The "Hotel Melanoma" moniker is a metaphor for living with my particular brand of cancer. Except for those lucky few of us deemed "cured", all we cancer survivors are guests of one of the many, many branded hotels in the "Hotel Carcinoma" chain. We can check out any time we like, but we can never leave. Meanwhile, let's be livin' it up; and please support cancer education, prevention, and treatment research.

Tutu Brothers

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

Most of my peer group of grumpy older white guys won’t go anywhere near Facebook. After years of swearing that I never would either, I took the plunge about eighteen months ago, hoping to stay in better touch with far-flung people I actually know and to connect with the melanoma community. I’ve succeeded in doing both, and am especially grateful that I’ve ‘met’ some wonderful folks who understand life at The Hotel Melanoma.

But at times I also find Facebook to be a very, very strange world indeed. Oh, the drama and incivility one encounters there. And the degree of disclosure of intimate details of personal lives sometimes takes my breath away. Ah, the ever-present temptation to post first and think second, which I’ve succumbed to more than I’d care to admit.

And then there’s the loopy stranger factor. E.g., yesterday I dared to express the opinion (on my personal wall) that the easy availability of semiautomatic guns and high-capacity ammo magazines facilitated Friday’s mass shooting in Aurora. Some gun-hugging twit I’m not even “friends” with told me I should leave the country if I didn’t agree with its current gun laws (although I think he was referring to the lack thereof).

But, all in all, I still think that Facebook is more good than bad, more interesting than banal, and a means of maintaining fragile personal connections with far-flung friends and relatives and of forging new bonds with one’s “affinity group” of melanoma patients, AR-15 assault rifle toters, or whatever. So I guess I’ll stay, if only to stay connected with my new mole mates. Although I’ll be making strategic use of the “edit subscription” and “privacy controls” functions.

I'll end this rant with my version of Jimmy Buffett’s “He Went To Paris”…

He went to Facebook lookin' for answers
To questions that bothered him so
He was un-festive, old and obsessive
Savin' the moles on his own

But the norm bummer screeches
The news whines and breaches
Put his ambition at bay
The stunners and primpers
Flattered “like” winners
And four or five hours slipped away

Then he joined some M groups, played the survivor
And pondered some questions so grim
He met some fine kinds, C took some good lives
And tore them from young ones by whim

And all of the answers and all of the questions
Locked in his attic one day
'Cause he liked the quiet, clean mountain livin'
And twenty more hours slipped away

Well C war took some babies, C bombs killed young ladies
And left kids with only one sire
Some bodies were battered, the mel world was shattered
And all he could do was just cry

While the tears were a-fallin' he was recallin'
Answers he never found
So he blogged on still later, pimpin’ Mercola
And left M land with loud new sounds

Now he lives in the mountains, swishes some 9-irons
And drinks his Green Label each day
Postin’ his updates, losin' his bearings
But he don't care what most people say

Through fifty-nine years of ineffectual motion
If he likes you he'll smile and he'll say
"matey, some of it's magic, some of it's tragic
But I’ve had a good life all the way"

And he went to Facebook lookin' for answers
To questions that bothered him so

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