Am I missing something? Is there a new ‘Absurdity’ genre of stories that are not intended to make sense?
I have read two books this week that promised much but delivered nothing other than almost complete bewilderment. They didn’t make sense at all.
Yet both had received four and five star reviews. I have absolutely no idea how.
Surely a basic requirement of writing a story for someone else to read is that it needs to make sense? It needs to mean something, to communicate an idea, or to at least not leave the reader perplexed.
I don’t understand how those books are meant to be enjoyable. If someone else likes them, that’s great, but they are not for me.
Facebook’s “community standards” did not enter my thoughts last night when I was posting about what I love and hate about Facebook. Had I been writing that post today, it would have been a very different story.
This afternoon, I set up a new page on Facebook with the aim of extending my reach to new readers by using a popular bookish hashtag phrase, What To Read, as the title.
As soon as I had set up the page, Facebook started coaching me to complete certain steps to make my page more visible.
Profile photo: check. Cover photo: check. First post: check.
Oops! My first post violated Facebook’s delicate community standards. Want to know what it said?
So… people can freely incite hate, vilify and shame others, put up pictures of them humiliating themselves… but I can’t suggest that my friends might like a page about books?
Wow. Maybe I should have said something dumb instead.
May the fates be in my favour when I actually start encouraging people to read.
Update: it took me three attempts to share this blogpost on Facebook. If they don’t want me to be snarky, they’re going the wrong way about it.
Despite the crisis that had unfolded overnight as I slept, I woke this morning to find that the sun had risen, gravity still worked, and the earth continued to turn on its axis.
I had breakfast, got ready for work, and headed into a very busy day. Surprisingly, I found that the work deadlines and professional requirements that were in place yesterday still existed today.
My students, however, were despondent.
Them: Facebook is gone! Instagram doesn’t work! Me: Imagine how much work you might get done in the meantime! Them: You’re not very sympathetic. Me: And that surprises you because…? Them: Rolled eyes and sighs. Some lovely moments of dramatic pathos that I shall try to draw on in drama class.
This left me wondering: what on earth does the world do without Facebook and Instagram? It seems the general response is to complain.
Many of the real social media junkies responded by rushing over to Twitter to complain and commiserate with their followers and the social media world in general.
In all honesty, some of the responses are pretty funny.
Others demonstrate that many people are much worse at dealing with this kind of thing than they should be. I mean, really, Australia? Emergency services? That’s… pathetic.
This one has to be my favourite. It cuts through the whining and combines the sublime and the ridiculous with glorious snark. Jenny Bean Edwards gets an A+ for World Studies.
Cheer up, folks. I’m sure Facebook and Instagram and their enormously profitable algorithms will be back soon.
Until then? You may actually be forced to either read a book or have face-to-face conversations with real people.
Alternatively, you can head to twitter and follow me!