Nattering nabobs of negativism
One of the perks — or, perhaps, piques — of being a newspaper person is to continually be labeled as negative. What we find ironic is how negative some people can become when they accuse us of negativism.
This week was a good example. One person took to social media — or, as we have come to call it, anti-social media — in response to one of last week’s editorials.
“Next,” this person opined, with multiple question marks, “Eric Meyer will want all playground equipment removed so we can all enjoy a ‘quiet, contemplative’ stroll thru the park?????”
Actually, our editorial compared a splash pad to a flower out of place and suggested it might be appropriate next to other playground equipment, just not as a replacement for the park’s memorial fountain, which had been a major gift from multiple donors.
The complaining post went on to say: “There was no demolition of the fountain on the city council agenda ever…. Now I finally understand what ‘fake news’ really means!”
Page 35 of the official packet of information accompanying last week’s council agenda consisted of two photos: one of the current memorial fountain, above which were the words “Could This,” followed by a generic picture of a splash pad, above which were the words “Become This?”
Talk about fake news. The nattering nabob who posted the complaint may have given new definition to the phrase. But that, in typical anti-social media fashion, wasn’t the end of it.
A ditto-head quickly added: “I wish he would sell the paper to someone who is interested in contributing to the community instead of constantly tearing it down.”
Followed by another: “All he does is complain. It’s sad that all he has is negativity.”
And another: “This guy has always been a perfect example of someone who is miserable on the inside, and projects his feelings of self loathing and unhappiness out into the world any way he can in a broken attempt to make himself look/feel better.
Tons of negative people in the world that fit this description, this one just happened to have the power of press dropped in his lap.”
And another: “I wonder when the last time he strolled through the park? Ooooh probably when David [Colburn] left the paper and Eric was forced to go to Chingawassa and take event photos. Having no idea why people just didn’t recognize who he was?! Maybe bc he rolls into town in his ‘statement’ car and sits behind a keyboard spewing his miserable bitterness for the town he was raised in but never ‘understood his brilliance’! Literally the most miserable, bitter, angry human I have ever known.”
Gee, with such warm embraces, who could ever feel bitter?
For the record, I drive a seven-year-old car that lists new for $28,845 — hardly a “statement,” except perhaps that I’m kind of cheap, though I did pay for my half-interest in this newspaper, which pays me nothing in return.
The cover photo on my own page, which I rarely use, on the same social media platform is a picture of my grandson playing on playground equipment in Central Park. And, yes, I visit there multiple times each year, often with my grandkids, only rarely to take photos for the paper. But facts apparently aren’t important on anti-social media.
Next up was this comment: “Seriously this person needs to stay inside his/her home so they won’t be annoyed by street noises and possibly sirens.”
Then comes one who apparently likes to comment on articles without bothering to read them: “We do not receive the Marion Record, so I hadn’t read this article, but the negative light he is shedding on adding a splash pad to the park is sad.”
And finally, among many positive comments that the memorial fountain should be preserved — which was the point of the editorial — was this one: “He doesn’t fact check, just spews out his often obnoxious opinion.”
This week, we thought we’d give the handful of mavens whose lives are rooted in the anti-social media pot a chance to do just that and call the kettle black.
We hope you enjoy their positive attitudes and fact-checking as much as we do.
— ERIC MEYER
Last modified Aug. 19, 2020