Sunday, May 18, 2008

feelings ..oooh oooh oooh

As a compulsive reader of anything and I mean anything I occasionally get a little attached to some writers. In the blogging world it seems easier to get attached than is really healthy. I have really enjoyed Crystal over at boobsinjuriesanddrpepper.
I loved her humour and how strong, happy and confident she seemed.
But I got a little over attached when she began to write about her past. I saw instantly that the internet jackals would converge on her wearing their right to judge like a t-shirt and she seemed to have little understanding of what they could do if she let them.
So she let them.
She broke the most important rule when writing about your own personal disasters, she allowed comments. Lessons that Dooce et al have learned painfully?... she ignored.
She was warned repeatedly not only by other bloggers but by her own family.
I stopped reading when she broke my own little rule about writing about your kids on the internet.
And no it's not really about mothers exploiting their kids for money. I don't like it because I have this thing about informed consent. A child cannot consent to anything so they cannot give permission to anyone to have any aspect of their personal life revealed to others . It's about having respect for another persons right to privacy. I know that is a weird concept when you may be talking about a three year old but a three year old still should have a reasonable expectation to privacy especially considering there is no way to delete anything on the internet and what was hilarious when a toddler is three is humiliating to a fifteen year old when her high school discovers she ate dog poo (with video attached) a week before she starts ninth grade and she gets a brand new nickname.
What I find upsetting is how Crystal is reacting right now after the jackals have had a good meal at her expense. To complain that the jackals exist and that the jackals are bad seems ridiculous to me. To complain that somewhere in the deep,dark past of the internet everyone treated each other with kindness and respect seems almost delusional. From the first few weeks that the web was forming flame wars were breaking out all over.
I want to believe that Crystal is an innocent, deeply naive and inexperienced in the history of the internet but I know better and it's all just sour grapes.
Before I began my own personal boycott Crystal was telling an important and pretty powerful story about how we all fuck up when life kicks our teeth in but that recovery is possible. She spoke with a confident voice and when I was emailed her latest post by a friend I realized she had lost that confidence. She was speaking with the voice of apology and shame mixed with anger at this betrayal by the jackals.
All I can think is if you know the jackals are there and you are repeatedly warned that they only exist to attack do you have a right to a feeling of betrayal? Can you howl no fair when they told you they were planning on playing without rules?
And isn't it a display of almost fatal weakness to acknowledge that the jackals are feeding?
The other question that begs an answer is why do some bloggers need ,crave the hundreds of comments from complete strangers that say almost the same thing over and over? They always say something blandly supportive that usually involves prayers of some kind or another, just enough to keep the storyteller writing but not never enough to make the storyteller think or question.
Why do they self destruct into self pitying whining when a few comments pop up that are less than congratulatory and in fact ask hard questions about motives and purpose?
Look I think anyone who uses the comments section to act like a dick, full of judgment and assholery needs a slap and a kick to the curb but I think in the zeal to rid themselves of anything even remotely negative some bloggers delete any and all dissent which makes me suspicious about why they allow comments at all.
I think Crystal may in fact be too fragile a person to be telling her story. She may not have the self confidence to tell it without sinking into shame and recriminations. When a blogger responds to the jackals they are attempting some kind of dysfunctional appeasement. They are looking for love in all the wrong damn places but because they are so desperate for acceptance they can't see that the jackals can never be appeased. They do not care if you want them to stop being mean, their only function is meanness and you are a fool to not see this.
Crystal wants to bask in the bland support of nameless strangers in her comment section dammit! No fair that the jackals are ruining her ego massage. But really, should we have any compassion for this thinking? Shouldn't we all just turn away from this because it has devolved into something sad and demeaning?
Over and over I have seen this happen on the internet and I don't think any one of us has the right to call foul anymore. To choose to expose every part of your life to complete strangers is to demand their judgment , to then follow this up with a post full of how the jackals are making her cry all day, how the jackals are making her be mean to her husband, her kids is exposing more than any one should ever expose to the world. You are now exposing the fact that you are weak, that you haven't got enough self esteem to fill a have let the jackals smell blood and they are all rushing in for the kill and I don't have an ounce of sympathy for this kind of symbolic, incredibly public suicide.

You cannot have your cake and eat it too.
You can't have warm fuzzy hugs without a few fangs and if you aren't tough enough, if you don't have enough faith in yourself then you have no business publicly dissecting every goddamn tragedy in your life , the lives of your children and your family on the internet.
If you feel the overwhelming need to publish your tragedies remember that there are people out there that don't think your tragedies mean anything at all. In fact they believe your tragedies are fair game for the opportunity to pronounce their judgments about your beliefs.
Don't write a post asking them to stop because you are a nice person that wouldn't hurt a fly and would give them the shirt off your back if only they asked. It makes you look insane.

My list of blogs is getting shorter and shorter.


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