Monday, October 13, 2008

Medium-Sized Fish in a Small Pond

A friend of mine submitted my shadow blog, Small Laws, to MNSpeak. I was flattered at the gesture, glad she enjoyed the blog, but it's just my own vent. I don't think "reporting" traffic violators like this will change or improve anything in my environment, but it makes me feel better. I'm not bottling it up inside, I'm getting it out and talking about it, posting the pictures (and I have a lot of them)... it's therapeutic. Like taping a photo of McCain to a punching bag and beating the shit out of it with a baseball bat or a battle ax.

I certainly didn't create that blog with an audience in mind. I certainly did not gear it up to be popular. It is merely the pillow into which I cry. Or the void. The effect is the same.

Today I happened to notice that MNSpeak has a comment function and was curious as to what people had to say. A couple strangers had commented on Small Laws and brought interesting things to the table, but the comments on MNSpeak were... well...

Well, this is the Internet. People feel permitted to speak frankly when they can't see who they're talking to and feel themselves pretty much untouchable. They also mistake hyperbole for comedy, or maybe that's a security issue, so it's not enough to say "I disagree with such-and-such." It is comedy to say "such-and-such is made of concentrated bat guano." It happened that a young woman only recently legal to drink wrote her assessment on the premise that I've never left Minneapolis in the course of my life. And another gentleman who primarily posts links to other things on his blog, rarely writing original material, found me "long-winded."

Those might be irritable comments to hear about yourself, but in a case like this it really, really helps to look at the source. The young woman has no life experience and therefore believes no one else does either; the gentleman does not like to write and therefore gets lost after eight words in a row. That's acceptable. There was another snarky comment but I had the opportunity to go to her author's blog and then to a picture of her, and it was apparent she wasn't nearly half as bad-assed as she believed herself to be.

See? Consider the source.

Where otherwise this would be a post filled with hatred and vengeance, I got a glimpse at who was casting judgment on me and decided I can take that from them. Now, if Gene Wolfe critiqued me as being verbose, that would sting on a couple levels, but if the gentleman with ADHD thinks I go on and on, I'm still within acceptable parameters.

And actually I had something else to say: I was going to talk about my lovely trip to the apple orchard yesterday, being in love with my wife and enjoying the weather, the whole package. However, I'm abruptly not in the mood to be pleasant.

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