The Tale of the Facebook Comment Conversation
Aaron Pobjie: So I’ve just been informed that the 29th is in fact Good Friday (god religion sucks). Anyways is this a problem for most people or is everyone good to still come on the Friday, which I would like it to be on because that is actually my Birthday and not historically the day when Jesus was crucified.
Laloma Heather Ware, Heather Bull and 2 others Like this…
Elijah Clements: Wow Aaron. Handling the whole religion topic with some real maturity and grace there…
Anyway, I doubt I’ll be coming. Sorry.
Aaron Pobjie: The post was kinda tongue in cheek Yi.
Elijah Clements: And you think mine wasn’t?
Aaron Pobjie: Once again tone is lost over facebook.
Elijah Clements: Perhaps from now on we should write every sentence like it’s a line from a story. For example:
Elijah nodded his head in agreement with a small smile on his face. “Perhaps from now on we should write every sentence like it’s a line from a story, to help convey the tone,” he said, only half joking.
Now the real story starts… Sort of,
Owen shook his head and chuckled. “You know, I could actually see this working. Just how much more interesting facebook arguments would be if they were all written like this.”
“See!” Elijah proclaimed. “It’s a great idea. The only down side is the time it takes to type.” He paused and after a second added. “And I only just realized I’ve been typing in American grammar. Apologies.”
Jacinta Louise: Everything will be closed.
Aaron Pobjie: Good Friday isn’t a public holiday.
Jacinta Louise: No but everything is closed. Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Good Friday are the three days business are closed. Except the odd restaurant so yeah…
“Way to kill it guys!” Screamed Owen in a barely contained, yet unjustifiable rage. “Sheesh.”
Aaron Pobjie: I can still hire out a room, it’ll just cost more.
Okay and back into it folks…
Elijah chuckled for a moment, but that chuckle turned into a sad sigh. “Yes, Owen. I suspect you’re right about that.” He turned and gazed forlornly out the window. “Truly, the internet is not the intellectual utopia that was once promised. Our dreams of all the knowledge in the world at our fingertips has come true, and it was only once it did that we learned all the knowledge in the world meant ALL the knowledge in the world. Most of which can scarcely be referred to as knowledge at all. We’ve stared into the void, and it now stares back at us.” After a moment he stopped and realized what he just said. “My goodness that was pretentious.”
“Whilst Friday is the optimal day for a ‘Partay’, could we have it on a different day?” Owen offered helpfully. “Or is the cost difference negligible?”
Aaron chuckled, “This reminds me of a post I once saw, when asked what the most difficult thing to explain would be to a person transported from pre 1950’s to modern day. The response was ‘I have a device in my pocket that allows me to access all the accumulated knowledge of the entirety of mankind, I use it to look at pictures of cats and get into arguments with strangers.'”
He then turned to The Gunahnator and sighed. “Truly, the future is not what we were promised.” before adding, rather melodramatically, “Then again, when is anything.” As a single tear ran down his cheek, landing with a lonely plop in a half empty cup of cold camomile tea.
Elijah took a moment to look at the other posts, and realized just how bad an idea this whole thing was. Not just the idea of posting as though it were a line in a story, but commenting in the first place, or even the creation of the internet. No, the bad idea was getting on Facebook in the first place.
“Guys,” he said to catch the attention of everyone. “I think we need to stop doing this.” After a second, his inner writer couldn’t let the other minor detail pass. “Also, Owen, you’re tone was fine for that last post, but the use of the word ‘plop’ was out of place. It has a certain light hearted implication that didn’t match the rest of the paragraph. Might I suggest ‘depressing drip’ rather than ‘lonely plop’. The use of alliteration only serves to make the whole thing feel more pretentious, without clashing against the tone of it with ‘plop’.”
“What exactly have you got against ‘plop’ Yi?” Aaron scowled.
“Plop is itself is a fine word, and it has its place,” Elijah hastily reassured Aaron. “But that place is not amongst deliberate melodrama. If I were to use plop, I’d use it to comedic affect in a less… mature light. Such as a droplet of some foul substance landing on someone’s head.” He suggested.
“Perhaps that was the intended effect,” suggested Aaron. “The building of the melodramatic melancholy, only to have the whole mood torn asunder by a deliberate crash by a whimsical word, making light of the whole situation.”
“That could be correct Aaron,” Elijah conceded. “But I suspect in this case it was more likely a mistake, or incorrect choice of words, than a deliberate decision on Owens behalf.” He paused and turned to Owen. “Am I wrong?”
Owen returned quickly to where he truly belongs after a brief spell of ‘having a life’.
“Actually, you’re both kinda right. I wrote ‘plop’, thought to myself ‘that really doesn’t fit’ and then went ‘fuck it, it’s Facebook… I really couldn’t be arsed to change it’ before going on to continue the line with some absurd reference to fancy tea.”
After a brief pause Owen quickly adds, “You know, I really do like this idea. It makes you actually think about what you type rather than just ‘hurr durr lolz and zomgs’.
Elijah Chuckled. “Perhaps, but I still suspect this was a bad idea at its outset.”
Murray Enders: I don’t know if you can say tongue is lost over Facebook Aaron. you seemed to find mine fine last night.
Heather began to giggle “Murray, must you make sexual comments all the time?” She covered her mouth unable to hide her enjoyment at the current conversation “I personally find style of text this to be Lovely idea!” She smiled at Elijah and Owen. “kudos to you two”. After a brief pause whilst deciding whether or not it’s worth it, Owen decides that it is.
“*a lovely idea”
“Tone…” Aaron urged, “Tone is lost over Facebook. Oh Murray, your dyslexia is rivalled only by your libido.” Aaron then turned to Owen, “Thank you good Sir, you saved me from the task.”
Heather smiled pointing to her phone “it doesn’t like the letter ‘a’ thank you for noticing”. Owen nods in understanding. This wordless gesture is all that is needed to convey the feeling of camaraderie felt for a fellow human with a slightly unresponsive phone.
“Guys, I’m done,” Elijah said flatly, reading the abomination he’d helped create. “This was a bad idea, and I’m not writing like this anymore. I want no part in this. Good day to you sirs, and madam.” With a bow, her stands up, closes Facebook, and sits down again to open up a different tab.
“The editor and writer in me wants to copy paste this entire feed of comments, then correct it all and upload it again on a blogging site as my story of the day.” I chimed in, enthusiastically.
“Also, good Friday is no good for me as I will not be in Canberra” said I in response to the original question. “And how dare you plan a birthday party so close to mine.” I scold, half jokingly. Owen Cocks his head to the side as a metaphorical floating light bulb lights up above his head. “I for one have no issue with that.” He says. He then scolds himself for not seeing it first. “Stupid!”
Elijah opened Facebook again and quickly said, “If you do post this in blog, then pass the link over,” before closing it once more.
“I do hope you all realise that writing in the third person makes you seem like complete and utter wankers?” I ask with all seriousness.
“Well, I was thinking of this whole thing being written like a conversation from a story,” Elijah replied. “Even if that novel was written in retrospective first person, only one person would refer to themselves as ‘I’. So, congratulations. By doing so you’ve made yourself the protagonist/narrator of this story.” He gave a small smile. “Now if someone else where to do it, none of this would work in a narrative structure.”
“Or it could just be some strange form of self referential humour?” Owen paused for a moment of thought then continued. “It’s tempting, but Nah. I’ll leave any breaking of the fourth wall to someone more qualified” before quietly chuckling at his ironic statement, a self-content grin spreading eagerly across his face.
“Well yes why do you think I was the one to write in first person format?” I say, “I mean I do study writing as a university major I do know what I’m doing most of the time.” I boast, feeling rather self-proud.
“Then it’s settled!” Elijah said loudly. “You’re the protagonist and narrator of this tale.” He stopped and rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “Personally I do quite a bit of writing, but I doubt unpublished short stories or fan fiction would impress you much. Regardless, quite a lot of my thought goes into writing these days, so I do believe I know what I’m talking about. Tell me, do you prefer the first person narrative, the third person limited, or third person omniscient?” A small twinge in Aaron’s facial muscles appears. He questions himself whether or not he should bellow a question at Elijah, confronting him to face what he has done to this once quaint little post about planning a 21st birthday party, or just be done with the whole scenario and delete the post. A course of action that would surely cause an uprising amongst the fellow posters.
Aaron Pobjie: Also dicks, dicks everywhere.
“Third person limited for me” Owen chips in hurriedly, hoping to have his opinion heard before the tyrannical moderator of the event destroys all evidence of this conversation’s existence. “But I am partial to the occasional chapter about something out of the Narrator’s reference, or from another character’s point of view.” Elijah coughed into his hand once he noticed Aaron’s quite reasonable annoyance. “My apologies Aaron. I appear to have derailed this thread.” He then added as an after thought. “And it appears I’m writing in the past tense while everyone else is writing in the present tense. Awwwwwwkwaaaard,” he concluded in a sing song tone.
“Yay, more self referential humour!” Owen exclaims, in a voice unnervingly similar to that of a 12 yr old anime girl.
“Do not worry I shall fix tenses, so that they all match up once I have copy pasted.” I offer with hope that it will placate the masses. “Also would say that I like all three, as it depends on what mood I am in and what I feel like writing.” I say in response to my final questioning.
“Thank you for that.” Elijah said. “I’d rather not look like more of an idiot than I already do.” He shook his head, “Anyway, personally, I actually genuinely dislike the third person omniscient,” Elijah admitted. “Enough so the I couldn’t ever get into Dune. I think that first person when it works well is the best, but can be fairly terrible when done wrong. Third person limited is usually decent enough that even a fairly poorly written third person is at least tolerable, but then again a well-written third person is rarely as special or unique as a well-written first person. I think that third person limited is best when you want to focus on several characters, but when the story is primarily about one character, than I recommend the first person. When done right, first person provides the strongest insight into a character.”
“Well that’s all, folks.” I conclude. ” “Four pages of copy-pasted text unedited, now let me see if I can’t make this work, and turn it into a compelling short story.” I smile as I make a start on my task ahead.