Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I'm Way Too Cool To Post Something Like That

Please pardon my dizziness and discomfort. I just got back from reading my Facebook updates and slamming my head into a wall, in that order. Must they repost crap like this? I'm always kind of stunned by the things people copy and paste, for various reasons.

Here's one that came around:
Stupid cancer... we all want a new car... a new phone... freedom... a person who has cancer only wants one thing... to survive. I know that a lot of you "who think you're too cool" probably won't re-post this. But a very little amount of my friends will. Put this on your wall if you know someone or just want to honor someone who died of cancer, survived, or who is fighting against it now.
This seems to be a rewrite or restatement of a better status against cancer I've seen before. Both draw a contrast between the things the average person wants and what the cancer victim wants. Those of us who haven't yet gotten the diagnosis want normal material things, a new car and a new phone, but the one with cancer only wants to survive, presumably so they can get back to wanting a new car and a new phone...

The weird difference in this status is that the rest of us want "freedom." Huh? Cancer is out there, making us draw the contrast between our wants, so in addition to us wanting a new car and a new phone, we want freedom? But the person with cancer, it says, inexplicably doesn't want freedom. No, that person only wants one thing ... to survive. If they have to be a slave in the Gulag, so be it, just so they survive!

I'm a guy who speaks English, maybe not the greatest, but I've been doing it all my life. And I'm discerning that this status wasn't written by a native English-speaker. And that might be part of the problem. You can see it in a few ways. One, it starts off weird, "Stupid cancer..." But the dead giveaway is this phrase, "But a very little amount of my friends..." There's no English-speaker I've ever met who would talk that way. Like cancer, they'd have to be "stupid" to do so. But I'll be charitable. Maybe it's a translation a generation or two removed from whatever language it originally was. My advice: If you're going to post these statuses, at least rewrite it so it sounds like you!

The next thing to mention is how these statuses always try to manipulate people into reposting them. This one takes the usual path, by saying you'll be among the minority if you do. You'll be consciously and purposefully special, at one with the poster. You don't want to be someone who thinks "you're too cool" to do so. Although, really, if this is such a compelling message, where would be the coolness factor in ignoring it? Let's skip on. "But a very little amount of my friends will." This is odd, like an insult to your friends, while trying to highlight the specialness of your friends who will repost.

Then the conclusion gives another motivator to repost, which isn't so terrible, so you can "honor" someone who has cancer, died, or is fighting it. But why precisely they need to be "honored" for something they didn't sign up for, didn't want, and wouldn't want again, that's another matter. They actually might feel more honored if you just left them alone and treated them like normal.

Let's get rid of cancer! Then you can get back to wanting "freedom" like the rest of us. You know what, I actually would like to have a new car. And my phone is getting fairly old, too...


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is so true. I am soooooo tired of posts like these on Facebook. Reposting stupid crap like that does not cure cancer.