First off, usual disclaimers apply: deactivation is temporary, I’ll probably be back on Facebook before you know it, etc etc.
The short answer to the above question is: people on the Internet annoy me. The answer that requires explanation is: because I believe the Occupy protests are the most important thing in the world now.
I can’t help it. I’m smitten with this movement, I was made for this movement. My fears, when I have them, tend toward the major – by which I mean the catastrophic, the End Times, the point of no return. Atomic weapons. Irreversible ecological degradation. The forces that conspire not only against me, not only against humanity, but against life itself.
You could also say that the things I fear most are the things I feel helpless to change. So when something like this comes along – when a mass of people find one another and simply acknowledge that SHIT’S FUCKED UP, it uplifts me. It gives me some fucking HOPE. Go ahead and ask me “What is it these people want?” I’ll be glad to offer several hundred suggestions.
And now, as the movement gains momentum and coverage, I increasingly get subjected to dissenting opinions on my Facebook news feed. Let me be clear: dissent is healthy, skepticism is good. And: the Internet, particularly Facebook status updates, is not the ideal venue for a productive conversation.
On Monday afternoon I stood in downtown Pittsburgh with the Occupiers, holding my sign (“Accountability, please”) and facing the passing-by hoards on their lunch break. This was not an easy thing for me. I’m not comfortable putting myself center stage. I feared being challenged.
And people did challenge me. They offered dissenting opinions. But they were framed in the form of a conversation, with people who genuinely wanted to engage. Sure, one guy scoffed at my sign, people screamed “Get a job!” from their cars – the real-life equivalents of a pithy Facebook observation. But in the face of real people acting like interested humans, they faded into the background.
On Facebook it’s a little harder to ignore, particularly because these are my “friends.” I’m not being melodramatic when I say that I feel like our collective asses depend on this movement. When Internet-people deride the movement as pointless or idiotic a part of me (rightfully) says not to take it personally, while another part of me thinks they may as well be calling me a faggot.
To them I say: it’s unfortunate you lack for imagination. And if you really, truly believe that everything in this country, this world, is dandy, is kosher: get your head back in the sand, your ass back on the couch, your eyes off my fucking webpage.
I’ll see you on the other side of history.
Comments disabled: Fuck the Internet and fuck this guy.