Wednesday, February 14, 2007

V-Day: Women Objectifying Women & Bloggers Objectifying Bloggers

Fausta says:

Clearly the notion of celebrating love on Valentine's Day is a thing of the past. Now it's all about the alliteration: "Violence, Victory and Vaginas".
Provocative? Superficial? Sex-centric? Self-centric? Vagina Monologues: Women Objectifying Women. And Fausta has lots to say about it.

More about real love via Anchoress, who is in touch with her uterus, thank you very much.

And I read this at Lileks, who, if you're not reading him every day ... What the heck's wrong with you? Anyway he says this:

On Valentine’s Day at the supermarket there were two cops in the lot directing traffic.

“If men had invented this holiday,” I said to one, “you’d be over at the liquor store.”

First time I ever made a policeman laugh. And with such a cheap joke. No more XM 150 Comedy Station for me.

He talks about hate mail. He received two rather nasty letters about very funny topics, actually. Go read about it. This week I was on the receiving end of the first vituperative blog post--someone hates my opinion and then proceeds to rip me, my profession, my life, just about everything. It was a hate-post and I must tell you, it did bother me. (No, I'm not going to link to it.)

There are plenty of people in the world both real and "imagined" ...

Long Digression about "imaginary" friends:
My husband said today, when I was talking about The Anchoress as if she were a Real Person, a Real Friend, that I am not "living in reality" when I start viewing mere random blogosphere acquaintances as friends. But I do view many people in the blog-world as friends--the best kind. I find it much easier to express myself in the written word, so if people like me, even knowing what I write, I figure they like me for who I am. Or they like me in spite of who I am. Or they hate me and read my blog out of morbid fascination.

To me, the painful social experiences are the superficial, chatty talks about nothingness, aka "small talk", that passes for "friendship" these days. Which is not to say that I don't have "real world" friends. Yesterday, I spent two hours on the phone with a childhood, now adult friend who struggles with her spiritual walk. I spent time on the phone today laughing with my iced-in sister. Ha! Ha! Houston is awesome! I go to Target--my favorite store in case you hadn't noticed. I go grocery shopping. I run the kids around here and there. I see clients. I am friendly with the kid's friends parents. I'm friendly to the neighbors. I have church friends. I have college friends. I have lots of friends. No, you may not quote Shakespeare.

In this speedy world, I don't get to connect with my friends as much as I'd like. Many of my buddies "real" and "imagined" (I never had an imaginary friend as a child. Are my cyberspace friends imaginary?) read my blog and comment and we stay connected that way. My close friends will email me and I'll email back. Life is busy. I find that the internet keeps me connected.

But am I really becoming disconnected from "reality"? It is worthwhile to keep in mind. At least I'm not watching Jerry Springer and Soaps all day. This feels more useful. Ack! I feel a blogging existential crisis coming on! Double Ack!!

Back to the real people who hate me in the imaginary world of the blogosphere. It is disturbing that people can conjure so much venom for a person they have never met. Wait a minute, I just said we had met..... Caught myself up, there. No, that's just it. Some people view the blogosphere as an imaginary world, where words and emotions matter less. So instead of a "real" person, I'm an imaginary person, an object, without feelings and without a real life surrounding me. So, the haters feel free saying things I doubt they'd say in person (at least not to your face). Sometimes, I'll get carried away myself being flippant, when the topic deserves more sobriety. Sometimes I'll say more direct things than I'd say in person. (Although, most people who know me in the real world probably think I'm less direct in writing. I know. Scary!)

Anyway, behind the keyboards around the world, are real people. The other day a famous Iraq blogger news-person wrote me and I sat astonished at the message. Little old me, in Houston, Texas. The blogosphere connects real people around a real world. We are human! Why do some bloggers write about others like they are so much wiring and CPUs?

Finally, to end on a manly, maybe-most-hated-imaginary-person-on-the-web-Jeff-Goldstein note. Here's his contribution to Valentines Day, just call him Mr. Sentimental (actually, he is):
The “Valentine’s Day Nihilist” poem

for John Derbyshire

Your chocolates won’t make me
love you.

And your card, a blot of insincerity
scratched in

Colored ink, makes my teeth itch.
So please --

Give it a rest, would you? And fetch
me a Coors?

And with that, friends, I'm going to bed.