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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Bigger than Jesus & "The Law of Rodell's Facebook Conundrum"


I’m sure it’s unwise to mock people in positions to help you when they’re eager to do so. I don’t care.

This is bigger than me.

What, according to the latest lists, isn’t?

That’s part of the motivation.

My trigger is anytime someone wants to help me increase the profile of my book and they start with a question every person who’s trying to sell anything that matters to them has heard over and over again.

“How many Facebook likes does your book page have?”

I told her.

“That’s not much. Well, you need to get that number up.”

That’s when I interrupted her to ask a question of my own: I asked if she’d bought deodorant or mouthwash in the past month.

“‘scuse me?”

“It’s a simple question,” I said. “Have you been to a CVS or Rite-Aid in the past month and purchased some Listerine or maybe some Lady Speed Stick?”

In fact, she had.

“Did they they give you a receipt as long as your arm and ask you to visit their website to take a survey about how you enjoyed your shopping experience? Did they say answering a few simple questions would make you eligible for great store prizes? Did they ask you to like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter?”

They did.

“Did it annoy you?

It did.

“Well, the reason they do that is because people like you keep asking people like me the very same questions about things that have more intrinsic value than armpit deodorant.”

Then I told her about what I’m calling Rodell’s Facebook Conundrum: “The more Facebook likes anyone or anything has the less likely that person or thing is to be truly likable.”

We should have seen this coming back when John Lennon said The Beatles were bigger than Jesus.

Back then we could either argue the point or set fire to your Beatle records. Today, neither option is available. You can’t ignite digital music and all we have to do is check Facebook to prove Lennon was correct.

Today, Jesus has 12,808,589 likes; the Beatles, 43,090,121

It was worth arguing back then because the Beatles are really, really good.

So is Jesus!

I don’t behold the blasphemy that me or my book is more popular than Jesus. But, Jesus, you’d think we’d at least be more popular than the people who killed Jesus.

Wrong.

The Judas Iscariot page has 2,424 likes; Pontius Pilot has 1,320.

And I can never mention the name Pontius Pilot without wondering why some creative hand sanitizer company hasn’t adopted the Biblical character as a celebrity spokesperson.

“I’m Pontius Pilot! And when I need to wash my hands of a really dirty job, I use Dove!”

I’m not even as popular as the people who killed the Beatles. Mark David Chapman’s page has 1,918 likes. Even if you found the page educational, you shouldn’t like the page of the man who killed John Lennon.

Same goes for the woman who killed all four Beatles. Yet, 402,722 lost souls Facebook like Yoko.

Satan has 194,508 likes. I’m surprised this hasn’t caused a media stir but on Facebook, both Jesus and Satan are listed as “fictional characters.” Just like Harry Potter! (74,186,101 likes)

I wonder if Pat Robertson (15,410) knows.

Others quantifiably in the more-popular-than-Jesus realm are Shakira (102,806,703); Justin Bieber (73,391,347); Cristiano Renaldo (96,374,506); and Rhianna (89,698,829). The two most liked subjects on Facebook are Facebook and Facebook for Every Phone, which has me wishing there was a Facebook Conflict of Interest page I could like.

Of the top 25, the only things I actually like are Coca-Cola and The Simpsons.

I might feel differently if I were more well-liked.

Maybe I should search to see if there’s a Sour Grapes page I could like.

I tried to find I had more likes than some of our presidential assassins. I didn’t like what I found.

Lee Harvey Oswald has 2,544 likes; Reagan-wounder John Hinkley, a measly 412; John Wilkes Booth has 3,255 likes.

Interestingly, Facebook lowballs its description of Booth and refers to him as an actor/director, which makes the man who murdered one of our most beloved presidents seem only slightly more vile than Ashton Kutcher (18,653,940)

I was optimistic I’d be more likable than Lynnette “Squeaky” Fromme. After all, she not only took a shot at Gerald Ford (4,016), but was also a follower of Charlie Manson (121,193) before Twitter changed the idea of following anyone.

I learned that as a child Fromme was a performer in a local dance troupe that was so popular they wound up appearing on the Lawrence Welk Show (11,334) and at the White House about 15 years before she tried to slay its occupant.

I was crushed to see even she’s more likable than I. She has 398 likes.

Did you know she’s free? Yep, she was paroled August 14, 2009. She’s 66. I might try and friend her. Maybe she’ll like my book.

I tried to think of the most evil person on the planet to see if even she had more likes than me. Of course, she does.

She’s Toni Basil, the singer of the “Oh, Mickey! You’re so Fine!” song from 1982.

She has 3,583 likes.

I really, really hate that song and the memory of her dressed up in her cheerleader uniform for the cheesy video. Sorry, too, if it’s now stuck in your head, but that’s how evil works.

So, you see, the question shouldn’t be what’s wrong with me that I have so few likes. The question should be where have we gone so wrong that so much evil is so popular on what is now deemed the sole arbiter of what is considered worthy and or not.

I find the scheme of chasing Facebook likes in order to justify worth an utterly repugnant pursuit.

And I promise I’ll still feel just as adamant when my 259 measly likes surpass Squeaky’s.


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