This will be one of my rare non-woodworking, non-birding posts. Last night my Instagram feed’s statistics dropped from 49.2k followers to 49k. I had posted the front page of the New York Times with the caption from me “All the news that’s fit to print.” I said nothing else. The caption has long been the moniker of the NY Times. The post had over 100 comments when I woke up, some positive, some negative. They quickly descended into rants and insults (in 2 directions) that I stopped reading.
I didn’t write anything about Trump, or how I feel about him and his supporters in the government. But by my post, it was clear I was happy with the election result. The main reason I’m glad is because there’s hope for some of us that there will be a return to decency, honesty and civil behavior from our leaders now. I’m not terribly political, but when Trump ran for office who could help but have an opinion? Lying, demeaning, cheating, bragging – these are things I don’t want my two young children to learn. For me, it’s that simple. Beyond that, it’s details.
This blog, and my Instagram feed (which gets copied to FB) are mine – I rarely step beyond woodworking and bird-watching there. Whenever I do, people get upset. I wish they wouldn’t, but I can’t control that. When I used to teach in-person woodworking classes in this Trump-era, I made an announcement up front that we wouldn’t discuss politics. This was because I know there’s differing opinions which could quickly derail any cohesion in the group. The woodworking is/was something that we could come together around – I could enjoy the company of a Trump supporter because we were connecting on a different level. And, I think, they could enjoy my company likewise.
Plus – in that setting – they are my paying customers. But here, it’s a bit different. In one sense, this blog (and my social media feeds) is something of a journal for me. No one has to pay to read my stuff here on this blog, since 2008. 1,295 posts. For free. There’s often stuff for sale; but there’s plenty of free content to help people who might be wanting to learn something about the sort of woodworking I do. What people do with their screen-reading time is their business. My hope is that if there’s something you dislike, you can either pass it by, and read the bits you do like, or drop it & move on. I don’t see the need for name-calling and insults. I’ve stopped following people on IG/blogs/FB before, but I’ve not written mean and insulting notes to them as I did it. I just left quietly.
Next post is back to woodworking.