It’s an acknowledged truism in baseball that when you get into an argument with an umpire, uttering the “magic word” will get you ejected from the playing field in a New York nano-second.
What, pretell, is that magic word? It is “you.”
That’s right. Shout the word “you” at the ump and he’ll toss you. As in “f*** you!” or “you son of a b****!” or “you blind b******!”
The profanities? No sweat. Just don’t attach “you” to the vilest epithet you can utter.
That rule of thumb ought to apply to social media spats. I quite frequently witness these arguments erupt along my social media networks, namely my Facebook news feed. They usually originate with an item from High Plains Blogger that I distribute to my Facebook “friends” and my actual friends, who also happen to read these musings on Facebook.
Two or more readers of the blog then will get involved in arguing back and forth about a point I seek to make in the blog. I usually stay out of it. I prefer to let them go at it, tooth and nail, hammer and tong.
I’ve been fortunate in this regard: Whenever I do exchange thoughts with critics of my blog, the folks on the other other end usually are civil enough to respond like ladies and gentlemen. I don’t have to invoke the Baseball Rhubarb Rule that gets activated whenever someone blurts out the magic word “you.”
I don’t like name-calling when dealing with just plain folks like myself. Yes, I’ve been known to attach a pejorative description or two to people in high places. The president of the United States, for example, has received his fair share of name-calling from me. But, hey, if he can dish it out … right?
I’ll continue to seek to stay above the nastiness that erupts occasionally along this particular social media network, but I won’t stand for anyone dropping the magic word on me as their way of impugning me.
Hey, everyone has their limit.