I’m not very good at social media.
Partly, I think, because it rarely occurs to me that having breakfast or doing the ironing is a noteworthy photo opportunity, but also because I have a defective bile duct and do not generate the level of bile, vitriol and bitterness that seems to be required to engage on most forms of social media1.
I also lack the ability to get inexplicably and unjustifiably upset at the things that other people post, or incredibly excited when someone makes a mistake. For example, recently the band KISS2 got social media flack when they had the Australian flag up on the screen when playing a concert in Austria. I thought that was harsh, and I suspect what really happened was that they heard Adam Bandt was in the country and they were just trying to keep him away from the stage.
Of course, just because I don’t have the bile to rubbish other people’s posts, does not mean they don’t attack mine. Recently, I posted – on a platform I’ll refer to as ‘Mugshot’3 – that it would be good if we were allowed to put our mailboxes one metre from the road, so that the postie didn’t ride on the footpath and collide with mothers pushing prams; plus the grass would be able to grow.
Veteran social media users are probably slapping their palms, Kirk-like, to their foreheads, or readying facepalm emojis for when they bag this column on Mugshot. They know that posting any problem or complaint on social media which is not of the level of global warming, the war in Ukraine or flood and bushfire victims4 is just asking for it.
I copped it from all sides (even the local council member chimed in!), mostly for not recognising that people were dying in the Ukraine and that was more important than my grass, but also for not considering that:
- pram-pushing women are more than capable of speaking up for themselves (thus, I am a misogynist jerk)
- pram-pushing women might want to have a collision with a postie (thus, I am a misogynist jerk)
- posties saved us from the pandemic (thus, I am a postogynist jerk)
- my lawn has the same environmental footprint as China, and instead of mowing it I should be under it; and
- my use of China just there is racist and will come back to bite me.
Never mind that these are the same people who spend a lot of posts complaining about fuel prices and people not cleaning up after their dogs, and arguing for the death penalty on the latter5; and never mind that those are hardly problems in the same league as global warming or the Ukraine war; on they piled. On the plus side, it forced me to upgrade my tech skills and work out how to turn off comments on a Mugshot post.
I don’t know what would have happened if I had commented politically – war, I suspect – but on that subject I note we had an election recently, with Anthony ‘Albo’6 Albanese victorious. He has promised to end the divisive and bitter partisanship and personal attacks, apparently by having his team refer to opposition leader Peter Dutton as ‘Voldemort’. Dutton has taken umbrage at that, noting, “If you are going to call me after a bad guy, make it Sauron or Darth Vader; they are so much cooler.”
Of course, there is another social media reason for avoiding ‘Voldemort’; his creator, J.K. Rowling, expressed an opinion on social media about a subject so radioactive most people wouldn’t go near it even if it gave you super powers.7 The internet reacted with the collective maturity of a MAGA rally, with the general thrust being that scientists at the CERN supercollider should stop messing about with particles, and turn their giant brains to devising a way to maximise Rowling’s misery once she is locked away in Alcatraz forever.8
Even the young stars of the films of Rowling’s books, who – despite having the combined acting talent of a Sylvester Stallone impersonator – have more money than God thanks to Rowling, gave her a blast. Not that they reacted without thought; no doubt they first gave careful consideration to advice from their lawyers, to the effect that Rowling couldn’t take the money back.
Indeed, hypocrisy is the new black. Recently, footballer Payne Haas decided that he would remove alcohol and gambling brands from his playing gear because of the damage these things do to society. His stance was also carefully calculated, coming after he had pocketed 73 squillion dollars from playing football, pretty much every bit of which came from alcohol sales, alcohol advertising and gambling advertising.
Cricketer Usman Khawaja has experienced a similar epiphany, famously jumping from the stage at a victory celebration rather than be seen near alcohol (or perhaps Adam Bandt was there). He was so upset he had to go home to the mansion that alcohol and gambling built, and count the millions he has from sponsors like breweries and online gambling agencies.
In short, Haas and Khawaja have all the credibility of a treasury estimate, but I have thought of a solution for them. You see, my wages actually come from the legal profession, whom as you know are hard-working, pure, honest and charming; Haas and Khawaja should have no problem taking that money. As luck would have it, I am quite fond of alcohol and don’t mind an occasional bet on the horses.
You can probably see where this is going. They can share my wage, and I will take on the burden of theirs, freeing them up to play sport with a clean conscience (don’t thank me, I do it for the game). Man, are their fans gonna paste me on Mugshot tonight…
NB: I have had a bit of fun with this, but alcohol can do a lot of damage if abused, and quite frankly gambling is our nation’s most hideous legal industry. If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction, QLS LawCare is available to members, their employees and their families.
© Shane Budden 2022
1 Lest that offend the reader, be confident that I am not referring to you, personally, and I assure you your posts are a delight to read, and worthy of Mark Twain.
2 Who are awesome, by the way.
3 Because they have recently changed their name; plus I don’t want to be sued by them, as they have lost a few cases lately and are probably looking for an easy win.
4 All of which featured in the comments on my post, largely equating me with Hitler for not caring about those issues enough.
5 Although, as a runner, I admit I would support this.
6 A good nickname is crucial to election success.
7 Hell no, I am not going near it.
8 Whatever they come up with, I’m betting it involves the music of Justin Bieber.