Sunday, no Monday Rant. What happened to being polite?

My weekly rant is a day late; last night my family took my son out for his 18th birthday. By the time we returned it was late and I was too tired to properly rant. Andy Rooney can do it every Sunday, but not me, some Sundays I do not feel curmudgeonly.

So this week I have been paying a lot of attention to public comments made by everyday people in reaction to news articles and Facebook posts. When did we stop being a polite society and turn into a society where people feel the need to point out other’s failings or write snarky posts just because they can?

I used to like reading the comment section in the Huffington Post. I like to know how others feel about issues and the state of our country. As someone who always likes a good discussion, these kinds of sites gave me a good platform in which to engage with other people. But lately it seems that the comments section is turning into a high school classroom where it is more important to be heard than listen. We cannot learn from each other if we refuse to listen to each other. And what’s up with people who have nothing to add to the conversation but love to point out other’s spelling errors? Each time I read one of these snarky posts I want to reach out and hit the poster with either a large Oxford dictionary or Miss Manner’s book. Who are these grammar and spelling police and why do they do this? Is there a large section of society that finds it thrilling to point out a misspelled word? I’d like to see them do something constructive with their time. Can’t they take up a different hobby, like sky diving sans parachute?

I understand a lot of people who respond to news articles are simply stating their opinion and venting frustration but when they cross the line and start knocking other posters it becomes clear these are simply close minded people who only want to be heard whether they have a valid point or not. We all have an uncle like this, and while we put up with family, it hard to put up with a room filled with angry old men who spout hate like kids spouting baseball stats. (Do kids still talk baseball?)

What really confounds me is when people post snarky comments for absolutely no reason at all. Two days ago Barns & Nobel posted a thank you to all those who bought the Nook. Here is a Facebook site devoted to all things B&N and one would assume only have followers who liked B&N. Not so it seems. Along with members thanking B&N for the Nook and writing about how much it is enjoyed were posts from Kindle users who made remarks like “try all you want, it is not a Kindle” or “You wish it was as good as a kindle”. WTF? This was not an open debate between the two e-readers yet some people went out of their way to post as if it was. Why? Does this make them feel better about themselves? Are these the same people who in school had to pick on someone weaker? Is this yet another way to feel cool and hip? What happened to being polite? What happened to keeping quite when there is nothing good to say?

I expect this type of behavior when I am reading about politics and religion. These two subjects can generate snarky, mean spirited and ugly remarks like nothing else. Unfortunately it seems this type of “debating” style is bleeding over into other areas in society. The internet is showing us people like to “get into” with others over even the smallest subjects. Many in our society are losing the ability to hold their tongues or articulate a point without putting someone else down. It is sad and I am getting sick of it. I long for the day when we could agree to disagree.
There I feel better, I ranted without generalizing (I hope, if not I apologize) or calling anyone a horrid name. If I spelled something wrong (which I do from time to time) I don’t want to know. What I do want to know is what, Dear Readers you think of public comments. Does any of this faze you and if so how do you deal with them? What do you do when one of your comments is followed up by a snarky unnecessary reply? Have you ever gotten into it with someone else? Come on, let’s rant about this together!

Yes, I am feeling old; my son turned 18 and it hit me last night, I am not officially a parent of an adult! I am too young to have an adult child, I swear I am!

The Bushman of San Francisco and Reading Slumps

I got home from San Francisco yesterday. I had a nice time on the Warf but hated the medical tests I had to endure. I found out I will need heart surgery this summer and found out why I am so tired all the time. I am glad to know what is going on, but not looking forward to the surgery.

While on the Warf I ran into my favorite street performer. In my last post I told the story of the box man who scared the young female tourist; turns out he is now called the Bushman and is a real staple on the Warf. I did not get to ask his real name, but we did talk about the screaming woman incident. He says he has learned not to jump out so hard and yell so loud. Now he asks people to pay when they admit he” got them”. I am not sure this is how I would want to earn a living, but then again he gets to make his own hours and meet people from around the world. If I lived in the city I think we would become friends. I have included some pictures of the Bushman, you will see he is not your normal street performer. He now has his own T-shirts but surprisingly no one has put him on the internet yet. He would be a great YouTube celebrity. I am sure a lot of people would love to watch him scare people over and over again; the same people who like to watch people get hurt doing stupid things.

I had hoped to get a lot of reading done in between medical tests, bout wouldn’t you know it, my reading glasses broke so for the first time in a long time, I did not read for a couple of days. I wanted to read Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman as he is one of my favorite authors. I started the book last night but to be honest, this is not one of his bests. Have any of you read it? Is it slow to get going but gets better (oh please oh please let it get better).

January has not been a good month for reading. I have yet to finish a book as so far nothing is grabbing my attention. Has this happened to you dear readers and if so, how do you get out of your reading slump? How many pages do you read before you put a book down? If all else fails I pick up a collection of short stories, but sadly right now I do not have any unread short stories on hand. Guess I will finish Stone Maiden even though it has not thrilled me and will continue with Neverwhere. I am on the library list for some good titles so I keep hoping to find out it is my turn. I want nothing more than to fall into a good book before school starts, and it would be nice to stop thinking about my medical woes even for a little while.