Blogospherics: Anger in the blogosphere
I am constantly considering different things people use their blogs for. My latest classification is the blog as punching bag. I hit upon that name after reading this post by Sam at Cry Me a River.
Saturday, May 31, 2003
posted by Sam at 7:42 PM
This whiny, liberal, ignorant bitch thinks she is so right and is so sure of what she says that she doesn't allow comments on her blog. Thats sad. I take it that she is so ashamed, so pathetically unsure of what she's writing about and to keep herself believing that she actually has some intelligence, she won't allow anyone to disagree. It may hurt her feelings. What a weak woman. She gives the strong, independent, real women a bad name. I'm sure her significant other beats her to a pulp and while she spends the day at work with sunglasses on, she tells everyone how much she loves him and how good he is to her. She's one of those women who end up dismemberd and found in a ditch. Toughen up and get real, you sad excuse for a female. She hides her sitemeter stats too. Now thats one paranoid bitch!
The author of the post describes herself in a sidebar.
The life, thoughts, rants and raves of a right leaning lesbian. Any comments and e-mails sent to me, become MY property to do with them as I please. If you do comment and you can't get up the nerve to identify yourself, either with a working e-mail address or webpage, don't bother. I will delete it. If you don't like, or are offended by anything written on here, then I suggest you take your worthless self elsewhere.
This isn't the first blog as punching bag I've become aware of. At least one person in the blogosphere is spending an estimated $376 a month to advertise his. However, I believe the palpable anger and frustration Sam exudes is characteristic of the genre. My first reaction upon reading material like this is disbelief. Why not write rubbish that reflects badly on oneself in a private diary or tell it to a psychiatrist? But, I think I know the answer to that question. To the blogger, getting her wrath seen is key. She needs proof that someone heard her tree fall in the forest.
The diatribe above was addressed to J. at Silver Rights. When I examined Saturday's posts at SR, I did not see anything that was rationally related to Sam's remarks. Upon a bit more probing, I did discover Sam's blogging avocation has not been going well. She has a lengthy outgoing blogroll, but only two incoming links. Her entries have a sameness about them. Each is an ill-defined, enraged rant about something, with the 'something' often unclear. The blogger also has not learned how to use the ecosystem sites and software or she would not be so frustrated about not knowing the statistics for Silver Rights. Numerous sources, from Technorati to The Truth Laid Bear provide that data for any registered blog, as does Site Meter.
Co-equal to the blogger as VAP (Very Angry Person) is commenter or emailer as VAP. I received this recent missive.
I briefly scanned, and I do mean with exteme brevity, your weblog. What a
gaff! (sic) I don't mean the kind that is used to snare deep sea fish.
There is one fact you need to always remember, if you're capable of
retentive memory, that the basic nature of man the beast that s/he has
always been has not changed in millenium. The only thing that has
changed other than the date of manmade year is technology. The veneer of
civilization is thinner than the skin on your teeth, and in some cases
as in Zimbabwe not even that. Where man is involved, whether it be in
medicine, law, arts, education, etc., there is rampant corruption. You
can wish upon a star, and you can also go pick your nose free and clear
of boogers, but this will not change the realistic facts of life.
Which brings me to the fact that you are a citizen of the land of magic.
You belong to that group of people who desire that all walk around
starring at the ground in fear of offending someone. Let's just regulate
the norms of life to death, so when you walk out your own front door
someone can file a law suit against you for offending them on whatever
they choose, maybe the colour of the day. Needless to say, our FOUNDING
FATHERS (sic) would turn over in their graves and puke. It's just your kind of
cretin that they tried so valiantly to protect the citizens of this great
country from. Socialist, amoral if it feels good do it, mean spirited,
lack of sense of humour, black minded, tunnelvisioned twit that can see
through a keyhole with both eyes at the same time, and whose only value
of space between the ears is to keep them from fighting. And, you call
yourself an American? I think you believe that the citizens of this
country are so mentally pathetic that they need to have big brother
control every thought, belief, sneeze, fart and urge to piss. Watch what
you wish for, you might get it. Then when they start roundling (sic) up all of
the potential leaders, intellectuals and free speaking citizens for the
camps they will be developing, you can congratulate yourself for the
death of freedom and the death of this country as we know it. Maybe you
will be one of the lucky ones, like in Zimbabwe and find yourself invited
The unbroken bloc of text is the letter writer's. I believe it is necessary to get the full effect of reading his piece.
Having the responsibility for causing 'the death of freedom' shifted onto my shoulders by a stranger is rather puzzling. I am unaware of having published anything here that would suggest I am doing anything of the sort, though I have a feeling he and I would define freedom differently. Again, the blog participant's anger seems free floating, as if the act of hating is more significant than the objective of the hatred. And, his choice of whom to address his anger to is comically wrongheaded.
The purposes for which Sam and Quark use their anger are manipulative, but limited in harmfulness. Getting a person to read their email or blog entry and react emotionally to it is as far as they go. A third example of anger in the blogosphere goes farther.
Rob Smith of Gut Rumbles, also known as Acidman, has threatened to quit writing his blog.
I may write again on this blog, or I may not. Either way, it won't be anytime soon. I don't like what I see happening in blogdom now, where marketing is more important than your soul, and I am just sick and tired of writing on this site every day when I don't market it correctly. I never expected to be a salesman when I started writing, and I don't expect to be a salesman now.
That followed on the heels of a 'game' in which he urged his readers to vote bloggers off his blogroll. The effect was to use his readers to insult his blogrollees. Meanwhile, he continued his ongoing 'game' of insulting his readers. Bear of The Truth Laid Bear has thrown a monkey wrench into Rob's blog life. The new blog contest shifted the attention he so craves away from him to other bloggers, particularly Venomous Kate of Electric Venom. So, he is threatening to quit blogging.
I've seen that ploy before. Megan McArdle posting as 'Jane Galt' claimed to have been deeply offended by Atrios and his commenters. She threatened to quit blogging. At that point, bloggers and blog readers were supposed to beg Jane not to leave Bloggersville. I didn't, but many other people probably fell right in line. She was gone for less than a week. I am curious to see if Rob, who could teach Jane a thing or 200 about manipulating people, will be gone even that long -- assuming he leaves at all. If his readers dutifully build up his sense of importance by begging him to stay, I don't believe he will.
You may wonder why I have discussed manipulation in an entry about anger in the blogosphere. I believe that the kind of manipulative behavior Rob and Jane engage in is related to anger -- and egotism. Playing games with people's minds is disrespecting them on a very basic level, and, the impetus for that is often anger. I have no credentials in psychology and could be wrong, but that is how it looks to me.
A couple of newer bloggers I correspond with have been surprised by some of the things they've seen going on in the bloggerdom -- falsified ecosystem statistics, stolen links and lock-outs from comments and even blogs. My response is that people are people wherever they are. And, you, know something? Lots of people are angry.