The Literary Drover No. 3004

I believe in the potential of Social Media. I embrace the idea of technology that allows me to encounter another in a place that I may never visit in person, and that allows exchanges of ideas, opinions, thoughts, and perceptions that serve to change the life of each involved for the better.

It is also a belief of mine that in order to realize the advancement, betterment, and fulfillment of humanity the introduction and enforcement of standards is required. Put another, I believe the success of Social Media can only come about through discrimination.

(At a time when the President of the United States of America, the leader of the free world, is verbally assailed, admonished, and attacked for his description of certain locales around the planet in pursuit of excellence, the use of “the d-word” on my part may constitute an act of self-abuse and suicide, professionally speaking, that is.)

As I write this the final bell for Facebook tolls around the world. Experts on the matter are opining emphatically that within five years Facebook will become a dusty footnote in the annuals of technology because the man-child who runs Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, chose to squander the opportunity afforded Facebook by not establishing and enforcing standards, by not discriminating against fraud and fakery; by not championing and showcasing the human race and what it has to offer through ability, skill, and talent, and choosing instead to allow the worst of humanity a place to breed, and giving shelter to deviancy and perversion.

(A friend of many years, a Writer with many credits, accolades, and awards to his credit, who writes fiction and non-fiction, who produces novels and screenplays alike, told me at the end of last year his New Year’s Resolution was to end his relationship with Facebook and to focus instead on his blog. His decision to do so came about after he realized that original content on his Facebook page was not generating any responses and that he had blocked more than 100,000 accounts on Facebook, many of which consisted of the mantra of mediocrity: Add me, Like Me, Follow Me, and the undeniably pornographic “F*** Me”.

He told me recently, that just two weeks into this New Year he is more focused, he sleeps better, and he enjoys Life now that Fakebook – as many accurately call it – is no longer a part of his life, because its corruption and immorality are no longer a distraction.

Having abandoned my Facebook account several years ago I welcomed him without prejudice because everyone has at least one moment of Stupid in their life that they should wear as a badge of honor and not carry it as a burden of shame.)

I believe in Social Media and believe that in order for it to realize its potential discrimination is an absolute. Because I believe this last year I abandoned my Twitter account, which has succumbed to partisan politics. I suspect, like my Facebook account, my shuffling into the shadows will go unnoticed by “Friends” and ‘followers’ on Twitter because the reality of Twitter, like Facebook, is based in narcissism and my exit will not merit consideration.

This year I will focus my effort where Social Media is concerned on blogging.

There are several reasons for this.

One is the audience: When I used Facebook I concluded that manners and good graces were a rarity, and originality – as noted – was not rewarded accordingly. Blogging, which allows long-form expression through the written word, does encourage ability, skill, and talent. The same can and should be said of visual media. As some know I have other blogs, and one of them features my photographs. The number of responses that blog has generated to date rival the traffic of this blog. Then there is the potential for learning through blogging. As some know I have another blog that focuses on the Lakhota Nation. Like this blog it has a substantial following and a large number of responses on a regular basis. And then there is the blog that focuses on media in general and making the most of it. Once more, it has a growing base of readers and generates its share of responses.

A second reason for blogging over Twitter and Facebook and Disqus and the likes is because blogging requires a commitment to going beyond the superficial.

A third reason for blogging is that the nature of it defies the vanity of Disqus, Facebook, and Twitter. The blog demonstrates a seriousness not found on these other Social Media platforms. Want to be taken seriously as a Writer? Then write, on a Social Media platform that allows for it, at length.

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The Literary Drover No. 3003

When it comes to writing a first draft I am what some would call a “Traditionalist” and others would say is ‘Old School’: I write in longhand, in a notebook. A reason for doing so mandates that I slow down and choose my words carefully. Another reason for do so is meditative: When I write in longhand I become focused on what I am writing, how, and why.

The Literary Drover No. 3001

As the publication of the 3,000th post of this modest effort approached a gentle admonishment was advanced: You do know “Social Media” is about being social, right?

I admit that to this point being social where Social Media is concerned has been a flat-out failure on my part because more than a few accepted invites in the real world have resulted in me in a corner, drink in hand, having a staring contest with a cat or dog due to the simple truth I find them to be preferred company instead of the unabashedly boring host or hostess who goes on at great length about fat suction or hair removal or some form of nip-and-tuck prior to undertaking the Camino de Santiago.

Of course, few animals like to be stared at – who does? – and they find something more acceptable, leaving me to my own devices, which may involve a pocket knife, a large Persian rug, and a lighter, accompanied by ominous humming on my part. Be assured – if it is not apparent – that rare is the occasion when such circumstances do not end badly.

Despite this overall abysmal track record in matters social in the real world I agree that I should do more here to be, uh, social. Going forward, instead of this being a full-blown, self-serving, shameless platform of self-promotion I will write from time to time in a way and manner that should prove more social and appealing.

The Literary Drover No. 2999

Despite the well-documented fact that I do NOT do interviews, on a regular basis I receive inquiries from uninformed types wanting to interview me about this, that, and some other thing that is otherwise irrelevant; an intrusion into my life and work.

A few days ago I received an e-mail from an individual who claimed to be a reporter for a newspaper where I live. They wanted my opinion as a published Writer of the book credited to Michael Wolff, about President Donald J. Trump and the inner workings of the Trump administration.

What I considered to be a polite and restrained response was sent: If you want to consume junk food there is nothing I can do to stop you.

I will not bore you with the details of the response that generated – heavy on the vitriol, loaded with expletive and insult. Nor will I subject you to other e-mails sent to me after my response to this supposedly professional member of the news media was forwarded to at least a dozen comrades, with the explicit instruction to assail and insult me because I had the unmitigated gall to disrespect the brilliance and genius of the aforementioned Michael Wolff, High Priest of journalists almost everywhere. I will say that more than a few questioned my pedigree, and several were long-winded and undeniably incoherent diatribes. All that mattered to them was to denounce my sacrilege and blasphemy.

My reading stack is substantial. It balances precariously on the headboard of my bed. Despite efforts to reduce the height it remains constant. There are volumes acquired several years ago that have worked their way to the top of the stack and have been pushed back down because I decided to read another volume first.

Nowhere in this accumulation is the book attributed to Michael Wolff. Simply, I have no interest in reading it because Mr. Wolff himself publically admitted to a deficiency in professionalism, a lacking in fact-checking, a willingness to succumb to conjecture and hearsay while pretending to be objective and competent in his work – hence, my opinion advance to the aforementioned journalist. I would prefer to read a modest tome written by an unknown writing talent that took several years of research and writing owing to their unwavering morals and ethics, standards and principles.

I know I am alone in my opinion. Many have and will buy this book because they want to be part of the “in” crowd. A fact that is almost as pathetic at Michael Wolff himself.