Friends and relatives who are old enough to know better are becoming more active on this Facebook thing.
One can be guilted into creating a Facebook profile to respond to friends and relatives who send Facebook invitations. They want you to write on their “wall,” or officially be their “friend” or share photos or join a six-degrees-of-separation network. More to the point, they want us to participate in an electronic hypothesis that tests a friendship: If you join the Facebook cult and interact via Facebook protocol, then our friendship is secure.
And the Facebook options and buttons and links and other things that help you expose every little nook and cranny of your life seem too much and too complicated. There are a lot of “sharing” options on Facebook and I just know I’d end up swapping my wife for one of those ShamWow! towel thingies. That would be a bad deal, especially if I had to pay the shipping and handling costs.
Anyway, a friend recently “tagged” me with 25 random things. He sent me a list of 25 random things about himself which then obligated me to respond with 25 random things about myself. Unclear on the concept of being “tagged” with an obligation without also being part of the negotiation, I responded by affirming our friendship outside the Facebook venue and expressing an unwillingness to share myself with the world. (Sharing opinions on public matters via The City Wire is not the same as exposing private thoughts on Facebook.)
Then, I “deactivated” my Facebook profile. Consider me a Facebook fugitive. If my friends want to share something with me, there is e-mail, cell phone, landline phone, the U.S. mail and the always welcome face-to-face visit in which bartenders are involved.
However, this Facebook episode did stimulate an idea for this week’s Riff Raff essay.
Here now, Kind Reader, are 25 random thoughts about random things. This list requires no action or obligation from either party and likely has no real value to either party; you know, sort of like the economic stimulus stuff coming out of Washington.
1. Someone should pass a state law barring the next Arkansas governor from having the “bee” sound as the final syllable in his or her surname. We had 10 years of Huckabee and likely will have eight years of Beebe. Eighteen years of that consonant-vowel pairing is enough.
2. There ain’t enough parking spots at the Fort Smith Public Library.
3. By the time you get a Fort Smith animal control officer to respond, the animal is in Jonesboro.
4. With Congress attempting to use the economic “crisis” to inject federal government into damn near every aspect of our lives, couldn’t they at least replace Jerry Jones with Roger Staubach?
5. When local TV stations hire new weather reporters, the new employee orientation should include how to pronounce Alma, Lavaca, Pocola and Poteau.
6. The best thing about Barack Obama being President is that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton can’t now legitimately complain that minorities can’t get ahead in America. (Not that Jackson or Sharpton ever legitimately complained about anything.)
7. Martha Harps rolls are one of the few food products that live up to the hype.
8. Would Al Gore please shut the &%# up?!
9. I take it as a personal affront that the U.S. Marshals Museum board did not consider for their fundraising effort my offered slogan: “Home is Where You Hang Your Outlaws.”
10. Elephants produce about 50 pounds of dung a day, which is a reminder that if you deal with big things in life, expect a lot of crap. From above.
11. It’s time to reform the structure of county government in Arkansas. Any system of local government that is at its foundation just one or two evolutionary steps from the political machinations of a time when ensuring power was more important than encouraging progress is long past due for an overhaul.
12. We’ve had yet another brush with bad weather that again makes the overwhelming case for the need to bury utilities. The safe bet is that we instead bury our heads.
13. Wouldn’t it be neat if Fort Smith-based Baldor Electric Co. built a new corporate headquarters complex on the old Phoenix Village property?
14. Looking for good chili on a cold day? Try Krazy K’s in the Brunwick Place in downtown Fort Smith.
15. It’s interesting how we legislate and regulate our poisons in this country. It’s OK to destroy your body and mind with alcohol and nicotine, but not marijuana.
16. That most religious leaders throughout history were snakes or asses is not surprising when learning that the snake and the jackass are the only animals in the Bible to speak to humans.
17. If someone told me only 10% of the legislators at the 87th Arkansas General Assembly really know what is going on, I’d be tempted to believe it.
18. It’s just a matter of time before an individual or group begins a consistent clamor for a different form of Fort Smith municipal government.
19. Inflation is in the green room, primping to be on stage for our next national economic “crisis.” At some point the oversupply of misdirected dollars will get underneath price points and push them north. The smart folks will be on the right (liquid) side of rising interest rates.
20. Does anyone under 50 shop at Sears?
21. The best cold beer from a tap in Fort Smith? Logan’s Roadhouse. The worst food service at a Fort Smith restaurant? Logan’s Roadhouse. Go for the beer. Eat elsewhere.
22. The way to acquire the $3 billion needed to build Interstate 49 through western Arkansas is to levy a $10 fine for each person or sports commentator on the plethora of Razorback football radio call-in shows who use the phrase, “It’s a rebuilding year.” We’ll be pouring concrete before Petrino’s third season.
23. Continuing with the theme in the previous random thought, here’s a phrase you’ll never hear someone say on those Razorback football radio call-in shows: “Hey, no big deal. It’s just a game.”
24. The author is Christopher Hitchens and the book is “Letters to a Young Contrarian.” Read it.
25. Those old men in AC/DC can still rock.