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Same as it ever was

I don't know. Something's missing. It's been a mere twelve days since I waved goodbye to "warblogging," but it feels like more. I thought I would feel lighter or less stressed out. I thought my mood would miraculously lift once I didn't have to deal with hate mail and evil comments. Instead, I feel a strange combination of empty and burdened.
I love writing about music and sports and all that other pop culture stuff. But I'm not too happy writing about just that. And all the rage and fire comes with reading and watching the news every day just burns a great big hole in my stomach when that fire is not quenched by spilling the words out here. I feel that connection I had with my readers - for the most part - has vanished. Perhaps it was the rage and fire that kept us connected? Maybe it's not the same when I'm writing all filler, no killer as they say. At the end of each day, I usually go back and read what I wrote on ASV. It's missing something. Every day I say to my husband, it's missing something. And he says to go back to doing what I was doing before, because I've been really cranky since I stopped. Which sort of defeats the purpose, no? It was supposed to make me less cranky. And here lies the story of my life, the thing my mother always bitched at me for; I never stick to what I say I'm going to do. And then I don't stick to not doing what I say I'm not going to do. I'm too fickle, too emotional and too inconsistent to make constant promises, especially promises pertaining to my own life. You know what pisses me off? When you have 3,000 songs in the Winamp and you put it on shuffle and it keeps hitting the same hundred songs or so. There should be a super-shuffle mode. So, yea. I go into super-shuffle mode now. Because I don't want to be that Winamp player repeating the Les Miz soundtrack over and over when somewhere in there lies a Slayer cd. Know what I'm saying? I guess, to put it simply, I could say I broke the blog and I want to fix it, but by whose standards do I fix it - mine or the people that are using it? Mine. Which is not something I would have said a few weeks ago, so I guess some things have changed. And you know what they say about the more things change.... Back to the questions and SOA shilling when I get some food in my tummy


Slayer should cover "Red & Black" from Les Mis.

btw, "Red Right Hand" makes another movie soundtrack. I think it's up to 4 or 5 now.

But, honey, you didn't stop warblogging. You spent quite a bit of time on Pat Tillman, and now are heavily involved in the Sprit of America fundraiser. Recognize that you will have things to say that aren't about comics or music, but then you have to decide if they go into this blog.

BTW, the worst song ever was either "Ben" by the black Michael, or "Watching Scotty Grow" by Bobby Goldsboro.

Dearest Ninja Muffin,

Do whatever your internal muse dictates. Change your mind twenty times a day. Feel free to backtrack, double-back, circle around, plow ahead and figure-eight.

Be who you are. That's what this virtual parlor is all about. Do you think we visit you to see someone else?

Now go have some pie, and come back and write something scathing about Leo Sayer.

Do what makes you happiest!!!

Dammit, woman, I was literally just in the process of updating my blogroll, because Michael Demmons de-blogged himself, and because you needed to be moved from "Pundits" to "Makes Me Laugh."

Or so I thought.

What am I supposed to do now? Don't you see how you are complicating the lives of others? You're causing serious disruption to the users of this site. You may have to be banned.

And BTW, the worst song ever is the MIDI sounding piece of crap they're using in the current Six Flags ad campaign (you know, the ad with the dancing mini-Warbucks). Since we will be forcibly exposed to it until fall, mark my words, it will sooner or later incite violence.

What they said. Write what you want to write. The only person you need to cater to is you.

My advice: draw a line on the left. Call it the "Howard Dean line," say. Anybody past that line, ignore them and let it slide. Really, there's none but grief to be had from giving attention to the Ted Ralls and Michael Moores of the world (not that I've always resisted that temptation).

Just do whatever, Michele. I like the political stuff personally, but I'll read regardless. Say whatever's on your mind. When the asshats show up (as they undoubtedly will), ignore 'em, insult 'em, refute 'em, or whatever. Just don't let 'em get to you.

Baby, I keep saying it: it's your damn blog. Do whatever the hell you damn well want to do.

michele sans restrictions...

"oh, boy, this is gonna be great!"
- Kent 'Flounder' Dorfman, Animal House

ps--who said you have to "deal" with hate mail and evil comments? DEL them, or leave them behind for your loyal piranha pack of fans to shred.

My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.


Perhaps, as an old fable suggests, it's in your nature.

A frog on a riverbank is approached by a scorpion that is trying to find a way across the river: Says the scorpion: "Dear frog, would you be so kind as to carry me across on your back?" The frog replies: "I will not, as I fear that you will sting me and then I will die." The scorpion says: "Dear frog, reason with me. Were I to sting you while you are carrying me, you would die, and I would drown. Why would I do such a thing?"

The frog considers this, and consents to carry the scorpion. As the frog struggles against the current with the scorpion on his back, he suddenly feels the piercing sting of the scorpion's tail. The dying frog asks: "Scorpion, why did you do that? Now we both shall die!" The scorpion shrugs: "It's in my nature."

Have no useful advice. You could stop reading here.

Except to say that I appreciate what you do, you do it very well. If only we could find a way to raise the shield a little higher, so as not to suffer (from) the slings and arrows...

Even with all the venom, you sure do have a lot of friends. Friendship is something that's earned. You can and should be personally proud of that.

To those readers that would be disappointed with Michele doing some "warblogging":

Face it, you f**ked up, you trusted her.

Write it under an alias on another site.

I don't comment a whole lot...

But my vote would be to go back to warbloogging. Not doing it is NOT making you happier.

People are always going to disagree with you. After all, half of Americans are on the other side of the spectrum, no matter what side you are on.

(And personally I have found that those on the left side often don't "Fight fair" as it were. But we don't stoop to their level. OR we shouldn't. Conservatives would not be the side I supported if they started being just like the liberals. And in fact when I start doubting a political personality is when I feel he's getting slippery, etc.)

In general, conservatives seem to be able to disagree without getting personal. When I can find liberals that act the same way, I find I actually enjoy debate. Debate on the idea of "We aren't going to agree but let's see if we can figure out why we don't agree"

But it is painful and hard when they start calling you ignorant and such for your beliefs. (And I've actually heard comments such as "It makes me sick to see them with their 'W in 04' signatures' -- THAT is the attitude that bothers me. I don't get bothered by those who support KErry. Why should they be upset that I support President Bush?

Anyway, I'd say to blog what you want to. If the heat is too much, then do what you have to to get rid of it. But I joined your journal and enjoyed the political. I'd be glad to see it back.

I come for whatever you got because no one brings it like you, its not about me agreeing with you--its about you expressing yourself. You have the gift of doing it very well--and you should use it on whatever you choose to use it on whether it be Warblogging, Parenting, or pop culture.

I would kill to have 50% of your gifted writing and expression skills. Your way with words (as many have said before me) only makes me want more.

And who cares if you change your mind a million times as someone said up there already...bloggers seem to retire and unretire like professional athletes (especially boxers), so big whoop. If Sugar Ray Leonard or Michael Jordan can do it so can you. Because just as most of us were glad to see Sugar Ray fight again or Jordan fly again we are glad to see you doing what suits you best again. Because when you are doing what you do best this site is at its best (and the rest of the time it still is head and shoulders above the rest).

There are only three bloggers that I have ever been addicted too--all women strangely---you, seki and robyn. So you are one of the people that are never allowed to totally disconnect from the internet, if I may say that in a non-stalking kind of way.

Blog whatever you feel like. You have the knack of making anything interesting even baseball especially when modelling attire. :)

Since people are mentioning it, still think the worst song is "One Bad Apple" by the Osmonds. Steve Jobs might have issues with that title.


Write about whatever you want to.

Write where your passion is, even if it's warbloggish.

When the trolls come around, ban their a**es to eternal obscurity. Why let the trolls sour your blogging experience? Let's have a coalition of the willing here at ASV, and screw the trolls.

Ya rock, Michele.

You said it yourself. You look at it and think that something's missing.

You set an artificial limitation on yourself. One that leaves you with all kinds of things yet to say. One that doesn't allow you freedom of speech on your own blog.

You're trying to stick with something you never really wanted.

What you seem to want is an end to the nastiness. An end to comments and e-mails that don't even bother trying to think. An end to high-handed delinkings and huffy accusations.

So you 'root-caused' yourself. YOU tried to change to alter THEIR crappy attitudes. Screw them. Ignore them. Ban them.

Write the things YOU want to write, music, comics, kids--and politics, if you so choose. And if someone's got a problem with it, kick'em to the curb.

I had a feeling it was in your blood, Michele. I don't imagine there is any resisting it.

Hell, I have vowed a hundred times to stop being such an a**hole, but hey, it's in my blood.....

I know I've missed you. I haven't come around much since the change. Not that I don't think you have the right to do whatever you want with your blog! :) It just seemed somewhat strained, like your heart wasn't really in it. Like you were trying to avoid talking about an elephant in the living room.

Then when I came I'd try and be interested, because I like you and respect your writing so much, and I thought I somehow owed your decision respect; a friend going through a tough time, y'know? Then I'd get all conflicted "why am I doing this to myself?" and soon surf off elsewhere. But there was still that spot on my blogroll where you "used to be". So we've both had mixed feelings about this time. :)

I've wrestled with the whole notion of comments on my own blog. I shut them down a while back. Part of it was that I simply didn't want to invest the time to police them, or be setting up the anti-spam trick of the week. But probably a larger part is that I don't suffer fools gladly, and never have. I don't say that to brag; it's probably a character flaw, but there it is. I enjoy reasoned and sensible discussion, partly because it makes me reexamine my own beliefs. Sometimes I even, gasp!, change my mind because of what someone has said.

Anyway, my point is, there is this sort of ethic in the blog world that Comments Should Not Be Censored, at least in other than egregious cases. The remedy for bad speech is opposing speech and all that.

The more I look at that, at least for me, the more I think that if I ever have comments again, that's not the way I'm going to do it. As I said, I don't suffer fools gladly. Come to my blog and post foolish nonsense on my bandwidth? I don't think so. Get your own bandwidth. Drag down the intelligence of your own website, not mine. Why? Because every time I look at comments on my own pages that I not only disagree with, but that I think are dismally stupid, dishonest, or unethical, it bugs me that I am associated with that in any way. I don't want to see it on my website. So, I've decided if I do comments again (maybe yes with MT3) I'm just going to delete and ban on a hair trigger. Folks looking to troll will simply see their bait disappear. Folks looking for a place to shout stupidities can go elsewhere. Will that make it somewhat of an echo chamber? Yup. But better that, imo, than the garbage that is the comments section on probably 70-80% of blogs. Other folks can of course run their blogs their own way. But for me, I think of it as a conversation in my living room, and I don't invite fools over to my abode. When one sneaks in, I kick them the heck out as soon as I know about it. I think that's perfectly reasonable and civilized behavior, although I realize that many in the blogosphere will disagree with me.

So, I think you should blog the things you want to blog, and just take the "terminate with extreme prejudice" approach to those who come to your blog who act like jerks, or who tick you off for whatever reason. It's your blog, just like it's your living room. You wouldn't allow cretins to track mud all over your living room, would you? Same thing on your blog. Kick out the cretins as soon as they appear, and vacuum up the mud. Don't let it linger on the carpet. Forget the "don't censor" meme. Kick 'em the heck out, good riddance to bad rubbish.

I don't think all bloggers should do this, by any means. But if that's the only way to have a nice gathering in your particular living room and maintain your good cheer, well, there it is. I know there's a bunch of us that would like to come back over to your place. :)

You shouldn't have to forego politics if you really don't want to, but neither would it be desirable to get right back into the same situation that burned you out before.

One possible solution might be to go to monitored comments, where the comments don't appear until you've had a chance to review and approve them. That would allow you to filter out all the insulting, juvenile and unduly hostile comments without having to watch for them continuously 24 hours a day. In a best-case scenario, you'd end up with a smaller number of higher-quality comments. The knowledge that comments would no longer be unregulated might in and of itself lead to fewer obnoxious comments from either side. And those who just come here to fight would soon decide to go somewhere else once they realize their comments will never see the light of day. By monitoring, you would be open to the charge that you're selectively skewing the comments, but that will be a difficult argument to make if intelligent comments from both sides are showing up on a regular basis.

That's my two cents, anyway...

A woman changed her mind. Lord, reality just falls apart on this site. What next ... guys wanting to see boobs and liberals hating the president? I better go lie down.

I think it all comes back to "do what makes you happy"... and only you can decide that.

Of course, I'll still throw in my opinion.

I don't think (from what I've read you post) that you have an issue with people disagreeing with you, or having a differing point of view. I would imagine that what annoys you are when people choose to make personal attacks in lieu of actual points. I don't have an answer as to what to do about that, because I don't know as there IS a perfect answer. But, as has been said... they're not friends and they don't pay you- so ban/delete them.

Free speech does not mean you are forced to listen to/read them.

This is your blog and we (readers and commenters) are guests. As the person above me put it so well- If you wouldn't accept it in your living room, why should you have to accept it on your website?

The things you write on CP are professional, journalistic. I can't imagine composing articles like that and not having the desire to voice an opinion or an analysis, and ASV gives you that outlet if you choose. It just depends if you feel better doing it, or not doing it.

Whatever you choose to write about, know that you do touch many people's lives in a positive way- and that's a good thing.

Oh, and for heaven's sake, don't get on yourself about changing your mind or not sticking to not doing something. Life is all about change... otherwise it's just boring.

I think the trick is to write about whatever you're feeling at the moment. If you're in the mood for a good warblog entry, lay it out there. If you'd rather write about something else, do that.

Just avoid feeling obligated to write about certain things because you think the audience wants them. In other words, write for yourself, and the readers will sort themselves out.

ASV is one of a short list of sites where I'll read every post regardless of the subject matter, because the writing itself is the thing (others include Lileks and Roger Simon, unsurprisingly).

That said, I think Toren Smith was on to something calling his blog "The Safety Valve". Few of us have the luxury of people we can constantly rant at about current events without alienating them, but blogging can provide that outlet.

Proclaim that you will give up poliblogging or warblogging all you like--it would have made no difference. What occured with the comments about your humane, heartfelt, response to an American soldiers' death in action illustrates this idea as perfectly as could be asked for.

The reason for that is that the dirty-word Left wouldn't allow you to quit. The Left politicizes everything, and allows nobody a private sphere, where the howling mob has no particular interest--no lines exist for them which ought not be crossed. "The personal is political", and all that.

So, there exists no subject to which you might have restricted yourself which would have bought you any sort of reprieve from your trolls. They would have shown up regardless, saying the same things, with the customary lack of maturity, manners, commonsense, conscience, or good will. They'er Leftists don't forget.

If it will help you to not sweat the small stuff, keep in mind that nothing most of us utter in our lives will be remembered in 100 years, when most of us can expect to be no longer around. Which implies that if you possibly expect to contribute something worthwhile to improve the prospects of something you cherish continuing to live (I will presume here that you are on the side of liberal democratic civilisation, and like it enough to speak up in its' defense), your only hope of doing so is to keep putting one foot in front of the other, and not to let the trolls get to you. The only choice you ever really had, you see, was to either not post anything to the Web, and remove all traces of yourself from any place on it, or to unsheath the virtual sword and throw away the cyber-scabbard.

Proclaiming that you were going to limit ASV to posts about anime or music and suchlike tasted like a small victory for the trolls, anyway. I'm glad you thought twice, and thank you.

Write what you want to write. Personally, I miss your political blogging because of the passion you put into it.

If things you write bring out the knuckleheads, why not just delete their comments? Let 'em bark at you on their own dime. When they learn some manners (and some debating skills), you won't have to delete them any more.

i love you for whatever you write.

just write. and be happy.

Hm. What they said, for the most part.

But here's another observation; you have written more liniar footage in the last week than I have in the last month, or it seems like anyhow. Can't imagine how you do it. I suspect a combination of Obsessive/compulsive tendancies and that third pot of coffee you know better than to brew, but do anyhow.

May I suggest that whatever you do write, on whatever topic, you ask yourself, would this be worth writing in Notepad, if I had to add html manually?

And further, will I give a crap tomorrow?

Anyway, I'd like to let you know that your virtual tantrum (and a damn well-targeted one, I might add) led me to one of the best pieces to flow from THESE fingers in weeks. Then kew.

Here 'tis.

I hope you'll be pleased and dismayed by turns.

And I just spent a good while reformatting it and plonking it into the OpenDemocracy forums, with your URL still in it, so that may explain some curious referrals. :)

I'm sure they will be... actually, I'm NOT sure. But I exist to comfort the afflicted and affict the comfortable....

What else may be missing:

This or a similar product, and one spouse.

While less expensive products moisturize and are good foot-rub lube, the mint definitely adds a little something - and the fact that it makes our dogs make funny faces makes it cost about the same as Jergens, in the end.

It's very difficult to get into the proper frame of mind that footrubs are supposed to engender with two dogs indulging their lanolin fetish.

Maybe we need to get them a sheep to lick.