The President gracefully illustrated an important lesson for all Americans – When we fall, we must get back up.
The above headline caught my eye a little while ago — more for its context than content, if I’m being completely honest. Let me explain.
Those of you familiar with my personal Facebook feed may know it as a place where free and open discussions are commonly held between people with an absurdly wide variety of views. We’ve got several communists and socialists, a handful of militant anarchists, a bunch of fans of the Second Amendment, Progressives, Liberals, staunch conservatives, Trumpists, Mulderites, skeptics… We’ve got just about everyone, and the comments are almost always polite.
And so, as a discussion seed, I’d attempted to post a picture of an obviously fabricated headline: first, to see how folks would react; and second, as a way to gently chide those who automatically surrendered to their prejudices before thinking. Alas, the Almighty Algorithm caught it before the conversation even began. I’d post it again here in the article, but they planted a virtual horse’s head in my bed and I’m too busy cleaning up the digitized blood; besides, I’d hate to have it spill over. TNFN already has a soft-blocking problem.
So much for that debate.
The question I’ll pose instead is:
How in Heaven’s name can we ever hold a discussion concerning these important concepts? Not so much Biden and his “sudden asphaltial stop”, which frankly should never have gotten this much press in the first place, but rather: What sorts of humor are still appropriate in today’s fact-checked world? Should we have a button we press to automatically indicate to the credulous that the following post might possibly include some aspects that aren’t entirely true, to be employed elements of humor? Or should we avoid notification at the risk of misinforming the… I can’t think of a good descriptor; I was going to say “the amusingly incompetent”, but that’s not right. “The funnyboneically deprived”? “The senseohumorless”? “Pundon’ts”?
See if you can do better, won’t you?
Anyway: The point is, this is exactly the sort of conversation that we as a culture need to have, and not just once but over and over until we reach consensus. Rapid culture change is the one advantage of ubiquitous social media, and by banning, soft-blocking, and continual fact-checking our jokes, we’re eliminating the discussion before it can fairly begin.
Sure, I understand why. The reasons are fine ones.
But is it worth the price?
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(Kidding! I kid, I kid!)