The way I wel­comed a bunch of new Coro­natide folks on Face­book, amusing enough to share more widely, I think.

For any new Face­book friends, whom I’ve accu­mu­lated over the past few days, (and for some old ones who are more active than usual) some ground rules and dis­claimers:

¶ I — No, I am not usu­ally quite this active on social media. I mean, I post a lot of super­fi­cial non­sense on Insta­gram that gets cross-posted here, but no, this is aber­rant.

¶ II — Yes, I am this crass all the time. If I wore graphic t‑shirts, that one that says “I Love Jesus But Say Fuck A Lot” would be worn pretty much every day. It’s a big mood. I also almost exclu­sively talk about God in the 500 year old sacred and litur­gical reg­ister of modern Eng­lish. I do not con­sider this a hypocrisy. I do not con­sider this a paradox. That is all.

¶ III — No, I will not make the post public. I will con­sider making some posts open to “Friends of friends” on request, but while my sense of per­sonal pri­vacy is porous, I do not on prin­ciple share pub­licly on Face­book.

¶ IIII — Yes, I have a pen­chant for gal­lows’ humor. Here’s the thing, so do a lot of people in times of dis­aster and uncer­tainty. I just treat all of life as an ongoing dis­aster, but that’s nei­ther here nor there. It’s an ancient and nor­ma­tive relief valve for the down­trodden many, span­ning mil­lennia. It prob­ably inter­faces with what Aris­totle said about tragedy more par­tic­u­larly, “an imi­ta­tion … through pity and fear effecting the proper pur­ga­tion [catharsis] of these emo­tions.” If it doesn’t work for you, unfollow me now and con­gre­gate with people whose normal schtick you find helpful. You do you. Don’t do me. Laughing in the face of death and the devil and dis­aster is how some of us cope, so insisting on policing coping mech­a­nisms is the oppo­site of helpful right now. This includes pas­sive aggres­sion, cut it out.

¶ V — [For cer­tain per­sons, because there is a ten­dency here:]

No, I am prob­ably not a dead-ringer for your par­tic­ular eccle­si­as­tical pre­oc­cu­pa­tions as an Anglican – Epis­co­palian. I’m a lat­i­tu­di­narian Anglican in the Amer­ican Epis­copal tra­di­tion of William White, with a decided bent toward pre-Oxfor­dian Angli­canism and Enlight­en­ment Protes­tantism. That does not make me an espe­cial pro­po­nent of what con­sti­tutes main­stream mushy, waf­fling broad church prac­tice, today, but I am gen­er­ally more for­giving of diverse prac­tices and charisms than most of the fac­tion­al­ists. I pretty much loathe and abom­i­nate roman­ti­cism and per­son­alism, philo­soph­i­cally-speaking, thinking them unfor­tu­nate con­ti­nental accre­tions, but don’t go on about it too much.

¶ VI — [Moving right along:]

Yes, I have a parrot and am one of those insuf­fer­able people who speak for the birds, even when the birds are clearly speaking for them­selves… at great volume. As the greatest Amer­ican sto­ry­teller and humorist put it, “[He] was not what you would call refined, [he] was not what you would call unre­fined, [he] was the kind of person who keeps a parrot.”

¶ VII — Yes, that is more gen­er­ally true, as well. I know many of the soci­olects and have a working knowl­edge of most of the man­ners and mores, but gen­er­ally speaking, I enjoy the knowing about straw­berry forks more than I do the earnestly employing them. The one­time behav­iors of the obso­les­cent upper classes are joy­fully and iron­i­cally appro­pri­ated for the sake of keeping mate­rial cul­ture out of the dustbin and enjoying the reality that the status sym­bols of yes­ter­year have been vul­gar­ized through over-pro­duc­tion.

To repeat an overused per­sonal saying, “No degree of edu­ca­tion, encul­tur­a­tion, refine­ment, affec­ta­tion of mores can obscure the truth that I am of vulgar issue… ‘Truth be told, I am, in origin and essence, just white trash for­tu­nate enough to know that Chip­pen­dale was a fur­ni­ture maker and not just a scantily clad fire­fighter at a bach­e­lorette party.’ ”

¶ VIII — Yes, I have socio-polit­ical, ‑eco­nomic prin­ci­ples and opin­ions. I share them occa­sion­ally in this forum, but do so with fairly extreme pru­dence and restraint. Use one of my posts as a plat­form for ide­o­log­ical squab­bling and it’s a safe bet you’ll get booted to the door or at least sar­don­ically lam­basted. Lit­er­ally everyone else will argue with you about these things, you don’t need me. My pol­i­tics are decid­edly local and in-person. I remain unapolo­getic.

¶ IX — Yes, I post a ver­i­table litany of old things, domestic tedium, my schmutz-faced chil­dren, my wife, and even — the horror — my dinner. If you ever found your­self appalled and dis­mayed by people who are con­tent with the ancient and ordi­nary won­ders of being human, I am sorry to dis­ap­point you, but also don’t give a fuck.

Envoi — Enjoy or don’t. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ When you try to be all things to all men, you end up being no one to any one, and sup­pressing the very grounds of being any­thing even to your­self. Tootaloo.

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