Just Some Stuff I Want to Say

This has been the roughest couple of days I’ve had blogging in a long, long time. I can’t sleep. I’m having trouble making sure I’m eating enough at the right times so that I don’t get sick. I feel like shit. Every time I see there’s another comment here, I hide from it for as long as I can before I come to look at it.

I don’t say any of this because I want your sympathy. What I want is just to give you some context for the apology I’m about to offer. In the old days, I used to love these long discussions, because I was an idiot and I thought you really could just hash this shit out in public and some good would come of it. Some minds would be changed.

But the truth is that I don’t believe that’s true and I haven’t for a while. I don’t believe big messes like the one we had here actually change minds. I think they’re just cathartic and terrible in equal measure. Often just terrible and hurtful.

In part, in order to be effective, the person moderating the comments has to have a generosity of spirit and a level of kindness and understanding that is completely outside of my ability. From where I’m sitting, it seems like you’d have to have an inhuman generosity of spirit. So, if you got in that comment thread and it sucked, yes, I knew and I am sorry. It’s just not something I can do–guide a conversation like that in ways that keep everyone on track and everyone, including myself, from feeling like they’re being attacked. I also don’t have the ability to not take shit personally. If it hurts me, it hurts me and I’m going to react.

So, that fucking sucks.

But I also want to say this–tempers were running very high, mine especially. And I know there were a lot of people just watching the shit storm from the sidelines and then forming opinions of the people involved. Or feeling like this incident solidified feeling they already had. That it “proved” something about someone, whoever the someone was to you.

One fight one time in one place is not the whole of who a person is. It doesn’t settle or prove anything about a person. We change. (Though, as I said, I doubt because of shitstorms like this). Or we hold one opinion that seems stupid or out of character but otherwise we’re fine and wonderful people. Or whatever.

God, this post is making me just want to burn this blog to the ground.

But I guess what I’m saying is that, if you want to use the internet to decide who the bad guys or good guys here in town are, don’t solely use moments like these to decide. People aren’t just their fuck-ups.

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9 thoughts on “Just Some Stuff I Want to Say

  1. I’m offline for a day and it gets up to 121 comments!
    Scalzi somehow manages to either Mallet or Kitten his comments to keep them in line. I just wouldn’t have the energy…..

  2. I don’t feel like you owe me or anyone else an apology. This is your place & you can see fit how things run here. If I don’t like it, I don’t have to drop by. The same goes for others.

    It’s a big internet out there – occasionally we all run into items and opinions that don’t gel with our own values. We can either learn & grow in these instances or we can take our football, go home and remain the same person we’ve always been.

  3. B., you have one of the most generous and sensitive minds I know. If there’s any good or appropriate place for tackling and working through these ideas, it’s right here.

  4. I’m so sorry that this has to get thrown in the mix along with all your other writing questions you talked about earlier in the week. It almost seems like something out there is setting against you in your writing endeavours as some form of a test. Which almost always sucks to live through. I’m sorry to YOU.

    I don’t feel like you owed anybody an apology, but the fact that you did feel that and that you then did apologise shows just how deeply you were wounded not only by events but also by the subsequent conversation. It also shows just how generous and sensitive you are–as Sam Holloway pointed out already.

    I don’t have a changed opinion of anyone else because of that thread; I hope that no one has one of me, although I’m given to understand from other places how my position is perceived in general and I apologise for that.

    At any rate, I do hope you can get peace from this and not feel like your writing voice is being trampled.

  5. You are just one person, you have your real life to tend to, that shit is making you feel bad, and this is your place. You owe no one an apology. Close the comments on the other thread and let those still committing necro-equine-flagellation find another place to do it.

  6. Echoing what others said, you don’t owe anyone an apology. And this:

    One fight one time in one place is not the whole of who a person is. It doesn’t settle or prove anything about a person. We change. (Though, as I said, I doubt because of shitstorms like this). Or we hold one opinion that seems stupid or out of character but otherwise we’re fine and wonderful people. Or whatever.

    So much truth here. As much good as it does, one thing I cannot stand about the social justice blogosphere is that so often we end up tethered to whatever wrong thing we said or did, and that ultimately defines who we are (at least in that word).

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