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Opinion | Biff America: Cute pets and glass houses

Jeffrey Bergeron
Biff America
Jeffery Bergeron

Tommy Cabbage refuses to abandon his long held political beliefs and agree with me. Truth is, we don’t agree on much other than the fact that we like each other.  

I love Facebook. Yes, I know all the arguments against the social media giant and Mark Zuckerberg specifically. But by the grace of God and FB, I’ve been able to watch my friends’ children grow from infants to teenagers without ever having to be in the same room with them.  

In addition, I love watching videos of cute dogs (without having to own a dog) and watching children mistakenly hitting their dads in the groin with a whiffle ball bat (without having to own a child). 

A bonus is, though we don’t have a TV, we are still able to watch segments from late night talk shows. I love that skit Kimmel does where he asks parents to tell their kids that they (the parents) ate all their (the kids’) Halloween candy and film the results. It cracks me up to watch the kids freak out. I just noticed a pattern here; perhaps it is wise that I never reproduced. 

On the downside, social media can cause hateful exchanges. The few times I posted anything remotely political, my page got filled with nasty arguments between people I like. This discourse is disheartening and seems to crowd out cool videos like the one of a pit bull humping a vacuum cleaner.  

I do have strong political opinions, but I believe social media is not a fertile ground to sway convictions. So rather than start a partisan fight I’ll share my columns, scenic photos of our adventures, or the rare selfie of my mate and me where I don’t look like Keith Richards or Wilford Brimley.

I do occasionally call BS with a spicy retort when a friend puts up something political that is so obviously troll generated. Recently a “friend” put up an Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez quote, “If gun ownership was a ‘right,’ it would be part of the Constitution.” We all know (as I’m sure does Ocasio-Cortez) that the Second Amendment of the Constitution grants us the right to bear arms.

I responded with a meme declaring something to the effect, “Have you ever noticed that people will share something without checking the accuracy, yet spend 15 minutes taking an online quiz to see what type of potato they are?” 

My buddy Tommy, (aforementioned stubborn guy who refuses to change his long held opinions) mostly puts up stuff about his kids, the New England Patriots and country music. 

Occasionally he will post something political, but never fake news. Mostly it is something, which to him, validates his beliefs. Recently he put up an article that was way too long for me to read, but by the headline I knew it was something I did not agree with. (Could it be that I’m as stubborn as Tom?)

Taking the easy way out and because I wanted to get my friend riled up, I put up a meme unrelated to the article. It was a photo of Michelle Obama pointing at Barack with the caption, “Guess who didn’t cheat on his third wife with a porn star?” I got the response I had hoped for. Tommy suggested that I step out of my dilettante world and spend more time actually reading what he posted and less at “one of those Colorado dispensaries where you have your own stool.” (Not true.)        

Truth is I didn’t have the energy or inclination to try to argue with my old pal. I was just looking to let him know I was thinking of him. 

But then another of our mutual friends posted something like, “Hey Biff, I noticed you didn’t put up a photo of JFK or Bill Clinton.” (Two notorious womanizers.)

Of course I knew that both WJC and JFK were philanderers, but since both of them leaned in my direction, I was OK with their foibles; I was doing a little stone throwing from my glass house.

Again, Tommy Cabbage and I can disagree and still like and respect each other. 

I don’t know what it is going to take to break the choke hold of political divisiveness in this country. Certainly it should begin with our elected leaders not putting party before principal. But it also is incumbent on all of us to avoid hateful rancor and look for what we can agree on. Such as, Marilyn Monroe was way hotter than Stormy Daniels and videos of clowns jumping out of bushes scaring people are funny.

Jeffrey Bergeron’s column “Biff America” publishes Mondays in the Summit Daily News. Bergeron has worked in TV and radio for more than 30 years, and his column can be read in several newspapers and magazines. He is the author of “Mind, Body, Soul.” Bergeron arrived in Breckenridge when there was plenty of parking and no stop lights. Contact him at biffbreck@yahoo.com.


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