Since this arc on Betty has just started, I'll give you both yesterday's and today's. Such a deal.
Betty is a kind of stealth strip because it doesn't get a lot of chatter and it doesn't often knock you onto the floor with laughter, but it regularly sneaks up behind you with intelligent humor and commentary.
I'm sure this arc was in the can before the recent article saying that a quarter of Americans think the Sun goes around the Earth, but, whether by happenstance or cunning plan, it's timely.
I particularly like it because Betty's husband, Bub -- who I should point out is not a gullible American but, in fact, a gullible Canadian -- here provides the critical argument: Even if it's not true, it could be.
Betty: Walk away. You aren't going to win this one.
When I saw the thing about 25% of Americans thinking the Sun revolves around the Earth, my first thought was -- well, my first thought was that I'd like to see how the questions were phrased -- but my other first thought, which would then be my second thought, was that we sure have some stupid people out there.
Not exactly "stop the presses," but always good to track the benchmarks.
However, my third thought was that I started looking at the stupid stuff posted on Facebook through that filter.
I already knew that TV is littered with idiotic misinformation about Bigfoot and the Kennedy assassination and space aliens, which is before we get into idiotic "alternative interpretations" of history, which in turn is before we get into lifestyle shows that degrade humanity, such that, taken as a whole, it makes my response to learning that 25% of Americans think the Sun revolves around the Earth, "Really? Only 25?"
But, since you don't know how many people may be watching those shows stoned and laughing their heads off, you can at least hope against all logic and experience that it's a significant number.
On Facebook, by contrast, you get to watch the interplay, and it does, indeed, cement that response, "Only 25?"
Mostly because, the hype of "connecting with people" notwithstanding, there is remarkably, depressingly little actual interplay on Facebook.
Someone puts up a picture of an ear of Monsanto corn or of Obama and the comments strongly indicate that nobody is bothering to read the linked article. They simply react to the image, indulging in Two Minutes of Hate.
Moreover, not only do they not read the article they are commenting on, but they don't read the other comments either.
And it's not just the political stuff, which, at least includes an element of opinion. Even purely factual things, like warnings about purported carcinogens in common products, get this knee-jerk acceptance.
Fine. Someone got fooled. But don't bother posting the rebuttal, because nobody read the first article and fewer are reading the comments. They're simply passing it on.
I think there are about six people on Facebook who, if they realize they've posted something untrue, will take it down. The rest move blithely on, and, even if they then comment "Whoops! Guess I was wrong!" it doesn't matter because they leave the original nonsense posted on their wall.
And the pattern tells you how these things spread: Posting of rumor, followed by "Thanks!" followed by comment "This is an urban legend. Here's the link disproving it," followed by "Thanks! Sharing!" followed by "Wow! This is awful! Sharing!" followed by "This isn't true, and here's the proof," followed by "Thanks! Sharing!" followed by "Thanks! Sharing!" followed by "Wow! This is awful! Sharing!"
Because, as Bub says, "What if?"
Hey, you never know.
But I don't want any spam!
Tina's Groove on the misfiring of socio-corporate media. So many companies get the message that they need to promote themselves through social media, so few of them have any sense of how that should work.
The Internet has long been littered with web pages that haven't been updated in this century, with email links that invite you to cast your inquiry into an unmonitored, bottomless pit.
There's really no reason that companies begging you to "like us on Facebook" and "follow us on Twitter" should raise particularly high expectations.
It's bad enough that you can't look up the price of something on-line without having them follow you around the web for the next two months with ads begging you to buy whatever it was.
Don't expect me to sign up for harassment by email, too.
Stake me to the anthill, please
Rhymes With Orange provides a clear-eyed view of something I find truly, unbearably awful: The premature mandatory eulogy.
The premature eulogy portion is bad enough. There are a few moments at which you praise someone who is still on the green side of the turf, like when they retire.
Well, obviously, you might praise them when they actually do something, like win the Nobel Prize, but not everyone wins the Nobel Prize and, on the rare occasions someone does, you don't have to fish around for something nice to say about them. "That was a great cure for cancer, Bob."
But these occasions for praise are spreading like fungus and, while I haven't seen one at a six-year-old's birthday party yet, that's probably just because I don't go to as many of those as I used to. Somewhere, someone is reading today's RWO and saying, "What a great idea!" (See above)
There's a reason the boss is supposed to get up and say something nice about somebody who has come to the end of 40 years of service with the company and hasn't actually cured cancer in that time.
The reason is, the boss makes big bucks and, while he only occasionally has to do something that really sucks, this happens to be one of those times.
But two or three speeches from over-paid management stiffs should be the limit.
This mandatory deal where we each have to "share" turns something that is dreary at best into torture, since now you end up sitting there waiting for your turn and thinking, "Damn. I was gonna say that Mildred always had extra paper clips in case you needed one."
Worst of all is when you are required to share your favorite memory of someone you actually like. If I genuinely, sincerely like someone, I don't have a particular thing about them that I can single out. It's like asking "What's your favorite thing about chocolate ice cream?"
Here's the deal, pal: If I have a favorite memory of you, it means I didn't like you that much.
I'm happy to share these feelings, though: