The Scarlet MI’ve been thinking lately that there should be some way to flag others on Facebook to remind yourself to ignore them. Of course you can unfriend people; I’m not talking about that. I’m primarily talking about friends of friends. I kind of like the idea of a scarlet M, for moron.

Frequently I’ll read a comment or link posted by someone I know to be a rational, intelligent person — maybe even someone that was a high school or college classmate and that I know is not a blathering idiot — and there will be a comment by a friend of that friend that causes me to stare at the screen in disbelief. It’s usually about how America is turning into a dictatorship, or how President Obama is a socialist or fascist. (Generally these people do not even remotely understand the definitions of dictatorship, socialism, or fascism.) A scarlet R for racist or X for xenophobe might be better, actually.

I don’t have a problem with pictures of cats or dogs or babies, and I’m even willing to overlook rainbows and angels — whether they be glorious Raphaels peering from the clouds at ‘footprints’ in the sand or cherubic “Bear” Bryants guarding over peewee ‘Bama fans. It’s almost certain that I don’t agree with your thoughts on religion, and I’m okay with that. But I’m not okay with your wackadoodle thoughts about science or politics.

You can’t improve your balance by wearing a rock in a rubber bracelet. 9/11 was not an inside job. Vaccines don’t cause autism. The government is not trying to take away your 2nd Amendment rights. Muslims aren’t all evil terrorists. Sandy Hook wasn’t faked. Homosexuality isn’t contagious. The Earth isn’t 6,000 years old. Evolution is a very, very, very sound theory. Etc.

The kind of people who can’t be swayed of their inane beliefs by explaining to them logic and the scientific method, or by showing them an article at deserve to branded with a scarlet M.

</end rant>

Post the first comment:

I'll never share your email address and it won't be published.

What Is This? is the personal weblog of me, David Vincent Gagne. I've been publishing here since 1999, which makes this one of the oldest continuously-updated websites on the Internet.

A few years ago I was trying to determine what cocktails I could make with the alcohol I had at home. I searched the App Store but couldn't find an app that would let me do that, so I built one.


You can read dozens of essays and articles and find hundreds of links to other sites with stories and information about Ernest Hemingway in The Hemingway Collection.