It started with a blog post in progress that left me over analyzing how to make it just right while being fair about the subject matter. The resulting writer’s block had me putting off the post repeatedly. It’s taken me since late August to post something. While the sabbatical has been nice, it’s time to get back to writing. Life’s been chaotic on multiple fronts. The job is in shambles, the house in disarray due to a renovation, surely a first world problem but there’s a thin coat of drywall dust everywhere and the sounds of tiles being cut blare on leaving me searching for the stuff I’ve squirreled away because there’s no place to put it. On top of that a neighbor had an issue with us because he thinks our dog barks too much. This all may sound trivial but my time management and focus skills have taken a beating. I’m regrouping. In the midst of this, I unearthed the above comment I needed to consider. The sting of negativity only hurts for a while. It helps to acknowledge it with mockery.
I considered different ways to respond. Everything from fiery rhetoric, a Faulkner quote, a reference to post modernism, a Woody Allen allusion and troll jokes about Billy Goats Gruff. Really, the Troll should wait and eat my big brother because he’s much tastier but remember, dear reader, I’m trying to get back on track. I’m desperate for subject matter so a self-referential post about a piece of hate mail is what you get. To analyze the comment reveals how little sense it makes. Social media spun out of control to make it easy to find a good hate read or encounter a troll who wants to get a rise out of people. Plenty of sensible folks abandoned their online presence while I’m left grasping for a reason someone would compare my blog to a piece of shit. I’ve got a dog. I’m familiar with poop so this comparison is apples to oranges. My writing, even on an off day, is never fecal in nature. And this thing about my blog being something that no one wants is an unwarranted and unfounded opinion.** Someone in the world has it on good authority that no one but me and my friends want my blog. My friends, well, I’ve got a few who are the best I’ve ever had in my life and I know they read this but other friends–I’m not convinced they even know about this blog. There’s no need for me to pick another art form, real or otherwise. I’ve never claimed this blog to be art or journalism. It’s words, ideas and images I share with anyone who is interested. Wasn’t that the promise the internet originally intended? Uninterested and uninteresting parties need not apply. No one needs advice from sore losers who can’t express themselves and want to shut the rest of us down. After writing that sentence, expect trolls around the world to surrender en masse!! In the meantime, I’ll do what I want while it’s still a free country.
The demand that I pick a real art form threw me. Hmmmmm, what? Should I stick with making poetry albums, or videos about the stuff in my basement, write more unproduced screen plays, and of course, keep working on The Peasant Revolution Band Variety Hour. Right? Or are these options not a real enough art form either? There’s a sad lack of detail within the expression of rage in the comment. I’d welcome specific ideas, a chance to have a debate but everyone is more interested in shouting everyone else down. Maybe it’s better to think about the nice comments I get from real friends and bots. The bots are smarter than some of the humans except when they’re trying to butter me up just to get me to buy something from Ebay. The world has felt like a confusing mess at times. At least technology allows us the option to sift through and block out some things we don’t want in our lives.
Thinking about what set off the person who wrote the comment, I realized somebody had a bee up their bonnet about graffitti. Looking back at what I wrote in A Message of Mystery: Graffiti Abuse, I admitted to being tolerant of graffiti. I may have made a better case when I wrote Antsy About Antsi Part 2 because I added some input from people I respect in an attempt to understand the graffiti phenomenon. It’s not something any of us control. It’s unstoppable. There’s a culture, like it or not, that expresses themselves this way. Painters are going to paint and haters are going to hate. Ugh, I know, but if you condemn someone for writing about anything that demonstrates an out of control need to control everything. Good luck with that. Ultimately, if “no one wants this shit,” I’m fine with that. This is about what I get from writing, revising, thinking and being curious and appreciative of where I live. It’s for me first and I’m happy to share. I welcome any reader of any intelligence level, even artificial. Instead of getting hung up on everything that’s wrong it might be better to focus on making things right.
**Mrs. Yuchmow I really felt the need to start that sentence with the word and. Now I need to justify it to you but the problem is I wrote it a while back and I can’t remember what possessed me to do it. Maybe the devil? As a teacher, I do think you’ll be impressed that I just learned that the word possessed is spelled with four s’s.
2 thoughts on “I’m What’s Wrong With Portland”
Crazy comment, but I doubt it relates to your blog per se. Most likely, they confused your article ABOUT graffiti as a glorification of “vandalism.” I see it as an anti-graffiti comment, and not an original one either, LOL. Haters will be haters, and that’s why you can “approve” or “trash” any comment. Anyone who hates your blog really ought to get dropped in the circular file.
If you’re what’s wrong with Portland, I don’t wanna be right!