Geoff Folsom

I recently learned the best way to suck the life out of any situation is to try to make a point on social media.

Both Facebook and Twitter have both left me wondering how clueless some people can be.

I recently commented on a Facebook post from Rolling Stone magazine. It was a link to a story about the guitar the late Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain used on the band’s 1993 MTV Unplugged performance possibly selling for up to $1 million.

“He could’ve sold it and bought two of Leadbelly’s guitars with the money!” I wrote.

The comment was a reference to a story Cobain told on the show. Cobain, a huge fan of Leadbelly, said he was once offered the chance to buy the legendary Louisiana bluesman’s 12-string guitar for $500,000.

The story and the Leadbelly song Nirvana played helped make me a lifelong Leadbelly fan. I figured other fans of the Unplugged show would enjoy the comment.

Initially, I was right. The comment got 52 “likes,” quite a lot for me, as well as some good-natured comments.

But the comment flew over the head of one person.

“It wasn’t worth a fortune until Kurt died so your ‘could’ve’ is illogical,” he replied.

Gee, thanks for enlightening me.

Twitter’s Even Worse

Well, the folks on Facebook are geniuses compared to their Twitter counterparts. After rock and roll legend Little Richard died May 9, I tweeted, “Terrible! I guess Jerry Lee Lewis is the last of the real pioneers.”

The comment was not intended to stir up controversy, I simply meant to point out that Jerry Lee Lewis is the last of the core group of musicians from the 1950s who really put rock and roll on the map. But it wasn’t lost on me that Jerry Lee’s lifestyle, full of controversy and substance abuse, made it pretty remarkable that he would outlive the rest of the greats.

To my surprise, the tweet was picked up by something called Twitter Moments. Apparently, that shows “the very best of what’s happening on Twitter.”

For a brief moment, I felt like the best. My tweet received nearly 200 “likes,” not bad for someone who rarely gets more than my wife and two of my friends interested in what I tweet.

But I don’t know if the Russian bots wake up and try to stir up trouble after your tweet reaches a certain level of popularity, or if overly “woke” people decide to come after you, but after about an hour, the trolls came out from under the bridge.

Some people made cordial replies, like that Lewis has seen his own health problems in recent years. One reply made a legitimate complaint about my tweet, that Don Everly of the Everly Brothers is still with us.

I hadn’t thought of the Everly Brothers as one of the original rock and roll greats, but it’s hard to argue. They were one of the original class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, along with Little Richard, Lewis, Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley.

That original class is pretty solid, and whatever personal flaws, they might have had personally, their contributions to music can’t be argued. Well, until the geniuses of Twitter got involved.

Some people appeared to think I was endorsing Lewis’s marriage to his 13-year-old cousin merely by saying he is one of the rock and roll pioneers. Others felt the need to point out to me that Jerry Lee Lewis ripped off his act from Little Richard (well so did Prince, but you don’t see people calling him out).

Others replied that Bob Dylan is still alive, so my point is wrong. Sorry, but Dylan was in the second generation of rock greats. Dylan made this point himself in his statement about Little Richard’s passing, “He was my shining star and guiding light back when I was only a little boy.”

It got so bad that I had to mute the responses to my rare popular post. This just an hour or so after I was basking in its initial positive reaction.

Keep in mind I’ve never met any of these trolls, or even interacted with them online. But, I guess in this day and age online, people have a sense of entitlement to attack anyone who raises any subject that makes them remotely uncomfortable, even if it is clearly not meant to upset anyone.

I think the saying still applies. It goes something like, “Don’t say anything to someone online that you wouldn’t say to their face.”