Last week, I was chastised for chastising someone for using the “r” word in a public post on Facebook.
A friend from high school posted an article about Sarah Silverman calling for a military coup to oust President Trump from office. His only description of the article he posted was the following “You went full retard. Never go full retard.” Apparently this is a quote from a movie called “Tropic Thunder” . . . a movie that I’ve never seen and I was not familiar with that quote. My only comment was “You used the word retard. Never use the word retard.”
After a short discussion with me and another friend who objected to the “r” word, the friend who posted the article apologized for using the offending word, changed his description of the article and removed the posts that discussed the offending word. I thanked the friend for the changes he made to his post and we parted ways as friends. At least I think we parted as friends because he and I never had any further discussions about the post.
During the discussion about the offending word, a second (much closer friend) said that I was wrong to post my comments publicly and I should have shared my comments with the posting friend in a private message. My response that the posting friend made the comments in public and it was proper for me to make my comment in public. It was no different than if we were sitting somewhere enjoying dinner or drinks and he had used that word. Again, the closer friend told me that I was being disrespectful and unprofessional.
Well, here’s where things got interesting. My close friend said that if I had made such a disrespectful comment to him in public, our friendship would have ended. He went on even more to tell me that I was unprofessional and disrespectful and things would be better served in a private conversation. I pointed out to close friend that it only took one sentence to show posting friend the error in his ways and he changed the post. The only one who seems to have a problem with my tactics were him . . . and he didn’t make the post. After a few more back and forth messages, I told my friend that we would have to agree to disagree on this topic. It was too close to my heart to act in a “professional manner.” I’m not a professional FB user, and I don’t think I offended or upset posting friend (I didn’t call him names or use vulgar language). Everybody that knows me knows that I don’t pull punches with my opinion (especially since Prince Charming’s death – life’s too short for stupid shit) and everyone knows where they stand with me. Close friend agreed to the “agree to disagree” truce and we ended the conversation.
But now I’m wondering if close friend is really such a close friend after all. I can’t express myself freely in his presence? He can’t accept my “bulldog” mentality about things I’m passionate about and allow me to have discussions with others in his presence that he might not agree with? He is only comfortable with my opinions if I express them in the same matter that he would.
This disturbs me more and more as I think about it. I am sad at the way the world works these days.