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.