Regular Facebook users with the average share of “friends” are no doubt familiar with much of what’s forthcoming in this week’s column. Keeping that thought in mind, and remembering the old theory about an infinite amount of monkeys with an infinite supply of typewriters eventually churning out the Complete Works of Shakespeare… Facebook is the proof that the “infinite monkey” theory is absolutely and completely fallacious.
Similar to the “Farmville” infestations of early Facebook, our newsfeeds are routinely clogged by someone sharing a link to a silly quiz or poll like the one mentioned in the column’s title. Did you really exist all these years on Planet Earth without knowing what Eagles song you are? Do you care what Eagles song you are? Can you even be an Eagles song?!
Maybe you want to know what color you are. Perhaps you’d be interested in finding out which dictator you are. Want to know which Disney movie is most like your life? What character in which book do you most resemble? How many years do you have left/what is your real age? What kind of friend are you? Which infectious disease are you? (A real quiz.) What sex toy are you? (Yet another real quiz.) What weapon best suits my personality? Which one of Jesus’ disciples are you? Which Harry Potter character are you? What ousted Arab Spring ruler are you? And – I swear I am not making this up – what is your inner potato?
If you really need the answer to a quiz like which one of Jesus’ disciples you are, here’s your answer: NONE OF THEM! They’re all long departed, sitting in the Kingdom of Heaven with Jesus, Elvis, and the souls of all the unwanted lost Farmville animals. YOU did not know Jesus and walk the sands of the Middle East with him 2,000 years ago. YOU did not drink the wine from water at the wedding at Cana. YOU did not share the Last Supper with Him or any of the other disciples you weren’t. So YOU are not even a doubting Thomas, much less a Peter, John, or Jude.
(Although I’d venture to guess that a significant number of people who take Facebook quizzes would say that their inner potato was baked…)
Some of the quizzes in question are ones that challenge you to guess all the state capitals, or the states if they give you the capitals, or some other totally unscientific way to measure your intelligence or knowledge of some arcane subject. Test your Star Wars knowledge: see if you are a Jedi Master! Problem is, you take the quiz but only find out whether you are a Jedi Master or a mere padowan after you share the quiz on your timeline! And the cycle begins again…
What this tells me as that we have come so far as a modern society into this blissful future… where so many of us (not me) have so much free time to devote to such meaningless trivial pursuits. It’s like posting an image of some cartoon character wondering if I said hi would anyone say hi back … or far worse things like sharing absolute cockamamie articles purporting the Muslim takeover of everything from the local fast food joint to the U.S. military.
It makes me feel as if I have Grumpy Cat’s expression on my face every time I see one of these stupid quizzes. By the way, did you know that Grumpy Cat’s real name, and I swear I am not making this up, is Tardar Sauce. And Tardar – Grumpy – was rumored to have made $100 million over the past two years, although other estimates are that it was a little bit less. Grumpy has 29 million YouTube views and more than 7 million Facebook followers, along with endorsement deals and lines of merchandise. Whatever the number of million$ earned, the cat with the puss certainly changed the life of the 29-year-old former waitress who owns Grumpy. It kind of restores one’s faith in the American Dream, where a girl with a frowning feline can go far if she only posts photos and follows the typed musings of an infinite amount of monkeys…
John Bartus is a singer/songwriter and the former Mayor of the City of Marathon. Currently serving on the Board of the Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce, John is President of the Rotary Club of Marathon. John performs live tonight and next Friday at Hawks Cay, Thursdays at Sparky’s Landing, and this Saturday at both the Bait Shack for the Arts Council in the afternoon, and the Key Colony Inn at night. The entire December performance schedule can be seen at: www.johnbartus.com