehension that all of us were cursed with ugly, talentless offspring. Who would have thought that some are so bright and beautiful that one would require sunglasses to avoid being blinded by their coruscating countenances?
My very best, though, are the gut-churning parables and three-hankie homilies.
Flipping through Facebook’s news feed is like having a stream of Jehovah’s Witnesses ringing your doorbell while Paulo Coelho sits in your lounge spouting 20-word truisms dressed up as profundity.
The practice of posting platitudinous parables, ass-kissing aphorisms and hackneyed self-help clichés is not only monstrously offensive to the condemned and the cursed – among whom I count myself – but also an alarming indictment of the depths to which these meddling missionaries will stoop in their nugatory quest to help others see what they call “the light” but which I call moral bestiality.
I would wager that many of those who flood Facebook with these disposable sermons suffer from poor self-esteem and a pestilential smorgasbord of personality disorders.
If this is where you find redemption or look for lessons on how to live your life, you’re in a lot more trouble than you think.
Here is a sampling of esoteric excrescence which this week interfered with my search for amusing tales of stupid people in real trouble.
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass – it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”
The picture is of a child, perhaps mentally disturbed, standing in the rain. She doesn’t look happy, probably because she knows she’s in for a thrashing when she gets home. “What’s the hell is wrong with you?” her gin-soaked mother will shout. “Why didn’t you wait for the bloody storm to pass before going outside?”
“Dear God, thanks for this beautiful life and forgive me if I don’t love it enough.”
Forgive you? What kind of spineless God do you take me for? You will love your life – even if you have no legs and live in a cardboard box on the N2 – or you will burn for all eternity in the hellfires of damnation. Forgive you. I have never heard such rubbish. If I did it for you, everyone would get up to all sorts of crazy shit knowing that I was dishing out forgiveness to anyone who asked. In future, you can show how much you love your life by dancing in the rain. Naked. Then I want you to go to work and murder your boss. Don’t bother me again.
“The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.”
The picture is of an angry mob of very big trees posing aggressively for the camera. First, let’s me just say I don’t believe in spirits, unless it’s Klipdrift you’re talking about. In which case, make mine a double. Second, the kind of places that have not been rearranged by the hand of man (even though it is women who do most of the rearranging) are in such remote areas that you would have to be a damn fool to go there without a posse of heavily armed friends, one of whom should be a paramedic and another a lawyer.
Nature that has been spared the firm hand of man is nature that will tear your throat out as soon as look at you. It will crush you, drown you or just plain old snap your spine and leave you to rot. Don’t be an idiot. The human spirit can get whatever it needs off the internet.
“Being strong doesn’t always mean you have to fight the battle. True strength is being adult enough to walk away from the nonsense with your head held high.”
Bollocks. You must fight the battle, unless of course you started it, in which case it’s more fun to sneak off and watch from a safe distance. Still and all, I wouldn’t advise using that craven “adult enough” rationale while backing out of a bar fight in Hillbrow. Your head will be held high, alright. It just won’t be attached to your body.
“Even in the darkest of night there is hope. As the moon lights our path so does hope light our way.”
No, it doesn’t. Hope is the last refuge of the doomed. It smells of lavender and carries a concealed weapon. Hope will not hesitate to bludgeon you from behind, moon or no moon.
“Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”
This is the kind of paranoid, judgmental gibberish shouted by a right-wing redneck moments before he slaps his wife, drags a giant bag of ammonium nitrate into his bakkie and blows himself up outside a government building. Not always a bad idea.
“Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you or makes you happy.”
Right, then. That’s my job and marriage out the window. Can I come and live with you?
“I have learned it is not what I have in my life but who I have in my life that counts.”
Really? Can you drive your husband along Chapman’s Peak on a Sunday morning with the roof down and a bottle of champagne between your legs? Has your Blackberry ever cheated on you? When you need to see a naked woman, do you reach for your iPad or your wife?
“God made the horse from the breath of the wind, the beauty of the earth and the soul of the angel.”
Whoever said this has never been stabbed in the face by a horse. He will pretend to be your friend right up until the moment you’re on his back, and then he won’t listen to a word you say. Sooner or later he will try to kill you.
So much for that.
Shops are full of this tawdry tat coyly posing as philosophy. You wouldn’t buy a tea-towel that said: “Believe you can and you’re halfway there”, but see it on Facebook and it’s, “OMG I love that!!!” and “So very TRUE!! Thank you!!!”
Were these people raised by wolves? Or do they genuinely have the intellectual capacity of a garden gnome? For the sake of humanity, I pray it’s the wolves.
Thank you for not sharing.