Sunday, November 12, 2017

So... WWBKD? Would he be on Social Media?

Taking a break from the soothing world of silent comedy and the simpler and infinitely more desirable life principles it supports, I'll write about the crazy world of social media circa 2017. I don't know if this post is really about what Buster would do... but I know its about what I would (or wouldn't).  I learned this week why I am definitively a consumer of great content (books, podcasts, dvd commentary, other blogs, etc) and a sometime purveyor of mediocre content (blushes). . . but almost never a networker in the world of The Fandom.

First, some backstory.

I discovered Buster Keaton in the summer of 2012. It didn't take long for him to take over my brain. An almost immediate byproduct of that takeover was this blog.

I found it easy and fun to slip into this forum for publishing my own musings on this great man. Though with a healthy enough ego to believe that others might be interested, I admit I wrote with the main intent of pleasing myself.

Lurking somewhere in the back of my thoughts might be a shadowy pipe dream of someday becoming a "real" Keaton scholar ... maybe even writing a book...with a larger purpose of promoting Keaton's legacy. 

That said, basically just know that you've stumbled upon the blog of a dilettante, content to live in her own little world but offer a gracious welcome to anyone who shows up here.

By that I mean you. If you are reading this you're welcome, because, really, isn't that just how it should work? And if you do cool things related to Buster, you are also very welcome to chat about them to me. Because... really, isn't that how it should work? And ... by the way...  if I fail to respond in a timely way, I hope you'll forgive that as I'm often pulled in other directions by day jobs that force Buster-love to the back burner. And, honestly. Isn't that how all of this should work too?

And if all this sounds like its leading to something, it is.

The other day, while waiting to head out to dinner, I relaxed by paging through my facebook feed, then stopped with a jolt when I saw my own blog post staring back at me from the pages of a Buster Keaton fan site that I followed!  I was flattered and pleased. This doesn't happen to me every day. The post was asking "does anyone know whose blog this is?"

I thought about it for a bit. I like my privacy and anonymity. But the writer seemed genuinely interested and kind... so I made the decision to out myself and claim it to this welcoming community. I believe by doing so I made two new Keaton-fan-friends (whose readerships I appreciate!)

It was all very nice, warmed my heart and made me feel connected and special.

How very short lived.

When I logged back into facebook the next day, I discovered with confusion that the post had been removed.

I can't imagine why. I know I've seen countless links on that public group to other people's websites, films, and projects. And I don't think there was anything objectionable in the friendly comments that were exchanged about my blog. I also have a hard time believing that my blog itself -- which consists in gushing about the same person the facebook fan group gushes about -- could possibly offend.  So I'm left startled in wonderment, feeling like a new kid at school who was tentatively approached by a friendly soul only to have the class bully lumber up and say: "we don't play with her."

When I think about Keaton, I can't fathom his being able to put up with such silly stuff either. I mean... he made movies. He was glad when they played them. If a group of colleagues displayed his posters one day only to have the group leader remove them the next without explanation, I bet he'd have found that strange.  I bet his attitude would have been: "Love me, hate me, or leave me alone. Just don't be petty and weird around me."

But maybe I'm wrong.

I know I can't speak for Keaton, but I'll speak for myself. I love blogging about Keaton. But I don't like the playground territoriality and social machinery that seem to come with organized fandom. It's what holds me back from joining groups like the Damnfinos. Its what keeps me from commenting on other people's blogs. I find the rules of social media to be strange and unfriendly and I often have no idea when they have been crossed.

If you read my blog (thank you), find it enjoyable (thank you still more!), and wonder why I don't get out more... its because of things like this recent facebook interaction. I don't know who got offended with that exchange nor why it was removed and I really don't want to have to care. It will take a LOT more readers before I can quit the day jobs and spend my time making social media my concern.

In the meantime, I will be over here writing about Buster every chance I get.

Please know, gracious reader, know that if anyone wants to share what I'm doing -- the old-fashioned way through word of actual mouth, or in any new-fangled way, through word of pixel, digit or electron -- they are both welcomed and encouraged to do so. Also, I promise that as long as your comments are civil and relevant, I am THRILLED to have them and publish them. I wish you well and think that anything that leads to more public knowledge of Buster Keaton can only be a good thing for his legacy.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.