TWITTER, TWITTER (Segue of the Day: 9/25/18)

Today, Bill Cosby was sentenced to 3-10 years in prison for sexual assault.

Really, it was a non-event, but I found two interesting takes on Twitter.

First, Terry Teachout:

In the midst of all the other roiling chaos, it’s worth remembering—and strangely easy to forget—that what happened to Bill Cosby today will be remembered as a turning point in American social and cultural history.

Terry is a reliable indicator of conventional wisdom among what’s now called Never Trump Conservatism. He hails from a small town in Missouri and has spent most of his adult life inside the beltway, working for periodicals like National Review and the Wall Street Journal. He’s pretty darn sure Bill Cosby is guilty because, like most white people from small town America, he thinks this here darn system works pretty well and wasn’t the fellow convicted?

Here’s Curtis Scoon (an actual black man, who is not from small town America):

Now that Cosby is convicted for a crime he settled out of court for a decade ago every woman he’s ever bedded or attempted to bed outside of his marriage can now pursue civil lawsuits. Clearly this case was all about “justice.” What else could’ve been the motivation?

Followed soon thereafter by:

I have a question for the black ACTORivist/feminist types on twitter. You keep emphasizing the conviction of Bill Cosby as PROOF of his guilt, so why doesn’t Assata Shakur’s conviction prove hers’? Neither does Mumia’s conviction. George Zimmerman’s acquittal gets tossed as well.

I follow Teachout because he’s utterly predictable. That’s why I follow nearly everyone I follow–to tap into what the position is on any given issue from a given perspective. By following enough predictable people representing enough predictable positions, I’m able to discern what almost everyone is thinking because few people ever take any position that isn’t predictable based on even one previous opinion they’ve held and shared.

That’s the world we live in.

Maybe it was ever thus, but, if so, it seems Social Media has hardened the parameters of convention.

I follow Scoon because he’s the only person I know of, on-line, who isn’t predictable. And because he asks questions that have uncomfortable answers (like because it doesn’t jibe with MY narrative, that’s why!) which cannot be articulated by those being asked. No one likes to risk blowing their own mind.

I like to think he’s a kindred spirit in that respect. For instance, if I was on Twitter for some purpose other than following others, I’d probably Tweet something like:

Between Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, I have no idea who is telling the Truth. Neither do you. No matter how much you think he/she reminds you of someone you knew in high school.

I’m betting that wouldn’t get me many followers!

How about it Gene? What do you say?


16 thoughts on “TWITTER, TWITTER (Segue of the Day: 9/25/18)

  1. 1. I can’t discuss the Kavanaugh accusations without pissing off everybody on every side, so I don’t.

    2. “Maybe it was ever thus, but, if so, it seems Social Media has hardened the parameters of convention.” Amen.

      • Unfortunately, the Rep*blicans in general are handling the whole affair as if they believe Kavanaugh is guilty! It doesn’t matter what one’s party affiliations are to know that these are serious allegations and deserve serious attention, meaning expert investigation.

        I have only a handful of pre-determined responses to life’s slings and arrows, including these:

        • If the evidence is on your side, you tend to bring that evidence forward and show it to the world and rub it in the faces of your detractors, as you should.

        • If the evidence is not on your side, you tend to deny it, run from it, cover it up, and begin the ad hominem attacks on your accusers.

        I know it’s just a rule-of-thumb but goldarnit it’s accurate …

        • Ah well, politicians are never interested in truth or justice…they want to know which vote will get them re-elected. In this case those with anything at risk are having trouble deciding.

          And, of course, none of them care about what happened (if anything) between Ford and Kavanaugh–they care what their voters think about Roe vs Wade, which, for moderates, is unreadable at this point. There’s nothing worse than a politico who doesn’t have a weatherman to tell him/her which way the wind blows!

  2. “…he asks questions that have uncomfortable answers (like because it doesn’t jibe with MY narrative, that’s why!) which cannot be articulated by those being asked. No one likes to risk blowing their own mind.”
    See, that’s the kind of stuff that makes me feel goaded into finding my own words because believe me, my views are nothing like I can find anywhere in any one (sane) person. I drag all the things I’d love to say around with me instead of unloading them like so many do. I’d rather find a way to express myself articulately as you do and I presume the many people you quote here, who I have mostly not heard of. This is partly why I asked that question in another article about your writing. Do you ever feel nervous that in having and sharing publicly a really independent point of view is like painting a big target on you for the Mob?
    I’m happy to say I’ve seen nothing like that on your site and so I probably worry too much about what others think. Yet, when you hold ideas that are counter to or just too darn different from the Groups out there, I’ve had bad experiences let’s say. I like conversation, not confrontation. That is where the humorists we no longer have were able to get “us” to look at ourselves and laugh for a change now and then.

      • Just getting back here…
        Thank you, Neal, for the links which I will read over tonight. Gad, it’s hard for me to be self-motivated to just do it yet I can expend ever so much energy thinking of reasons not to do anything!

          • I hope that it does become addictive because then maybe I can replace one of my other bad habits…
            I read the tips on anonymous blogging, I think I’m safe from ever attracting enough attention to warrant total anonymity. And I’ll have to be brave enough to answer personally for whatever I say, or acknowledge a mistake. All of which sounds so ponderous when what I want to write and share is humor!

    • There are definitely some tough questions in there April. I can’t believe how luck I’ve been in attracting only sane people over six years of doing this blog. I cross my fingers every day that it remains so!

      I can only say that, when I was searching for a name for this blog, my first impulse was No Comfort Here….because I wanted to encourage the idea that you weren’t going to run into conventional opinions. There’s nothing wroing with HAVING convention opinions. I have plenty myself…I just don’t tend to write about them. Why bother? if I think what everybody else thinks, then there are plenty of others who can express that viewpoint as well or better than me.

      My default then, is to just throw it out there and hope (though I like to think I back up my positions pretty well both in my original pieces and in any discussions that develop).

      Everybody has to find their own comfort level. I can only tell you that I’m literally the least confrontational person on the planet. Like you, I love debate but hate (and I mean HATE) argument. Once somebody is angry, the chance to either learn or persuade goes out the window.

      And learning is the the fun part of writing for me–being forced to articulate what would otherwise remain vague. It sounds like you have a similar disposition so I hope you’ll find a means to give it a go (and I second Neal’s advice below if you want to go the anonymous route….just please be sure to let ME know! (lol))


      • Thank you, John, for your thoughtful response (which I’ve learned to expect no less) to my poorly worded, awkward questions! I used to write in (paper + ink!) journals and the words flowed. They were not directed to nor meant to be read by anyone, including my own, older self down the road. Though it is the same process, putting thoughts into words onto something that is to be read and (hopefully) comprehended, it feels terrible and difficult. I think my self defense mechanism of smiling and appearing to agree with everyone is getting in the way. Something you and Neal touched on. It allows one to “get along” but it makes honesty where it counts, hard to communicate. As you said, if you can’t offer something unique then why bother. But it is a terrible process, I must confess!
        When I think I can let it go, when I can fire–or at least demote–my censorious Self-Editor, I’ll let you know where you can find my chaotic expressions. Until then I will vicariously live through other, better expressionists. Thank God for the arts/literature and despite so many vile things that count against it: Social Media!

        • Never fear April. Your questions are good ones and spot on. Public writing is a leap (as you already know). I’ve ended up sharing far more personal things on here than I ever intended in the beginning. I dare say my closest friends and family members have learned a few things about me they didn’t know!

          As for feedback, remember you an always mute or block people. i’ve never had to do it (never even had to consider it–like I say, I’ve been VERY lucky), but I probably wouldn’t have gone into this at all if I hadn’t known that option was available in a pinch.

          One thing I should mention from my own experience: I actually kept a private “blog” on my computer back in 2005 (VERY tough year and I needed something to keep my writing skills sharp and there was NO time to consider writing fiction). It was a really good experiment because, when I finally did start a blog for real (seven years later–that tough year just kept right on extending itself), I had learned a lot from my mistakes (one good tip–keepALL predictions about the future vague as to details…I should have remembered my intense study of Revelation!). Don’t know if that might be a way to go but it worked for me. If you can look back after a year and say, I’m okay with that, then you’ve got nothing to worry about.

          In any case, I hope you find a way to get your voice out there. I know it’s a serious and interesting one and there can never be enough of those!

          John R.

          • April could set up a blog on a local server that no one sees but her or invited guests. That way, she could learn the ins-and-outs of blogging.

            I use Desktop Server:

            It’s free and works just like WordPress. I “build” articles there with images and then transfer them to my actual Internet sites.

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