Maraca Media-John O'Mara

Freelance copywriter and blogger, shakin' and rockin' it

Tag: Facebook (page 1 of 2)



I play tennis, volleyball, slowpitch and fastpitch softball and it’s amazing my left thumb still functions.

I’ve managed to avoid thumb injuries on the courts and fields.

But, I use said digit to scroll and scroll and scroll my iPad screen through dozens of Facebook posts and Twitter tweets.

Share or repost this. No. There’s a good chance someone halfway around the world is getting paid by the click and exploiting a sad-faced little doggie to boost his income.

Maybe the puppy lover is also the blackmailer who crafts those grammar-challenged emails.


Let’s call him Sergei from Siberia.

“Hmm, what do I do today?” Sergei ponders his options. “Do I create a meme that will piss people off and force them to share with an OMG? Cha-ching! Or will type: I am SERIOUS do not ignore this email, I see you sick perv and I am now wanting to send your video to all your contacts. Do not INRAGE me I am fully knowing you are being happy to avoid embarrassment. You must send me $7,000 in Bitcoin and I will delete the files.”

Well, thanks for ensuring I never use Bitcoin, Sergei. 

“Bitcoin, the preferred choice of thousands of blackmailers and scammers around the world!”

So, back to Facebook.

It’s giving me carpal tunnel from scrolling past the political rants and posts expressing outrage over whatever until I stop to check out an animal rescue video. They pulled the baby elephant out of that river!

I’m not being sarcastic in the latter case. I get misty-eyed when those creatures are reunited with their mothers.


I enjoy viewing photos of my overseas relatives and proud parents holding their newborns, and finding out what’s happening in the lives of friends who live far away.

But Facebook is full of time-sucking crap.

There’s that fucking MAGA kid again.

Think of the hours spent debating a story that would not have existed without camera phones, Facebook and Twitter. A non story. Whether you thought he treated the old man like a character at Disney World (look guys, an Indian!) or felt the teen was blameless…

All we got was a Zapruder-style video analysis that led to the inevitable name calling and insults.


Here’s a snippet from the Tech Crunch piece linked below:

The assholes out there are very real, and often their behavior is indeed hateful. Sure, you don’t have all the context. You never have all the context. But sometimes you don’t need all the context, and sometimes even when you have it, it only reinforces the cries of outrage and hate you see flying in from all sides, from your friends, from your acquaintances, endlessly retweeted and shared.

And that’s why I suffer from Facebook Fatigue.

During the last municipal election, The Wasaga Facebook news and commentary (umm, bitching) page featured non-stop attacks on the incumbent mayor and his opponent. The posts were often personal and nasty.

I felt bad for both of them. 

Jarod Lanier thinks we should all quit social media. Here’s a quote from the article linked below:

His most dispiriting observations are those about what social media does to politics – biased, “not towards the left or right, but downwards”. If triggering emotions is the highest prize, and negative emotions are easier to trigger, how could social media not make you sad?

Filling you with sadness, depression, anxiety and rage. That should be part of Facebook’s mission statement, right below “It’s free and always will be!”

I wish Zuck’s World was a place where people were informed or at least felt they had a grasp of the situation, then reacted.

Yeah I know, what colour is the sky in mine?

Facebook IS free so I am free to scroll past anything that’s guaranteed to make me angry, and to avoid keyboard battles with folks who spend their days scouring the internet for proof of my cluelessness.

This is Ringo, my cockatiel. Cute little fella, huh?

His crest is sticking up, which means he’s worried or apprehensive. 

Ringo says, and I agree…post more bird videos!





To friend or unfriend, that is the question

Unless you are a saint or the most wonderful person on earth you have been unfriend on what Jerry Seinfeld called “Facecrack.”

It’s happened to all of us.

Years ago when you friended them you thought, hey, we either worked together, still do, met at place we both like, played ball together, have mutual friends or hey, someone from Ghana wants to be friends, what can be the harm in that?

Maybe a lot.

Maybe they are just a a really nice person from halfway around the world and I’m hoping for the best and believing that person would be a fine human being I’d be happy to connect with, regardless of borders or ideologies.

Please, Mark Zuckerberg, make them be someone I would hug in real life.


I’ve been unfriend by people who would hug the life out of me, kiss me and say they were happy I had come into their life.


I was on the wrong side of a feud. You can’t remain friends with both sides. Kiss them off or I will kiss you goodbye.


Unfriend me. I’d prefer you didn’t but if my small L liberal views offended you, sorry. Defend yours in a thoughtful manner and I’ll listen.

Call the other side idiots or morons and yes, please, please, hit the Unfrend button. Buh-bye,

As soon as you sink to that level, your point of view is nullified

Are Trump and Trudeau morons?

Yes and yes. No and no.

They both rose to the highest offices in their lands and….we’re stuck with them so deal with it. Support. Protest. March.

Or if you didn’t vote you can really fuck off. YOU are the reason we’re in this mess. Thanks. You are part of of the 10 or 20 percent that screwed our province, state or country.

If you voted for Trump or Ford at least you took the time to go to the polls and I salute you for sticking with the people you believed in….

Unlike the “unfrienders” who bailed and said Buy-bye.

What team do you play for?

I’m a team player but, with apologies to Lorde, I’m not on anyone’s team.

Teams used to unite us. Now, thanks to Zuckerberg and his team that sells our data to other teams, teams divide us. Setting up showdowns of faiths (or lack of any faith), ideologies, political leanings and our love of animals, babies, pizza, movies, TV shows, beer or wine (Obikwa Shiraz, you rock!).

I’ve lost Facebook friends because I was accused of being on the wrong team. Two people had a dispute and both took the Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome approach. One man/woman enter, one man/woman leave.

Can’t I still be friends with both? Apparently not.

The Philadelphia Flyers have always been my team. They won two Stanley Cups in the mid-’70s and were the most hated team in hockey. The Broad Street Bullies. Bending the rules, playing dirty, intimidating the opposing team. And they had the goalie that put the two best back-to-back seasons in NHL history on the record books, Bernie Parent.

Bumper stickers at the time said only the Lord (not Lorde, though I’d bet she’s a good athlete) saves more than Bernie Parent.

What I loved most about that team, well…

They never gave up and even if the game was lost, Clarke and company looked at the scoreboard and said, “4-0. Let’s make it 4-1 or 4-2 and show the other team that we battle till the end.”

And…the lack of celebration.


If Bobby scored a goal he didn’t jump in the air or pump his fist. No. The look on his face said, “We worked hard for that, we deserved it…let’s keep plugging away.”

On a side note, Leafs fans will remember Rick Vaive for reacting to every goal he scored…but not assisted on…as if he’d won the lottery. Big jump. “Look what I did!”

Side note, in my college days my classmate Mirna’s mother worked at a restaurant across the street from Maple Leaf Gardens and her Mom, who had served Ricky many times, arranged for us to meet the Leaf’s sniper.

Vaive didn’t show up.

Prior to the last U.S. election you may recall I posted something along the lines of, “If you support Trump in any way….”

Ummm, you could have interpreted it as a big Fuck Off.

Because you were on that team. Not really a team, c’mon. Unless it’s the team of you don’t really follow world affairs or politics and think all parties are corrupt and bought and what the hell, why not this guy who talks like a professional wrestler and was born on third base and says he’s hit a homerun though he’s struck out more times than you could be bothered to actually read about or investigate beyond coffee shop banter…

Hang on…

As I’m typing this, Deep Tracks on Sirius/XM, hosted by the great Jim Ladd, is playing Elvis Presley’s version of Chuck Berry’s Johnny B Goode, So cool!

And, as Johnny Maraca, now and forever, I will go.


To a Monty Python reference. “Your wife…does she go? I bet she does.”

I go off in tangents. Streams of consciousness. As George Wroebel…grade 10 history teacher wrote on my report card, “You are basically an enigma. You write well in a style that is peculiarly your own.”

Translation: I passed you because your essay questions were short on facts but entertaining.

I don’t want to be on your team unless it involves baseball, volleyball or tennis doubles.

You don’t have to be on mine.

And that’s fine.

Respecting each other’s views should be what matters most and the key word is respect.

There’s a town hall meeting that occured priot to the 2008 election and it featured an exchange between Repulibcan nominee and war hero John McCain and and eldery woman and GOP team member who said Barack Obama was a commnist.

“No ma’m,” McCain said. “He’s decent family man.” McCain went on to say it was simply that he and Obama had differing views on how America should be run.

Differing views. Mutual respect. Put that in your algorithms, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram….

As soon as you start using words like idiot and moron, your side of the argument is over. I wasn’t a fan of Stephen Harper but, even though I disagreed with his views on how Canada should be run, he was (and is) an intelligent fellow, a decent family man and someone who had the country’s best interests at heart.


Though if Rob (sorry, Doug, though he will ever live in his brother’s shadow) becomes the Ontario Premier….

Doug Ford. Not Rob. If’s so hard to separate them. If you’re on his team then fuck off.

No, you can fuck back on.

If you can explain why he should be the leader of our provincial government and do it in a way that doesn’t say “team” as much as why it would affect you personally…unless you’re rich so remove yourself from the debate…I’m willing to listen to your views as an individual, rather than part of….

A team.

My Flyers lost in the first round. Though the playoff pool run by the father of my friend and volleyball teammate Amanda allowed for a re-set…meaning you can trade players who are out for players who are still in….


Go Sharks and Jets!

Facebook had it right in the beginning

Facebook scolded me several years ago.

I can’t recall the exact wording but it was something like, “We’ve noticed you have several friend requests that have gone unanswered or been ignored…please only send requests to people you know personally.”

Followed by an insulting command…you had no other choice…to hit a button that said, “I Understand.”

Facebook was not MySpace. Connecting with random people was discouraged and Zuckerberg and his army of tech watchdogs were watching us. Not to the degree they’ve been tracking us of late but still disturbing. “You bought a Stephen King book on Amazon, here’s an ad for Amazon or something to keep you clicking, sharing, purchasing, posting, clicking again, sharing again.”

The warnings ceased and I was able to connect with people in the radio and music business, and folks I just plain liked.

For example, comedian David Brenner.

I sent David a friend request in 2005 or so. Denied. Brenner had 5,000 friends already. Followed up with a personal message explaining that I’d tried to friend him and while I UNDERSTOOD Facebook’s policy of contacting real life friends or acquaintances, I just wanted to reach out as a fan.

To my great delight, Brenner replied. He joked that contrary to Zuck’s guidelines, he preferred to connect with those he hadn’t met. I saw David in concert at the O’Keefe Centre in Toronto in the late ’70s, when Brenner was a regular guest on the Mike Douglas show and a frequent fill-in for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show.

He remembered the O’Keefe. It’s probably a supermarket today, he said. I reassured David that the venue was still a popular theatre. Can’t recall if it was the Sony Centre or The Hummingbird Centre at the time but it had not become a flea market or a parking lot.


Brenner died in 2014 at the age of 78 so he was in his early 70s when we connected. In our online chats, I got the feeling David felt forgotten by the modern comedy establishment. Why wasn’t he a panelist on Real Time with Bill Maher? After all, it was David’s “Did you ever notice…” that gave birth to Jerry Seinfeld’s “What’s the deal with…”


David Brenner was the exception to Facebook’s real friend only or person you’ve at least said hello to in person policy. I was friends for a short while with Amy Poehler, maybe it was the Canadian connection because of her marriage to Toronto-born Will Arnett. I may have been friends with another Toronto native, Samantha Bee (her aunt Jan lives in Wasaga and is in my volleyball group) until Sam changed her page from a personal one to a fan site.

I am still Facebook friends wth actress Kim Dickens. She was a standout in the HBO’s “Deadwood” and “Treme.” I loved Treme. If you haven’t seen it, the series dealt with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in the New Orleans district of the same name. Treme featured many musicial icons from that city, including Fats Domino.

The recent Facebook privacy scandal resulted in me facing the choice of deleting my account or scaling things back.

I chose the latter.

I cut my friend list in half. Down from 600 plus to whatever it is now and really, do I want to view baby or cat photos from someone I haven’t seen in years? My radio show was cancelled in January (still have an iTunes podcast, check the link on the right side of this site) so having a ton of sort-of friends isn’t much of a benefit now.

It’s not about numbers. It’s about genuine connections. You comment on my posts, and I “react” to yours. Love that Facebook term. Reacted? Did they LOL, shake their fist or faint? Tell me, Zuck, I want to know the details.


Then again, “reacted” beats Twitter or Instagram. I challenge any celebrity to reply to a fan on one of those sites. Jennifer Lawrence, Selena Gomez, Fergie, Channing Tatum (my Mom is 91 but she knows who he is!) when a fan replies to your Instagram post with words like beautiful, stunning or love you, you should blow their minds by saying, “Hey, thanks! We should hang out some time.”

Facebook is no different than those sites, in terms of promotion. Be my friend so I can get more customers. Really, why would I befriend or “like” a store I don’t shop at? I will choose, thank you very much. You want a real connection and unless I have bought your products or eaten your food, I’m not much good to you.

And if you post all damn day, I will unfollow.

So yes, Facebook had it right from day one. At best, it’s a way of staying in touch with distant relatives, high school and college friends and former or current co-workers you actually like. Or like-minded folks you’ve never met. Or those in your field of work that inspire and hey, LinkedIn is just fucking boring.

After more than a decade on Facebook I’ve ended up with the list I want. If you found this through Zuck’s data-mining enterprise, cheers. You made Johnny’s cut list.

But…if for some reason you want to cut me, I won’t be offended. It’s only Facebook. Not something we’ve paid for (at least with Amazon I get free 2-day shipping, Mozart in the Jungle and The Looming Tower).

And thanks in this lifetime and the next to David Brenner. I’ll recap one of his best bits. He’s riding the subway in his hometown of Philadelphia (go Flyers!) and sitting on a newspaper. The guy next to him asks David if he’s reading that newspaper. Brenner doesn’t know what to say. The next time it happens, David stands up, turns the page, sits down on the newspaper and says….


Zucked up News

“The world is made up for the most part of morons, natural tyrants, sure of themselves, strong in their own opinions, never doubting anything.”

I’m not sure when Clarence Darrow (1857-1938) said that but I doubt he ever imagined Facebook, or the idea of a TV personality with no political experience becoming the leader of the free world. Wait a minute. He did.


Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan at the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial.

“When I was a boy, I was told anyone could be president. I’m beginning to believe it.”

Darrow became a leading labour attorney, civil libertarian and, for my money, one of the greatest  common sense voices of the past century. One of his most celebrated cases was Scopes v. Tennessee, defending a man charged with teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution at a time when the holy rollers thought creation  was the truth and anything else was blasphemy.

The trial became a play called “Inhert the Wind,” then a movie starring Spencer Tracy as Darrow, and Frederic March as his bible expert adversary, William Jennings Bryan (Matthew Harrison Brady in the film. Darrow’s character was renamed Henry Drummond).

In the film, Drummond challenges Brady’s “positive knowledge of what is right and wrong.”

”All you have to do,” he says, “is to knock on any door and say, ‘If you let me in, ’l’ll live the way you want me to live, and I’ll think the way you want me to think,’ and all the blinds’ll go up and you’ll never be lonely, ever again.”

Kinda like Facebook.

Check out this link I’ve reposted. OMG! Never mind that I only saw the headline, didn’t actually read it and have no idea if it’s legit but it’s on Facebook so that’s a reputable source of news, right?


No. It’s several levels below coffee shop gossip.

I could create a website that looks like a real news page, fabricate stories, post them on social media and have hundreds of people comment, repost and even make money on every click.

Just like anything from (making up names that may actually exist) the Truth dot com,   They’re lying to you dot com, Who has time to read, dot com, or Fox News.

Actually, it turns out Trump supporters believe his words over all media, including right wing publications and networks so I’ll cut Fox some slack. Not much. They’ll continue with whatever slant makes them the most money.


Brady’s downfall in “Inherit the Wind” begins with claiming to be a prophet God speaks through and Drummond  countering with, “God speaks to Brady and Brady tells with world.”

Which stuns the Brady faithful in the courtroom.

God is not on Facebook. He’s on Twitter (hey, if there’s anyone who can say it all in 144 characters or less, it’s the big man in the sky). And, in the Tweet of God, he replied to Trump’s plea to bless America.

No, he said.

It’s amazing to think Mark Zuckerberg created “the” Facebook as a social network for college kids. Not to change anyone’s mind or affect the outcome of elections.  Not to promote restaurants or banks.  Not to brag about kids, vacations or your soulmate.

No, Zuck has provided  a platform for every nutjob, conspiracy theorist and uninformed crackpot.

And an audience of the same.

Hang on. Someone reposted on Facebook that Zuckerberg is going to share his billions with us! I’m going to be rich!















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