Partly because I’m bored and cabin-fevery, but partly just because I stupidly read the comments on my Scene story, I’ve been mulling over why someone would bother to read a whole story only to complain that she didn’t really find those figures worth a story.
I mean, once you realize you don’t give a shit about the story, why keep reading it? And once you realize you don’t give a shit about the story, what do you think you’re accomplishing by making a public remark about it? Differences in philosophy–“I think you should have covered x, not y”–or anger at my being incorrect–“That’s my dad and you made it seem like he believes x, when really he believes y.” I get. I even get, to some extent, “Wow, this is really bad writing on a good subject.”
But I am fascinated by the “this story just didn’t do it for me” approach to commenting. The world is not a critiquing circle. You’re not obliged to comment on everything.
I’m really torn. On the one hand, I love that the internet has given people I wouldn’t otherwise ordinarily hear from a way to communicate with me frequently. And I do think that there’s been an important democratizing effect. Everyone can have their say.
But that doesn’t mean that we need to hear from everyone on everything. Like, if you read something and you’re like “Well, that didn’t really suit my taste,” that’s an important bit of information for you–the person who has to decide what kind of stuff is worth your time and energy–but unless you’ve asked me to write something specifically for you, it’s not really my business or my problem if it didn’t suit your taste.
I might be reading too much into this–I have spent a lot of time in my house lately–but I really wonder if this isn’t some manifestation of white supremacy–the assumption that everything created is created for you and, therefore, your realization that something doesn’t suit you does seem like a problem the creator needs to know about.
I don’t know. It just strikes me as such a weird approach to thing that I wonder about what motivates a person to persist in doing it.
Spot on. In this case, it’s a public announcement of who “doesn’t matter,” and how there must be something wrong with anybody who’d think–and show–otherwise. The necessity to volunteer ” I don’t CARE about this!,” in general, is, seems to me, pure rampant narcissism–“advertisements for myself,” whoever Me happens to be. I’d say we need a new “Who Asked You?” post-comment button, but somebody’s sure to respond, “Who asked you?”
I meant to read that story when it appeared on the internets, but for whatever reason I closed the tab and forgot about it. Because she commented there and you commented here I went back and read it. So the comment was, on some level, good for something. Also, I enjoyed the story and found the people you wrote about to be well worth your writing and my reading about, so thank you for doing the work, both the sleuthing and the writing.