Peter Flies Left in a Pretty Plane

They have been around since the beginning of time. I’m pretty sure that a caveman once said “Grok, brontosaurus mauve, not purple!” You may have one or two of them in your circle of friends, but not in your immediate circle, unless they are a generous recent lottery winner or work at a brewery. You used to hear them everywhere, but thanks to the Internet, you now see them everywhere too! As you may have guessed, they are people who will argue over anything, or to give them their scientific name, KEYBOARD WARRIORS !!!!!! Let’s examine 3 cases of which I have personal knowledge.

1) Lefties vs Righties 

Without a doubt, one of Washington D.C.’s most recent inhabitants of public housing is a very polarizing person. I posted a memory calling out people who say they’d vote for him because he “says what he thinks”, and comparing him to a drunk uncle who “says what he thinks”. The conversation was going pretty well, but then 4 memes were posted, denigrating “liberals’ and showing, in one instance, a smug looking current president. The caption read ” To all you liberals, haters and crybabies, I don’t care!”

I posted a lengthy response citing a number of areas where the performance of this White House has been less than stellar and mentioning that if they didn’t care that he has insulted long time trusted allies etc, then they should enjoy their Kool-Aid. Someone asked which allies he had insulted. Clarification was forthcoming from a couple of people. It didn’t happen on this occasion, but when someone prefaces a response “Well at least he didn’t….” they are letting us know that they are out of valid arguments. Stand by next for “libtard” or “snowflake”, the right and left bowers of conservative KEYBOARD WARRIORS!!!!. I acknowledge that liberal KEYBOARD WARRIORS!!!!! have their own lexicon too, but, really, a pox on both their houses sometimes.

2) It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s a Gay Bird Flying a B2 Stealth Bomber!

A few months ago, the U.S.A.F. Academy announced that they were installing their first “openly gay” female commandant. I believe that your sexual orientation is your own business, and as I am a proud ally of that community, I shared this news to my timeline. There arose much indignant sniffing about “political correctness”, with her qualifications even being called into question. Peeling back the rhetoric and actually examining her service record, you see that she commanded a B-52 wing at Barksdale Air Force Base.  She was then made second in command of the 509th Bomb Wing. You know the 509th, they are the folks who fly the B-2 stealth bomber. Then she became Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force. These are her three most recent postings, and you have to be outstanding in every area of your performance to even be considered for these jobs. The naysayers kept grousing, even after I pointed out that she had more B-2 flying time than anybody replying on that thread.

Col. Kristin Goodwin

3) That’s a nice plane…it just doesn’t belong here, Millhouse.

I have always been interested in military aviation, hence belong to a number of pages on Facebook which cater to this interest. People are free to contribute photos etc., and some comments are quite enlightening. However, some comments are just inane or parrot some line from a movie which we’ve all seen 500 times. It’s like they’re saying “Let me show you how stupid I am, it will only take a minute, I promise!” Then there are the people who like to argue. They especially like to argue about things which they will never be able to prove. They ask questions which in reality could only be answered by aerial combat, and anyone who knew the answer based on classified computer trials wouldn’t answer the question anyway. Likewise politics and disagreements on costs and program status can derail an intelligent discussion. Example, a picture is posted of a new fighter. The conversation spirals down through cost and utility, with adherents on both sides putting in their oars, and what could have been an interesting thread devolves into an electronic hair pulling contest.

Tired of all this drama, I set up “Postwar Military Aircraft” (< shameless plug), a closed group for the study of said subject. It is not designed to entertain, but to inform. It is not designed to allow for arguments, but to educate. I am very strict about what is posted on the page, it was not my intention to create a “Pretty Plane Picture Page.” When I note a discussion veering off the road, I will remind folks of the rules of the page, and delete comments, if necessary. I have had some pushback, been accused of stifling “free speech”, was even named and called “paranoid” by one departing member in a public post. I advised him to look up two other English words, “hyperbole” and “slander”. One ex member, who appears to be a small government republican, messaged me and told me that people could post what they wanted on my page. My reply was that no, they couldn’t, as I had set up the page and had the right to have it conform to my vision. (Sorry about that last phrase, too many management meetings, I guess.) As an aside, there are several other Facebook pages where you can post “witty” posts or argue pointlessly about aircraft or countries, so “Freedom of Speech” was not imperiled.

I will close with this marvellous comment, which came to me one night while righting wrongs on the Internet.   “Shouldn’t you log off before your parents get home?”

See you soon.

=PJM=

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