I’m not sure if you heard, Internet, but there was this lady who got drunk, drove a mess-load of kids around, and then crashed her car and killed everyone. It was pretty gruesome. If you hadn’t heard, you’ve obviously been living under a rock, and if you’re living under a rock, perhaps the next logical question is this: how do you get Internet access there?
The media, of course, latched onto this case and immediately began nailing mothers who drink to the wall for people to shred. Some of us got spared, and well, the others, did not.
Honestly? The whole comparison to someone who names their blog “Mommy Wants Vodka” (or something similar) to someone who drives their kids around after drinking a 5th of Absolut is pretty much bullshit. Okay, so we have “vodka” in common. But, like one of my readers pointed out, it’s not like I named my blog “Mommy Wants To Get Loaded And Drive!” or “Mommy Says Drunk Driving RULES!”
Wanting “vodka” and wanting “to drive wasted” are two, well, separate things. Call me tasteless for not calling my blog “Mommy Wants Chicken Fingers LOL!!!” but don’t call me late to dinner a drunk.
It wasn’t that the comments by the readers about the articles were all together surprising. Combine the anonymity of The Internet with the asshats of the universe and you have the making for one ritual slaying. It wasn’t even the overly verbose, self-indulgent, pseudo-intellectuals who liked to wax boring poetic about how we were ruining society with our jokes about things that aren’t funny!!!! Some people have no legs!!!!
More than anything, this shit-storm of negative publicity got me thinking about how bloggers, especially ones who aren’t getting free cars and washers and iPods out of the whole deal, should handle criticism.
The general consensus about this situation is this: if you don’t want the nasty-grams, be more careful about what you put out there. And it’s true: I WOULDN’T post something about BPA in bottles causes cancer or abortion or gun control or even my relationship with Nat, because I don’t tend to court or appreciate controversy.
Plenty of people milk the controversy angle better than I do, because I’d never have made it onto the Debate Team because once I started to try and defend myself, I’d start throwing the podium around because I had no words.
But the things that I have put out there that you’d THINK I’d be thrown under the train for are never the ones that people tend to mock me for. If it were an if/then statement (50 million programmers can’t be wrong)(somewhere Dave started crying tears of joy at my proper usage of that term), it would be a clear cut situation.
“I will not talk about X and people will not assume Y.”
Anyone who has traveled around the blog-o-sphere knows that is a line of bullshit.
(coming soon to a blog near you! Aunt Becky carefully, thoughtfully lays out TYPES of trolls for your viewing pleasure).
The thing I am commonly trolled on involve one of my dogs, who, contrary to popular belief, I did NOT taxidermy when he misbehaved, and mostly reference things that are not quite true. Or they are, if you make up things that I write. Then, I suppose, they are.
The first time I got trolled by someone other than Pashmina (who was doing it as a joke) or a spambot (who cannot help itself), I was PUMPED. I did the White Girl Booty Shuffle and called The Daver out of a meeting to tell him. I was more excited than when I found out that they made sugar free Red Bull. Because I knew right then that I had officially Made It.
Mostly, the Trolls don’t bother me, except for when they kind of do.
I mean, I make my living (if you can call blogging tripe onto a free webpage “making a living”) off of writing about myself and my life. I don’t get paid for it. I owe precisely nobody a damn thing.
But how does someone, even someone with skin as thick as an elephant’s ass, handle the negativity? It’s not as though I’m performing a particularly poor rendition of Rosencrantz (or Guildenstern, even) and you’re telling the world that I couldn’t “inhabit the role.” No, you’re judging me on my life. These are MY stories, MY family, MY stupid human tricks.
The only answer is, of course, to stop blogging entirely.
It’s not an answer, of course, for someone as self-absorbed and narcissistic as I am, and I wouldn’t do it anyway. I’m not going to be chased off by some thesaurus-wielding moron, or someone who thinks that I am a worthless piece of shit, or someone who tells me in my comments that they WON’T be back. I’ve been called (and will be called) worse things by better people and I have had WAY worse things happen to me than this..
And besides, what sort of message would I be sending if I did that? Oops, kids, I can’t win and make everyone LOOOOVVVE me, so I threw in the towel! Not to be all “think of the children” or anything, but seriously, think of the children, people!
But I’d rather put myself out there than have ‘She Wasn’t Brave‘ carved on my tombstone. That would detract somewhat from the weeping out of work actors I’m going to hire to lay prostrate with grief on my grave, moaning and wailing, shrieking “WHY GOD?” at the sky.
Inheritance? What inheritance, kids?
So grab a drink, kiddos, if you’re into that, or don’t if you’re not, put on your Easter Bunny costume and let’s get this party started.
Your Aunt Becky? Not going anywhere. (Except maybe to hell.) *hums “Highway To Hell.”
How would YOU handle criticism as a blogger?