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separation anxiety

I was going to post some mail tonight, but I got so much mail in the past few hours that I think I'll just paraphrase them all into one neat little piece, and include some bits and pieces from other blogs that refrenced yours truly today: bq. You're an idiot if you are for gay marriage and you are also an idiot if you are pro-war and you're stupid for thinking that sarin gas means anything and you're stupid for not saying more about Lebanon terror plot. You're wrong on the war, you're wrong on gays, you're wrong on the Olympics. You want to turn America into a sewer, you are too jingoistic, you are a stupid flag waver, your kind will destroy America. You forgot to blog about A, B an C. You blogged too much about D, E and F. I'm on your side except when you say things like that, and I hate you except for that one thing you and I agree on. You really don't know what's good for you, I know what's good for you and I know what you really think and know better than you do. You are just a mindless drone for your party. You should be ashamed to say you are part of my party. You suck because you link to Blogger A and you suck because you didn't link to my story and I'm telling Blogger A that you still link to Blogger B and you should be ashamed of yourself for reading a person with views like that because he is going to destroy America, you know. Just like you. Except for when you like America and say things I like about it, then I love you. When you choose to sit in the middle, you are an easy target for both sides. So while my hawkish posts get me grief from the left, my posts on gay marriage and other social issues get me grief from the right. What I want to know is this? Are there other bloggers who get this kind of mail? Or do I just have a huge Kick Me sign on my ass? And for those who keep are now claiming that I took down the comments on the gay marriage post because people didn't agree with me: try again. I think there are more comments on this blog as a whole disagreeing with me than agreeing. Find another argument to base your rants on. That one won't work because I have the proof right here to back it up. I suppose I still have some liberal tendencies and that pisses off conservatives. It also pisses off the liberals, who can't understand how I can agree with them on some issues, but not all (yes, I am generalizing, so please stop assuming I am talking about you). I think my favorite email was the one I got from a reader who was very confused as to how I can have such Republican ideas yet still list The Big Lebowski as one of my favorite movies. It was just so absurd, I had to laugh. It was almost as good as the one tonight from a young man who was so disturbed at the site of a Beastie Boys song on my radio station, that he vowed to not come back to the blog until I remove it. Separation, people. Separate politics from everything once in a while. Separate it from movies and music and most of all, friendship. Accept that most people do not go in for groupthink. You'll be better off for it. Anyhow, please make a note of a program change for the future. Today is the day I stopped giving a shit what other people think of me. Really. It's just not worth it. And lest you think your email or comment or post made me or the baby Jesus cry, I am sorry to disappoint you, but this is probably the best mood I've been in in days. I just dropped about eighty pounds of guilt ridden baggage when I decided not to care about you anymore.


Good for you, Michele. Lord knows I don't agree with you about everything, but as Neal Boortz says, If we both agree about everything, then one of us isn't necessary.

Don't let the assholes ruin your day.

I love you Michele!

(except when you make posts like this one...)


Kick 'em again!!

I do not know you any more than you know me so I do not judge. However, I've yet to see you express an opinion so far off that I've stopped reading. Personally, I find you walking the same path I do. Concerning to some, but not me.

I don't know what it is about you, but I've never received mail like you describe, not even during the height of my hawkishness. Oh wait, that's now. Bring it on, beeyotches!!

Nah, dear, when you start thinking for yourself and stop thinking lock-step with party dogma, expect the dogmatists to come out and give you grief, from both sides.

It might stressful, but, on the bright side, we know the dogmatists on either side are complete and total fucking idiots of the highest order.

And I say that with total love, man, total love.

So, it all kind of comes to a balance, doesn't it?

Well, I do hope I didn't contribute to the anxiety. There are just some issues that don't seem to lend themselves to reasoned and respectful debate, and that gets everybody prickly.

Pro-gay marriage / anti-gay marriage - it's all cool.

Pro-war / anti-war - it's all cool.

I just can't fathom why you would support the Yankees. That's not cool.

(hope you aren't dragging any of the bad vibes into the new abode)

Welcome to the dark side.

Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.

Happy days are here again!

You know, I tried to peg you as conservative or liberal when I started browsing your blog here. I figured that your probably libertarian, which means (for me) that I'll get a contrary viewpoint (to mine) from time to time, but not in such a manner that will incite me to curse my monitor.

You should have never worried about what others think of you. You should have never worried about pleasing anyone other than yourself (unless said pleasing pleases you). That you did displeases me, but who in God's Green Waffle House am I?

Anyway, I really enjoy reading this blog of yours, and I think I'd enjoy it better if my enjoyment of it had no bearing on its content.

I also wanted to mention the Beastie Boys thing. Personally, I'm an obsessive-compulsive freak and I have a hard time separating the "Good Musicians" aspect from the "Stark Raving Moonbats Who Would Be Content To See Me And My Fellow Countrymen Die, But Who Are In Fact Too Indifferent To Really Care" aspect of the Beastie Boys, and as such, it disturbs me to hear their music. That's my problem, not yours. I think it's funny that you got a letter (or a few) about it, but they probably didn't have the insight enough into their own feelings to express themselves in a more mature fashion, so there you go.

Loyal RSS Subscriber since Three Days Ago!

Thanks for being in the middle of the road, or, more accurately, looking at each issue instead of reciting talking points. There are others in the middle of the road, although we may disagree on issues, we agree on talking about them.

Let me put a slightly different perspective on it.

We all learned this wayyyy back when in the sandbox at about age 5. And if you didn't learn it then, you certainly learned it by high school.

My philosophy is that there are 6 billion people in this world and odds are that there will be at least 1 who, no matter what you do or how you do it, won't like you for whatever reason.

Now, you can be professional and work w/these people at work, and get the job done.

Or, F - em.

Maybe it's the way I was raised. 1 grandfather said, "you can choose your friends but can't choose your relatives."

The other said, "Stay away from your relatives."

My parents followed that and although we don't have a wide circle of people to visit, the ones we visit we want to be with and have a good time.

We live vicariously thru friends w/relative problems.

My other piece of philosophy is that we're going to be carrying a lot of baggage by the time we die, there's no reason to pick up some needlessly. Got to know when to cut your losses and go on your merry way and think F-em.

Or take the Linus approach. Every night he shook his blanket out and all his problems floated away, clean blanket ready for tomorrow.

What I want to know is this? Are there other bloggers who get this kind of mail? Or do I just have a huge Kick Me sign on my ass?
You keeding me, keed? When the libertarians (!!!) aren't calling me a warhog, the religious right is wishing I'd roast in hell for being a: atheist b: strongly in favor of gay marriage c: in favor of keeping the multi-ton ten commandment monuments and like trinkets out of the courthouses and statehouses, or the left is flaying me for being a GWB flack/fascist/idiot, or Rebpublicans are slamminig me for refusing to worship at the Bush altar, to...

Well, you know. You get the same kind of mail that I do. Probably from the same people.

Nice life, huh? Though we both know nobody is forcing us to do it.

Besides, how else could we have this much fun this cheap? (On a computer, I mean....)

Were we supposed to care what people think?

That's not what my peyote buttons told me.

Oh please, dear? For your information, the Supreme Court has roundly rejected prior restraint.

I've only been doing the blog thing for a comparatively short while, but I debated on Usenet for years. My recommendation is not to debate people via email. Believe it or not, even with the relative anonymity of comments sections, people do feel restrained because it is comparatively public.

Accept the fact that people will become so enamored of one particular post of yours that they assume that the two of you are sympatico in every possible respect. Hence they will feel betrayed when you reveal that you think the Thing was just a lump of orange rocks, while the Human Torch was a cool cat with snappy patter and great taste in cars. Or that you root for the Wal-Mart of baseball teams.

I'm actually surprised it took you this long to decide you don't give a shit about the fuckwits of the blogging world. It's so not worth either your time or your energy.

Of course I admit that I do get a kick over seeing how stupid some of these people really are, but after I'm done chuckling, I can't help ponder about the truth of Darwin's survival of the fittest theories and then it depresses me when I think that these people might actually procreate (or worse - that they already have).

Nah, dear, when you start thinking for yourself and stop thinking lock-step with party dogma, expect the dogmatists to come out and give you grief, from both sides.

It might stressful, but, on the bright side, we know the dogmatists on either side are complete and total fucking idiots of the highest order.

yea. what he said. =]

first time here. i too, share the sentiments of being a little left and mostly right. i might have to come around more often.

as for the foul email, the mint receives none of it.
i'm not surpiresed by that.

It's the sign.

It's easy living with my ussr lamenting friends. I just never discuss with them the other half of my views (except with subtle commentary during the evening news ;]).

pro-gay marriage; pro-war
pro-affirmative action; pro-school voucher
pro-1st trimester; pro-NRA
pro-immigration; pro-capitalism
pro-environment; pro-space program

anti-theocracy, anti-revolutionary

On the left are the views I have that I discuss openly. The ones on the right I try to leak in by agreeing and then leaking in a reason using a soft packaging "although it seems (logic here)." This leaves the idea to sit in their heads without giving them a nice bullseye to utterly reject without first letting the virus pass through. I guess you could say I'm mobyin' for the right.

Although it could use some tightening, "I Just Dropped About Eighty Pounds Of Guilt Ridden Baggage When I Decided Not To Care About You Anymore" would make a great song title.

I cannot understand why people worry about the politics of artists, songwriters, actors, whatever. If I enjoy their performances, I will consume their product. I don't care if they're barking moonbats.

I watch the West Wing because I enjoy the drama, but the politics often drive me batty.

If the artists are evil people, that's a different story. But just because someone disagrees with what I think politically does not make that person evil.

I've gotten used to this kind of hate-mail, yes. I get a lot of it in my comments too, though less of it lately since I started just telling 'em to go fuck themselves. Even still, it's to the point where some of the trolls actually follow me around to other people's comments so they can be nasty to me.

Sometimes it hurts my feelings. It's hurt most the few times when it came from someone I thought I respected. But that's the way life is when you take risks and have opinions.

I think many on the left tend to be particularly vitriolic to people to walk away from them. They want to believe we're liars, deceivers. Some on the right are as bad, accusing you of all kinds of wickedness if you don't toe their party line.

What you are, Michele, is a liberal. A real one, not one of the lefty pinhead posers who run around calling themselves liberals but wouldn't know what open-mindedness and tolerance and rejection of orthodox looked like if it bit them in the nuts.

Every day I give less of a shit, and when I get depressed I get depressed over stuff that matters. I was depressed for days after those horrible photos came out, and over Nick Berg. But that's something every American should be depressed about. Not random people on the internet--even if sometimes it's people you thought were friends, it's still not what's most important. Family and people who do care about you are what matters.

Oh, and by the way, you're still the best, darlin'.

The Beach Boys?!?!?! That's it, I'm leaving.

Oh wait -- you said the Beastie Boys. Never mind.

(Heh heh. Feels good to throw those bags over the side, don't it? By the way, how come I don't get hate mail anymore? At the most I get a couple of Whine mails every now and then. Is it because I don't make my email a clickable link, and the numbnuts are too dumb to it into the "to" box of their Compose screen?)


Do you mean to say you STILL link to Blogger B????

Consider this the price of success... you get to rad all of our well-deserved compliments but have to suffer the comments from those who aren't worthy to lick you boot soles.

(Incidentally, um, if that job is still open, um... well, call me)

What I wanna know is why you closed the comments on the gay marriage post and pointed out that we're all assholes (something that should've been obvious anyway). I didn't see any particularly nasty comments before they went away, maybe I missed something.

Gay marriage is a hot button issue that has some people polarized like the war does, as well as being the butt (heh) of many jokes lately. Did you think that everyone was gonna hop on the happy homosexual marriage bus because Massachusetts passed a law?

A big part of why I read ASV is the back and forth in the comments. And sometimes, it's the assholes that keep them interesting. Not the "yeah! me too!" people.

Skillzy, I will tolerate a certain level of asshole-ishness here. But there has to be a point where I say, enough. And that point is when I am deleting threatening and hateful comments faster than I can keep up with.

Gay marriage is a hot button issue that has some people polarized like the war does, as well as being the butt (heh) of many jokes lately. Did you think that everyone was gonna hop on the happy homosexual marriage bus because Massachusetts passed a law?

No. But I certainly didn't expect the level of idiocy that appeared here.

And frankly, I don't think I owe anyone an explanation as to why I took the comments down on my site, nor do I have some responsibility to pay for bandwidth that will be taken up by words that insult and demean many of my readers and friends.

That email was so convoluted and silly, bordering on insanity.

Was that person saying you are gay and suck sarin gas in an attempt to blow up America?

I feel confused and somewhat unsure.

Not caring what anyone but those you love think is the best thing you can do for yourself.

"Clowns to the left of me, jokers to my right...Here I am..."

It's hard when you won't drink the koolaid for either side. We can't save the gay non-nuclear baby seals for the Jesus and Allah Vegitarian Alliance (JAVA) and we can't just nuke 'em 'til they glow either.

"Life is hard when you have a brain."
Some old Master Sergeant I knew long ago.

I don't give my black bunny's butt about gay marriage either way. Let them go to it. However, I'm waiting for the first screaming, object-throwing, headline-making gay divorce. It ought to be a doozy.

Imperial Keeper

One of the rules of Blog Club™ (but not the first rule):

Never underestimate the level of idiocy that the audience can attain if there's any way religion can be brought into the discussion.

By the way, I know that it's me that you've been picking on in all your posts lately, and I'm really tired of you linking to (other blog) about stuff that I OBVIOUSLY posted about first with a much better written story. I scooped Fox News like ten times last week. If you don't start doing what I say, I'm probably gonna stop visiting. Maybe.

Woo hoo!

I can't remember strongly disagreeing with you about anything (most likely because I'm a conservative liberal centrist myself) but I guarantee that if/when I do I will personally kick myself in the ass before I chastise you for not holding my opinion.

RE: hatemail... good for you to flush it and pay it nonevermind! There is absolutely no reason to even attempt to be liked by "everyone." It doesn't work in jr. high, it doesn't work on blogs and, heaven knows, it certainly doesn't work for foreign policy! :-)

One last word re: same-sex marriage broohaha (which I addressed at my site). There are reasonable arguments on both sides; however, the polarizing of the issue is so you have anti-side convinced that the other is out to wipe out the whole concept of marriage as a foundational institution, and the pro-side convinced their opponents are poised with ropes in one hand, Bible in the other to start a mass slaughter of gays as soon as man/woman marriage is reaffirmed. Neither side is willing to entertain the reasonable arguments of the other and devolve into the most insane of ad homenim attacks.


What Do You Care What Other People Think?: Further Adventures of a Curious Character

about Richard Feynman

Way to go, Michele. Bit by by, you're making it easier on yourself and more fun to blog.

Now, remember the mantra: Mutter "asshole" when you hit the delete key on the emails AND on the blog comments.

"Asshole" is a great mantra. I'm surprised it's not one of the Big Five for TM.

If I agreed with you 100% of the time, it would be very boring. And I don't get that sort of mail either [knock wood]. The last email I got was from somone telling me I was a "googlewhack". I'm still not sure if that was supposed to be good or bad.

Michele, haven't written before, but I read your blog several times a day. While I consistently visit other blogs as well (Emperor Misha, Samizdata, Tim Blair, Allah, etc.) you and Tex from Whacking Day are the ones who exemplify my personal beliefs (except for your being a Yankee fan, THAT is simply unforgivable and makes the baby-Jesus cry!) I know dozens of younger Republicans, and even one Democrat, who are in the same boat, so if anything, you should feel great about sharing the same views as the young'uns! (btw, what the hell position does this guy have, anti-war, anti-gay rights, what, is he a fascist who's mourning Saddam's regime)

Brava to you!!!

Caring about other peoples' opinions is one of those things that should be done with extreme caution. For example, the opinions of people who don't know you personally shouldn't matter a hangnail's worth.

Like my congratulations to you, actually :D

But seriously: good on you. You're not in some popularity contest here. You're here to be the best human being you know how to be, as defined by you. Not as defined by a bunch of people who don't know you and are big on having everyone agree with them 100%.

I see I'm not the only one whose major disagreement with our hostess is those DamnYankees.

michele, i like you even when i don't agree with you.

but if you learn how to not care about what other people think, could you PLEASE post on that topic? I'd love to hear how you pull it off.

i don't have a blog. part of the reason i don't have a blog is i'm sure i'd get the mail you get--and i'm sure it would get to me and make me go back to having privacy. maybe you're just more courageous than the rest of us.

On the B-Boys:

Yeah, they really need to lose the veneer of social "awareness" and political posturing (or, if it's not posturing and a veneer, just hide it), because the typical-college-leftist schtick really mars some Otherwise Incredible Songs.

(I mean, how much better would "Putting Shame in your Game" be if it didn't blather on about fucking Hillary!Care™? Jesus, guys.)

I'll probably buy the new album anyway. Though I'll also probably check out the lyrics first and see if there's a complete preponderance of AssHattitude.

It was almost as good as the one tonight from a young man who was so disturbed at the site of a Beastie Boys song on my radio station, that he vowed to not come back to the blog until I remove it.

Cut the guy some slack. Reasonable minds may differ as to gay marriage, the war on terror, the Olympics, The Big Lebowski, or even whether or not to root in vain for a baseball team that will probably win its division championship but will then get trounced by the Angels in the playoffs. The Beastie Boys, though, are just plain wrong.

Michele, I used to get a lot of the same kind of mail. I'm a moderate lady, so I piss off both camps once in a while. I don't write about politics that much anymore, though, so the hate mail has slacked off significantly.

By the way, Meryl's right about the mantra. Except mine is "fucker".