Triggers: Moderate language
This is not a statement that will have huge ramifications, except for me and maybe for one of my close friends who happens to stumble upon it in a frame of mind just right for ramifications. This is all well and good, it is my blog, mostly for me and maybe, from time to time, for one of my friends.
From here on, this blog is an online repository for stories (mostly so that if my computer dies in a lightning storm I don’t lose precious things) and for book reviews. If I ever get around to writing either of the two again, but that’s another thing.
This is no longer an opinion blog. Even the book reviews are going to be largely innocuous, i.e. If I feel that controversial things need to be said about a book, they wont be said here, on the internet. Maybe in an email to the author, if I like them enough and have the time and the heart at that moment.
I’m out, on the opinion blogging, because of what happened while I was trawling through facebook on the computer this morning, being a lazy varsity student whose university hasn’t gone back yet. Because this is not an opinion blog anymore, please reader, understand that everything that follows this sentence is just one white, middle-class (with all the attendant privileges), female, 23 year old, writing about something that she feels, and IS NOT REPRESENTATIVE OF ANYTHING BUT THAT.
That said, being scared and upset by an article on the internet has just made me change my behaviour as actively as being scared by knowing that the shop at the bottom of the mixed-use building I live in in Greenside, was robbed at gun-point this weekend.
I untyped a message, a private message to my gentlemanfriend about a personal reaction to said article, because looking at the words I had typed I realised that if those words became public they could easily cause hurt and, more importantly to me in that gut-reaction moment, they could make me a target for the kind of article that upset me in the first place. I changed my own behaviour, in a completely private, completely personal capacity because of the power of the article I read.
Look, I sent the message eventually anyway, because it’s silly to let text on a screen get to you that much. It felt brave and upstanding at the time. Yeah. I need to get out of the house more.
This was the article: http://bellejar.ca/2015/01/27/jonathan-chaits-not-a-very-p-c-thing-to-say-in-a-nutshell/
which was a response to this: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/01/not-a-very-pc-thing-to-say.html
and it upset me so much because I had a different view of the thing it was responding to. It’s silly to feel attacked because the person talking has a divergent view-point. I’m not saying that our view points need to not diverge because it made me upset. (Please note how I didn’t say, ‘can make people upset’. I don’t know if it made anyone upset other than me. This is not a societal criticism.)
I believe in wildly divergent views, and putting your foot in it and offending people and apologising and learning stuff and changing your mind. I like robust dialogue (to the point where it upsets me, whereupon if I’m having a good day I’ll tell you I’m upset and we can see if we both want to salvage the conversation, or on a bad day I’ll just sulk) and irreverent jokes and strong opinions sharply fought for. I dig all of that that I have been exposed to. Yeah I cry shamelessly in big conversations about how we/I should think about big and scary and important this. I have familial tear-up genes. I do not want to have these conversations on the internet anymore.
I do not want to have opinions on the internet anymore, because I’m shit-scared of what I see as the blind-rage that can come as a backlash from people who hold divergent opinions. I’m not up for that. Sure, lets have an email convo about why the other person is wrong/dangerous/immoral. Better yet, let’s have coffee somewhere. Loser of conversation picks up the bill. In a tie we go dutch (unless I offend you so much that you walk out on me. In which case I kinda deserve the bill).
See, at least, in a fight for the moral high-ground over coffee, neither side can forget the other is people.