We all do it. We sit at the keyboard, pounding away, letting the thoughts flow through us. For some, it’s poetry – the likes of which I’ll never be able to write, much less comprehend or, you know, get. For others it’s a new fiction piece about an old barn that tells its own story. Still others are able to capture the wrongs in the world and help me to understand things I clearly do not. Those of us who call ourselves writers (meaning I don’t have a job and I write stuff, so I’m a writer) must write. Of course, if we wanted to simply spin a yarn merely for ourselves, we could. I’m told they sell journals just about everywhere these days. But, we don’t. We want to share our thoughts, our stories, and our prose. And, of course, we like to hear what people have to say about what we choose to put out there. Do they like it? Did I capture an issue properly? Did I teach someone something they didn’t already understand? Do they like me?
As a writer, I try to be thoughtful in what I put out there for the world to see. Not everyone does, and that’s okay. This is my chosen vocation and certainly don’t want to remembered as a hack. But, where do we draw the line? Where do ratings and comments feed us so much that “Yo! Where My Honkies At?” seems like an appropriately titled piece. Where do we draw the line at, “I’m brilliant and you all suck because you don’t tell me how brilliant I am and you’re the ones missing out because I’m hilarious. And brilliant.”
When do we, contributors of a site, say enough? Enough of bad-mouthing and complaining about the very site where you are bad-mouthing and complaining. You know, the one allowing you to have a voice? Yeah, that one. I’ve heard that this interweb thing is, like, ginormous. If you hate it so much here and think everything about it sucks, and everyone on here sucks because they just don’t recognize how spectacular you are – why don’t you find another place that will welcome your talents? I certainly would.
Some people on here probably think I’m a bitch, and that’s okay. Do I question things when others seem to think that we should just play along? You bet. The thing is that I’m not doing it only for myself. If my bullshit detector goes off, I tend to comply with it. If I don’t it’s a whole mess of stuff backing up like a really ripe septic tank. No one should have to stifle themselves to please others. Just for a moment, let’s look at why sometimes we should question what people put out there. The reason for me? Because I care. If I think something is kind of hinky, I don’t want you to be taken for a ride. While it may seem inappropriate to some, simply asking a question instead of piling on the applause shouldn’t be that big of a deal. If someone takes offense, it’s probably because they don’t have an answer. They aren’t looking for any challenges, merely accolades.
“No, don’t! Please, please stay.”
“But, no one appreciates the copyrighted logos I plaster on my page or the You Tube videos of a drunken cat.” (DO NOT stop posting videos of drunken cats.)
“But, we need you here – your voice.”
“No, I must go, I never get an EP or the cover – this place is rigged. Rigged I tell ya!”
“Hey everyone I’m back! I know I haven’t been on here lately.” (Even though I’ve posted 10 pieces in a matter of seven days.)
Why is it not okay to question this? Are we not adults? The countless posts become nauseating. Perhaps if more people said, “Hey, what about that post you did today and yesterday and the day before that?” it wouldn’t happen so frequently. But, no, if someone does – they are the ones who are somehow out of line. The reason that these same people don’t receive the coveted (in their eyes) EPs and covers is because the only recognition they receive is when they are saying they are leaving. If you don’t have readers, that’s okay. If you want readers, change what you’re putting out there. I mean, I, personally, can only read so much on “Why OS Sucks” before I’m probably not going to come back and check out the latest reason. Even though your next post could be about an entirely different topic.
Running around this place leaving entire blog posts in others’ comments because you think it is terribly important is inappropriate to say the least. Berating others because they don’t feel the same as you about said post is inappropriate. Turning someone’s words to direct them at you is inappropriate. And all of it disruptive.
There are many posters on here with mental illnesses. They’ve told us as much and it’s clear when those illnesses come to the surface. Why do I need to feed it? Do I feel sorry for them? Yes. Will I ever understand what they go through? No. But, you know what? Maybe a site like this isn’t really the best place for them. When people crack, it’s loud and clear and I don’t think we should placate it. They need help and this isn’t where they will find it. We are not doctors or psychologists – well, okay, maybe there’s a couple. But, sometimes I sit back and wonder what the hell is going on here. It’s okay to behave so abrasively to others if you have a mental illness but not if you don’t? It’s not an excuse to me. I don’t get it.
There have been times on here where I have thought things were directed at me – or at least the general direction. You know what I did? I PM’d them and asked. Simply asked. Privately. This business of overreacting and the subsequent witch-hunts are getting old. And embarrassing.
I love this place. It gave me a voice – a way to write differently than screenwriting allows. It allows me to learn every single day. Open Salon gives all of us information, prose, artwork, essays, my mom’s ass. We interact, we comment, we rate, we build friendships – even with Canadians! Why don’t we show it a little more respect?
Yesterday a new member wrote a hurried post about how she needed the comments section to work for her to bring her blog and users over here from some other site. With not much thought, it was clear what would happen to this site if that were to take place. Initially, it had nothing to do with whatever end of the political spectrum she fell under. She wanted to import a blog and linked her previous posts here as an example. I remember the night this “example” post was on. There was nothing – nothing – in the feed except for her and her friend in what amounted to a chat. There was no discussion on the post what so ever. Although it was really gross and propaganda-ey so there wasn't much to actually discuss. Nope, just a chat between the two about avatars and what not. The point I tried to make is that a) we are not set-up for that type of commenting, b) She wanted to use OS’ standings to further herself - not be a contributing member with thoughtful pieces, only her group and their followers. What her group stands for is nothing that even conservatives here, save for a few, would associate with. She bragged on how many comments she had, etc. Is that what we want this place to be? “Thanks for developing this site for us liberals, don’t mind us if we just hand it over to the exact opposite.” Which brings me to c) Not in my house!
And what did we do? We cleaned house. We stood up for Open Salon, albeit with drunken pirate wimmen and spanking, but we did it all the same. So, why not stand up for it when the same thing occurs from within our own members? And if someone does, why are they suddenly a heartless bitch?
If you hate Open Salon so much – then leave. If you think the tech sucks – then find a place that does a better job in your eyes. If you can’t get a picture to load – fucking resize it or name it something else. But, what tech do we really need that is so out of reach? I seem to post things just fine. If you think you should be paid for your writing and are sick of giving away all your valuable words for free – then find some place that will pay you. Hmm, why aren’t you doing that already? I think I’ve got a pretty good idea.
If you want EPs and to be placed on the cover, write something worthy of it. If you think you are so worthy and just never get a fair shake, perhaps somewhere else you might. In my opinion, it’s the same thing that gal and her group wanted to do. You still want to utilize OS’ stature and have your name attached to it. Moreover, (yes, I said moreover) Kerry explained what was taking place at Salon, hence their need for a new editor. Give them a break. This is a free site for us to use. It’s no expense to us. It is, however, an expense to them. Be thankful for the platform we have here. A platform rich with information, breaking news, drunken cats and pirate wimmen, cartoonists, poets and humorists. A platform we make. Let’s make it the caliber it should be as opposed to constantly bashing it.
I’m grateful to Open Salon for many reasons. I have made new friends – like, real life ones. I’ve been introduced to new artists, magnificent prose and important discussions on challenges we face as a nation.
And then you come across something like this:
I LOVE Sarah Palin! It’s about time we got some real conservatives at OS. Sarah has been the victim of a relentless defamation campaign by liberals. They’ve portrayed her as unintelligent and reckless, when in fact she has great ideas for moving the country forward. There’s so much to like about her: She’s pro-life, she surrounds herself with people who are knowledgeable about foreign policy, and she knows what it takes to improve the economy and create jobs. The fact that she’s clever and personable is a bonus. I’m with you one hundred percent. Please, bring your friends to OS. We're an open and gracious community. My only request is that you not post on Tuesdays, which is when my ophthalmologist removes the camera implanted by the CIA for especially grandma hi gRrandma!!! thanksgiving i comes soooooo fast or camera CIA lots great grerart grrrrrareat AWE dresssssssin insecting seditious delICIous! aco. mellaril!! YIK!&%yuM!!! *&^ strange sleepy ((((((((smells Tha+nksgiv nurse p=lease stOp! yahWEY io Thanksgiv no shot please no+ shot NONE weeeeeee oh CIa camera Thank$$$sgivi
- Steve Blevins
See how great this place is? One comment from someone and I have to clean myself up because I peed my pants, crying with laughter. Really, there were tears and everything. Virtual strangers who can make each other laugh and cry. A community indeed. If you can’t understand that, I’d like to kindly ask you to move.