Facebook is a weird thing. Your friends post stuff, or you do, and then you make smartarse comments at each other for a while, and everyone has a great old time. But then there’s the strangeness of the friends of friends. You run into them in comment threads all the time. And it’s kind of like parties – mostly you just don’t talk to the ones you don’t know, and occasionally there’s an awkward introduction, or a segue. But on Facebook you still have to read whatever they write. And you want to comment back. Often just with a joke in bad taste, or a bit of sarcasm or bluster. Sometimes they’ve said something dense that you want to point out. Occasionally they’re actually real douchebags who need slapping down. But since they’re friends of friends, you always feel you have to watch your step.
Anyway. Earlier this week I stopped watching my step. It was only on about the 5th or 6th such conversation that I realised there was a pattern, and declared the inauguration of International Pick A Fight With Someone You Don’t Know On A Mutual Friend’s Status Update Comment Thread Week. The only rules are that you can’t know the person first, and you can’t hint that you might be joking, either in text or by use of emoticons. I encourage you to get amongst it, and report your results back here. In the meantime, here are some excerpts from those early conversations that I found entertaining.
Mike is loving the plentiful gløgg in København. Any excuse to drink on the street, frankly…
Haemophlius Influenza B
It’s not even 1700, man!
Tues at 10:55
“Not even 1700″… geez, what sort of pansy-picking Sunday School powder-puffs are you hanging out with over there? Tony Abbot gets some modicum of power and the next thing you know the Youth Choir is singing hymns to celibacy outside good honest whorehouses.
If you stand in the right spot, in warmer climes, the sun is well and truly over the yardarm by 10 a.m. That’s the rule that sailors use. And if it’s good enough for sailors, then by Davey Jones you should uncork another bottle of gløgg. Tomorrow morning. At 9.50 to beat the rush.
Tues at 12:21 · Delete
Haemophlius Influenza B
Oh, so now it’s a POLITICS battle, is it? So what, you’re one of these namby pamby whingers who’s all about dergulating this and paying more for that and SOCIAL JUSTICE OH YOU MAKE ME SICK. GO HAVE ANOTHER DRINK, YOU BLITHERING BEERSOP. I’VE GOT GAINFUL EMPLOYMENT TO DO.
Yesterday at 11:02
Ha. ‘Gainful employment.’ More like the scheduled and regulated murder of your own soul one day at a time. Like consuming a trace dose of arsenic every day until it finally reaches a toxicity threshold after two decades. Dragging yourself up each morning to hurl yourself back into the same mind-bleeding monotony, the same grinding commute, the same endless realisation that your dreams have faded and peeled away like old wallpaper, that another man’s dreams are all you can live for, living vicariously and pathetically through him during your rationed hour of television that you use to pad out the one skerrick of time that is actually yours, hoping that turning the volume up will drown out the hissing voice of failure and despair, terrified of silence because it might just give you time to think. Too afraid to try anything else because to realise that there is a life out there to be lived might put the final unstitchable rip in the illusion of your contentment. How does it feel to look at your own hollow wet eyes in the mirror each morning and know deep down that life has passed you by?
28 minutes ago · Delete
David is so emigrating if Tony Abbott ever becomes PM
what happens now, back 2 perth?
Tues at 06:52
I’m pretty sure the Australian Prime Minister is still the Australian Prime Minister in Perth.
Tues at 12:45 · Delete
Courteney Hocking doesn’t like how they’ve jazzed up ‘the bill’.
The new Bill is awful and we have stopped watching.
Tues at 09:44
that’s the start of a letter to the green guide, maria…
Tues at 20:04
Truly. Now that Constance E. Little has sadly passed on, someone must take up the torch of petty and regular complaint and carry it boldly forward.
Tues at 21:16 · Delete
Po Tate-o Watch the Liberals implode in real time with Darth Abbott at the controls. Here is a list of candidates better suited to garnering the support of the wider Australian populace: Godzilla, Satan’s scaly pecker, a bone machine built out of the remains of Pol Pot and Liberace, the not-planet Pluto and that piece of Lego you stand on when you’re stumbling to the toilet at 4am.
I believe Ivan Milat is throwing his hat into the ring plus several other hats he’s had laying around.
Tues at 03:14
Yes, the dingo that lunched out with Azaria is also belived to be canvassing support…
Tues at 11:15 · Delete
Julian Knight is garnishing support also. He has a well-structured platform: ten feet off the ground and well concealed.
Tues at 16:03
How exactly is he garnishing support? Is he covering support with chopped parsley? Is he wedging a piece of pineapple on the side of support’s glass? The people want to know.
Tues at 21:25 · Delete
Natasha has laughed aloud at politics multiple times this morning – and Abbott hasn’t even spoken yet. So much for getting things done…
unfortunately I don’t find Mr. Abbott at all amusing. Dangerous disgusting defamatory stuff is forever coming out of his mouth. Horrid man.
Mon at 21:46
Dangerous disgusting defamatory COMEDY GOLD! Molten comedy gold. He’s the giant industrial smelter where all the comedy gold is brought to be made into poorly-wrought novelty charm bracelets decorated with hilarious figurines of twisted angry dwarves shouting at the world.
Tues at 11:11 · Delete
Paulina IF ABBOT BECOMES PRIME MINISTER I SWEAR TO GOD I AM NEVER RETURNING TO THIS COUNTRY.
Because Kevin Rudd is so much better?
Mon at 18:59
Yes. He is.
Mon at 19:01
Mon at 19:12
I don’t like Abbot. I don’t like Rudd. I do, however, like Rudd more than Abbot.
Mon at 19:14
I know that, Paulie. I’m asking ‘how come’?
Mon at 19:16
I know you are asking ‘how come’, but I didn’t really post this status to discuss this any further. I stopped caring about domestic politics a long time ago; the reason I only just found out he won was because my homepage is set to The Guardian. I do know, however, that I do not like Abbot. As you know me well enough, I’m sure you know that I have thought about this enough to come to this conclusion. I don’t really want to go into it, however, because it would require me to sit down and remember all the reasons I don’t like this person and his politics. I don’t like Abbot, and yes, he is worse than Kevin Rudd. I don’t think enough value is put on intuitive reactions. They are usually informed by something more.
Mon at 19:29
My dilemma at this point is that you’ve indicated that you don’t really want to discuss this, but have then followed up that assertion by writing a whole bunch of things that are really interesting and invite further questioning, and so I can’t help myself.
For one thing, you stated that, as I know you well, I should assume you have good reasons for your political views. This is true. And I do. This is why I asked, because I am curious to know what those reasons are. However, you then go on to say your impression of Abbott (and Rudd?) is intuitive, which seems contradictory. If a reaction to a person is intuitive, how can it be a ‘conclusion’ you have ‘thought about’? To explain why you don’t like someone you have to sit down and think about it? That seems pretty counter intuitive to me. I will sit and think on it.
Anyway I disagree with your last point. I think enough value is placed on intuitive reactions… by politicians attempting to manipulate them, and by bigots and racists who allow their intuitions to direct their policy agenda or vote. The ‘wisdom of repugnance’ mantra is a myth, used politically to excuse ignorance, intolerance and stem cell research bans. Which brings us back to Tony Abbot.
Mon at 19:46
It’s difficult for my above post to not sound like a cop-out, but I would like to reserve the right to be able to say I don’t like something without having to dissect it. I am quite confident in my abilities to make judgments, and don’t necessarily feel I have to justify them. It’s a liberating feeling.
Mon at 19:47
At least one participant in this thread requires a hobby. I recommend crocheting. It is soothing and seldom involves the need to demand explanations for things other than unusual yarn types and hook diameters.
Asking why Tony Abbot shouldn’t be in charge of anything is like asking why you shouldn’t put your hand in an oil fire. If the explanation is not readily apparent, you are beyond help.
Mon at 22:54 · Delete
Mon at 22:57