Our weekly newspaper, the Fort Bragg Advocate News, began a Facebook presence a couple of years ago. This opened up a fantastic opportunity for any person with a computer and internet access.
In order to make your voice heard, you no longer have to go to the trouble to type a letter, put it in an envelope, and spend money to mail it.
The newspaper’s Facebook page makes it easy to express your opinion for all the world to see. You are not required to be grammatically correct. (Screw you, third grade writer’s workshop with your insistence upon spelling, punctuation, and complete sentences!)
And–here’s the best part–you don’t have to struggle to formulate an opinion that even remotely makes sense.
You can disagree with other commentators, instigate fights and resort to name calling. You can even precede a highly descriptive noun, such as moron with an obscene adjective. (The Advocate News staff will eventually remove such a post, but it’ll take them awhile to do so.)
Since I no longer have kids in local schools, I don’t mingle with a wide variety of people in ways I once did. This Facebook page puts me back in touch with the core of Fort Bragg, and reminds me of the many reasons I love living here.
Sometimes the Advocate News posts a topic that incites a great deal of passion. Like this picture of graffiti on the CV Starr Aquatic Center property with the heading: “Does anyone know what this means or who did it?”
The post received 123 comments over the course of an entire week. My favorites:
A guy named Caps.
Oh i better stop before i hurt someones little feelings. Bottom line grow some balls. Keep your kids in check. Hell keep your neighbors kids in check also.
Well, ‘CAPS’ made his mark. Let’s hope “lower case” doesn’t follow suit.
Get over it talking shit on bob marley the way people dress judgeing a book by its cover those are the kind of things ignorant people say a rad neck take over please are u serious it will never happen I guess keep talking shit if it makes u feel better about urself lol some funny shit.
Whos talking shit about bob marley. There is no ignorance besides you telling me to stop talking shit and get over it. Lol. Did this topic hit a nerve in your brain. It made you comment as if you were the queen bee stepping in and taking control like we were your children. I can sence you fidgiting around in your chair now flipping your hair and letting out the typical women “Pffffftttttt” noise. Now this is talking shit. Know the difference please before you jump on here and font fuck your opinon.
Toward the end—around comment #117—came a non sequitur:
Can someone tell me if their is a craft fair going on anywhere for whale festival weekend and where and who to contact to set up a booth?
This seemed to simmer everyone down. Five posts later, the comments stopped.
After such an exhilarating experience with the Advocate News Facebook page, I like to take a moment and ponder what I’ve learned:
- I will plant balls in my garden this year with the hope that, as they grow, I will be able to keep both my kids and my neighbors in check.
- I have never, nor will I ever, talk s—t on bob marley, but I must admit I feel better about myself when I keep talking s—t in general.
- I happen to prefer the “typical women Pffffftttttt” noise over many of the other noises my body spontaneously emits.
- I always enjoy the Whale Festival craft fair, especially now that the mere mention of it has a calming effect on people.