All Bark and No Bite: Online Rants, Lies and the Spreaders of Misinformation

“How dare you say that!”

“You have your FACTS all wrong!”

RANT! RANT! RANT!!!

“I’m offended by you being offended!”

“Are you calling me a liberal, conservative, Christian, Muslim, atheist, sexist, racist, homophobe and ON and ON?”

Can we all collectively work together to make this shit stop? Please? I have literally hit my limit with the massive amount of utter bullshit I see posted on social media as FACT when it isn’t fact at all and the sources listed are suspect and quite likely faked on purpose. Gotta rally the base! Throw them some putrid meat to stoke the fire of inner discontent they all seem to have because after all, psychological manipulation works best on those easy to anger. Right?

WHAT IS A RELIABLE SOURCE? CHECK YOUR SOURCES HERE!

The truth isn’t outrageous enough I suppose so, now in the land of fake everything why not fake outrage, fake hurt feelings, fake intelligence, fake sources, fake news, fake approval ratings and fake crisis situations just to stimulate traffic flow to certain websites that produce propaganda filled articles and memes with the sole purpose of being shared over and over until they are believed. Life isn’t a goddamned reality show with ratings to boost…it’s actually REAL!

“He posted it on Twitter so I know it’s true!! I always go straight to the source for my information!”

No. It wasn’t true. It was PROPAGANDA! You got HAD sucker.

How liars create the ‘illusion of truth’

And, you cannot seem to sway these lie gobbling cult-like followers of fallacy because they desperately want to be right. “Oh, sweet baby Jesus let me be right and let these nasty traitor liberals be wrong,” and….second verse reverse from the first! Sing along! What if we are ALL wrong? What then?

Apparently we are supposed to hate one another now and if you aren’t batting for Team MAGA then you are raucously called everything but a child of God while the Other Side throws down the DEPLORABLE and IGNORANT gauntlet with great glee. In God We Trust needs to be removed from our new God…the almighty dollar and replaced with Passive- Aggression Or Bust!


We are a bunch of sad little keyboard warriors that only gather the courage to blast those we view as divisive and resistant in 280 character spurts loaded with grammatical errors and the blatant overuse of exclamation marks!!!!!!!! This is never done face-to-face because that’s too aggressive and personally exposing! Bark, bark, bark…type, type, type…rant.

Fuck off!

You are either ONE OF US or you are against America. Oh, and the flag, can’t forget the poor battered flag that has now been given the status of Saint Betsy Ross. It’s okay to wear this vestige of ultimate allegiance in the form of a bandana, shorty shorts, tank top or banana hammock but LORD, don’t you dare fail to stand at attention to it! Where are our manners?

Oh, how far we have fallen…I weep for the future of this country. I SERIOUSLY worry about the deliberate dumbing down of our populous. Give it a rest okay? It’s getting fucking tiresome and annoying. And, when I’m annoyed I just tune that shit out and offenders lose ALL CREDIBILITY. You are now a joke to me and I shall treat you as such.

Do you even know what you are ranting about? Does it make sense? Is it reality based or “alternative fact” based? Have you been manipulated into believing propaganda? It’s important to check your reality before shitting on others for their opposing views. AND, making fun of those in power is NOT treason you simpletons. It may be disrespectful and childish but, it’s FREE SPEECH and a protected form of protest. And…I can handle the “consequences” or social media blowback. I need to patent a lotion for all the thin-skinned out there!

The First Amendment reads as follows: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

I AM TREMENDOUSLY AGGRIEVED!

The thin-skinned president who made it illegal to criticize his office

Sorry about your guaranteed public education, public transportation, fire departments, police departments, public libraries, every branch of the US military, public roads & highways, Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, public, not private prisons & jails, public hospitals, Veterans Affairs Administration, public universities, public parks, public toilets, public drinking fountains, public parking and public everything that easily classifies as a form of SOCIALISM. You know that right?

And yet, you most likely have utilized many of these during your lifetime, as have your parents, grandparents or even great grandparents. Now, tell me again how you are right and I am wrong?

If the above list of “social” services our government provides to citizens is egregious to you then I guess you will have to opt out of ALL of them in order to stay a pure, non-socialist American. It’s only fair after all.

Carry on soldier. Enjoy!

© 2019 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

To Agree or Not To Agree: What’s Your Position?

Quick! Everyone pick a side.

What?

Isn’t this how the world works now?

If you’re tired of being attacked for having an opposing view from family, friends, co-workers or random strangers online raise your hand. If you’ve unfriended, blocked or reported someone in any of the categories above, raise your hand again.

This reactionary, isolationist, gather-the-troops ideology seems to have increased over the past few years and while there may be MANY blame points people can point to for causation I’d like to focus on the initial “relationship” if I may.

Who are these people/groups that have fallen out of favor with you and why? If it’s merely an online group or someone you befriended via social media without the benefit of meeting face to face lower your hand. You have the right to disengage from virtual contacts anytime you like and for no expressed reason. Cool? Good.

Now, let’s talk about the people you have axed, banned, banished or otherwise forbidden to speak to you, either in real-time or virtually. Did you like them at one time in your life? Do you have a DNA or emotional connection to them? Did they make you laugh once? Did you talk about things you have in common and express joy over having them in your life? If the answer is YES…walk back 2 steps and ask yourself what is different now.

Did they not vote for your candidate? Did they express views that personally hurt your heart? Did they post sexist, racist, homophobic, xenophobic memes, articles or personal opinions online or espouse these sentiments verbally to you? If so, on the last sentiment, did you voice your thoughts on this either online or in person? How did that work out?

I know in my own case it “worked” out to where I no longer speak to my brothers, sister, nieces, nephews, parents and a few former high school friends. Some, because of rigid views posted online and a sadistic need to try to argue every point with me and others because of personal pain long ignored. Do I regret how things imploded? Yes. Could I have avoided all of it? Probably not because I have no control over the actions, ill-advised or not, of others.

Deleted phone numbers, returned mail, rejected friend requests, reported posts and profiles are all part of how we, as a society, relate to one another now. Tweet it, post it, meme it up every time someone insults, disagrees with or ignores us. YOU WILL HEAR MY POINT OF VIEW!!! I WILL ASSERT MY DOMINANCE BY PISSING ALL OVER YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA BECAUSE I AM RIGHT!!!

Nah, you’re just coming off as kinda nuts…

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/mar/24/unfriend-unfollow-political-views-digital-dilemmas

Of course, these same people would never say the same things they post online to your face and most likely you also would not confront them in person but, fuming about it for days, weeks, months and years is somehow acceptable. Amazing huh?

Why is this a thing now? Why?

I recall a time when I liked people I met just because they took the time to talk to me. I liked them because they laughed at some of the same things I did, liked some of the same movies, books, food and we didn’t have time to compare politics, religion or socio-economic status. The only labels that mattered were FRIEND and FAMILY. I didn’t spend time worrying about those different from me because they were off living their own lives, laughing with their own friends and family like me and it was…OKAY!

Yes, I get that not everyone, different from me, had it all good at any particular point in history and I am not trying to be nostalgically “privileged.” I’m talking more generally here about what I knew because I cannot speak for anyone else. Spouting opinions just to create outrage was not something I considered nor something I actively sought to engage in.

Oh, how times have changed!

YOU are wrong! How could you believe that way? Why are you so ignorant, deluded, naive or any other assumption used to express displeasure with the knowledge that not everyone believes EXACTLY the way you do? Sounds ridiculous written out, doesn’t it?

It IS ridiculous. No one person is just like another person and to demand such is the grand height of arrogance. Get off your high horse, the poor thing needs a break! I don’t know how to fix this horrendous tear in the social fabric but I will try to change how I react to things I see posted online that I consider to be stupid, shortsighted, uneducated and reactionary. I will pause before I hit HIDE, BLOCK, REPORT.

This doesn’t mean that I’m suddenly going to be cool with racists, sexists, abusers, homophobes, xenophobes or other deliberate dividers. Odds are I will still boot you motherfuckers but as for everyone else? I will focus on the things I like/liked about you and will refuse to engage in purposeful fuckery designed to break my composer.

That’s a promise. Cross my heart. Please consider doing the same because the world needs a reset.

© 2019 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Would you care for a truckload of veiled hostility with your cup of manipulation?

Why is it so hard for some people to differentiate between unresolved personal resentment and social outrage? Why do some view manipulation, insults, and threats as viable persuasion tactics?

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/toxic-relationships/201704/are-you-being-manipulated

Are they simply superimposing their inner anger and insecurity over the top of current events as a veil to shield themselves from introspection and personal responsibility? Or, are they really just truly shitty people who want everyone else to feel as shitty as they do?

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201901/why-narcissist-will-never-back-down

Are they nasty human beings that actually hate others because of their geographical location, skin color, religious/non-religious beliefs, political/non-political views, socio-economic standing, sexual orientation or gender identity? Or, are they damaged mentally and emotionally by years of personal abuse that they refuse to seek help for or publically address for fear of unfair judgement?

Take that in for a moment…

There is the possibility that they judge others harshly because they fear to be judged themselves?

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/i-hear-you/201710/10-reasons-why-people-refuse-talk-therapists

What?

There is a fix for that you know?  It’s called therapy. It’s called personal insight. It’s called being sick and tired of being sick and tired. It’s called doing the opposite because everything you have done up to this point in time has not worked George!

Haven’t you had enough?

I write this piece because I once lived in a “swamp” of unresolved resentment, anger, and fear over how others might perceive me. I was raised to care more about how others viewed me than how I viewed myself because to be sensitive, thoughtful and kind was weak. I was taught that everyone was out to get me and that it was every “man” for themselves in this dog eat dog world. I knew that was crap and a lame attempt at shifting responsibility but it still corrupted my world view for many years.

Newsflash: NO ONE IS OUT TO GET YOU!  The only enemy you have is the enemy within. But, if holding onto rage fuels your soul then good luck with that. I for one would like to live without the worry of dropping dead from a rage induced heart attack or a stroke. I’d like to live to see my future grandkids.

Why is this so hard to understand?

When you think you are right but you are hurting everyone around you=WRONG!

I have many, many questions about the current state of affairs; why people cling to misinformation, fear, myths, lies, and prejudices.  Is it a dirty badge of honor? Is it some sort of reward for having gone through hardship?

Everyone goes through some hardship at one point or another in their lives. Some dwell on it, reveling in the tales of fights with family members and how they were the victor in an imagined battle of wills. What trophy did you get? Fewer family members or friends and a prospect of future personal isolation? That isn’t a trophy I want and will gladly concede defeat in the great War of Manipulation and Imagined Hurt.

Does this mean that those who pull back and refuse to engage further are weak? Does it mean they are losers?

Sure, I lobbed a few bombs back at first, in defense, but retreating now holds no shame when it protects peace of mind, physical wellbeing, and self-respect. I respect myself for having the courage to voice how I feel and will not apologize to anyone. Speaking truth to tyranny is never offensive because truth is power and those who take exception to my speaking out should be disappointed in themselves for refusing to be honest. It’s not like others don’t already know bits and pieces of your personal drama so you might as well own it. You aren’t fooling anyone.

And, it totally is stupid shit, isn’t it?

The world contains enough negativity. Choose to engage with the positive side of your soul and learn to forgive yourself, others, the world…whichever you deem most deserving. It’s time.

I am offended that you are offended!

I’m going to try something new at In the Land of Reverie. From here on out I will be interspersing classic nuggets of wisdom from my old blog with current thoughts. It appears we have “secret readers” that find offense in ever thought, blog post, picture and punctuation choice I make.

Cheers and thank you! You have inspired me to amp up the writing exercises from once a month or once in a blue moon to EVERY DAMN DAY! I was looking for the motivation I needed to get back in the writing swing of things and TAG! You are it!

Muchas gracias! Vielen dank! Merci beaucoup! תודה רבה לך! Grazie mille! большое спасибо мудак! Du bist wirklich ein verdammter Verrückter!

Originally written: January 18, 2015

“I am offended!” : How to navigate through a world of hypersensitivity without stepping in a big pile of hurt feelings.

Okay, I’ll just say up front that in today’s society, one that seems to feed on constant worry about offending everyone and their brother, sister, mother, father, child, dog or cat…there is NO way to avoid a bomb that gets ignited by simply having an “opinion.” These days there is the impression that no one should, could or has a right to voice an opinion about anything controversial because it may hurt the feelings of someone somewhere.

You never know the “where” or the “who” until the words are out of your mouth or have been released from your fingertips via the computer keyboard but eventually it becomes clear that not everyone GETS your meaning or intent. They read halfway and then assume its offensive and fire a vicious missile of YOU HURT MY FEELINGS back which typically starts with personal insults being aimed at the offender by the offended. An offense for an offense is the new eye for an eye.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-dance-connection/201702/the-danger-confronting-the-family-member-who-hurt-you

In doing this we are signaling that most “touchy” subjects are off limits and even the simplest of topics could get another person branded as narrow-minded, elitist, a conservative tight-ass, a liberal wimp or even the dreaded….INSENSITIVE! Surely we haven’t grown so intolerant of sharing and debating ideas with those different than ourselves that rather than trying we just shut the doors with a terse, “That was offensive to me and I’m going home!” It’s very similar to scooping up your toys in a huff and flipping little Johnnie the bird as you stomp back to your race car toddler bed to cry. Get back in there and play ball dammit! How is anyone ever going to learn your point of view or you theirs if everyone just walks away all pissed off.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/toxic-relationships/201704/are-you-being-manipulated

How did we get here? Why is the air so filled with misunderstanding, miscommunication, and misinformation? “She said-They said-He said-Everyone says” fills the room during heated conversations but is there actual fact-based proof to support the “They” hypothesis or is it generally just based on personal belief and a sense of inner doubt mixed with self-righteous insecurity? My dilemma is one of not knowing if I should just pretend to give a shit when some Sensitive Sally gets their knickers in a twist over an opinion I was ASKED for or if I should just say that I’m sorry they got themselves all offended. I often laugh when I hear, “You offended me,” because in my mind I’m hearing, “I have poor listening skills and super thin skin so instead of admitting I didn’t get what you said I’ll just slap the new catchphrase of the year on it and blame you.”

https://medium.com/personal-growth/how-to-stop-playing-the-blame-game-on-and-on-20967f6dbb69

What is offensive really? It has different meanings for everyone involved so wouldn’t logic also tell you that assuming the speaker is purposely trying to offend without even considering the tone and context or asking for clarification first would be a fault on your part and not theirs? Generally speaking, I typically say that it is completely up to you as to whether or not you will be offended and it isn’t my responsibility to protect you from your choice.

I never say I am sorry for offending anyone because that was not my intent, never will be and not something I need to atone for because I state my opinion as asked and as I feel it. In most adult discussions with people that you know well there usually is a common connection and the presumption that all involved are well-intentioned because you all are adults, after all, so to take offense is completely up to the person that chooses to.

It’s a “free country” (I put that in quotes because it’s the cliché we hear most) so let’s branch out and apply that to the human condition as a whole. Some people are assholes and like to get others all up in arms and outraged on purpose…that is their intention and if you just fell for it then whose fault is that really? Is it theirs for being how they really are or yours for forgetting what you’ve always known them to be?

The media is a key example of this because they study how pushing people’s emotional buttons creates a reaction so again wouldn’t it also be logical to think that they may play on this by tweaking coverage of certain important social issues in order to get a big pot of offense and outrage boiling? Being offended is just as great for ratings as being offensive is right? When one side jumps ship they have to go somewhere and thus the game continues with little relief in sight. Don’t allow yourself to be played.

So, how do we work through our issues with being perceived as offensive in a defensive world? We keep on being ourselves and clearly and plainly say in our most pleasant voice (sing it if you can) “Get the hell over yourself! I listened to you now listen to me.” Do a high kick and then twirl around for good measure too. Having an opinion shows we are still individuals and that we haven’t succumbed to the zombie state many unimaginative, scared of looking at people cross ways, whimpering cowards around us have. It’s called give and take. They give their two cents and then you take it and turn it into a damn dollar!

Taking offense constantly, rather than rallying the troops for another wave of shock and awe over your impressive debating skills is a sad thing indeed. Study up, learn your facts and understand that the best way to have a spirited transfer of opposing ideas and thoughts is to present them in as clear a picture as possible.

Don’t muddy your argument with fuzzy facts or insults…it’s not necessary and it just makes you look like a fucking idiot. The goal is to be able to state your true point of view, not some watered down, politically skewed version. It should be an honest, heartfelt truth so when people hear it they walk away thinking, “Yeah, maybe I could get on board with that because she’s got a point.” Trust me here. And, you REALLY can. I’ve seen shit and lived to tell the tale!

© 2019 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.