An older chap, probably my age when I come to think about it, was being interviewed for a job. The interviewers were probably two generations younger than him, frightfully intense, frightfully correct, and there was a clash of cultures just waiting to happen.
One interviewer then asked him, “Do you have any weaknesses?”
It’s the sort of ‘right on’ question you’re apparently supposed to ask now. Whether it’s to give the applicant a chance to show how smoothly they lie or how good their bluffing is I haven’t a clue. But anyway they asked him this question. So he thought about it and said, “My honesty.”
One of the intense and oh so correct young things said earnestly, “I don’t think honesty can be a weakness.”
The old lad just looked at him and said, “I don’t give a damn what you think.”
Me, I think, I’m getting there.
It might be a symptom but I’m getting increasingly sick of the contemptuous hate filled postings that we’re getting on Facebook. I’m beginning to think a lot of people should get out more.
Listening to men of my Father’s generation talking (which I did when I was a lad and was working with them), they’d been about, mixed with people. The war pretty well meant that you travelled. As one chap said, “Live with somebody in a tank for two years and you stop worrying about whether he’s a bluidy toff or not.”
I remember one chap talking affectionately about a girl he knew. She’d been in the land army and had been sent to the farm he’d been working on. Spoke with a plum in her mouth, swore like a trooper when a horse stood on her foot, shared a woodbine when they were sheltering under a dike from the rain. Was a pal and taught him to dance so that he had the confidence to ask out a lass he fancied.
And now people seem to live in self reinforcing silos, allowing themselves the luxury of ‘hating’ people who are so obviously stupid that they support a different political party.
For God’s sake get a life.
Some of this is my fault. I’ve been on Facebook for years. I had an account for four years before I ever posted (or even looked at my page) because, wearing my freelance journalist hat, a lot of google searches used to lead to Facebook.
But then I became a writer and had books to sell and of course ‘you have to be on Facebook.’
So I’m on Facebook. But as a writer you’re supposed to have two pages, one for you as a writer and one for you as a person. So you can keep your life in separate compartments.
Except I’ve never worked like that, I’ve got one life and I’m living it all the time. So on my Facebook page I get stuff from family, friends who are real friends I’ve known for years, people I went to school with who it’s good to get back in touch with, people who apparently think I’m a writer and they obviously collect writers, and other writers who hope that by linking up with me they might somehow sell another book. (Given that this is why I’m on Facebook in the first place so I’m hardly well placed to moan about it.)
Anyway I’ve come up with a cunning plan. I want an all-purpose post I can just stick in Facebook discussions that irritate me. Save me wasting valuable time taking part in them.
So I’ve come up with a few things that people might just want to remember
Are the Republics/Democrats/Socialists/Tories criminal scum planning to destroy the economy and our way of life?
“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”
If you don’t like it, get off your backside, go out there and participate, stand for office.
Then again, are you angered by sad loners getting guns or whatever and killing or stalking people or whatever?
Well check out this person’s blog.
But short cut for those with busy lives, it’s suggested that the easy way to stop loners doing crazy things is to befriend them and stop them being loners.
But then that would mean actually getting off your backside and getting out there and doing something.
But really, the answer is always just switch off the chuffing screen and go out there and do something real, with real people. You’ll feel better.
But before you do, just buy one of my books