Thursday, January 31, 2008

Another One Blogs the Dust

We've lost another blogger, the sweet and insightful FreckledK. This is a tweaking of some comments I left on her site.

Over the last few years, I've read a lot about the coarsening of public discourse, particularly over the Internet. If you're an angry spluttering pile of froth with a keyboard, you can convince yourself you're God.

Sometimes the result is funny, sometimes it's mean-spirited, and sometimes it just makes no sense at all. I've abandoned Wonkette because it's gotten more mean than funny (plus I get sick of them highlighting the same 5-6 local bloggers day after day). There’s a lack of civility and good sense coming from all directions. But I like to think of the Internet as a crowded bar on a Friday night. Some of us want to make trouble, but most of us just want to have a good time.

I've taken a few hits myself. One anonymous commenter told me that, "limited intelligence has a habit of flapping its gob." I was accused of being the sort of person who tells others how to operate toasters. And, in December, a local blogger linked to one of my posts, and began her response with “it seems like my good posts are all correcting other people’s shitty posts.” I don’t think it would ever occur to me to call a fellow blogger’s work “shitty,” whether or not it was meant as a joke. I thought out various responses, but in the end decided to laugh it off. I posted a link to her blog, with the tag, “No such thing as bad publicity.” You can't help what other people do, but you can control how you react. It's easier to just let things roll off my back.

It seems unfair that to write a good blog, you have to put a lot of yourself into it, and at the same time, you have to have a hide like an elephant’s. Those two requirements pull me in opposite directions. I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me. I choose to write this thing, I choose to put my name on it, and I'll take the hits as they come.

And, yet, sometimes I think about pulling the plug. Having a blog probably doesn't help my job search, it doesn't make my life any easier, and it doesn't really make the world a better place. But I like to make people laugh, and I enjoy my little community of commenters and lurkers. What would I do without Kristen to correct my erroneous political assumptions, or my mystery reader in Berlin that stops in every day? Sometimes this place feels a bit like Cheers for Weirdos.

So I'll be flapping my unintelligent little feminist gob for as long as y'all can stand it. And once you're sick of me, I'll flap my gob in the darkness.


freckledk said...

"But I like to think of the Internet as a crowded bar on a Friday night. Some of us want to make trouble, but most of us just want to have a good time."

I love this!

And I've been cutting back on my time spent in bars as well, so maybe there's a connection...

Shannon said...

For every guy that wants to fight for his right to throw darts over your head, there are three that want to share their nachos.

Washington Cube said...

Well put. I'm hoping she comes back to blogging, by the way. Many do. I've seen it all, starting with early AOL behaviors in chat rooms, and that contentiousness carried over into the blogging community. As you say, you need to let it roll off of you.

I find it odd they would attack KOB at D.C. Blogs since he is the most nurturing, committed to this blog community person you could ever want to meet.

The most common complaint lobbed at him is that he focuses on the same writers, or so it seems. I know he goes out of his way to search everything popping up that day, near to impossible task as it seems.

I know last year, on whim, I left a comment on every blog he had on the roll at DC Blogs. It took me weeks, and KOB would know this better than I now, but it seems at that time, it was well over 600 blogs...and most of them dreck.

I'm about to blog a piece, based on something done on Countersignature's blog tonight, and I've told Velvet I want to blog a piece on my blog, based on her piece on employment hunting. Yes, it's lovely having original, creative pieces, but it's also nice to bounce off each other and take it in a different direction, or further.

I like the sense of a blogging community in it's most supportive sense. And here, I've discovered you, from reading a comments field on D.C. Blogs tonight.

Shannon said...

Thanks, Cube. DC Blogs does highlight the same blogs fairly often, but the cast of "regulars" is about 30-40, with occasional popups from other sites. That's still pretty diverse.

On the other hand, the Wonkette Metro Section highlights Why I Hate DC, Eavesdrop DC, DCist, and Metrocurean EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Good sites all, but I refuse to believe this town only has four blogs to offer.

Kristen S. said...

All I can say is I read your blog every day...I'm a 30-something single chick in DC, and I get a lotta laughs from your writing!

Shannon said...

Kristen, if I can make y'all laugh, or, better yet, make you see things in a new way while you're laughing, I've done my job.

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