Saturday, November 25, 2006

I haven't blogged much lately...

mostly because I'm just sick of myself. And I'm a little sick of this whole self-promotional machine that I built or at least piloted for the book. I'm sick of thinking worse of myself when my Amazon ranking goes down and I'm sick of thinking better of myself when it goes back up again.

I'm sick of some blogger making me feel like crap (calling me a "disembodied voice", no god damn it I am a human being with a body and a voice, thanks) and making me forget about the legit book reviewers who said good things about the book and the cool MySpace comments from random teenagers who latched on to the book.

I'm sick of people leaving comments on this, my more or less personal blog, ripping into me about the method in which I chose to write a damn book. I delete those comments, and that might be against the code of blogging or whatever but screw it, I don't care, I'll do whatever I please, but honestly, what possesses people to say nasty things about someone while commenting on their blog? I mean, have we fallen so far that we simply cannot be civil?

I'm sick of the acrimony of politics and people who feel like I should be a receptacle of that acrimony just because I wrote a book about my own experiences. At this thing I did the other night, I was supposed to be "playing the part" of a conservative at this completely liberal-packed event and the guy I was supposed to be arguing against got to be himself and just say really mean horrible things. That was the schtick, I understand that, but geez, I was the Guy Fawkes statue at their post-election celebration.

I'll try to update this thing as events warrant or when my kids say weird crap. But Christ, even though I don't have a scrap of the writing chops of Thomas Pynchon, I understand why he's just said Screw it, all you people. I understand why Douglas Brinkley doesn't own a computer or why Daniel Schorr types on a typewriter.

There were some other fairly intense things going down at the same time as the book launched as alert readers know and maybe now I'm just decompressing but I almost feel like I got a case of the bends. Not to worry, I'll be back to relentlessly publicizing myself soon I'm sure. I mean, boo-hoo, right? The poor guy gets to write a book and tour the country supporting it and we're supposed to feel sorry for him? No, you're not. But it feels like living on a stage. A stage I walked on to willingly.

I'll probably delete this post later.

13 comments:

Glenn said...

Buck up, me heartie! Don't mistake the tiny percentage of 100s of millions of people on the Internet who leave comments as reflecting any kind of reasonable opinion or having any morals or ethics themselves.

Recall that a good percentage of human beings, probably including the entire Administration at present, have no ability to empathize with others -- they literally can't understand that other people have feelings. Thus, they leave scheiss-ridden comments and have no idea why you are offended.

I have been moderating email lists since 1990, and I have discovered the same patterns emerge. A very small number of vocal people appear, to you as the victim, to represent an audience. Instead, those people are marginalized in real life because they are too annoying to be coped with. The Internet, the great leveler, lets them pretend to have a reasonable opinion in the guise of appearing at the same level of discourse as other, actual reasonable people.

Kate said...

I'm so sorry. I want to knock some heads together on your behalf, although that would probably not really help things. I wish I was half as reasonable as you. And funny. And smart. Although I don't envy all that you've been through lately. I can't imagine that makes this easy to deal with.

That said, try not to take it too personally or get too discouraged by your fellow humans. There are lots of us who don't attack people with whom we disagree. Or try not to. Or at the very least, feel guilty if we do so.

Kate said...

And as for deleting comments, don't feel badly. Sounds like these people have spewed their bile, why does it need to be kept for posterity?

There are some blogs I frequent where I've completely stopped reading the comments. My blood pressure is high enough as it is without reading people tear into each other. And don't get me started on the lack of thoughtfulness of the commentors.

Makes me feel a little better about my belly-button investigation blog. At least no one other than my friends and family reads it and they already know all my flaws. So, maybe you should take it as a compliment that lots of people read your stuff, even the mean stupid people.

tina said...

I, for one, am in favor of your leaving this post up. It's going to be illuminating for a lot of people. It's a moving post. But you gotta do whatever you gotta do.

And you delete whatever comments you like. This blog of yours doesn't owe anybody anything.

Sorry to hear of the bad vibes you've received. I hope the good ones drastically outnumber them. It's brave to write a book like this and hang it out there. Politics really sets (set?)* people on fire, even when it's (they're?)* approached in the balanced way you've tried to do it.

*I am a torturer of syntax.

Anybody who gives you crap needs to pony up with their own damn book.

Scott Chicken said...

First off, I'm reporting Tina to the Geneva Convention for the Syntax torturing. I mean, damn, it's a tax to start with so why torture it?

Second off, while the cliche is "the squeaky wheel gets the grease", the Internet version is "the asswhole who farts loudest gets heard". Or something. Which is a short way of saying "screw 'em, they don't know you, they don't matter."

All of this is easy to say for me, 'cause no one reads what I write and it wouldn't matter if they did 'cause it's all bunk. I think the only comment I've ever gotten that wasn't from a friend was some guy trolling for a fight about the whole Islam vs. Cartoonists thing.

But to help you out, as your attorney I strongly suggest you rent a large convertible and drive in to the desert. Or perhaps just call up some Chickens and come get your rock on. And I do mean ON.

Scott Chicken said...

OK, had to post another comment after reading "sonatine"'s profile (or is it "Goth Volvo"? I can't tell...): I am fairly certain you can completely ignore anything she (I'm assuming female from the tone of the writing, since the picture is River from "firefly") says for the following reasons, in no particular order:

1. Young. Born in 1982. That's 2 years in to Regan. Which means reaching some semblance of political conciousness mid-term Clinton if then.

2. Quotes Theresa Heinz Kerry. Not that I've ever actually met her, but let's face it...she married Lurch.

3. Refers to herself as a "Pretentious navel-gazing blog-surfing pontificator" and goes on to say that she is "horridly snobbish and elitist, and the world frustrates me a great deal (the two are probably related)." Combined with #1 and the fact that she's a rabid Portlander leads to a high bullshit potential.

4. Can't spell "death", unless "deth" means something to the kids these days. I'm not hep enough to know.

5. Uses a cartoon character as a role model. OK, this is actually not a strike against her, although the fact that the character (Spider Jerusalem) is inspired by, or at least referential to, Hunter S. Thompson makes one wonder why she didn't just go to the source...other than the fact that Hunter was what, 117 when she was born.

6. Lives in Seattle but is clearly not happy about it. Since she's so deeply in love with Portland one wonders why she doesn't go home, especially when all that seems to be keeping her here is "the hope of a relatively non-soul-sucking job with benefits."

7. Has 33 pictures posted...32 of her cat, one of graffiti saying "Will the real Luke Skywalker please stand up". Because, as we all know, Luke is the REAL slim shady.

All of which sounds a hell of a lot like just about any 24-year-old Northwest Liberal Arts (I'm presuming that...doesn't sound like a Business major, although she did go to Portland State so all bets are off) graduate who hasn't figured out what he or she wants to be when they grow up. Only instead of only being able to diss books and stuff over a beer at the Blue Moon in between arm-wrestling bouts with Canadian drunks named Ned, she gets to post it on a blog where your "Conservatize Me" tickler finds it.

Hopefully she's surprised to find that you, the "disembodied voice" and author who has clearly done more in his life than she, has bothered to comment on her little blog.

pseyler said...

simply put, xoxo
ps: if you need me to kick someone's ass, just say the word.

Sean Nelson said...

Let me briefly be Kris Kristofferson to your Sinead O'Connor: Don't let the bastards get you down.

And in the immortal words of Epictetus:

"Do you desire the good opinion of these people? Are not these the same people you told me yesterday were fools and charlatans? Do you then desire the good opinion of fools and charlatans?"

you have the goods, sir. don't forget how hard it was to write the book, and how long you've worked to get good at what you do. it means something.

-sean

Anonymous said...

I'm a fan you don't know from a while back through your McSweeney's stuff.
Don't let any of this get you down. You deserve to enjoy the good parts of this and have every right to shun or ignore the bad.
And, needless to say, none of this changes who you are, who your family is.
Take some time, dust it off, keep livin' well.

Basil said...

You wrote a song called "Acrimony and Cheese" and sang it wearing a chicken suit. I saw you do it.
You are so much better then most people out there for that fact alone.

rwlane said...

You don't know me, but I come here several times a week because I like what you choose to write about. I bought your book because I like the blog.

I haven't left you any comments before; I just lurk, because it's easier to read blogs than to write one. Please know that the vast majority of your readers are here because you're that good; we just don't tell you so as often as we should.

I used to serve on my town's school board, and it felt kind of like what you're describing. I was doing something I thought was important, made a contribution to my community, but I should've just worn a "kick me" sign instead.

Still, I'd rather try and put my good self out there and be trampled than not try to put my good self out at all. You're a good guy. Don't let the jerks get you down.

Kay Y. said...

Screw the hayta's. They all just wish that they had something as interesting to say. You are funny, smart and brave to put your work out there. It is always easier to take "pot-shots" at people than to actually take the time to be thoughtful and creative (of which you are both). So like I said, screw the hayta's. They don't got nothin' on ya'. ;-)

Lola B said...

Yeah, I'm with all of the other peeps. Screw 'em- but keep writing. I never leave comments- they just give me the willies. But I understand totally your feelings of being trampled while simply trying to do "good" and be honest. I haven't read the whole book- but some excerpts- and I really enjoy it. It is witty, funny, honest and I can't say I haven't been curious myself.
But...but I mean to say that I like hearing about your funny kids AND your publicity junkets. They are both interesting to me! Thanks...