RANT: Just Another Stupid Comment

I’ve been torn about posting it here. I got bitter and decided to rant on my other blog. But a reader’s comment makes me think other bloggers might also relate. And, hey. I’ve wanted to say this for four years. About fucking time. Please read the comments for further clarification — I DO LIKE COMMENTS!
First off: When someone gets into a big long treatise or essay all provoked by what I’ve written, I’m flattered. When readers get into arguments with each other over something I’ve said, I’m flattered. When people take the time to write me to say why they identify with something I’ve written, I’m flattered.
THAT is why I love to write. All of those comments. They’re so awesome to get. I love them.
This might be totally cunty of me, but I’ve got to say I’m getting really tired of people commenting and leaving me unsolicited advice when all I’m doing is blogging for the fuck of it.
Like I’m complaining on the other blog about my mild hangover after too much tequila on Saturday night and I get the whole “You’re probably dehydrated, you should drink more water” brilliance thing happening in the comments.
Yeah, thanks, Sherlock. You fuckin’ think so? God, how did I ever get to age 35 without knowing being dehydrated is a major component of hangovers? Wow, why do I never get these memos?
Holy overstating the fuckin’ obvious, Batman. Thanks for that pearl.
I know people mean well, but it’s really fucking irritating as a blogger, when you work hard trying to keep a blog with new stuff for people to read all the time, and instead of getting a comment that’s the equivalent of a pat on the back or something, we get emails telling us what we’re wrong about or some obvious stupid thing that the reader seems to think we need to do.
Obviously I’m dehydrated after drinking tequila. I thought I’d spare you from the obvious and write about the funny part of it rather than the what-every-person-with-a-brain knows, that one should drink water after getting drunk.
A week or two ago someone left me a comment about how to make an em-dash. See the assumption is that I give a shit. In fact, I don’t. I feel kind of badly for writing that reader back privately and telling him to stop with the fucking “helpful” advice that, instead of being helpful makes me feel like I’m being condescended to, not appreciated on the basis of the CONTENT of my blog rather than just its grammar, or any other number of feelings.
These guys are not exceptions. Sadly, this shit happens pretty regularly for any blogger.
Fuck, people. I work hard enough, working 40 hours a week, exercising up to 10 hours a week, writing and editing another 10 hours a week on top of that, doing the basic caring-for-myself eating/washing/shopping/house-cleaning that takes another 25 or 30 hours of my week. The last thing I need to start giving a shit about is putting a proper em-dash into motherfucking Blogger, for whom alt-characters don’t work. Life’s too short. A double dash works fine for me.
Besides, my job uses double dashes because of its 1980s software, so I may as well stay in a frame of mind more conducive to getting my job done faster. But does the reader take any of this into consideration before saying what I SHOULD do as opposed to what’s been working fine for me? No. Does the reader assume I even KNOW what an em-dash is? No, they condescend to explain what it is. I’m an EDITOR for a LIVING. I get PAID to understand the constructs of the English language. Like I say, this guy isn’t the first dude to jump to ignorant conclusions.
I don’t get PAID to write this blog. I do it for the LOVE of it. So I take shortcuts. So fucking what? Don’t make the assumption that I’m somehow unhappy with what I’m putting out there, because that’s an insult, as if I’m somehow settling for something crappier, when all I’m doing is choosing my priorities.
There’s the whole “Oh, just ignore it” mentality that someone else may want to suggest I have about those comments. You know, sail through life in “ignore” mode. Or I could just tell people to fuck off and have it done with.
So, let me say this on behalf of any serious bloggers out there:
When we WRITE blogs — not just throw up four links and call it a fucking post, or use some easy picture as filler with a 15-word wisecrack and call that a day’s content, but we really, really WRITE blogs — and we put our fucking hearts and souls into it, COMMENTS are the juice that get us energized and keep us going. So, when the only comment you get after, say, two days of no comments or a week of no comments, is something about grammar or punctuation or “drink water”, the first reaction is, “Have I got a bitch-slap for you!”
Like, have the respect to write about the content or saying hi or patting us on the back, rather than just throwing advice or grammar tweaks at us, or don’t write at all. We don’t need it. Really. It’s a big world full of “shoulds” and criticism. We can do without yours.
If our writing provokes a thought with ya, comment. If you liked what was said, comment. If you take issue with what was said, comment. Absolutely. It’s a dialogue. So let’s do that.
If, however, all you want to do is patronize the blogger by assuming they’re not smart enough to know anything outside of the 600 words they’ve just written, then put a cork in it.
I know I’m getting really fucking tired of the condescending advice emails that make the assumption I’m just some stupid chick who needs a little extra hand-holding to get across the street. Seriously.
“Drink water” after waking up from passing out from tequila? Gee, YOU THINK? Sigh. Fuck, man. Wanna tie my shoes for me, too?

7 thoughts on “RANT: Just Another Stupid Comment

  1. D.P.

    Full disclosure, I still blog, without pay, and used to get paid to blog. So I suppose I fall under the heading of “serious blogger.”
    I’m really confused by your rant. You only want comments on your blog, as defined by your rules, rules that, to be honest, are oddly specific and self-serving? “I only want to be complimented,” essentially?
    Why, then, are you bothering to post this publicly; or, why do you enable comments? It seems to me you only want to express your thoughts, ideas, feelings., etc, without the commentary that will necessarily come from your blogging. Perhaps you should disable comments if they annoy you so much, and make it clear on your blog that you only want e-mails that laud your blog.
    And your section “on behalf of any serious bloggers out there” is off the mark, insofar as I know quite a few bloggers–“serious” as you say–who completely disagreed with your statement(s). At the very least, as a “serious” blogger, I completely disagree with you. Have you actually read other blogs and seen what goes on in comment threads? It seems you haven’t; or perhaps you have, but want to have it your way.
    And to have it your way, just shut off the comments. You’ve left some of your readers in a pickle here: now, we have to question whether our comments are condescending–yet you have set yourself up as the sole arbiter of what that entails. How do we know what is a “proper” comment when our only guide, via you, is:

    “If, however, all you want to do is patronize the blogger by assuming they’re not smart enough to know anything outside of the 600 words they’ve just written, then put a cork in it.”

    You’re saying you always know everything outside the 600 words you’ve written? How are we to have discussion; how do we know to what extent your knowledge goes?
    Essentially, you’ve said: comment on what I’ve written only; only praise me; if you’re not going to praise me, assume I know everything that extends beyond what I’ve written.
    I really like your blogs, Steff, and as rants go–formally–this one is good; but in terms of content, it not only makes no sense, it deters me from reading, commenting, and literally drips with ego.
    Can you at least clarify this position you’ve given us? Because, as far as I can tell, I’ve already broken your “rules” by stating something you may or may not already know, something obvious at that.
    Finally, I took a long time deciding whether to post this anonymously or not; in the end, I’m posting under my identity which you will no doubt recognize. It struck me that an anonymous comment wouldn’t be taken as seriously (that is not a swipe at you; indeed, anonymous comments, since one can “hide” behind a Blogger ID, seem dubious, like the person is just taking a quick swipe at you, without you knowing how long they’ve been engaging you here).

  2. Scribe Called Steff

    Yeah, okay, clarifying is good.

    If you take issue to what I say and want to argue me, GO FOR IT. I’m cool with that. (Respectfully, of course.)

    If you like what I say and want to pat me on the back, awesome!

    If you want to share experiences in your life, go for it.

    If you just have some thought something I’ve posted has provoked and you want to share, rock on.

    If you saw a cool link that has to do with my posting, you can share.

    In fact, I’d love comments left in any of these situations.

    My ONLY ISSUE is when people write only to say “You missed a comma” with NOTHING to add about my posting, or to give really obvious “advice” I’ve never asked for or believe I need, like saying “you should drink water” after I’ve posted that I’m hungover.

    85-90% of comments I’m fine with.

    I’ve had three comments in three weeks that have just pissed me off because I’ve thought I’ve had a lot to say of late, so to find out my comment is entirely about how I should be using an em-dash instead of double dashes, or that water’s the mystery cure for hangovers, it’s just fucking dumb.

    If the comment feels like it could have been written by my Grade 4 teacher correcting my English, or my mother lecturing me on what I “should” be doing, then odds are it’s NOT a comment I [or most bloggers] care to be reading, you know?

    Does that make it any clearer?

    MOST COMMENTS ARE AWESOME. But for the 10-15% who seem to think their “advice” or grammar tips are something we bloggers are holding our breath waiting for, I’m hoping it’s a newsflash.

    But I realize posting this means I might be shooting myself in the foot. What can I say? I’m dumb like that. πŸ˜‰

    FYI, I like your comments because you’re always respectful whether we agree or not, and you’re seldom (if ever) condescending about things you share or refer to.

    So, I don’t need little groupies who agree with everything I say, nor do I even want them — I just want intelligent comments that don’t lecture me by condescending that I don’t know the obvious.

    BTW — the “outside of the 600 words” comment I made means, just because I haven’t SAID in my posting about drinking tequila and having a hangover that WATER CURES HANGOVERS doesn’t mean I don’t know it, like it seems some people assume. “Well, if she knew water cured hangovers she would have said so, therefore I should tell her it’s a cure.” I mean, just because a blogger doesn’t state the obvious doesn’t mean they don’t know it — it means they’re not stating the obvious, you know what I mean?

    We have to assume writers know a bit beyond the immediate topic — or at least that’s the assumption I make, and would hope others make about me, too. We all have life experiences and learn by osmosis, and shouldn’t have to illustrate every tidbit we know in every posting.

    Sigh, I shouldn’t have posted this rant, but hey.

  3. Scribe Called Steff

    Maybe it’s even as little 5% of comments irking me. I don’t know. πŸ™‚ It’s not a lot, though.

    I think the important comment I made is: If the comment feels like it could have been written by my Grade 4 teacher correcting my English, or my mother lecturing me on what I “should” be doing, then odds are it’s NOT a comment I [or most bloggers] care to be reading.

  4. D.P.

    Clarified well, and hey, it is your blog–you can post what you want! That’s the editorial freedom of blogging.
    I suppose some (many?) could accuse me of being nitpicky in asking for clarification, but yours did help.
    I think the “respectful” clarification is also instructive. When I’m commenting, even if I don’t agree with you, I’m still thinking “Hmm, am I simply flaming here, or actually making a point (some rhetoric allowed)”?
    Regardless, the rant and clarification makes sense now. But we know the hard truth that, when we’re not in the mood for it, something stupid will creep out of the comment thread (and I fully acknowledge that could be me).

  5. Scribe Called Steff

    Ahaha. Well, yeah, I can post whatever the hell I want — but that’s sometimes part of my problem. πŸ˜‰

    I often will get irked or annoyed by little thing in average comments, but so long as it’s said respectfully and it’s genuinely what the reader thinks, I can grin and bear it.

    One more person advises me to “drink water” when I’m cycling in 30 degree temp or when nursing a hangover, or suggests I should use em-dashes or spellcheck, and I’m gonna lose it. LOL.

    [Funnily enough, commenting, instead, “Oh, yeah, I always feel awful after a night of drinking tequila until I’ve had six glasses of water before noon” would actually have been a great comment [while still communicating ‘you should drink water’], because then it’s not me getting explicitly lectured, and I’d have responded back with an amusing story about my attempts to get rehydrated the next morning. You know what I mean? Entirely all about delivery…]

    Thanks for giving me room to expound. πŸ˜‰


  6. Scribe Called Steff

    Heh heh heh.

    Well, Fahrenheit would leave the question being “And why are you cycling now anyhow” wouldn’t it?


    Pesky readers. Ha ha. Thanks for the chuckle. (I laughed when I read it last week, too, but took me a while to respond.)

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