I Wouldn’t Join Any Group That Would Have Me

Why the Groucho Marx title? I’m thinking about social media groups this morning.

A friend recently encouraged me join a Facebook group called AtomPunk, where members post graphics and photos from the Atomic 50s. I like that sort of thing so I signed up, and my news feed was immediately flooded with Leave it to Beaver and Jetsons stills … the sort of crap 20-year-olds think of as AtomPunk, I guess, but far from what I thought I was getting into. No one seemed to be curating the group. I wasn’t there long.

Other groups I’ve briefly joined have been over-curated. A Neo-Noir film group endlessly debates what can and cannot be posted there. Another, Lurid Men’s Magazines, can’t decide how many clothes distressed women on the covers must wear, or whether to allow depictions of Nazis (I seem to remember Nazi villains on virtually every lurid men’s magazine cover from the 50s through the 60s). I left both groups within days.

The Pulp Covers group on Facebook has been good. Everyone seems to agree on what pulp fiction and magazine covers are, and members stay on topic without anyone having to intervene. By the way, the last book cover in the Reading Now section on my right sidebar alternates between pulp and parody (and is not a book I’m actually reading, like the others).

I love Patrick O’Brian’s Jack Aubrey/Stephen Maturin historical novels. I’ve read the entire series four times and plan to embark on a fifth voyage soon. I was a member of Facebook’s Aubrey-Maturin Appreciation Society for a couple of years, but new readers destroyed it. When I joined, it was populated by people who had read the series and wanted to discuss details. And then the “no spoilers, please” yahoos showed up and now it’s all people shushing one another. I left reluctantly and with a bad taste in my mouth. What kind of person won’t read a book or watch a movie if someone drops too many hints about the plot? Picky eater types, that’s who. Contemptible worms.

Real life update: I’m still recuperating at home, doing leg extension and bending exercises on the bed, icing my knee down, walking from one end of the house to the other, and so forth. Boring but necessary. First real PT session is tomorrow morning.

© 2018, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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