Defending my Facebook Status Quo

by Kris Olson
Columnist

Hmmm, I have until tomorrow to finish my essay, which means I have time to scroll down this Yahoo! page and read the top news stories. I see another suicide bomber went to work in Baghdad today. And hundreds of Filipinos have died because of the storms. That’s too bad.

Hang on. Are my eyes deceiving me? The following link mentions President Obama receiving the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. Yes, the article confirms that the Norwegian Nobel Committee has, in fact, awarded Obama the Peace Prize for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”

I am outraged! Words cannot convey how angry I am over this selection.

On second thought, yes, words can. This injustice by the committee must be addressed now: I am opening a new tab in my browser, logging into Facebook and updating my status to adequately describe my feelings.

Weep not, friend. I realize the audacity of my decision, but I would sooner die than sit on the sidelines of this debate.

Why, the status update box is the first item on the page, perfectly located for my convenience. “What’s on your mind?” the field’s text says. I can think of no more appropriate question for a Web site to ask me.

I must first turn off the Facebook chat function, however. To give my writing the attention it deserves, I cannot be disturbed. With fingers placed firmly upon this keyboard, let my words spring forth: “Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize today. He clearly doesn’t deserve it.”

Not a bad first draft, but how can I share my opinions reasonably and still provide enough emotion to garner a reaction from my peers? How about, “Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize today. HE CLEARLY DOESN’T DESERVE IT.”

Better, but the caps lock at the end could seem too angry for my audience. This is a forum for reasoned debate, after all. Let me hit backspace and take a new tack: “Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize today. R U joking?”

Yes, now we’re getting somewhere!

But maybe I should revise “R U joking?” After all, such a misspelling of the words “are you” could send the wrong signal to my critics. Good grammar earns you persuasion points, and in this instance, accessibility takes a backseat to credibility. “Are you joking?” it shall be.

To achieve maximum response, however, something a little more biting might be in order. There’s no reason to waste my status on a cliché like “are you joking?” What if I keep the notion that Obama’s award is a joke, yet compare it to a recent current event? Indeed, an intelligent concept coupled with a low-brow reference would satisfy both worlds.

Here goes: “Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize? Well that’s one award ceremony I hope Kanye interrupts.”

Ha! I amuse myself!

The only issue, however, is that my status references a black man interrupting a black man winning an award. Is that too racial? My qualms about Obama not deserving a Peace Prize do not derive from racism. But it’s too big of a risk to take.

Perhaps a discussion on how early it is for Obama to win an award of such magnitude is a status that fairly addresses the problem without resorting to childishness. A historical parallel seems apt. Of course, an analogy to a past event would diminish Obama’s accomplishment and give me an air of intelligence.

Mikhail Gorbachev won an award pretty early into his term, too, and he was a Soviet – president of the Soviet Union, as a matter of fact. Such a comparison would prove to my loyal followers that Obama is also a socialist.

Therefore, I shall remove this Kanye joke and insert my coup de grâce: “I would like to remind everyone that Mikhail Gorbachev won the Nobel Peace Prize six months into his term of office. Peacemaker? Hardly.”

But why stop at Gorbachev? It’s time to stick my neck out and pick a figure who’s even more obscure than Gorby – a technique that will make me look so informed I’ll receive at least 10 “likes.”

Who, though? Martin Luther King, Jr., was a black man who spoke of unity among races, too, but people like him a lot. He’s out. And Desmond Tutu, a well respected winner of the Nobel Prize in 1984, even said Obama was deserving of it. No-no on Tutu.

Willy Brandt, maybe? Hmm, Willy Brandt, the former chancellor of West Germany? Sure, let’s workshop this concept. OK, deep breath now. Just word vomit here, gettin’ the kinks out:

“So Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize today. You know who else did? Willy Brandt, that’s who, and he was only in office for, like, a year and a half before winning the 1971 prize for his policy of Neue Ostpolitik. While he technically had not created peace between the Eastern and Western blocs, Brandt sought to bring people together through common purpose and hope. I understand any hard feelings about today’s decision, but there’s precedent for it.”

Lord, please have mercy on me. What demon possessed me to write such thoughtful stuff?

O, the life of a writer in this confused world. Dear friend, perhaps you were correct to warn me of this task.

But what is this? What could this red bubble at the bottom of the window be saying? Michael Conning has just tagged a photo of me?

My status will have to wait until tomorrow.

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2 Responses to Defending my Facebook Status Quo

  1. Amused Skeptic says:

    For once your column makes me smile

  2. Kris Olson says:

    Thank you! That makes two of us.

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