Friday, November 18, 2016

Simon & Garfunkel – "Cecilia" (1970)

I'm down on my knees
I'm begging you please

It hit me today that I’m Facebooking more these days, but enjoying it less.

I know what you’re thinking: “If going on Facebook upsets you so much, why the hell don’t you just turn it off?”  I wish I had an answer to that question, boys and girls. 

One reason that I so looked forward to November 8 getting here was that Facebook would finally be free of all the election-related flotsam and jetsam.  

I couldn’t have been wronger.  In the first few days after November 8, Facebook got even worse than it had been in the months leading up to the election.  Much worse, in fact.

To paraphrase Julius Caesar, all Facebook was divided into three parts in the first few days after the election:

1. Whiny posts by Clinton supporters

2. Gloating posts by Trump supporters

3. Holier-than-thou posts urging Trump and Clinton supporters alike to acknowledge that those who voted for the other candidate aren’t necessarily evil, and urging everyone to come together and work for the common good.

Which of those three categories of Facebook posts was the most annoying?

There were many, many fewer posts of the third category than there were whiny posts by Clinton supporters and gloating posts by Trump supporters.

I found the whiny posts the most annoying.  The fact that they were by Clinton supporters has nothing to do with that.  I’m well aware that we would have seen just as many whiny posts from Trump supporters if Clinton had won, and that those posts would have been just as obnoxious.

Don’t get me wrong.  Gloating posts by winners are plenty annoying.  But I think whiny posts by LOSERS are worse.

I’m down on my knees . . . I’m begging you, please.  Enough of the political crap!  Can’t we go back to filling up Facebook with pictures of lovable grandchildren and wacky animals?

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According to New York magazine, 44% of adult Americans say they get news from Facebook.  But a lot of the “news” you see on Facebook is fake, and some have claimed that fake news influenced the outcome of the recent election.  

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, has brushed off that criticism.  In a recent post to his own Facebook page, Zuckerberg said that 99% of what people see on Facebook is authentic.  But based on what I see on my Facebook page, I’d say the split between legitimate news and fake news is closer to 50-50.

Morpheus agrees:  

Zuckerberg has promised that Facebook will develop algorithms that will enable it  to identify and eliminate fake news posts.  I wonder if Facebook is really willing to take the hit to its bottom line that cleaning up the network will cause.  Media companies usually want to have their cake and eat it, too — they rarely can resist keeping every advertising dollar they can get their hands on, even if the advertising is deceptive or otherwise unsavory. 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Maybe you should stop getting your news from Facebook and start getting it from 2 or 3 lines instead . . . starting with our next post, which includes some illuminating facts about the 2016 election.  

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What was Paul Simon down on his knees and begging Cecilia for?  For musical inspiration, that’s what.  (Cecilia is the patron saint of musicians, after all.) 

“Cecilia” was released in April 1970 – just a month before I graduated from high school.  

It was the third single released from the Bridge Over Troubled Water album.  “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” and “The Boxer” – which clearly belong on the short list of Simon and Garfunkel’s best songs – were the first two.  

Here’s “Cecilia”:

Click below to buy “Cecilia” from Amazon:

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