Poor Communication is Free

Early this morning someone named "Loowign" left a comment on a post. The one with the video of eating buffet at Luxor (to mixed reactions), and then the video of making the first visit to the Las Vegas welcome sign.

The comment was but a single word. "Jesus"

Not even a period afterward, which might have given a clue as to whether this was a complete thought or just a word drop.

My interpretations of the comment were as follows:

  1. "Hi, I'm sprinkling Jesus spam on people's little personal diaries because I think he's really great. Have a nice day."
  2. "You clearly need some Jesus in your life. Think about it."
  3. "By writing 'Jesus,' it is understood that this is the short form for 'Jesus Christ, you are so sucky!'"

One is possible. It's a weird world. Ditto two. Both don't really sell the product well, but maybe they work for the same ad agency that does the E-surance ad, the one that starts with, "People are smart." I hear that, and I think, "I can't work with an insurance provider that would make that kind of blanket statement."

This being the internet, and this being my website, a place that seems to attract an unusual number of people who have never heard of any form of blogging and therefore get really mad at me for a) not being whatever they hoped to find here, or b) writing my thoughts, because why the hell do they want to read my thoughts - don't I know that they don't care about what some stranger did yesterday, I figure both the lady and the tiger are sharing a cheese plate behind door number three.

And, I'm ashamed to admit that, even though I know what a blog is (in all the divisive definitions and expectations of the word), I went to bed last night (also spelled "7 a.m.") thinking I might redo the site. Put up a photo and graphic on the front page, like the old days. Make some links to static content (hamsters, photos, trip reports), again like the old days, but mainly - hide the blog. Make it a tiny link in the least attractive corner of the screen, like that symbol in The Net with Sandra Bullock. If anyone wanted to know where it went, I could personally tell them.

Meanwhile, Google would still pick up the posts, so those few souls who stumble through now and again, glad to know about buying chinchilla sand or making French memo boards or baking popovers or throwing parties for hamsters (we did have one this year, by the way - six years in a row now!), or whether they should book a category 11 cabin on one of Carnival's Fantasy-class ships... those people would still get this humble assistance.

But, staying visible to Google ensures that plenty of people will still wander by and, seeing an opportunity in all of this benign rambling, Be Mean. And Stupid. So what's the point of redesigning anything?

Unless... I really feel the need to make excuses for not being what some passing stranger wanted me to be.

Or... to take a deep breath and cut closer to the truth, unless I feel the need to admit that my words and photos and videos are so boring and/or offensive that, even though I don't advertise this site at all, just allow it to be public, the very existence of these things makes the world a worse place, and a sadder place because I'm flailing around in the back alleys, beyond shouting distance of the village square, doing the Loser Dance, oblivious. Berating me is a courtesy, really.

I don't voice these thoughts because I want reassurance that it's okay to scribble on my own sidewalk. Intellectually, I know that. Still I am a little nervous to pipe up in these moments of doubt, lest people feel free to say, more kindly than anyone should have to stand, "Well, I do wonder why you choose to share, dearie. The absolute uninterestingness of your life aside, your grammar is shoddy, your metaphors trite, your word choices screamingly basic... I know it's just your own little space, but by making it incidentally available to others, you lose all right to complain if people point out that it's all really unreadable crap."

And then they sign it, "Love, Grandma."

I tell myself, "Ha, that's ridiculous logic. That's like saying that, by leaving the house, I've given the world the okay to shout insults at me out of nowhere."

Come to think of it, that happens, too.

Some people are a magnet for abuse. I don't know why. One of my nicest, smartest, funniest students was bullied this year, by more popular kids who were otherwise pretty normal and, to be honest, probably will grow up to be successful and not drinking paint thinner behind dumpsters, or whatever you may have once-upon-a-time told yourself was going to happen to the Mean Kids when the cycle of "what goes around, comes around" finally came.

Or maybe you never told yourself anything. Maybe you think high school sucked because people were shallow or dramatic, not because they sensed an affability that is also traded under the brand name Weakness, and they pounced on you as if to create a Balance in the Force.

Look at all the (boring, ancient) places that one word - "Jesus" - has taken me today. Look at how much power I've given some person who didn't even care enough to make their criticism (or random enthusiasm for Christianity) clear.

I don't know why I'm posting this. Or anything. Writers write?
It's good for the brain?
Future archaeology fodder?
Current psychology fodder?
It keeps the bad guys away from puppies?

Discourse on the Splendor's cabin and spa coming soon, front and center.

12 July 2009 |