So, my Facebook site has gone wild. It’s properly autumn up here and I make a fire in the kitchen every morning in the misty dark, and sit there all day, my back burning, shuffling between the online British tabloids, Facebook and my very-serious-high-brow-talking-about-economics-a-lot work.
You see, in a vague effort to persuade people ever to read a word I write (pah!) I post my articles and stuff on Facebook. I posted a piece I wrote in last week’s Times about stress during pregnancy being bad for the unborn child. Straightforward and uncontentious enough, you’d think. But you’d think that without fully understanding the full depth of people’s boredom out there.
My Facebook friends are sunk in sofas watching toddlers grow. ‘Ooh, it goes by so fast,’ old ladies say. They say this because they have forgotten what it is like. This bit, the bit I’m in, when they’re entertaining, charming, often helpful friends to hang out with goes by fast. But those first five years, Jesus. I remember actually staring at the clock . Tick. Tick. Tick. Everything I ever did was an exercise in killing time until seven o’clock. Bed time. Wine Time.
Or my Facebook friends are, like me, idling in the golden Italian countryside, updating their Facebook status with things to make people in the UK jealous (‘Washing down the Ossobucco with some fine Chianti’) when really they are pining for drizzle, a pint, and a decent curry.
So, pretty much anything will spark off a fight. One woman felt that anything that supported women and children was a good thing. A man was sick of everyone telling everyone else what they should do. The woman took gender-based offence. The man caused more gender-based offence and started complaining about having to pay tax. I replied by posting an interview I’d done with a famous feminist. ‘This women is vile. Who cares about women when men are subject to so much violence?!’ someone shouted. ‘But she’s being interviewed ABOUT women,’ I yelled. ‘If she was being asked about donkeys in Spain I’m sure she would have mentioned the abuse they suffer.’
The Facebookers went wild, people pitching in from around the world. And what is so odd is that I was sitting by the fire in total silence (the odd crackle notwithstanding) while this e-conflagration raged. I Facemailed by husband about it (this is talking to the rest of you). He looked at me coolly over his screen and, without a word, piled into the melee online.
Those people out there are NUTS. But not, perhaps as nuts as the ones in this kitchen.