This morning, I find myself with a touch of writer’s block. When that happens, I often go to my original Google version of this blog to find inspiration. I did write a few posts on the old blog that are chestnuts… or evergreen… or whatever. At the very least, I can find book reviews that I can repost, although I’m slowly running out of those.
I am working on reading a book right now, but as usual, I keep falling asleep before I can make too much progress. I probably should invest in a chair for reading, rather than reading in bed. Nowadays, I drop off at the drop of a hat if I’m lying down and comfortable. I have really excellent Comphy sheets on my bed, too, which makes for prime sleeping conditions. I don’t work for the company or get any kickbacks. I just really like the sheets, which I discovered on a visit to a B&B in Goshen, Virginia.
ETA: Many apologies, since I have already bitched about this particular complaint on the new blog… the original re-run repost is not exactly the same as this one, but it does include the same screenshots and basic story. Oh well. Maybe I’ll think of something totally fresh later.
Anyway, I came across a rant I wrote back in the summer of 2017. Looking back, that summer was pretty traumatic for a number of reasons. It wasn’t as bad as the summer of 2014, but it was a pretty tough time. One day, I got irritated because some guy, long gone from my friends list, had shared a fake meme. I wrote a post bitching about it. Note– the post was not specifically about the guy, it was about the practice of sharing falsely attributed memes. A lot of people don’t care that the deep thoughts they share on social media are bullshit. Some have rationalized that it’s the thought that counts, not the person who came up with the thought. Personally, I vehemently disagree. Especially when people falsely attribute things to the late George Carlin, who is one of my idols and whose wisdom has gotten me through some shit.
The guy who had inspired my rant shared the above meme, with the comment “Carlin pulled no punches.” I kept seeing this meme on my timeline and it annoyed me. So I decided to write about it. Former friend read the vent and got pissed off at me. He left a nasty comment on my OH Facebook page and blocked me. Then, he posted the article on his page and I soon had a bunch of right wing mental giants from the Deep South hitting my blog, racking up ad revenue. A mutual friend sent me a private message letting me know that he was riling up all his Trump supporting friends over this vent. From my original post:
Both times I’ve seen this meme featuring George Carlin, I’ve hidden it. Why? Because I am very certain that George Carlin never said this. It pisses me off when people put words in George’s mouth, especially since he’s dead. I loved and respected his work and I’m absolutely sure he never would have said anything like this. Carlin’s comedy celebrated obstruction and fighting the establishment. He was a champion of resistance and bucking authority. It’s wrong to attribute these words to him or to insinuate that he said them by using his picture with someone else’s words.
Even if I agreed wholeheartedly with this meme’s sentiment, which I don’t, I would not agree that it’s okay to claim that these are George Carlin’s words, especially when there is ample evidence that they aren’t.
I went looking to see if Carlin had, indeed, said this. I found evidence that, apparently, GMTA. Morgan Freeman supposedly said it, too.
I went on to explain why this practice irritates me so much. From my old blog:
I’m sure many people think I’m being anal retentive about this issue. They wonder what the harm is, especially since so many folks seem to think this is a good thought. Well, I’ll tell you what the harm is. The harm is that George Carlin and Morgan Freeman are legends, but they are (or were) also people. A person has the right to free expression and freedom from being used to promote someone else’s agenda without their permission. My guess is that people make these memes because they think Carlin or Freeman have the right persona to drive home this particular sentiment. But what right does one person have to use another person like that, even if the person being used is (or was) famous? And even if the person posting the fake meme is simply being a provocateur?
Mr. Carlin is no longer alive to defend himself when someone falsely uses his likeness to express their ideas. And while many people think this quote is excellent, the person who actually came up with it should be the one who gets attributed, not a random famous person who may or may not have even agreed with it.
I continued searching for more evidence of who actually came up with these words. And I found these memes…
And I continued with this idea, which I felt was neither unreasonable nor particularly offensive:
There is nothing wrong with sharing ideas or quotes on Facebook or other social media. I just think that if you’re going to use a meme with a quote, especially when you use a famous person’s image, you should make sure the person pictured is the person who should be attributed. You can still spread an idea by posting something like this…
Maybe your plain meme won’t get as many “likes” or comments, but it will at least be honest and it won’t be stealing someone else’s famous image to promote an idea or agenda. As someone who is camera shy and writes, I know I wouldn’t want my image used with someone else’s words, no matter how profound they are. I’m sure most normal, non-famous people wouldn’t.
I’ll never understand why some people assume that a famous person won’t mind when a stranger thoughtlessly spreads a Facebook meme using their image with someone else’s words. Especially when it’s common for people with financial means to sue when someone uses their likeness without permission. And especially since many famous people make their living by being paid promoters. No one likes to be ripped off, right?
Maybe the above point annoyed the guy. Most famous people aren’t going to bother suing some random Facebook user over sharing a fake meme. Unless they’re like Richard Marx, or something. I understand he’s pretty uptight. Anyway, this post really upset my former friend, who felt like I had insulted him deeply for writing about this phenomenon. I never named him, nor did I specifically invite him to read this post. But he sure got upset about it. The next morning, I found the below photo and an angry comment from him.
So I wrote another post, but that time, I DID call him out, not by his name, but by his behavior, which I thought was really childish:
So… yesterday I wrote a rant about “dishonest memes”. It was inspired by a meme I’ve seen floating around featuring the late, great George Carlin. I mentioned in that rant that I’ve seen that meme at least a couple of times and, when I see it, I hide it. When I saw the meme posted yet again, I felt the need to write about it here on my blog. I figured that would be better than getting into a Facebook argument with the person who posted it. Those can get long and contentious. Not as many people read my blog as they do Facebook.
I will admit that had the person posted the meme featuring Morgan Freeman using the same words, I probably wouldn’t have been as bothered and likely never would have thought to write my rant. George Carlin is kind of sacred to me. He’s helped me get through some rough times.
Anyway, this morning, I awoke to find the person who inspired yesterday’s post had unfriended me. He left me a comment on the link to the rant on my Overeducated Housewife page. It was yet another picture. I like pictures!
Truthfully, this person was not someone I interacted with much anyway. I’ve never met him in person. I suspect we have different political leanings, so we didn’t do much communicating on Facebook. If this person happens to read this follow up, please allow me to apologize for apparently offending you by indirectly calling you out. It’s (almost) never my intention to be hurtful, although I know sometimes I am. But I will not apologize for expressing my thoughts on my blog.
I don’t think I’m necessarily wrong to write about the things that bug me. That’s what blogs are for. Moreover, misusing George Carlin’s memory is annoying and offensive to me. It occurs to me that if we were real friends, you’d know that and actually care.
I get my ideas from all sorts of sources, including friends, family, and anything I see on social media. Most of the time, I try not to name people directly, unless they are famous people, people named in the media, and/or certain relatives. I did not name this person, but he obviously read the rant. I can only assume, based on the above picture comment he left me, that he was annoyed by it… just as I get offended by people who carelessly take liberties with George Carlin’s memory.
It’s okay. We all get butthurt over different things. If someone had vented specifically about me or something I did, I’d probably be annoyed and offended, too. If they were an actual friend, I might care enough to talk to them about it. Or maybe not. It’s clear this person wasn’t an actual friend, though, so it’s probably for the best that he dropped me out of his universe. Moreover, that post was not actually about him, but about the practice of sharing fake memes.
The funny thing is, one thing I do know about this person is that he likes to write. I “met” him on Epinions, which was a place that was full of opinionated people writing product reviews. I didn’t like his Epinions nickname because of my phobia of mushrooms (his name was a play on fungus), but I did like his reviews. In fact, I think he was even on my Web of Trust for a long time. One thing I miss about Epinions is that it was a place where one could make money for being articulate and opinionated.
Anyway… to anyone reading this, if you ever happen to find yourself the subject of this blog, I hope you realize that on some level that you have served as an inspiration to someone. Sometimes people inspire others in a positive way. Sometimes the inspiration is borne out of something negative. Either way, inspiration usually leads to creativity and sometimes creativity leads to genius. I’m certainly not saying anything on this blog falls into the genius category, but writing it does help keep me sane.
As usual, this incident ended up fathering a bunch of posts, including one I wrote on “uppity women”. Not knowing the former Facebook friend that well, I still came up with the idea that perhaps he saw me as “uppity” for daring to bitch about his practice of sharing fake memes and falsely attributed quotes. I did point out that he’s one of many people who do this, and I know that my blog isn’t going to make a significant dent in the problem. And, in fact, in 2021, this is not really a problem worth writing about. We definitely have much bigger issues these days.
But in the third post that was partially inspired by that incident, I wrote this:
A former Facebook friend took issue when I wrote about my dislike of “dishonest memes”. He happened to be the catalyst of that post, although I was not writing specifically about him, per se. That post was about anyone who shares memes or essays wrongly attributed to people. I have written about that phenomenon before; the person who inspired the first post is a female friend who, fortunately, wasn’t upset or threatened by my decision to express myself. We’re still friends today.
I have noticed that in the wake of that post, many people from the Deep South are now stalking my blog. They repeatedly hit the post about Dishonest Memes and the one I wrote yesterday. I’m intrigued by their interest in those two specific posts, which are really not that earth shattering. It appears the posts are being shared among friends and family and these folks are looking for some kind of action on them.
The funny thing is, the person who inspired my post about dishonest memes had originally expressed admiration for George Carlin’s policy of not “pulling any punches”. Many people loved Carlin for telling it like it is and expressing himself. Of course, a lot of people did not like Carlin. My dad was one such person. He found Carlin disrespectful and vulgar, especially when Carlin would denigrate the government, the Republican party, or the military. He would get very offended by Carlin’s use of profanity. Perhaps he thought George Carlin was “uppity”, too. What right did Carlin have to criticize the government? How dare he express his ideas in such vulgar and outspoken terms?
It now occurs to me that by publicly shaming and condemning me for bitching about him and his practice of sharing fake memes, former friend made me bitch even more. I wonder if that was intentional on his part, especially since he sent his friends and family to follow my blog. Their hits probably contributed a few pennies to my Google AdSense account. I continued:
My dad had the same disdain for me whenever he thought I was getting too big for my britches and needed to be taken down a peg. He would tell me that nobody cared about my opinions and that I had no right to say things that he deemed offensive or rude. In short, I needed to be reminded of my station as a lowly female, and not a very attractive one at that… How dare I express myself? In his opinion, I needed to keep my mouth shut and my legs crossed.
I’m baffled as to why it’s okay and even admirable for George Carlin to “pull no punches”, but it’s not okay for me to do it on a little read blog? Is it because I’m not famous? Is it because I don’t have a penis? Is it because my comments are somehow “out of line” or wrong?
My dad, who died in July 2014, put on a uniform every day for over twenty years, in part, to preserve my right to express myself. However, he didn’t appreciate it when I said things he didn’t like. He didn’t want to hear someone like George Carlin or Hillary Clinton be outspoken. I think my dad loved the idea of “free speech and expression”, especially to certain privileged segments of the population, but he didn’t necessarily love the practice of it… unless it was something he wanted to hear. I don’t think that’s necessarily an uncommon position, by the way. I often get angry comments from people who don’t like some of the things I write. I, too, get annoyed when someone says something I don’t like. I fully admit to being a hypocrite. It’s just another one of those things I have to work on in my life.
One of the reasons I love most of George Carlin’s comedy is that he often made a lot of sense. He enjoyed pointing out double standards and hypocrisy and got a huge kick out of pissing off people who take themselves and others a little too seriously. I think we all do that from time to time– myself included.
You folks who are stalking my blog should know that I appreciate the attention and the hits, but there’s really not much to see here. I only expressed my opinion, which I feel very fortunate to be able to do, since I live in a free society.
I don’t know if I come across as “uppity” to everyone… I know a lot of people, especially military and certain southern folks, think I do. My own father thought I did. But anyway, I really am just an “overeducated housewife” and I don’t have much more going on other than writing my blog, making music, doing housework, reading books and looking after my dogs.
So I will keep on writing… though not on this subject. I’m done writing about “dishonest memes” for now, so it may be time for you to move on to your next channel on the Internet. Or stalk me if you must. I profit from the attention.
Of course, now it occurs to me that I lied, since I obviously wasn’t done writing about “dishonest memes”. There I go with the hypocrisy again! I do enjoy bitching about things, though. I suppose I could have bitched about the latest mass shooting in the United States, and maybe I will do that, once I learn more about it. I haven’t gotten around to reading the details yet, though. Don’t want to spoil the whole day with more bad news… which includes the fact that Germany is now going to be locked down until April 18th, because according to Mrs. Merkel, we’re in a “new pandemic”. I’m beginning to think we should all just put ourselves out of my misery. I feel like this is never going to end. At least the TDY from hell is over, and I don’t have to bitch about that anymore.
But now I can bitch about the fact that I spent an hour writing this and I’ve already complained about this before on this blog… right down to the same anecdotes and screenshots. It’s not exactly the same, as the first rerun is shorter and includes some new content. But it’s pretty similar. I do wonder when Facebook was named the place where people feel the need to be inspirational or provide words to live by for other people.