We Mommy Bloggers get a lot of shit.
Not just because we have a dumb name (I mean, MOMMY BLOGGERS? It sounds like some sort of weird disease or exotic insult), or because we’re all angling to get free shit, but because we’re talking about our KIDS! Online! Without their consent!
(all together now)
WON’T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!?
/end hand wringing.
I get what they’re saying. I do.
If you spend all day, every day, discussing the most intimate details of your kids life, well, that’s maybe not okay. So we each do our best to write things that WILL be okay when our children stumble across them someday. I mean, as we’ve learned, the Internet is a small, small place and whatever you’ve written WILL be read eventually by the one person who you don’t want to read it.
That’s a no-brainer.
I’ve never kept what I “do” under wraps in my family. I don’t necessarily broadcast it to the small crotch parasites because they’d be just as likely to try and fart on me as they would be interested in it. But the Big One, Ben, well, he knows what I do. Sorta.
We’re doing a bullying carnival (much less cotton candy than you’d expect) on Saturday over on Band Back Together. Basically, this means we’re collecting as many bullying posts as we can find (join us, y’all!) to offer as many different perspectives on bullying as possible. This comes on the heels of the tragic suicides of a couple of kids after repeated, intense bullying.
I asked my son to write for us.
He’s been the victim of numerous bullies in his short ten years. If anyone knows how a bully makes them feel, it’s Ben.
Last night, I sat him down and asked him to write 5 paragraphs for us over at the Band about bullies.
He. Was. Thrilled.
And he did it.
What I got was one of the sweetest, awesomest things I’ve ever read. What I also got were questions about what it was, precisely, that Mom does. He knows I’m a “writer” and I have a “blog,” but I haven’t really discussed my other projects with him. I explained what Band Back Together was and how we ran things and the stigmas we were trying to combat.
He thought it was the coolest thing ever.
I, of course, was bowled over. I figured he’d think it was “lame” or “stupid” or something, but no. He thinks it’s great. I know. I KNOW. What. The. Fuck? I thought kids were supposed to hate whatever their parents did. Maybe I’m doing this parenting thing wrong – perhaps I need to become an assassin or something to fill the kid with angst.
When he was done with his bullying post, he told me, very sweetly, that any time I needed him to write a post, he’d be happy to help out.
I actually had to fight back tears. We all three (me, Ben, The Daver) did. What an awesome kid.
Guess that means all that hand-wringing was in vain.
Fill in the blank?
“WON’T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE ______?”
We live in interesting times.
“There’s a study,” Ben said, “that shows that people who watch Fox News are less informed than those who watch no news at all.”
I laughed. Mostly because I can’t imagine why a DANGER FEAR SEGMENT story about escalators “STAIRWAY TO DANGER!” or a story about applesauce “AN APPLE A DAY MAKES THE CORONERS DAY!” would be considered news by anyone anywhere. But the world needs ditch-diggers too, so I try not to think about it.
I get my news primarily by The Twitter. Crowd-sourcing seems to be the best way to manage news that’s important to me. If that means it’s news about the hats at the Royal Wedding, so be it.
Last year, during The NotoriousSNOMG, I sat at my computer as the wind was a-howling and the snow was outrageous. Roads were blocked, the power threatened us, lights flickering, the occasionally brown-out making me wonder when we’d have to huddle in the basement for warmth. They shut down Lake Shore Drive (arguably my favorite road), The Twitter told me, and I realized how fucking serious the situation was.
My friends all over the Chicagoland area tweeted back and forth about what they were experiencing, which helped me see what I was in for. Also: made me shit myself, but that’s neither here nor there.
Months later, on September 11, we ran a blog carnival on Band Back Together to share stories about that day. I sat on Skype with various members of the board from the moment I dragged my sorry ass out of bed and onto the computer. I was on until well after midnight that day, editing, scheduling, and posting stories – our stories – about where we were that day.
We ended up with fifty different perspectives.
It was FASCINATING.
Not so much that people would want to share their “Where Were You” stories, but because we, as a community blog, we able to see perspectives from people who were actually there, people who lived overseas, people who lived nowhere near the Twin Towers, and those who were children (now adults) at the time.
Every other story I’d read, every magazine I’d poured through, they only posted a few random stories – and while they were interesting, they didn’t offer the variety of perspectives that The Band did. They weren’t glossed over, our stories, they weren’t edited to be more or less exciting, they simply WERE. Because we WERE.
When the Twin Towers were attacked in 2001, I was not a blogger. I had a single email address: email@example.com and no chat service. I’d never figured out why I should go into a chat room, besides pretending to have fake cyber sex with someone, and barely used the computer for anything beyond writing research papers.
Now, I’ve been blogging for longer than I care to admit. If there’s a social media outlet, I’m probably on it. I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t.
Being able to use social media for things other than telling the world that, “Anxiety can eat a hot bag of dicks,” well, that’s incredible. And that’s what we saw when we ran our September 11 carnival. It’s the premise of Band Back Together – a group site where you can read a variety of stories about any one topic to feel less alone.
It’s why I trust the unfiltered tweets of my friends over Fox News. It’s why I believe you when you write on your blogs. It’s why what we do here, in this virtual space, is so much more than any one of us could have predicted. It is why we must continue to do what we do – whether we have five readers or fifty. What we do, it all matters.
It’s a brave new world out there, Pranksters.
And I, for one, am fucking proud to be a part of it.
I’d been off and on The Twitter all day on Friday, rather than out and about pepper-spraying people to get a wicked deal on a TV set or some diamond earrings thanks to a particularly bad gravy hangover (Xanax Gravy, you should try it!). Whenever I’m on The Twitter, I pay a little bit of attention to the Trending Topics on the sidebar. Mostly because I want to know if the Zombie Apocalypse is starting but also because The Twitter feeds me my news.
Well, I saw that Nickelback was trending.
Fine, I said, as I trundled off to get buffalo wings with The Daver. Whatever. Prolly a new album or something.
Over dinner, we began talking about (oddly) Nickelback, who happened to be playing at the Lions versus Packers football game. I figured that was reason enough for their appearance upon the Twitter, but no.
“It turns out,” Daver said, “That Nickelback is getting a fuckton of backlash for their appearance at the game.”
“Really?” I raised my eyebrows as I slowly devoured buffalo wings, which are proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
“Yeah,” he replied. “So their record company released a statement saying that they’d sold 5 million copies of their latest album and we should all shut our whore mouths.”
This got me thinking (a semi-dangerous pursuit, as we all know).
5 million albums.
Presumably bought by 5 million people.
So I promptly threw out a tweet asking about it:
I wasn’t being glib – I was genuinely curious.
Because even as I said it, I realized I didn’t know a SINGLE Nickelback song. Not one. I got on my i(can’t)Phone and popped onto YouTube (we SO live in the future, y’all). I simply threw “Nickelback” into the search box, figuring their biggest hits would pop up first and I could be all OH so it’s THOSE guys. Got it. The ire, I get! Or, people should shut their fucking whore mouths, this song rules!
Didn’t find a single song I recognized.
So I decided iTunes would never let me down and clicked over there through my i(suck at making calls from my)Phone.
Not a fucking thing I recognized. All I was able to ascertain was this:
1) Nickelback songs sound the same.
B) They’re Canadians.
So I waited for The Twitter to enlighten me.
Hrms. She’s Canadian. Okay, fair enough.
Now THAT is a fucking good point!
(Altho, my mom would NEVER buy 5 million copies of anything I sang. Which is fair)
AH-HA! My arch-nemesis! John C. Mayer would do ANYTHING to fuck mah shit up.
The Twitter’s consensus was that Canadians and Nickelback’s Moms bought all of the CD’s. But not ALL Canadians (I think I got unfollowed by 30 or so Canadians for using that blanket statement), I quickly learned.
That leaves wondering: who DOES buy Nickelback CD’s?
This is where you get to help me, Pranksters. Survey below should clear it up. Also: results are anonymous, so I won’t laugh and point if you say you have bought the CD’s.