Saturday, June 03, 2006

Reader Request

This evening, after I got the boys into bed, I wandered down into the basement and fired up this old steam-powered Mac, to see what's going on in the outside world. Waiting for me was one new e-mail, a comment on a post on this very blog.

I won't quote the message in full, but the commenter (calling itself "Yoli," and posting anonymously) asked in a heartfelt way if I would please delete that blog post, because "[a]ll you're managing to do is stomp on her self-esteem." Well, far be it for any American to damage the self-esteem of anyone else, yes? I mean, self-esteem is guaranteed in the Constitution, right? (It must be here somewhere, he said, rummaging around...)

Yoli did trigger one of my manias -- the current cult of "self-esteem" -- about which I can be guaranteed to curse and rant at length until everyone else has fled in boredom. But I can calm down -- I will calm down -- and I won't hold that against Yoli. Let's just look at the post and see what the problem is. Maybe I was intemperate and rude. Maybe some edits are in order.

(I was going to go off on a hopefully-humorous rant here, about how it's not anything on the home page of Antick Musings, and how I'm damned if I can find that comment. Then I'd whine about how low my traffic is to begin with, and how the audience for an ancient blog post of mine is approximately one eyeball per year, so it's not worth worrying about. But I looked at the e-mail again, and saw it had a link to the original post, which I'd never noticed before. So consider that whole embarrassing Emily Litella moment as read. It's amazing the things you can avoid noticing if you try hard enough.)

The post in question is The Most Clueless Fanficcer, and my opinion on that subject has not changed in the slightest. So I had to work out what to say, and how to say it in the clearest, starkest way possible.

I had to hang up some laundry, so I used that time to compose my next few paragraphs in my head -- and oh! they were doozies. I ran through all of the nasty things I'd say about that very silly person, and how the Internet really is public, and how one needs to behave like a responsible adult in public, and not make a fool and an ass of oneself by being amazingly hypocritical -- I was really working myself up, and probably mumbling under my breath something awful -- and, well, I just couldn't sustain that level of dudgeon. When I sat back down I was beginning to feel the slightest bit hypocritical myself, so I just couldn't go through with it.

But I won't remove the original post, either -- in fact, you might notice that I'm actually calling further attention to it by linking to it from here (though I'm also burying all context in this long and exceptionally rambling post, so I doubt more than two or three people are even reading at this point). I don't believe in trying to alter the past to avoid consequences (well, I would if I could actually travel into the past to really change things, but merely altering records isn't the same thing), and I don't intend to alter or remove posts on this blog unless I accidentally say things that are supposed to be secret or do something else radically out of character.

So, Yoli: this post is for you, if you're actually reading Antick Musings and that comment wasn't just a drive-by in some campaign to rehabilitate the good name of Shadow-of-the-Wolf. (And, assuming you're not actually the same person, that means someone silly enough to call itself -- oh, hell, herself, let's be brutally honest and admit that fanficcer is clearly a very young woman -- Shadow-of-the-Wolf also is a good enough person to have one friend well worth having.) I won't do what you ask, and Shadow-of-the-Wolf will have to deal with her own "self-esteem issues." I'll just say that esteem, whether from one's self or from others, must be earned and must be based on real worth. Esteem cannot be given. Good luck.


Anonymous said...

Rock on. Don't remove your post...public hypocrisy invites public comment (and frankly, you were quit polite in your post -- just saying "read it and weep" was very tame compared to comments elsewhere ;-).

Cheryl said...

Ah, you've been raided by the Nice Police. And dealt with it rather well, if I might say so.

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