Two Things

While I was out walking the dog in the snow just now two thoughts came to me. (Are thoughts things?) (That’s not one of them.) Here they are:

1. I will write a post about how Facebook is like a foretaste of what Heaven must be like. Does Z understand that? Alternatively, there’s Hell. (This post will make Lickona and Finnegan shit and JOB and Webb yawn — or perhaps vice versa.)

2. I will pledge to write a minimum 500-word post after imbibing a minimum of three ounces of alcohol a minimum of once a month. (I know it’s not that much, but I’m saying a minimum of three ounces a minimum of once a month.) Because we, or at least I, don’t actually write anything much here. And I (or at least we) claim to be writers … and writers write … and writers drink (and sometimes use italics) (emphasis mine). The series will be tagged with

Sent from my iPad.


  1. [not your best]

  2. Cubeland Mystic says

    Facebook is like a foretaste of what Heaven . . .

    I am going to have to disagree. Facebook is more like Hell.

    • Jonathan Potter says

      No, no, Cubeland. It can cut both ways, I realize, but the connectivity that it affords is something like how it must be for souls in heaven. I will write a complete apologia later, so that you can completely debunk it. It’ll be a lot of fun, so start sharpening your pencil now. For now suffice it to say: I love Facebook and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I only wish my friends here among the kollektiv (such as yourself) loved it as much and would join in the fun there instead of being such party-poopers.

      • Matthew Lickona says

        Dear Potter – Of course we will all be superconnected in heaven. We will also be intimately united to Love itself, and will live in perfect charity. Facebook has the connectivity, but not the love, so you get the full “hell is other people” effect. I know you love Facebook – did you ever read C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce? All the people in hell are convinced that they’d rather be there than in heaven.

        • Jonathan Potter says

          Is this an argument? Of course I read The Great Divorce — and I’m pretty sure Lewis’s understanding of hell departs radically from Sartre’s. I’ve always been sympathetic with but suspicious of that “hell is other people” line.

          And Facebook does have the love … and it has the hate … and it has lots of other stuff. It’s just a communication tool and it has whatever we bring to it. Guns don’t kill people, people do.

          The best analogy is a cocktail party. I understand how some people don’t like cocktail parties either, but most of us do like them when other people we like are there. And I bet cocktail parties in heaven are freakin’ amazing. So let me rephrase my analogy: Facebook at its best is like a foretaste of cocktail parties in heaven.

          • Jonathan Potter says

            I’ll anticipate your next point. “But it’s not a real cocktail party. It’s a disembodied experience that exacerbates the Cartesian split. It’s anti-incarnational, abstractifying, false connectivity.” To which I reply: It can be, but it can also serve as a vehicle for enhancing the real connections of our lives. I’m much more tuned into what my farflung friends and family are up to because of our facebook connection. When we meet up in concrete reality, our tangible experience is enhanced by our ongoing interactions on facebook.

          • Matthew Lickona says

            Nobody likes a cocktail party where everyone is bugged and everything they say is broadcast to various other people whom we might not want to talk to or even like depending on the whim (or profit potential) of the host.

            It’s just a tool… heh. Sure, but guns aren’t built to give hugs. They’re built to shoot wads of metal at high speeds. And Facebook – well, there is evidence to suggest that it encourages a certain kind of communication. Just like texting. Or email. Or the phone. Or the postcard. Or the multi-page letter.

            I know there’s love on Facebook, but I’ll argue that there’s less love there than in the world, where there is already precious little. What I meant is that there is not the universal rule of love – but there is the deep intimacy.

            Yes, Lewis and Satre are different in their accounts of hell. I was bringing up aspects of each and suggesting they both applied to Facebook.

            • Jonathan Potter says

              Some would cherish the idea of a cocktail party being bugged, with a team of sexy transcriptionists working away in a backroom to document and archive everything. Alternatively, you could just take notes and then write it all up as a memoir. By the way, have you read Reality Hunger? I’m thinking it should be our next Summer Reading Klub (winter edition) pick.

              • Matthew Lickona says

                Oh, you bastard. Look, if you don’t want The Last Gentlemen published, just say so. But at least there’s a point there – money. And maybe a little illumination. It’s not just stimulus-response publishing.

                • Jonathan Potter says

                  OK, that was a low blow. Touche on the “stimulus-response” bit. Iwant more than anything for The Last Genitalmen to be published. I long for that day.

    • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says
  3. Cubeland Mystic says

    Santan is going to list all your sins on Facebook, and then you’ll see be laid bare.

  4. Quin Finnegan says

    Not entirely for the sake of argument, I’ll side with Potter here.

    One reason I spend so little time on FB is that I don’t belong there any more than I belong in Heaven. I guess that’s pathetic, but I’m just not one of those people for whom what you see is what you get. Nor am I an open book. A former girlfriend posts pictures of our vacation in Hawaii, w/me in a speedo, current girlfriend gets jealous; drinking buddies put up 20 year old photos of me getting shitfaced; I sign up for a poker game and my family asks why I’m gambling again; I write something I regret – there it is for eternity … CM is right, too: Got a pile of sins to pay for, with no place left to hide.

    I need an alias. Another one.

    • Matthew Lickona says

      It’s kind of hard to see how this is siding with Potter. Especially now that I have that Speedo image floating around in my nightmare space.

      And my point is that, if you make heaven, by the time you get there, you will most definitely belong there.

      • Quin Finnegan says

        Well, you’re right, but it sounded … we get the heaven we deserve, I guess, sorta pace Lewis, as you said. Potter Noster belongs in heaven, and he works FB like I was never able to work a cocktail party … And for the speedo, sorry … it was years ago when I was more lissom Apollo than Falstaff. This is a jumbled mess. Sorry.

  5. Quin Finnegan says

    “Santan” is brilliant, by the way. Like Sammy said, You’re beautiful, man.

  6. Cubeland Mystic says

    Facebook is satanic because all systems eventually impose a level of tyranny upon society. Eventually we change our lives to meet the needs of the system. You can have a lot of fun and enhance your relationship with friends and family, but in the end it becomes the system of choice for communication. I have no problem with Facebook the tool, my problem is Facebook the system of record. “Oh, our system will ‘automatically’ post a confirmation to your Facebook account.” It is when you must have a Facebook account to function that it is evil, just like today you need a credit card to function.

    The other problem I have with it is that it is limiting. It IMPOSES limits on your creativity and your preferences. It lacks imagination, and limits the scope of the imagination of its users. It is a chained finite mechanism of oppression. “Yeah Mystic, but no one is forcing you to use it!” Well not yet they aren’t, but they will. I see nothing heavenly about it. I only see tyranny, restriction, and coercion. Comparing it to a gun and tool are not valid comparisons. It is far far worse than a gun, your comparisons should be comparisons to evil materialist ideological systems not guns.

    If it were merely a tool then Jonathan’s analogies are valid to a certain point. But it is not a tool, or an enabling technology, it is a means of suppression.

    • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

      ^ Likes this.

    • Jonathan Potter says

      Well, what about the U.S. Postal Service? Is that a tyranny, too?

      I get what you’re saying, but I think you’re overblowing it. It’s more like Cheers, where everyone knows your name and you can take an hour out of the day and shoot the shit and catch up on gossip, joke around a little, share some pictures of the kids.

      Wouldn’t it be better to go to an actual tavern and meet real embodied people? Yes, and I’d love it if I could go down to the Park Inn (my favorite watering hole, just down the hill) and meet up with Lickona, Finnegan, my mom, my sister-in-law, a couple of nieces, two former housemates from college, a former girlfriend-turned lesbian, and a couple of parents of friends of my daughters, and other people I love — but they’re not going to be there. So I take what I can get.

      (Of course Lickona and Finnegan aren’t going to show up on Facebook either. Because they’re too high and mighty and/or paranoid and/or don’t really want to associate with me.)

      • Matthew Lickona says

        Right, Potter. That’s why I shut down my blog and came on board here on the SS Korrektiv. Because I don’t want to associate with you. In other words, your argument is showing, dear.

        High and mighty? It’s precisely because I’m lowly and powerless that I don’t show up on Facebook – I get the feeling that they can do whatever they want with me there, and usually do.

        Paranoid? Do I really have to hash out what happened to my brother again? The actual loss of social standing because Facebook made public what he intended to be private and neglected to tell him they were doing so?

        I’m delighted that you are able to harvest genuine good from Facebook. Can we just leave it at that?



        • Jonathan Potter says

          Jeesh man, I was just kidding about not wanting to associate.

          And I do think that thing that happened to your brother was somewhat of an anomaly. And it wasn’t fb that did that to your brother, it was the fact that the guy whose wall he posted on lets everyone see what gets posted on his wall. Freedom. Caveat loquitor. (I don’t know latin so I just made that up.)

          It’s the structure of fb that amazes me — and the newness of it. In the realm of the Internet, it’s something new under the sun (or was) and made the Internet new even if it will in its turn grow old and worn out and leave us with a dry husk and a longing for real beer and with embodied friends and tangible cabbages and kickable kings and suchlike.

          But yeah we can leave it at that.


          • Matthew Lickona says

            Woof! I knew you were kidding. It’s why I felt free to be bitchy.

            The guy on whose wall he posted had no idea he was letting that happen. Because it didn’t use to be that way. FB changed the rules and didn’t tell everyone. That’s my whole point.

            I’m with Cubeland – I find the structure a little frightening. The newness wore off when they started selling their data to advertisers. Of course it made sense for them to do so. The same way it makes sense to make movie sequels. But most sequels suck.

            • Matthew Lickona says

              And yeah, I know they tell people nowadays when they change the rules. But that’s only because they screwed enough people to suffer a backlash that needed attending to.

      • Cubeland Mystic says

        Perhaps I am over blowing it, but no more than saying it is a foretaste of heaven. I see the horror of these systems from the inside everyday. Computers are not testaments to what can be accomplished, but the opposite, they are testaments to what cannot be accomplished. They are measured more by their limits than their potential. Apple seems great because it is only less of a failure than Microdaft. With all of the technology and computers we have these days why isn’t healthcare affordable? Why do we still need the race for the cure? Why are people occupying Wallstreet?

        I think your trip to NOLA was more of a foretaste of heaven, than FB. May I suggest Southwest for your next korrektiv summit?

        • Jonathan Potter says

          Gonna have to chew on this awhile. You’re right about the trip to NOLA, though.

          The marble in my head can roll that way for sure. Unplug everything. And I’m not naive about the larger agenda, but … well, the problem is we’re all sinners, ain’t it?

          And then there’s this.

          I do need a warm place to heigh me and the family to in January, so if your part of the Southwest fits the bill let me know.

  7. Jonathan Webb says

    Drunk Bloggers for Christ.

    Or, DBC.

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