Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Out of the woodwork

I don't mind when commenters disagree with me. Well, I mind, but I can live with it. I don't mind if commenters think I'm full of it (again, yes, but ok).

The rule here though is if you think I'm the horse's patootie, and want to say so, you have to write cogently. And you have to make some sort of reasonable argument. And I'd prefer if you didn't use invective to try to make a point. Unless you can do it stylishly.

For the time being though, I'm going to leave the political stuff to someone else. I'm a bit dismayed at the idea that people with such poor command of the ethics and rubrics of rhetoric even read this blog. And if I've offended you, well, I'm ok with that too.


Sharpie said...

Well, I'm rather disappointed and kind of do think you're the horse's patootie for not being able to stay in the political kitchen, especially since you're the one who started the cooking, but hey.

I honestly think taking the whole post down is cowardly, though. You could have just closed the comments and/or deleted the ones you found offensive.

Oh, well, lesson learned. Political discussion isn't for everyone. You have to be really patient, cool-headed and tough.

Joe Iriarte said...

Was this the video about the police actions in St. Paul, or do I have my wires crossed? If so, I thought your accompanying comment was very restrained, frankly. I'm outraged, and I can't imagine how anybody can defend these actions.

I didn't read the comments, though--I use a feed reader and I don't tend to see comments unless I comment myself.

Blogs aren't articles in a magazine; I think some people forget that. You don't have a responsibility to teach me anything. That you do it anyway is awesome, and I appreciate it. I also appreciate reading about whatever you (and the other bloggers I read) want to talk about. I like getting a sense of writers, editors, agents, etc as real people. I enjoy reading about Lucienne Diver's brilliant son and her new house and gorgeous view, about Elizabeth Bear's trek to Lothlorien and her rock climbing, Susan Sandmore's feelings on her kids' first day of school this year, Patricia Wood's adventures cleaning her boat, Jenny Rappaport's trivia obsession, Ellen Datlow's theatre excursions on and off of Broadway, and so forth. I particularly get a kick out of how excited you all get when one of your writers gets some cover art or a good review. I love to imagine someday having an agent share my excitement under similar circumstances.

If the gist of the obnoxiousness was that you should stick to talking about publishing, I couldn't disagree more. There are reference books where I can look up some guy's opinion of what a query letter should look like. I come for the learning, but I stay for the people.

Horse's patootie? Hell, I think you're the bee's knees. (And I'm not sucking up--you don't even represent my genre.)

Rick Baker said...

Perhaps the following statement makes clear what their intentions were:

"Aided by informants planted in protest groups, authorities raided at least six buildings across St. Paul and Minneapolis to stop an "anarchist" plan to disrupt this week's Republican National Convention."

The televised videos of protesters wreaking major havoc by smashing store windows and lighting bonfires with other people's personal property makes clear to me why police would take such threats seriously.

Mags said...

I adore commenters who open blogless profiles for the sole purpose of anonymously calling others cowardly. They're just so, well, cowardly. What fun!

Poor Sharpie. Bleeding a little ink, are we?

Bill Cameron said...

I take issue with . . . oh bloody hell, . . . whatever it is I take issue with.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

I missed the whole thing. I was way to busy playing cupid for a frustrated goat ....

However, I have a firm political statement to make: I should be Queen. No ifs, ands or, head-butting. ....

I've been practicing saying, "Off with their heads." I do it really well and with just the right inflection. I scowl better than most. It comes from having children. I can't spell well, but IF I were queen, I'd hire a secretary to translate ... I'm very cute ... I have pretty wings.

AND I bite ...

ME! Queen in 2008! Write my name in!

Queens don't need running mates, and I certainly wouldn’t pick a reject of a liberal senator as one ... However, have no fear! I know a goat who would love to be vice-regent or something like that ... I know it's true ... He has tons of vices.

It IS time for a change.

Pixie Rule!


"I'm proud to accept the Pixie Party nomination as Vice-regent. Now, will someone please give me the name of the cute French Alpine doe in the back? Quickly ... and a cell phone number too. Thanks so much."--William E. Goat,III esq.

Heidi said...

It's a shame you had to take down the link because people can't comment nicely. Politics are just a lightening rod these days, and it seems to bring out the anger in people.

I always enjoy your tidbits... even (especially) the non-literary ones. I pass a lot of them on, as well, so I hope that doesn't stop!

And wow! even after taking down the post you are getting more firey comments!

Sara J. Henry said...

I was about to search the Oz video comments to see what invective it had produced (people offended by underwear? or by law students needing haircuts?) - then realized you removed an entry that had linked to another video (thanks for posting it, BTW).

So sorry that some people apparently attacked you for daring to express an opinion on something other than book publishing. (And sorry that they presumably couldn’t see at least a vague connection.)

And thanks for your blogs, both of 'em.

Elissa M said...

Hmm. Well, I sort of believe in karma (what goes around comes around). People who get so upset about a blog post that they have to spew invectives at the blogger are digging themselves an early grave.

"Freedom of Speech" means the government cannot infringe our right to speak our minds. That doesn't mean we should abandon manners, good taste, and civil discourse.

Shame on those who cannot make their points logically, and without obscenities. I don't think I missed a thing by missing your post.

Kerry said...

I have ta sound all cogent and stuff? Well, durn it, I'm gonna haffa learn me some writin now.

Cheryl said...

I, too, really enjoy your blog, and I think it's important that you're able to be you, to express your opinions. It is, after all, your blog.

You have such interesting things to say; I enjoy reading. So thank you.

freddie said...

Personally, I enjoy your blog and I love it when you go political. But I don't blame you for dropping it. I'm all for intelligent discourse, but it can't be had with everyone.

Ryan Field said...

I was worried the trolls would come out of the woodwork. But I wish they hadn't.

Jay said...

Etiquette says never discuss religion, politics, or money.

I do find it interesting that non-blog readers come out of the woodwork with vitriol when a political topic comes up.

I personally don't mind rational discussion of things political, and am seriously open to other opinions, especially when more educated than mine. I do mind closed-minded individuals who think they have THE answer and the rest of the world are ignorant shmucks.

I agree that our right to freedom of speech should be protected; that's not to say that I love the media either. But when journalists are gagged, arrested, and have their computers/cameras/recorders confiscated, right here in the US, that scares me.

Brigid said...

People got mad about the police video from the other day? Wait...what...what'd I miss?

Damn career. Getting in the way of my internet trolling.

I think your blog kicks ass. My writer buddy and I are going to try really hard not to fall over in a dead faint if we spot you at Bouchercon. I love that you pull no punches, you speak your mind intelligently, and you swear as much as I do.

Please don't let some self-important morons make you feel as though you have to censor your blog. Did you forget you're bulletproof?

Rose D. said...

I commented on that post, in appreciation of you sharing that link, and then went to bed. By the time I had the chance to check back in, the whole firestorm had erupted and the post was gone. All I can say is that it's extremely disheartening to see the kinds of vicious personal attacks people make on each other in the name of politics.

It's sad that you feel you can no longer discuss political topics on your blog, but it's certainly understandable. I just wish I had confidence that some of the spewers of invective would feel a twinge of shame.

Keep up the great blogging, Janet! We appreciate it so much!

Natalie Hatch said...

Wow where was I when all this went down? Editing again. Damn I knew I should have procrastinated yesterday.
Everyone has opinions and being able to allow others their opinions is called adulthood, when we can't and we get our knickers in a knot over it then we're still children.
Keep blogging, we'll be here to read with relish.
Although I'd ask that you didn't let the law students twist their knickers seeing as thought they're not wearing pants. The thought sends nausea rushing in.

December/Stacia said...

Sha'el for Queen!!!

Aimless Writer said...

What did I miss? Damn! I'm always late to the party.
I come here for your frank open commentary. Don't bow to censorship.
Air your views and those who love us love us and those who don't can go to h*ll.
If-scratch that-When I get an agent I want a person who tells it like it is and isn't afraid to speak her mind.

clindsay said...

After the insanity of the comments you got after your (very perceptive and right on) comment about immigration, I'm surprised your blog didn't explode.

I don't understand people who feel the need to inflict their toxicity on others online. Reasonable discourse, intelligent debate; sure. But people need to keep in mind that this is your personal blog, where you're free to share your own opinions and thoughts.

Anyway, sorry that the haters found you again. Seriously, you should put your post back online and just block the IP addresses of the asshats who wander by. That's what I do now.

Cheers! (And Scotch!)


Unfocused Me said...

Lady, it's your blog. You want to make a political statement, you go ahead and make it. I missed the original post so I have no idea if I would have agreed with you or not, but if not, I've got my own blog -- which costs precisely nothing more than the effort I choose to put into it -- if I want to go off on an invective filled rant. When I'm commenting on someone else's blog, I'm a guest, and I try to behave with my company manners and use my inside voice. Next time, I hope you just block the obnoxious commenters or close the comments and leave your post up -- you shouldn't have to censor yourself on your own blog. You are mistress of your (sub)domain, after all.

Christopher Johnson said...

You're probably getting smacked by Google Alerts, as folks use it to police the blogosphere and post what is essentially drive-by spam.

ChrisEldin said...

I missed this too. Just when I seriously decided to start writing, the blogs start hopping.

I'm sorry you went through this. I'm afraid to discuss politics on my blog for this reason, but I love to go to other blogs and read well-written, respectful opinions.

Deaf Brown Trash Punk said...

i think you are the bee's knees, Janet. Please don't be afraid to be opininated. We live in an almost-fascist regime and we cannot allow fascists to take over our society anymore. do NOT let fascists silence you!!!

Haste yee back ;-) said...

People who really believe they've got it all answered, crate up their minds and put it away.

Problem with crates... they leak!

Haste yee back ;-)

Sharpie said...

Janet, I'm guessing you based your decision to take down the entire thread on the fact that it was built on a false premise to begin with.

I mean, you only posted the after effects of the incident, without any explanation of what came before, and it was just kind of iffy, and might have made you look biased.

Am I on the right track?

ICQB said...

I watched the video.

That was political? I almost put it on my blog (but no one visits my blog, so it would have been moot : )

I thought it had more to do with that fact that that kind of thing isn't supposed to happen here.

And becuase we are *here* and not, say, China, we can actually look at the video and be a little bit miffed, a lot outraged, or just ho-him.

And then blog about however it makes us feel.

Right now I have a sleeping kitten in my lap, so I'm okay with the whole world.

Margaret Yang said...

I couldn't have said it better myself, so I will just say that I echo what Unfocused me said.

jnantz said...

Hell, put it back up there. I'm so sick and tired of people in this country who think the first amendment means they have the right to never see anything they disagree with or that offends them. If something that small honestly upset someone, I'd tell them to seek help. We live in an increasingly litigious society where everyone wants something for nothing and wants to dictate what others can and can't do, and I'd rather set the world on fire and start over than continue to the inevitable end to which that road will take us.

It's your blog. Post what you want, and if we don't like it, we have the inalienable right to CHANGE THE URL. God bless ya, Janet, even if I don't agree with anything you say (I do, but still) I say fight to the death to defend your right to say it, even if it makes someone's inner child cry.

Better yet, say it so their inner child gets spanked. That'll show 'em. Frightened, small-minded fascists.

Joe Iriarte said...

"You're probably getting smacked by Google Alerts, as folks use it to police the blogosphere and post what is essentially drive-by spam."


It's how come any post in the blogosphere mentioning Ayn Rand (and criticizing her philosophy) gets slammed with obnoxious comments. Some people seem to just look for fights to pick online.

Sharpie, for instance, posted a fairly incoherent comment on Mareen Johnson's blog like twelve minutes after her post here, blasting her for . . . something. I'm not sure what, since it was clear s/he didn't actually read the content of the blog post. I guess simply for writing about Bristol Palin and not thinking Sarah Palin is a hero or something. I don't know. But who has time to actually read blog posts when you have a whole list of sites to spam?

I only read blog posts by people I like, or by the people they link to. When I stumble across somebody new I like reading, I add that person to my RSS reader. I don't get searching out blog posts by people you obviously don't follow, just so you can police the thoughts of anybody with the temerity to believe differently. What an unpleasant hobby.

austexgrl said...

Janet, here is a novel idea. This is YOUR blog, you write what you want to write. If someone doesn't like it..they should move to another blog. I try to get along and like everyone, respect the opposite opinion, but people like Sharpie make me want to chew nails. How DARE he/she call you a patootie...
Name calling only shows a lack of class!

Joe Iriarte said...

Well, now, to be fair, Ms. Reid *did* invite people to call her a horse's patootie.

Loretta Ross said...

Something sad? It's not just online. I think people are afraid to talk politics anymore. I live in rural Missouri. It's two months until the presidential election and to this point I have seen three bumper stickers (all Obama -- I thought them brave and hope their cars don't get keyed!) and one campaign button (also Obama). The only yard signs are for local elections, not even for governor or anything like that, and NO ONE I know talks openly about politics, even those who I know have strong beliefs.

If free and open discourse is the key to a healthy society, we are indeed a nation in crisis.

jnantz said...

As I've said before, we've become the land of the sheep and the home of the afraid. Everyone goes along quietly, the silent majority afraid of the backlash of standing up for what they believe in. It's depressing to live here in the land of free speech, where speaking your mind freely (and courteously, for those vitriolic offenders in the deleted post) creates such a hullabaloo that it seems like it's just not worth it.

kitty said...

Let’s not be coy here; the publishing industry is heavily populated with Democrats. Republican writers – and there are a few – are understandably reluctant to voice their politics. If you’re a Republican writer seeking representation, why handicap your chances? As Janet Reid has so often reminded us, word does get around.

I read the lit blogs for the invaluable information they provide. I try to avoid the occasional injection of politics, so I usually bite my tongue and try not to react to the few insulting comments by readers and surf on by. Keep moving. Nothing to see here.

That was before, before Wednesday night, before Sarah Palin. If she had the guts to stand up to the corruption in her state, within her own party!, then I can admit that I’m a Conservative. I absolutely love Sarahcuda!

Admitting it does not make me a “troll” or an “asshat” or a “hater” or “insane.” It doesn’t mean that I’m “attacking” anyone or “spewing invectives” or “inflicting [my] toxicity.” I simply reached my Howard Beal moment.


Chris Redding said...

What bothered me about the video was that it was a snapshot of the events. It is really hard to discern what happened based on such a small portion of it. And when people assume they know what happened based on that snapshot, well I find it scary. I tell my kids you should question everything, even if you don't do it vocally every time.
I don't comment on political things since my politics seem to differ with most of the publishind industry and I certainly don't want to handicap myself in getting representation. I'd like to assume all can be professional, but obviously from the vitriol you had to take down, not everyone can be.
And I have lots of friends whose politics are very different from mine. I makes me know I really have thought about how I feel on issues.

Elissa M said...


Of course you're not a "troll", "asshat", "hater" or "insane". You spewed no invectives. Your above post does not read the way toxic waste smells.

This is how people are supposed to make comments. Politely. And anyone who showers you with obscenities because of your beliefs, is one or all of the above quoted adjectives.