The great thing about Facebook is it allows average folks to express themselves with words without first having to actually learn how to express themselves with words.
Why struggle through a Writer’s Digest book on argumentative essays just so you can submit a polished opinion piece to your local newspaper when you can simply open a Facebook account, open a can of Old Milwaukee, and then open your mouth?
Who has time for reason and logic when we have a “socialist traitor from Kenya” running amuck in the White House? Quick, somebody teach Honey Boo’s mama how to type—it’s about time those of us too technically challenged to block her from our news feeds hear what she has to say about Obamacare!
I have three main uses for Facebook. One, it allows me to promote my comedy career and keep in touch with fans; two, it allows me to write and post daily topical jokes too perishable to take to the stage; and three, it allows my mom to comment on every single status update I make. Nothing makes me prouder than posting what I consider to be a Conan-worthy monologue joke and then seeing Mom’s face underneath two minutes later saying, “Oh, OK, I get it. Ha-ha.”
I can hardly wait to move out of her basement so I can block her.
Fortunately, Mom isn't the only person who comments on my daily attempts at humor. I usually get lots of likes and kudos whenever I manage to turn a particularly clever phrase such as “Justin Bieber sucks!” (My fans love this type of insightful social commentary.)
The only time I get negative comments is when I make a political joke revealing my decidedly left-of-center worldview. A worldview that clashes sharply with those of my far-right Facebook friends who have their days free to watch FOX News because they've lost their jobs and health insurance and are paying their basic cable bills with unemployment checks they receive from the same government led by the aforementioned “socialist traitor from Kenya,” who is trying his damnedest to give them their jobs and health insurance back.
These people lie in wait for me like Rush Limbaugh stalking a feminazi with a purse full of OxyContin. Two jokes that most recently kicked the hornets’ nest are:
- “Paula Dean is opening a new fried chicken restaurant. It’s called KKKFC.”
- “Thankfully, President George W. Bush is recovering from successful heart surgery. God bless the exceptionally skillful surgeon who was able to find it.”
I received several negative comments, such as “Boo, hiss—cheap shot!” and the equally soul-crushing, “Not nice.”
Oh, the vitriol!
Regarding the Bush joke, one friend sent me a link to a Washington Post story about Bush’s recent charity work in Africa. His implied question was, “How can you call Bush a heartless person when he’s spending all his time trying to wipe out AIDS in Africa?”
How? The same way the reporter who wrote the story could fail to mention that Bush executed over 150 prisoners while governor of Texas and, as Commander-in-Chief, invaded a sovereign nation that had nothing to do with 9-11. The story was about neither Bush’s reluctance to seriously consider clemency requests from death-row inmates nor his haste to start a war that would eventually kill over 5,000 American soldiers and over 100,000 Iraqi civilians; it was about his noble philanthropy on the Dark Continent. The reporter didn't want to rehash all the bad things Bush did while in office; he wanted to highlight all the nice things Bush has done since leaving office. Fortunately, this isn't hard to do because Bush’s leaving office is the nicest thing anyone has ever done for anybody.
Of course President Bush has become benevolent and humanitarian—that’s what all presidents with tainted legacies do once they shed the shackles of partisan politics, find inner peace and hear the call to duty. Retirement offers bad presidents the chance to atone for their sins and become great Americans. President Carter builds homes for the homeless and negotiates peace treaties in the Middle East. President Clinton helps promote democracy around the globe by nailing waitresses at The International House of Pancakes. And, when not stopping the spread of AIDS in the sub-Sahara, President Bush is relentlessly pursuing those “evil-doers” who caused last spring’s tornadoes in Oklahoma.
See? I didn't really mean to say “W” doesn't have a heart; I meant to say he doesn't have a brain!
See what I just did there?
It’s called comedy, “Captain Comment,” so relax!
I can understand if some of my Facebook friends don’t find me funny. Like I said, even Mom doesn't think I’m funny. Her favorite joke to tell is, ”What’s the difference between a large pizza and a stand-up comedian? A large pizza can feed a family of four.”
Hey, when the woman who gave you life thinks you’re a babbling douche, it’s hard to worry about what Facebook addicts still wrestling with the baffling intricacies of the QWERTY keyboard think about your generic Paula Dean joke. So the only problem I have with friends responding negatively to a joke that awakens their Inner O’ Reilly is that their comments are almost never funny.
Ever since Dennis Miller went over to the Dark Side after getting the boot from “Monday Night Football,” I haven’t agreed with a single word he’s said. But he still makes me laugh. I can laugh at a Michael Moore joke just as easily as a Sarah Palin joke—just as long as a master comedian like Dennis Miller is making it. (Especially, if Dennis were to call Michael Moore a brain-dead, bible-thumping, geographically challenged media whore from Alaska.”)
Everyone on Facebook has the right to his or her own opinion. But not on my wall. Your opinions belong on your wall. My Facebook wall is for showcasing cheesy and derivative topical jokes that Jay Leno wouldn't pay 50 bucks for during a writers’ strike.
The dittohead who commented, “Boo, hiss—cheap shot!” didn't play by the rules of the game. He didn't counter my joke with a joke of his own. “Cheap shot” is not funny. What he should have written was, “Hey, Fun Dude, the next time you’re at Paula Dean’s restaurant why don’t you ask to borrow some butter so you can grease your ass up enough to pull your head out of it?!”
That would have been hilarious! Not to mention, the pilot episode for my new Food Network series.
I have one Facebook friend who alternates between upbeat status updates thanking God for the tiny miracles in his life and angry posts parroting Rush Limbaugh’s daily attacks on President Obama. In real life, my friend is a great guy—gentle, smart, caring and sensitive; online, he mutates into a Sean-Hannity-worshiping hypocrite who calls Obama a socialist but then tries to censor me as if he’s a colonel in the KGB. And yet even though I think that every one of his anti-Obama outbursts is utter nonsense, I haven’t removed him from my news feed nor have I posted any negative comments on his wall. That’s because I view his Facebook wall as his private sanctuary for speaking his mind against the din of a cruel and indifferent world, within which very few normal people ever get the chance to be heard.
That and I’m usually too busy picturing Michael Moore naked.
I was going to say I’m usually too busy picturing Sarah Palin naked, but I wouldn't want to get any negative comments on Facebook, now would I?