A Sunday Morning Quickie – FaceBook what’s that all about? and how do you decide what to respond to?

Sunrise, Chanupa Sapa Tiyospaye (Blackpipe Community, Norris, SD), Aug. 2001
                                                                                                                       [Sunrise ©Atani Studios-2012]

I was hoping that this would be a Sunday morning quickie, but such was not to be the case.

This morning’s FaceBook experience was derailed by a FB acquaintance’s urgent plea.  I stopped by briefly to see what the problem was, and wound up having to say a lot more than I originally planned in order to say what I felt was the minimum needed to be said.

It went like this:

Don’t like this ~ Help stop it! Help save a man like your father, brother, uncle , grandfather from expenses he doesn’t need and jail time that is being handed down for doing what is in our nature! Please we can all give this enough exposure so it wont happen at all ~ so it wont happen to friends who worked hard to build a home for their family and now the government wants to own our water too!


After reading the linked article I came to the conclusion that I really wasn’t sure that I had enough reliable information to form any type of an opinion on the matter, but wrote a length response on some of the more general implications of the situation a la Meme Merchants.

That might have been enough to keep me happy except that it being FaceBook, even more so than here, it feels like anything of substance I might have to say would be immediately swept away in the digital chorro never to be seen by human eyes again.  I hate to waste my own words like that, so I’m reposting here.

This was my reply:

From the paucity of information presented it is very hard to tell what is really going on here, who might be right or who’s in the wrong [what ever that really means]

On the east slope of the Rockies [Colorado River watershed] this is a pretty common situation.  The water that falls on your property in the form of rain or snow doesn’t ‘belong’ to you, it is probably the ‘property’ of some state or city hundreds of miles down stream like Las Vegas or Los Angles, and any attempt to improperly use or ‘divert’ is dealt with severely.

The concerned urbanite or suburbanite might find it difficult to relate to a rural landowners legitimate need to use the resources on his property to support himself and his family [and by extension the larger community] – beyond putting a rain barrel under the eve of his house to water his kitchen garden.

What is interesting and of real significance, for good or for bad, is the developing practice of communities and States in ‘taking’ [in the legal sense or the word], resources that exist on private land, resources whose use has traditionally and legally been the ‘property’ of the landowner for many generations.  Where does this end?

This situation is socially and legally significant in this developing trend where large numbers of city dwellers can in effect legally ‘take’ the lives and livelihoods of distant upstream rural people for their own use.  The landowners then risk bankruptcy or jail in trying to protect their rights.

It is possible to define ALL resources as belonging to ‘the people’ [in effect the State] and effectively remove from the control of individuals the resources that they need to maintain life and livelihood and invest complete control of those needful resources in the State in the form of groups of people who may not have a strong vested interest in maintaining the life or livelihood in anyone other than themselves [this is essentially Communism BTW].  This can, and has, created societies were individuals’ lives, livelihood and property existed completely at the whim of the State.  We learned the dangers of this situation in the 20th century if you remember.

It is to be hoped that in our effort to be ‘fair’ to ‘all’ and to protect the ‘ecosystem’ that we do not become fascists in the process.

Again, more than I wanted to say, but enough that I didn’t want to let the words go completely to waste either.

The Meme Merchants Consortium do maintain a kind of ‘occult’ [in the Latin sense of the word] presence on FaceBook, basically to try to keep up with friends and family – ‘try’ being the operative word.  In practice we tend to find that even with as a numerically impoverished a list of ‘friends’ as we maintain, that events, our own or others are swept away downscreen in the digital tide of FaceBook trivia so quickly that it is almost impossible to keep up with, keep track of, or even know what is important enough to take the time to respond to.  What would Uncle Marshall say about all of this?  “Told you so!” probably.

What actually happens seems to degenerate into a somewhat random hit or miss kind of a process.

The thing I dislike most about FaceBook is how the entire FaceBook meme, from its basic structure, to its interface, and to how people tend to use it, all tend to enforce triviality.  It’s like pissing into the chorro, content is immediately swept away downstream and diluted to nothing in the overpowering flow.

I choose to blame all of these websites that purvey a seeming endless stream of pre-packaged, highly photogenic, inspirational messages [of dubious authenticity and provenance] ready to be downloaded for free to your FaceBook Wall.   I have a number of FaceBook ‘friends’ who don’t seem to make it through the day without posting three or four such messages every day.  The unintended consequence of this behavior is that the many very interesting and creative thing that other of our friends are posting about tend to be bumped off the bottom of the screen within mere moments, never to be seen again.

I admit that I do self-promote, this blog among other things on FaceBook, and I do cross post my little side bar ‘phisms’ on FaceBook basicly as way to ‘ping’ my friends and let them know I’m still alive and thinking.

Say what you will about Wygart, he at least writes all of his own words.


PS – Atani wants to point out that he has his hand in much of the artwork as well.

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