Day Five: Creating a Group (Teachers Against Comic Sans)

A quick glimpse at my Facebook reveals a number of requests for causes and groups.  I learned a long time ago to avoid “liking” these groups after giving the thumbs to a group about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.  My status read, “John Spencer likes Sudden Infant Death . . . ”  I think I lost some friends that day.

I start out unsure if I should create a Teachers and Educators Against Mnemonics-Acronymns (TEAM-A) or an anti-Comic Sans group.   However, after a best of three coin toss, I determine that Fate is leading me toward and anti-Comic Sans crusade.

The first step involves marketing.  I start with a general look.  It has to be professional-looking.  Definitely Century Gothic font on this one.  Oh, and it needs to have an apple.  Not sure why educators choose a symbol that beckons back to the Fall of Man, but it works.  So, I start with the following:

In order to prove TACS as a bona fide club, I take the following measures:

  • A sign-up list for members
  • Brochures explaining the dangers of Comic Sans
  • Copies of ridiculous Comic Sans examples in our school district.  These include our safety sheet (because chemical spills aren’t all that funny) and the curriculum guide with the words Holocaust and Genocide in bold-faced comic sans.
  • A list of websites where group members can go to learn more about the history of Comic Sans and its connection with Microsoft BOB.
  • A heavily biased sheet of talking points, including Comic Sans’ role in the pansy-fication of American youth.  (Would Chuck Norris use Comic Sans?  I doubt it.)
  • Membership cards
Armed with my propaganda, I prepare to start the first TACS Club.
“Hey, want to join my club?” I ask a primary grade teacher.
She thumbs through the literature (not sure why propaganda is called “literature,” but if the Tea Party gets to have literature, this can be literature as well).  She shakes her head and explains, “I can’t join this, John.  Sorry.”
“Do you mind telling me why?”
“Because comic sans is really helpful for young students.  The letter ‘a’ is exactly how they write it.  Some of my students need that
type of help.”
“Yes, but fire and mercury spills and bloodborne pathogens aren’t comical,” I point out.
“So, maybe this helps them relax,” she says.
“I guess it can be pretty disarming.”
*     *     *
Later that lunch period, a teacher stops by and says, “I agree with you.  I hate that font.  Hate it.  I think it’s from the devil.” Alright, a moral crusader.
“Yep, the Gates of Hell itself are written in Comic Sans,” I add.
“Agreed,” he says.
“So, will you join?” I ask.
“Okay, but what will the club do?”
“Complain about Comic Sans,” I explain.
“Sounds kind-of boring,” he responds.  It’s a disappointing answer from a man who thinks Comic Sans is satanic
“Maybe you can put it on your resume or vitae or whatever you want to call it.”
*     *      *
When I tweet about this idea, five people instantly agree with me.  This proves I’m not crazy; which is ultimately one of the greatest strengths of social media.  With so many people on the network, you can suggest pretty much any insane idea and run into a handful of people who agree with you.   For what it’s worth, I gather a meager three signatures, leaving me with five members.  I know Javi the Hippie hates Comic Sans as well, so I’ll see if he will join the group when we have a pint on Thursday.
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10 thoughts on “Day Five: Creating a Group (Teachers Against Comic Sans)

  1. Interesting phenomenon:

    If I ask for something on Facebook and Twitter, I get a high number of responses with almost entirely positive results. However, the vast majority of “friends” or “followers” ignore me.

    If I do the same thing in real-life, the rejection factor is much higher. However, the apathy factor is much lower.

    • you said in an earlier post – there is no dislike button in FB. Also, I think if someone talks to you face to face (even if they’re thrusting a leaflet at you or asking you to join their charity/ religion) to completely ignore them is impossible (certainly for me). If ignoring them was less rude than rejecting them (as it seems to be on non-F2F media) then I would do that, because rejecting people is hard.

      • I have been known to ignore the people trying to hand me religious pamphlets. A guy the other day tried handing me something about the world ending and I literally ran the other direction to avoid him.

  2. Harder to ignore someone face to face. Makes you wonder about how skewed polls are when they are not done face to face. Much easier to lie or just not take something seriously when there is no proximity pressure.

    • I love that point. I’m always skeptical about polls, especially ones that are online. However, phone-based polling doesn’t seem much better.

  3. I’m finding it an interesting phenomenon how people sneak cynicism into Facebook. I’m a fan of “turn off your goddam cell phone when you’re driving.” It’s almost like starting a fist fight at Disneyland.

  4. Joining a group in FB requires no commitment. I have experimented with groups a couple of different times in education, with students very excited about the prospect. Many wanted to “join,” but unless it was required they did not do much in terms of activity. Being part of a group seems to be just another statement about oneself to add to interests and likes and such, at least in many cases.

    In real life, if one is in a group, one expects to do something. There will be meetings or activities, or something, and I’m going to think twice about whether I have time to join that group. And if it doesn’t do anything, it will seem pointless. Unless maybe I just put a sign on my office door saying to all who pass by that I belong to TACS. Okay, sign me up.

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