George was never the sort of guy who you thought would do anything crazy like pay attention in class or finish his homework or come to school without weed in his back pocket. Seriously, they talked about random drug testing of an organization that we were in together and this kid just about lost his mind.
Anyway. That's the backstory, but high school was a really long time ago. He's now an adult and holds down what appears to be a pretty steady job. He didn't do the whole "college" thing, nor would I take him for one to be "reading" anything in his spare time.
Needless to say, the only way we stay in contact has been via Facebook- the land of all dubious friendships.
So, he posts something very politically driven the other day, but he does it in a very, very mean way.
(Note: I am not going to put what he said, nor am I going to go into details about his opinion, because I don't want the politics to get in the way of his stupidity, which is the star of this story. I actually agree with many of his sentiments, just not with the same venom.)
So he posts this really mean thing with its basis in current politics here in the US. He insults a few people specifically and a LOT of people generally. He makes a very sweeping comment about the intelligence level of an entire political party, an entire religion and everyone not of a particular race.
Lovely, this guy is.
Ignoring the most childish comments and focusing on what (I thought was) the point, I calmly- and without name calling or insulting- corrected one of his incorrect points. This point is actually incontrovertible fact, while the rest of his post was all opinion.
He comes back and says: "I knew it. Humor and sarcasm is something that you people just dont get... lol this was completely tongue in cheeck"
(Can I just put [sic] at the end of that whole quote? Because trying to isolate all the errors makes the whole thing pretty unreadable. More so, anyway.)
I want to be perfectly clear here, so please excuse the bullet points that follow, but I find them excruciatingly simple, and thus practically un-misunderstand-able:
- You are allowed to have an opinion.
- That opinion can be widely different from mine.
- You are allowed to express that opinion- and even present it as fact- on every social media platform of your choosing.
- You are welcome to engage in a respectful, or at least semi-respectful, exchange of ideas surrounding that opinion.
I get really annoyed when people 1) are viciously insulting in presenting their opinions and 2) pretend they were "just joking" when somebody calls them on their BS. I mean, come on, my five year old pulls that. "I'm just joking!"
So, I call him on this, too (I know, I know).
I let him know that the post could not possibly have been "entirely tongue in cheek" because then I would have to assume that everything he said was also a joke. And while only the one piece was concrete fact, the rest is actually pretty well-accepted as truth and are all opinions he has voiced loudly and obnoxiously at other times as well. I also pointed out that I agree with all of his opinions in this particular post, but that lashing out irrationally and then backpeddling with the "J/K!" nonsense is childish and just plain stupid.
"Again, sarcasm doesn't travel well via facebook... lol... obviously"