Monday, February 22, 2010

A little house-keeping

Nothing sexy, no story. Just a quick post today because something's been on my mind recently -- blogrolls.

I gotta tell ya folks, I'm getting ready for a freakin' purge and I don't really have a lot over there but one or two may have to go.

Here's the thing, in my life, I don't spend any time, not any time AT ALL, with people who are rude or hostile. I just don't. For starters, I'm self-employed and yes, I've turned down jobs (not a lot, but a few) because I felt something "off" from the potential client. I've also refused to accept money again from someone who was a pain to work with the first time. But most of my clients are off-the-charts smart AND generous AND funny AND well -reasoned AND mature. When I worked for large companies that wasn't the case, other people chose my co-workers, bosses and in many cases subordinates and some of those folks were really quite trying. I managed but corporate life is not for me.

On the social side, if Vince and I are out and about with a group, and there's someone who is either dumb or hostile to either other members of the group OR to people who aren't in the room, then we usually split; then we don't join the group again if that particular bad egg is there. It's a huge help. We now have three of four circles of friends (vanilla) about 30 people total, that we just love to hang with. There's plenty of debating and discussing going on and there isn't one that agree with everything I've ever thought or said, but not one of them are jerks and not one of them thinks that I am.

I don't hang out with people who refer to people who disagree with them in derogatory terms. I don't care if you're referring to "Demo-rats" or "Repuli-tards." I don't care if you're talking about a subject I agree with (like how much I can't stand rape jokes) or something that doesn't really bother me too much (like illegal immigration.) If you can't keep a civil tongue in your head then YOU are an immature jerk and I won't subject myself to your negative waves. You're out.

I also don't care for people who, in their quest to make the world a better place, treat the very people they need to convince with contempt or hostility. PETA, hard-core feminists (the "all men are evil -types), most of the Tea Party people, etc.

I avoid talking to people who can't or won't make a distinction between a "difference of opinion" and a "difference in intelligence." There are lots of smart people that I disagree with and vice versa. There are also a lot dumb people who agree with me; that doesn't make them smarter or me righter. There are also a lot of smart people who expand my perspective (and I do the same for them), who present ideas I've never considered or better yet, explain an idea I just haven't been able to wrap my mind around in a better or more interesting way. These types of folks make me a better person; the others just make me want to climb a bell tower.

I'm bothered by people who apparently choose not to see the difference between "not listening" and "not agreeing." I'm also irritated by people who believe that everyone who apparently disagrees does so because clearly the don't "understand."

I don't care to chat with folks who choose to be "offended" over being "effective." Master your own fucking emotions before you join the debate, please, especially if you're the one throwing down the gauntlet.

One of the reasons I started Ivey Lane was so that I could join the conversation with some pretty intelligent and insightful bloggers out there. I used to lurk on their sites and wanted to be involved in the conversation, to contribute my voice and ask questions that have been on my mind but can't be addressed so well in the vanilla world. But I can't tell you how many times, lately I've commented on a blog, especially when I was mostly in agreement with the author, with either a "yes and..." statement or a "have you considered..." comment only to have either the original author or their cult-like followers come down on me like a ton of bricks for apparently "sympathizing with the enemy" or being "just another part of the problem."

My standards are quite basic -- be reasonably smart, reasonably accurate, reasonably civil, and thereby, reasonably effective at communicating what you want to say. Like the standards I use when deciding who I will and won't spend face-to-face time with, I am only willing to associate in the blogosphere with writers that rise (yes, RISE) to my standards. Some of these bloggers are very smart; some are incredibly entertaining; some are even committed to changes that I'd like to see happen in society (PETA and sex positive). But if you're a smart jerk or a committed asshole, you won't be on my blogroll.

Yours sweetly,


  1. I have a feeling this is about me! Gah!

  2. Not just you personally, I'm including commenters in this, but your blog is on the list. Which sucks for me cause I love your brain, your blog, and in fact, I wish I knew you personally 'cause based on what I've read, I think you're an amazing and interesting person.

    But lately, I don't get the impression you'd care for me very much. I don't think that "all men are rapists" and yes, I understand the distinction you've explained on your blog many times. I also think people who object to it have a multitude of very valid points to chose from. I agree with your stated position regarding "privledge" but I disagree with your stated position regarding women's equality. I think that people who acknowledge then immediately dismiss the reality of male rape victims simply because there are more female victims are doing more harm than good. I admire your dedication to eliminating rape culture but I also think that every time you insist that any specific man admits they personally are potential rapist, you create a more entrenched adversary than a more enlighted and potentially useful ally.

    And my objection isn't that you and I disagree; it's that it appears that a dissenting comment on yours (and a few other, non-sex blogs) is an open invitation to an attack on the person's intelligence or character by you or some of your more vitriolic followers. I don't put up with that in person, so why am I doing it on my blog?

  3. For many of the reasons you cite, there are certain blogs that I really hesitate to comment on anymore. The thing that bugs me the most is the failure to see a difference of opinion and instead making it "you don't understand". Actually, I do understand your argument, but that doesn't mean I agree with it.

    But really, I'm just glad to see that I'm still on your blogroll :-)

  4. That's a shame that you're running into comments that discourage your contributing to whatever dialogue is taking place. Sorry to hear that.

  5. I really admire your thoughts and attitude. I work with a bunch of angry at the world types and do my best not cross their paths just for the sheer weariness they bring. I know I have a tendency to whine on my blog, but hopefully not so much that you won't still enjoy stopping by and reading. I think you're pretty great.

  6. Totally feeling you on this blog post!
    And I agree with you on all of it.

  7. Hubman -- You are absolutley staying on my list so I can see those sexy pecs every day!!

    MR -- Yes but there are still PLENTY of blogs that I love to comment on and bloggers I love to interact with. I don't feel all that bad about cleaning house. :)

    13M -- One of the best things I ever did was learn to walk away from angry people and their negative waves. I feel for you though when it's co-workers bringing bad mojo; it's like being trapped in a cage with a rabid dog.

    Emmy -- And since you're one tough chick yourself, I appreciate your support! :)

  8. Avoid zealots, for they are generally humorless. Words I try to live by.

    While I can and have been snarky, and I can and have been dismissive of peoples thoughts if for whatever reason I don't consider them well-reasoned, I've never, even as a child understood the need to tear someone else down. I may disagree with you, vehemently. I may even consider you a moron whose genes would be better removed from the population, but making you actually feel bad about it serves no one, least of all myself.