Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Why I Don't Comment Much, or I'll Be the First to Admit I'm Overly Sensitive

Before I even start, I want it clear to everyone that I'm not doing this post to get angry with Cal or start some kind of flame war or get anyone to take sides. Cal is one of my favorite people online, and I'm just responding to a couple of comments. But I thought I'd do it as a post because, as I was responding to a comment of his, my response started getting very long, and I thought maybe this was something I should explain in the open, since a lot of people have taken me to task for this over the years.

This week's Sunday Hottie was Kesha. Because, for some reason I cannot understand, Kesha is polarizing, I braced myself for a slew of negative comments. To my surprise, there was only one, from Cal, who said: "As far as hotties go, I find this one to be less attractive than Chloe S, or ditch pig Christina A. So I guess we have a new bottom of the barrel. But do you think brother. I am as full of shit as the next guy so what do I know."

Well, you know, this was his opinion and he was sharing, much as I'd shared my opinion on Kesha by posting her as the Sunday Hottie. He was building on an earlier comment on a different post of Chloe Sevigny, someone I personally find very beautiful, raw and unpolished in a way I find charming, but someone who I understand others do not.

I don't know why it got to me; with a post he had a few days ago about what a ditch pig he finds Christina Aguilera to be, that made three times in a week that Cal was trashing someone I found attractive, and it just spilled over into irritation.

Testily, dismissively, I commented back: "Boy, what a shitty job I'm doing of having my own taste in beauty."

Cal answered back: "Don't be like that. It's your site, you post who you want. I comment. You just have hit many of my least favorites lately. Hope you don't take offence. If you do come bash me at my site. I would love your comments. You never let me know what you think."

That's all true. I was being overly sensitive. It is my site, and I can and do post what I want. He has his opinions, I have mine, and beauty is subjective. It's an utterly ridiculous thing to be offended about, and it's something I see online all the freaking time and get utterly annoyed by: people fighting over opinions on celebrities. That's the domain of 15 year-olds, not grown men.

I've been thinking about his second comment today and trying to figure out why I got so annoyed by it. I get annoyed by that a lot on this blog, as I have in the past. I get genuinely bugged when I basically say with this blog "Here, I think this woman is pretty," and then I hear back "Anne Hathaway looks like the Joker in a wig" or "Denise Milani barely looks human" or "Christina Aguilera is a ditch pig" or "Lisa Rinna disgusts me" or "Rumer Willis is fugly." It gets to me, because sometimes it feels like it crosses the line from sharing a difference of opinion to actively tearing me down because of it. Sometimes it just comes across--in text form, where inflection is next to impossible--as a rudeness directed at me instead of some celebrity. It feels like a put-down instead of an opinion.

And, I admit, I tend to overreact because my way of thinking is that, yeah, it's my site and if you don't like something, then why should I really care? I used to let it rile me up something awful. Now I get dismissive because, well, as the saying goes--or should go--I used to care too much to give a fuck now. When I tell you I like a movie and then your only response is "Good God, you actually liked it?!" then there's really no room for discussion. Because you've been dismissive of my opinion and, then, when I'm dismissive back, you get angry with me. I don't understand how that works all the time.

But in this case, I was testy and overly sensitive, and I apologize for that, because it's a stupid thing to be testy and overly sensitive about. This is why I'm on medication, folks.

But this whole concept is why I don't comment on blogs very much any more.

Take Cal's post on his dislike of Christina Aguilera. Obviously, I disagree with him. I find Christina beautiful and talented (as a singer, at any rate). But, you know, it's his blog, it's his opinion, so what am I going to say? That he's wrong? Well, no one's opinions are wrong or right, they're just different, so calling him wrong sounds insulting. Am I going to tell him I disagree? Well, he already knows I disagree. It's not like there's anything to debate. It's not like me saying "Well, I disagree" is an interesting thing to say, is it? I think it just makes me sound like kind of an ass. If he puts up a picture of someone I find unattractive, what am I going to say? "Oh, I don't like her at all." I feel like someone else might read that the same way I tend to, and then it feels like I'm being rude to someone.

So that's why I don't comment much. Maybe I just don't have a good handle on my initial reactions some days. Even as I left that dismissive comment, I felt like it was too much and kind of pointless. But I did it anyway because, for a moment, I was annoyed and thoughtless and just reacting rather stupidly.

I'll get it someday, I hope.


Anonymous said...

I would say that using a perjorative like "ditch pig" for someone attractive, but not up to your standards would invalidate the comment. I no longer comment on youtube, or even read them, because I am weary of the "Jimmy Page is way better than Andre Segovia" assholes.

Roger Owen Green said...

It's a tricky balance. I must say that I tend to agree with your tastes about 85% of the time - I never heard of Denise Milani before seeing her on your blog, and I think she's mighty...fetching, to pick an arcane term. But it would never have occurred to me to nastily knock someone I didn't find attractive.
In any case, I think there is a huge difference between "I just don't find Chloe Sevigny that attractive" and "Chloe Sevigny should wear a bag over her head." I just don't EVER see the point of comments like the latter, except to be an asshole.

Jaquandor said...

I don't really comment on a post that consists of a photo of a pretty woman because, well, there's not that much I can say that's interesting. "Wow, she's gorgeous!" isn't that interesting. Neither is "She's not my cup of tea!". When I want to post a disagreement, it's always on a topic on which I feel I can say something, offer an argument, or differ in a way that involves conversation.

Kal said...

You are right. I shouldn't comment on girls that you like and I may not. I remember how Vancouver Mark would cause my head to spin off when he would put down my love of Ms Selena Gomez. In fact it was you that made it okay for me to feel like I could love her without shame in the first place. Maybe I just wanted to generate some conversation on any topic between us and this seemed the easiest opening. Regardless. I will try to be more supportive, especially if I don't like the girls you post. Again, I am sorry.

abc said...

On the plus side, thanks to Kal's comment, and the ensuing back and forth, I found another blog to add to my bookmarks. :)

Darius Whiteplume said...

I comment less and less these days, yet I still want comments... It is a conundrum.

Here is the South you cook a pig in a pit, so maybe a "ditch pig" is a delicacy?

Darius Whiteplume said...

BTW, as I was typing the previous my office mate said my hand lotion smelled like stale beer. Not completely sure if that is irony.

Wiewelt said...

And so, all was well again on Ward C.

Daskaea said...

I don't want to sound presumptuous and disregarding of perhaps righteous indignation but it sounds like things that would normally not irritate you are spilling over from other concerns. Sometimes I overly obsess over some stupid comment from a good friend (which I completely forget in a week or two) when I'm having trouble with depression. I think you just need hugs, preferably smashed between bouncing bosoms without heads.
I could send some awesome disembodied Japanese rice pack boobies?
Also, I know this always sounds weird from someone in the internet ether but I offer my support. I'd be happy to realtime chatting sometime. I bet your AMAZING wife will settle this by telling you both that Aria Giovanni pwns all.

Megan said...

I know for sure I have left some doozies here over the years. Thanks for taking them on the chin. Dr. Monkey gave me a talking to not long ago, and I'm trying to be better. :)

csmith2884 said...

I think everyone that "creates" something in blogland feel an attachment to it, you are putting a bit of yourself out there in view.

That being said I read both blogs an really like that you would both think about this on a deeper level and not have it be a battle. WTG