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August 24, 2020:

THE NEGATIVE VS. POSITIVE SOCIAL MEDIA CONUNDRUM

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I think I really must start getting out of the house more.  In pre-pandemic days, I certainly was home during the days, writing, working on the computer, and doing all the stuff I normally do, but I was mostly having daytime meals in restaurants, doing errands and whatnot, and of course I was out a lot in the evenings when in rehearsals for shows.  But since March, all this stay at home bunk has really started to wear on my nerves and who needs wear on their nerves – I think it’s a lot of nerve to cause wear on the nerves.  We’ve all been good little boys and girls and I’m just kind of done with being home this much.  And of course, on those days when I drive to the mail place at three, you’d never know there was a pandemic on because the traffic is insane again.  But you know how it goes: The least little spike in cases and you see 5,000 posts about how terrible everyone is here in California.  But what you never EVER see is a positive post.  Here’s a perfect example: For the past three weeks cases in California have been on the decline, that plus the news that a lot of the larger numbers were inflated because they included backlogged cases.  Let me say it again: California cases have been on the decline for the past three weeks.  And how many posts do you suppose there have been touting that fact?  Let me help you out: Zero.  That’s right, you heard it here, dear readers, zero posts touting dropping numbers.  Because heaven forbid we should have some good news on Facebook.  No, the order of the day on Facebook is negativity all the time. Someone I know was, just yesterday, berating people about masks again and how he’d seen some photos of people without masks, people he knew.  Since he’s always posting spikes in cases, I asked him why he hadn’t posted about the drop in cases for the past three weeks.  The best he could come up with was a smiley face.  And so it goes.  Well, kiddies, cases have been dropping for three WEEKS in a row in California and I am happy to put forth that news.  I has spoken.  Speaking of “I has spoken,” yesterday I had a lovelier than lovely telephonic conversation with the partner of Billie Hayes, Billie being the one and only always and forever Mammy Yokum.

Yesterday, I got eight-and-a-half hours of sleep, although it really didn’t feel like it.  Once up, I had a few things to do – answer e-mails, some work on the computer – but I needed a ME day and I pretty much managed to almost have one.  I ordered from Hugo’s again – pasta papa – that was very good.  After that, I thought I’d watch something, so I sat on my couch like so much fish and immediately fell asleep for thirty minutes.  Then it was time for the 5:00 Zoom session.

The 5:00 Zoom session went really well, and then I sat on my couch like so much fish and watched four episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents – all four directed by Mr. Hitchcock.  The first of them, Revenge, was the very first episode aired in 1955 and it’s a doozy, just a great episode.  Well written, perfectly directed, wonderful performances from Vera Miles and Ralph Meeker, and a great intro to the series.  The second episode on this DVD was Breakdown, and it, too, was excellent, with Joseph Cotton in the lead.  The other two episodes were pretty lame – not very interesting scripts, not inspired direction – they were Wet Saturday and Mr. Blanchard’s Secret.  I have two more DVDs of four episodes each of the Hitch directed shows, so those will be fun to see again.

After that, I took a short drive, just to get some actual air, came home, had some prosciutto and melon, which I wasn’t really in the mood for, so I stopped eating that and had some ice cream, which I WAS in the mood for.  Then it was back to listening to music by Barbirolli, including some interesting Mahler performances, especially the sixth symphony, which is one of my favorites.  His approach to the first movement is like no other I’ve heard – very, very slow.  But it works.  The other thing I’ve noticed in all the 1960s recordings, which sound wonderful, is that Mr. Barbirolli is a bit of a mutterer when he was conducting.  I couldn’t figure out what I was hearing but then realized it was him, muttering, grunting, and groaning, rather like Mr. Bernstein was known to do.  It was very hot yesterday and I’m quite ready for that to be over with, let me tell you.

Today, I’ll be up when I’m up, I’ll do whatever needs doing – I know there’s some Kritzerland show stuff to do and I’m going to start really berating people who have not responded to e-mails.  I’ll hopefully pick up some packages, I’ll eat something light, then it will be more show stuff, after which I’ll watch, listen, and relax.

The rest of the week is more of the same, with some other stuff to do, more rehearsals, and I’m going to spend quite a bit of pondering about a project I’ve been thinking about doing.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, be up when I’m up, do whatever needs doing, do Kritzerland show stuff, do some berating, hopefully pick up some packages, eat something light, and then watch, listen, and relax.  Today’s topic of discussion: What are your theories about why people only post about negative things on social media, pandemic-wise or any wise-wise? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, wondering why on social media negative is positively negative?

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