If you can't annoy somebody with what you write, I think there's little point in writing. ~Kingsley Amis
And no, that first quote is not directed to anyone in particular. I am just saying that I would no more tell Bill O'Reilly or Sean Hannity to shut the hell up than I would Andrew Sullivan or Jon Stewart (although, admittedly, I would love to tell Ann Coulter AND Rush Limbaugh to both shut the fuck up already because the word "despise" does not adequately even begin to describe the degree to which I feel about them.)
So, what is this all about? Last week, I was hesitant to write about a controversy that exploded between two bloggers (both gals with far larger audiences than I have.) I did end up writing about the controversy, but what resulted was a watered-down version of what I was really thinking....really feeling..... I am still dissatisfied with that post and will forever be unhappy with it because it does not truly reflect what I thought about the whole thing. I am also disheartened because I wrote the post and then? Received emails about it. In fact, I received more emails than comments. Why? Because folks were not comfortable talking about it in public and thus, having their name associated with it. A few folks were flat out scared to even have their names publicly associated with it.
With permission, I am quoting a friend from one her emails (I repeat, with her permission. I would never, ever post a quote from someone without receiving express consent!)
Anyway....in regard to her unwillingness to comment publicly on my blog (a little-known, little-read blog at that!) my friend said this:
"What does that say about the blogging community at large? That I'm afraid to comment on a post that you were hesitant to write? I don't believe that the majority of the blogging community are vindictive snipes. But it really only takes one or two to ruin it for someone, especially if that one or two has a following of 30,000 folks.Is this in our heads? Am I the only one afraid to talk about potentially controversial topics that may or may not concern popular bloggers? It is sad, but some folks are nervous. And not necessarily about the bloggers themselves, but about their crazy fans. And some of those fans are ready to leap with teeth bared and talons unsheathed if anyone remotely disagrees with their beloved blogger or dares to hurt that blogger's feelings.
I'm not sure what my point is, only that I'm a little shaky after the thought that we are starting to become self censoring because we fear a backlash from folks we don't even know."
It seems that some of us are scared of those bloggers with a larger audience and perhaps, there is some validity in that. Piss off the wrong blogger and their legions of fans with virtual torches and buckets of tar will hunt you down.
Is it just me, or does it seem there is a group of bloggers with large audiences who can take unmitigated swipes at others with little to no consequence? Am I imagining this? Am I crazy?
Wait a moment. Don't answer that last one.