Thursday, June 24, 2010

Staying OUT of It

About a month ago I decided to take a break from a forum I had been hitting just about every day on my internet rounds. It was a romance readers' forum, one run by a magazine to which I once subscribed. I'd canceled the subscription, begun picking the magazine up now and again to read at the cafe, and eventually just stopped reading all-together. The articles always felt like pandering-- whether they were or not. The reviews always felt either off-base, or like blatant suckupery-- whether they were or not. I even tried to get my reading group to do a month review of the magazine... everyone refused, insisting it was garbage.

It was hard to argue. I'd even stated my complete lack of respect for the reviews and was issued a polite, if a little bristled, response by one of the admins. That prompted my request for a "let's give them another chance" review month, by the way. Everyone told me to stuff it. So you know... maybe I wasn't wrong about it sucking. Just sayin'.

But I left the forum for another reason. I'm ALL about the internet slapping match. I am. I LOVE a kerfuffle. I love a bandwagon on which to jump and would buy a ticket to a Public Dead Horse Beating.

Sick? Yes. Honest? Yep. Tiring?

Yeah... particularly when the level of argument finds the average reader online. Oh, dear, sweet, suffering angels... the average reader online!! I have very close friends with whom I disagree. I even founded an online community (closed and private) of people who like to debate, disagree, argue, and discuss... of all belief systems, political leanings, and backgrounds. We get along great.

But that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the spam-sucking scary-o-typing wackjobs who proudly insult the intellectual integrity of pretty much anyone while clearly having absolutely no mastery of the dynamic, delicate balance and literal relationship between "your" and "you're." In fact, I'm talking about individuals who "hate homersekshuls" and are pretty reliable about spelling either usage "yore." These shining examples of Americana have absolutely no grasp of... well shit... anything. They DO, however, know for a fact that I am going to hell. Whether for being a liberal or reactionary is anyone's guess. Whether because I am a "klosit lezbeen" or "harverd intallekshool" is, too.

BTW... before you click "send," I like Spam. It's an expression, FannyMae.

Anyway, there is a limit. Not only was my limit met, shat upon, and exceeded, it simply lacked even the faintest whiff of fun anymore... a real shame. And while, yeah, okay, YES, I do love to pick on the dumb people sometimes, it started to feel dirty. It started to feel pointless. And about a week after I logged off for the final time, I realized I didn't miss it.

Not even a little.

And perhaps more significantly, I realized I'd begun to think of all romance readers as asshats. I KNOW this isn't the case, but a small section of the group that I actually love quite a lot-- the demon cheering section-- was shouting down its better angels.

And that just wasn't cool. So yes, I left. No, I did not make a big flounce, nor did I slam the door upon exiting. You're welcome. I'm not hard to find-- Facebook, Twitter, even other forums where discussion is civil. If you are among the minority who liked me, you can find me there.

Stop by and say "hi." You're sure to enjoy the novelty of actually being heard!

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