If you have been on social media lately, you’ve probably heard or read a lot of people talking about a new social media destination called Parler.
Post election, Parler has seen a huge influx of people, many of them conservatives, flocking to the site because of their dedication to allowing people to “speak freely…without fear of being deplatformed”.
I joined Parler this week, mostly out of curiosity. Since many of the people I know who were mentioning that they had signed up for the social site were conservatives, I went in expecting to see a conservative leaning Twitter. I’m a liberal, but this didn’t concern me as, 1) I’m pretty center of the isle with my political views, and 2) I like to try to see both sides of whatever people are talking about. In fact, most times when watching any political news on TV, I’ll switch between CNN and Fox News to see how both sides are reporting.
Like I said, I’m a liberal, but I pride myself on knowing that two people can view the same issue from different points a view, have different opinions, and both be in the right. I like to be as informed as possible, so I’m always open to the fact that there may be something I’m missing.
Upon signing up, I found a few friends and followed them. I browsed around the suggestions the site gave me and they were all conservatives. It was a mix of the usual suspects, Sean Hannity, Diamond and Silk, Denim Nunes, and, of course, Donald Trump.
Then I looked further, and saw what I saw what I thought was the NBA on ESPN. As a hoops fan, I followed, only to be shocked to find that it was a “parody” (and I use that term very, very loosely) account dedicated to racist takes on many of the players and their views on social justice.
I Immediately unfollowed.
Not to be one to let a bad apple spoil the bunch, I looked around further. What I found was a hot mess of conspiracy theories, racism, anti-semitism, and holocaust denial. It was like witnessing the Wild West of free speech, and it was not something I was comfortable with.
To be totally fair, I’m old…or at least too old to learn new forms of social media. I learned this a few years back when I tried to use this hot new app my teenage kids were using call Snapchat. I signed up, stared at it for a while trying to figure it out, like my father when he first tried to take selfies, and decided to learn something a bit easier, like quantum physics.
Ok, that’s a joke, but I do have a snapchat account, and I have used it maybe a handful of times. Same thing with Tik Tok. In other words, I’m sure there are ways to filter out the stuff I definitely don’t want to see, at least I hope there are, but I have no patience to do so. It looks like this social media train stops at the old Facebook/Twitter/Instagram stop for me, and I’m just fine with that.
I have never been suspended from Twitter or put in Facebook jail, and trust me, I’m no prude when it comes to speaking my mind. It does seem like both sites are getting more strict with what they allow to be said on their site, so I could definitely see how someone who’s been flagged before, or put in “Facebook jail” would look for something where they would not have to deal with such censorship.
Free speech is a good thing, and everyone should be able to express themselves freely, however, when does free speech turn into the old proverbial “yelling fire in a crowded theater”, and more so, how long until Parler’s reputation changes from “free speech network” to “hate speech network”?
We have a new leader, and it was great to see him hitting the ground running. Of course, I’m talking about the new owner of the New York Mets, Steve Cohen!
If you’re not a Mets fan, then it’s just not possible to put into words just how excited we are to have new ownership. In his short time since being confirmed as the new owner, Cohen has already cleaned house, brought back a guy that built the last Mets World Series team, and engaged both players and fans. He’s talked about actually spending money, bringing technological advancements and analytics to a club that has been behind the trend in both of those areas, and promised to let the baseball people do their jobs. In other words, Steve Cohen basically promised to be the anti-Wilpon…and that’s enough to get Mets fans excited.
The former Mets ownership penny-pinched their way to disappointing season after disappointing seas, save for a trip to the 2015 World Series, since being involved in the Bernie Madoff scandal. The front office, lead by the owner’s son Jeff Wilson, acted like a small-market team despite being from the Big Apple. The Mets were never in on any big name free agents or trade targets, and even tried to not re-sign Yoenis Cespedes after he carried them to the Fall Classic in 2015. he basically had to force the team’s hand to bring him back by turning down all other offers and claiming that he did not want to play anywhere else.
While the team pretended to have the pocketbook of a team from Tampa, they stopped their, almost completely shunning the use of modern technology and analytics for training. The lack of spending and analytics is almost unheard of in today’s game, and it’s no wonder the team has suffered disappointing season after disappointing season.
It’s no secret that the team has built a reputation of being run poorly from a front office standpoint since the Wilpon’s took sole control of the club in the early part of this century. Now, Steve Cohen plans to change all of that, and there is an optimism felt by fans and players alike (see the Marcus Stroman/Steve Cohen twitter love fest) that hasn’t been felt since a certain trade for the greatest hitting catcher of all-time.
Time will tell what Steve Cohen will actually bring to the Mets, but he’s a lifelong Mets fan as well, so he knows all about disappointment. It looks like for the first time in quite a while, hope springs eternal in Flushing.
Quick Thoughts: I have been trying to get back into shape the last two months, and while I haven’t been as committed as I would like with going to the gym, I have stayed steadfast in one of my goals…staying sober. I had been drinking a lot of beer in recent years, and couple that with little exercise and poor eating habits, and I had ballooned to my heaviest weight ever, 255 pounds. As I’m writing this I am officially 49 days without a sip of alcohol. That’s 7 full weeks, and I feel such a difference physically and mentally, despite only losing about 8-10 pounds so far.
Keeping with this health theme, I also decided to join a basketball league. I started playing hoops again recently as a way to get into shape, and before I knew it I was playing a lot, and eventually got talked into joining a league with my oldest daughter’s boyfriend and some guys he knows. The majority of the guys are in their 20’s, so this is definitely going to be an effort in not embarrassing myself. My first game is Sunday 11/15, so stay tuned.
It was Veteran’s Day this last week, and I just want to thank all who have served this country. I appreciate your service and sacrifice. I am amazed by it actually, as it’s something I don’t know if I could ever do. In honor of Veteran’s Day, here’s a picture of two of my favorite Vet’s…my Dad (right), and my Uncle Frank (left). R.I.P. Uncle Frank!
Finally, just a quick Trump watch here, not that I want to waste much time on this fool. He spoke to the media once this week, to talk about a Covid Vaccine…one that he plans on no giving to NY because of his feud with the state’s Governor. He’s yet to concede, even though his court cases are getting thrown out left and right, and he said he will not shut down the country even as Covid cases rise. Oh, and he refuses to let Biden’s transition team get the normal daily briefings that the President-elect is supposed to receive as a matter of national security. I swear, trump is like a child testing boundaries. Every time he does something that makes me thing “Ok, this is it, this guys done now”, not only does nothing happen…but he basically tells the country to “hold my beer” and fucking tops it. It’s insane to me, and hopefully, once the Republican Party realizes that he has no interest in helping them campaign for those senate seats in Georgia, they’ll start pushing back. January 20, 2021 cannot come soon enough.
Thanks for reading. See you all next week.