Saturday, September 12, 2009

Social Networking: Part 3

Sorry for the delay, but I've been too busy having fun.
Now, I'm going to take a few potshots at the root cause of the anti-social networking lunacy; the notion that everything was just ducky back in the good old days when everyone was a valued and fully included member of a welcoming, loving Norman Rockwell/Agnes Sligh Turnbull small-town America. I'm sorry, but this whole half-baked notion makes me rabid. I can't even begin to understand how anyone who was raised in pre-personal computer, small town America can even consider such rot without being stoned out of their gourds on Prozac.
I was there, fully cognizant, and watching every move, so I can tell you it wasn't a pretty picture. Yes, everyone pretty much knew their neighbors, but that didn't mean they didn't hate one another's guts. Hell, I remember neighborhood range wars and pissing matches that would curl your hair. That was just the open hostilities. The whispering campaigns, back-biting, and snarky gossip often made today's anonymous commenters look like pikers.
Yes, everyone was welcome to participate in a wide variety of community activities, long as they were white, straight, married ( Didn't matter if they went home to beat their wives and molested their children.) , preferably Protestant ( Yes, Catholic bloggers should remember the anti-Catholic sentiment found in those waning days of the Protestant ascendancy. ), and resolutely middle class. Everyone was welcome, as long as they conformed to a hundred little unspoken rules. Everyone was equal, as long as they recognized that some were more equal than others and kept to their place in the most rigid social system ever devised. If you were black, or gay, or an atheist ( Agnostics were sometimes tolerated, but only if they were high in the pecking order. ), or poor, or just plain different, you were shit out of luck and that was the end of it.
Yes, that was "community" in those "good old days". I grew up watching it. So don't expect me to forget the truth and slap on the whitewash.