I have opinions on all kinds of things. You never know what might capture my fancy.

The Problem With “It’s Twitter”

Recently, author E. L. James had a conversation with fans on Twitter using the hashtag #AskELJames.  Instead of a conversation, James was viciously attacked. 

This sparked a number of blog posts about the issue of hateful and hurtful comments being posted online, from book review sites to articles, Facebook and Twitter, and everywhere in between.  One such blog post by Deb Ng caught the attention of author Anne Rice, who has been crusading against this growing trend.  You can find the post here.

After reading her very thoughtful post, one of the comments caught my eye.  In it, the commenter stated that “it’s Twitter” and that these kind of hateful attacks are to be expected from the popular social media site. Twitter, of course, is a micro bogging site that gives users 140 characters to speak their mind. 

Here is my issue: No matter what social media platform you’re using, you have no right to attack people.  This applies to book reviews, discussions, comments, and any other place where you can post comments.  That stands to reason, right?  Common courtesy, social etiquette, netiquette….

But when you say “it’s Twitter” it makes it okay to post hateful messages.  If we allow it, and it is tolerated because “that’s how it is”, then it becomes accepted even though it isn’t acceptable.

Twitter allows users to block abusive users, and they can also be reported.  Let’s use those tools to show people that we don’t want to see their hateful posts. Let’s make it clear that we don’t accept this unacceptable behavior.

The Selfie Stick: Stopping Rides and Breeding Idiots

I just read this article about a guest at Disneyland who pulled out a selfie stick on a roller coaster and forced the ride to shut down.

Here’s the thing: As a culture, cell phones have been permeating into our lives more and more over the past twenty years, and the problem is only getting worse.  People on their phones walk into open manholes.  They stop and take selfies in the worst places.  And now selfie sticks allow people to film themselves doing all kinds of things.  In some cases it’s purely innocent, but when it comes to roller coasters, selfie sticks are a real threat to safety.  I’ve seen people taking selfies while driving.  Selfie sticks make it easier to take selfies, and so naturally people want to push the envelope and take more outlandish pictures.

Disneyland and Disney World have banned selfie sticks, and selfie sticks have been axed from San Diego Comic Con as well.  I think it’s a good step. Some people clearly aren’t capable of making good decisions.

What do you think about selfie sticks?

Holiday Blues

I love the holiday season.  It just seems like the holidays bring forth a wave of stress that makes staying positive a tricky thing.

I don’t have a big family–there are four of us, and then some friends–and everyone lives in the same city.  We don’t have to travel or deal with airports.  We live in sunny Southern California, so the weather is not a huge deal.

For me, the holidays are a time when people are nicer to each other than usual, and the “days are merry and bright.”

But sometimes life gets in the way.  Sometimes you feel like you’re falling short of expectations, or that you’re a “day late and a dollar short.”

I was listening to the radio last night on my way home.  Delilah, the love song guru, is playing all holiday music from now until Christmas, so I tuned in because I happen to like holiday music.  She was talking about how it doesn’t pay to worry.  No gains are made from worrying.  You must continue to move forward.

So while that may be a lot harder to do in practice, it really is the only way to go.  Chin up, keep calm and carry on…and all that.

CNN and Ebola: Totally Irresponsible Media

This is the lead article on the CNN homepage at 12am on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning:


“Is It Time To Panic?”

What?  What the hell is the US media trying to do?  Incite panic by creating buzzworthy news items?  Yes, Ebola is in the US, but it was bound to happen.  Why is it that this is worth sensationalizing while a poor woman in Oklahoma was beheaded by a man because she didn’t share his beliefs.  Oh no, that’s not newsworthy at all.  Besides, we don’t want to offend anyone, right?  With Ebola, there are no parties that could be offended.

I’d love to know who the puppetmaster is at CNN.  Clearly, someone has an agenda.  Keep the news fresh and buzzy, but stay away from offending anyone who might come back at us.  If it’s a slow news day, make shit sound better by blowing it out of proportion.  And let’s not stop there.  Let’s try to control the masses by showing “documentaries” that support our agenda.  We want people to think what we want them to think.  Far be it for Americans to think for themselves.

In retrospect, I believe it is time to panic.  If the media isn’t reined in, we’re going to be shit out of luck very, very soon.