Another election cycle has come and gone. Iowa, after enjoying/suffering the title of "swing state," now finds itself free from the tyranny of endless political ads, traffic clogging political rallies and the latest rolling bus tour from Bobby "I Need a Job" Vander Platts.
With the (SPOILER ALERT) re-election of Barack Obama, this past election marks the fourth presidential contest in which I have cast a ballot. Now, people would love to tell you that this country was a totally different place in 2000; the air smelled sweeter and everyone thought we were never going to hear about Iraq again, outside of a "Geography" category on Jeopardy.
America, and people in general, really, are pretty much the same as they were in 2000. And in 1900, and 1800, and 400 B.C. If not for lost records, I'm sure every history textbook would contain a chapter about how Caesar Augustus "hated all that drama and just wanted to party rock!"
It's best that some things are lost to history.
The only real difference between the 2012 election and any other election in our country's brief history is that now we get to experience that most protected of speech (political) again and again through our friend's Facebook posts.
Oh, the joy of logging into Facebook everyday, only to be greeted by some thrown together meme photo of Mitt Romney eating a sandwich, with the caption "Mitt on Rye."
Not funny, at all.
But it doesn't just stop with the meme photo happy friends, does it? If it did, we could just block a couple friends and get back to wondering why so many people I know take pictures of their food before they eat it.
Just eat the burger! I don't care what it looks like!
Each one of us will encounter the same type of facebook posters for the next couple week, at least until everyone's accounts are hacked to post "amazing Christmas deals!" and "amazing Christmas diets!"
So here's a brief guide to identifying and avoiding your typical political posters. Hopefully, this will prevent you from rage quitting Facebook and begging your real life friends to join you on Friendster.
The Enthusiastic Supporter: This person has been posting links to campaign support pages since 2008. They are easily recognized by a constant string of status updates about just how super cool their candidate is, alongside a revolving door of profile pic changes, all featuring their T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan dejure. These people are insufferable and make you wish the candidate they support had lost, just to see the look on their faces.
How to avoid: If you see a friend's profile pic has been replaced by a blurry cell phone camera pic of themselves and a candidate just keep scrolling. These people are not worth communicating with for at least a month.
The Loser: These people are almost as bad as the Enthusiastic Supporter, but at least have the common decency to hide from Facebook for a few days following an election.
How to avoid: Easy, at first. After popping up to defend themselves on election night, they'll go back into their hole for a while, lick their wounds and wait for the first time the winning candidate screws up. Just keep clear of them at the first signs of scandal and you should be fine.
The Proud Non-Voter: "I didn't vote and I don't care!" Oooh, edgy! What courage it took you to post that you don't care about politics and don't care what other people think about you not caring about politics and wish people would just stop talking about politics and wait, where are you going? I'm still talking about how I'm not going to talk about this anymore! Come back!
How to avoid: Wait it out. They'll keep up with it for a while, but in a couple days it will be right back to "I don't care what other people say about me! I'm being who I want to be! I don't care about you!" Congratulations, Proud Non-Voter. Nobody cares about you either.
The Unsubtle Joker: "Hey, what's going on today? Is there some kind of election?" These humor writers, obviously having taken a break from penning award winning jokes for the likes of Jon Stewart and Louis C.K., have decided to share their none-too-subtle wit with the rest of us. Yay!
How to avoid: FULL DISCLOSURE: I have been known to be a member of this group from time to time. Being that what it is I would say just block us; the bad jokes aren't going to stop just because nobody laughed.
As you read this I hope the Facebook rancor has quieted to a dull roar by now and that we all can once again peruse through our newsfeeds, free of partisan politics and slanderous political attacks and get back to what Facebook is really all about: people posting pictures of their pets.
Copy Editor Wes Burns is a Sunday columnist. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Wes Burns at 641-753-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org.