Over the past few days I have followed some tweets into a neverland of self-proclaimed Nazis, National Socialists, white supremacists, gun worshippers and anti-Semites. I do this every now-and-then in order to (mildly) confront some crazies and delusionists. Sometimes I suggest therapy for their extreme rage and anger, or for their refusal or inability to deal with reality, data and evidence. In return, I receive slams, slander and mad abuse.
I know about anger and rage, and I know of refusal to relate to reality; and it disturbs me a lot to encounter these people who love doing middle-school name-calling while being totally unable to respond to a question or comment about their vile hatred of various "other" groups.
And then I got a request in my email from someone I like, asking if I would accept his offer of connection on LinkedIn. I think I am in the majority who wonder, "What in the heck is the value of LinkedIn, and why have I joined?" But I did join - years ago - and I was happy today to agree to this old buddy's request. Then I made a serious error, as I have done EVERY SINGLE TIME I have responded to a request to add someone to my LinkedIn "network" - I read the latest and always-growing list of people that LinkedIn has declared is "my network." I recognized a few names, was glad to see some pix of people I once knew, saw many listings of people I don't know and are in no way apparent to me to be related to me. And I knew - as I always have when I have done this before - that I should never look at LinkedIn's version of "my network" because I don't relate to these people. Who are these people? Mostly, they are people I encountered when I worked in Big Law, and I feel very glad not to work in Big Law now; I don't know how I stood it then, and I could not go back. I recall the egos, and the rules, and the puffing up, and the right appearances, and the right clothes, and the politics, and the social connections. And I could never fit into that system.
So, as I often feel, write and say, I will close with, "Geez, what a country; what a fucking country."