The Internet Is Full of Mean People and Bloggers, and the Two Are One In the Same

Everyone, whether they realize it or not, reads blogs. At least everyone that reads stuff on the Internet.

A lot of times I very intentionally try to only read legitimate news articles. I scope out particular sites I know to be traditional media; and then about a quarter of the way in I realize that I’m really reading a blog post. Then somewhere in there I realize I’m a total doofus because it says in bold print at the top of the page FROM THE BLOG. Really, written blogs are just opinion pieces with a different title on them. Facebook Notes are blogs. Tweets and status updates are too; so are Instagrams – whether you people like it or not, pretty much anyone that uses the Internet and social media has in some form blogged, or read a blog of any kind and been like “OMG this person is my soulmate – I totally agree with that thing s/he said about this topic I’m so interested in.” Even if it was just a Foursquare check in with the comment “best tacos ever.”

The list of things that could qualify as blogs is unending. Opinions on best foods for dieting, opinions on best strategies to work out, opinions on sports teams, joke Tweets, hashtag parties, #TBT and #foodporn…

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I could go on. As long as it’s logged on the web, it’s a blog. The Internet is for sharing, no way around it.

Once, a long time friend told me that she hated bloggers. Then about five minutes later she posted two updates – one a blog-style Facebook note on diet tricks and tips, the other a Tweet about how she thought Portillos had the best hot dogs in the history of hot dogs. (Irony much?) At that point I couldn’t resist, I had to ask why she shared so much stuff and posted her own blog-style updates, when in fact she claimed she hated bloggers. She clarified for me that day something I wouldn’t realize until years later is quite a profound statement on blogging, and the Internet in general. Bloggers – the Internet on the whole – are mean people; people so mean that if anyone ever disagrees with something out there, they and their friends/family/colleagues launch a full-scale Internet attack.

At the time, I immediately dismissed everything she said.

I have been writing for four years now. Probably five since that friend said she hated bloggers. Shortly after I began writing, someone (or someones – I really don’t remember) suggested I start a blog. I did, and it morphed into what it is today – a place in which I rant, complain, share stories, and sell my books. Sometimes I write a lot of blog posts in a short period of time; other times weeks or months go by with not a peep from me, as far as my blog is concerned.

You learn quickly in the blog world (the world of the Internet) that there are a lot of people out there with things to say and share, and yet only a select few of them ever get to the forefront. I mean – like – the blogs that go places. As in all things in life, it is very political. It is a lot about who you know. Usually, the most untalented of people are those that are read the most. You also learn that the worst writers are some of the most popular bloggers.

This isn’t to say that all of the most popular bloggers are bad writers, but there are definitely a handful of terrible writers and worse human beings out there that have mastered the art of page views, buzz words, and using infographics as legitimate substitutes for actual, real words and ideas.

And being mean anytime anyone questions something they’ve posted.

Yet you go with the flow and keep your yap shut, because if you say anything that the in-crowd and the people that adore them (read: anyone regularly published on the Huffington Post) doesn’t like; well then you are nothing but an Internet troll. An Internet troll with time on his/her hands, and “no life.”

And then you stop reading a lot of their articles or blogs, simply because you just can’t keep it shut anymore. You don’t want to happen to you what happened to those other people. You know, the ones people think are Internet crackpots. You don’t want to be told you’re an Internet troll when you say that someone sounds like a racist, judgmental dick; even when that’s just the truth. You don’t want to be name-called by a group of people you have never met in your life, simply because you disagree.

But you also don’t want to keep silent in a forum where people are supposed to say things.

It happens all the time. Someone posts some pithy piece of shit blog, and then anyone who speaks to the contrary or makes any sort of constructive criticism or dissenting opinion is called a troll and attacked with several “you”s (you just took that personally, you obviously have limited education, and so on). I just saw it this morning on a Huffington Post blog about suburban moms. Now, after careful investigation, I came to the realization that this particular post was a pitch for a new book; and also had a lot of potential (I mean we suburban moms do deserve a lot of poking fun at). But the article really was lazy – lacking introduction, bearing no sense of humanity or connectivity to the suburban moms that were so callously being made fun of; and in the end, concluded with a “buy my BOOK!” Really?

UnknownNaturally, when I returned to read the comments, anyone that dissented – that said it wasn’t that funny (it wasn’t), or that it was a little stereotypical (as I said, no connectivity) – anyone that said anything like that kind of a response was attacked with 66 or 89 (or some other absurd number of) other comments full of “you”s (you took it too personally, get an education and a sense of humor was my favorite).

Huh? Had I commented, I would have said it was unfunny and stereotypical too.

Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely Internet trolls out there who pick fights for no reason at all. You can smell them from a mile away, and they reek of a comment or reply that has absolutely nothing to do with what you are talking about. But somehow – somewhere along the line – any form of dissent or disagreement, or even comments in opposition or of slight criticism – are seen as Internet troll behavior. Negativity. Not PC.

Now I understand my friend and her harsh feelings about bloggers all those years ago. The Internet is like one, big bag of dicks – there’s so many mean people on it.

The mean people aren’t in the people that write blogs with jokes or satire, though. The mean people aren’t those that post about their beliefs about vaccines or breastfeeding or home births or about how judgmental everyone seems to become after they hit 30. The mean people aren’t those who have political interests or are overly zealous football fandom either.

The mean people are the ones who can’t take a little bit of opposition. The mean people are the ones who have forgotten that the Internet has a lot of potential to be a really fun place for people to share and communicate, about whatever they want really. The mean people are taking this potentially awesome place and turning it into a pile of shit with all their PC terms and delicate sensibilities. And this incessant need for everyone to always agree – no matter what.

What a terrible and boring place this is becoming as a result.

There’s an old saying I’m sure we’ve all heard: if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen. Well come on, Internet bloggers. Get out of the fucking kitchen if you can’t handle the rising temps. Maybe if you do, things around here will be cool again.

Everyone Shut Up and Listen To Me – NOW (STFU Fridays)

I’m super cranky, faithful blog followers. So cranky I think the best way to describe my attitude would be as snarly, and my facial expression as sheer hatred. Of everything. Between getting back to life after a crazy and long vacation to the Midwest; finding a new place to rent temporarily; and preserving any last bits of my sanity that remain amidst my current war against the tofu-eating, cereal and milk gastropub-opening, flannel shirts and neon green glasses when it’s 180 degrees out-wearing, tandem bike-riding, living in their parents’ basement and working at the local Urban Outfitters-Los Angeles hipsters …I’m a little tapped out.

Not so tapped out, though, that I haven’t had the time to make the changes with my blog I wanted to make, which included:

Redesigning my website

Rebranding my blog

Getting my weekly Podcast up and running

So, everyone just sit down, shut up, and listen to me. NOW. Or else I will declare war on you like I have the hipsters.

Redesigning my website

I know this is going to sound real exerting for those of you that don’t like to move your fingers very far beyond one, two clicks max (studies show Internet users have such a short and seemingly-pathetic attention span at this point that they will not stick around a website for more than two clicks); but I urge you to take a look around my website – extensively.

Because it’s changed. A lot.

Among those changes include making it primarily an author’s website. The blog is really just one part of me – who I am. Really, I am a writer. I write books. I write short stories. I read a lot too, but if any of you read my last STFU Friday post, my next publication has nothing to do with my blog, and everything to do with me as a writer.

You can find my other stuff easily now, as well. On the side bar are links to videos, my books, and my blog.

Which brings me to the next point.

Rebranding My Blog

So…

For some time now I have quibbled with myself over whether I should continue the brand of the B(itch)Log… or do something new. The thing is a lot of people never got the whole (itch) in parentheticals thing. Or they thought it was just a blog where I bitch and bitch and bitch and talk about nothing else, at all.

On one hand, I am a bitch. I mean … seriously. I can be really bitchy and mean. And it is true that a lot of times this blog is a bitch-fest. But not really all the time; and really I’m called a bitch because I’m honest. And blunt. To the point.

On another hand, this is a mom blog. While I do blog about all kinds of things besides just mommy-ass-wiping-puke-on-my-new-outfit-oh-my-God-why-are-you-asking-for-another-fucking-snack-you-just-had-dinner-life, the mommy-ness of it all is still the overlying theme.

And then I said something one day that was just in jest, but it stuck in my mind as a way to merge my love of being who I am, while at the same time making things clear that this is a mom blog (in spite of how many non-mothering things I write about). We were driving home from dinner one night on our vacation, and out of nowhere I said: “…you know, I think my job as a mother will be done right if one day my kids say ‘my mom… she’s a real bitch’ … then I will know I did something right.”

So I hope you will all stick around for the rebranded version of the same, old humor:

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Getting my weekly Podcast up and running

I’ve been talking about doing this weekly Podcast for pretty much as long as I’ve known what a Podcast was. But somehow I just never got it up and running.

TRexRadioThat’s not entirely true – I know exactly how it has gone un-launched all this time. I actually don’t know shit about computers and the Internet, in spite of how much people seem to think I do.

Now I won’t go into the embarrassing details of just how much I didn’t get it, but we’ll just leave it at this: I’ve finally learned how to paste the link to my uploaded Podcast into the area that says “paste here” on iTunes. It was that simple, and now I can do it. So yay.

T-Rex Radio launches this upcoming Tuesday, August 20th. It’ll be a 10 minute show, once a week. I promise I won’t rant and curse… too much…….

Jerry’s Final Thought

I always feel like I need to have a Jerry Springer-style final thought at the end of my blog posts, which is something I really need to get over. For one, I have too many random points to sum up, many of which I didn’t even touch on but would love to talk about in this post. Like how you should buy my book, read recent book reviews of my books, come to my book signings, appreciate the sexiness of old TV anchors like Wolf Blitzer, and so on.

But when it comes time to sign off, I also want to feel like I’ve had closure with a post. Much like closure with a relationship – you know, that thing that usually involves a gas can and a match, and a fire that destroyed all of the things that reminded you of your ex? (Kidding.)

The great thing about STFU Fridays is that closure can be as simple as this: sit down and look through my website. Like My Mom’s A Bitch on Facebook. Listen to my free Podcasts. Enjoy the laughs and the relatability to your own miserable lives (please…spare me the lectures about how your lives are not, in fact, miserable…I don’t believe you). And buy my books. Above all: SHUT THE FUCK UP.