the currency of villainy.

30 03 2010

first and foremost i want to thank you all for being sweet and sticking up for me today. you all made my crappy weekend infinitely less stupid. in addition, i am definitely feeling less sick, and we were able to talk the condo roof assessment down to $3750 per unit.  although if you see my insurance adjuster, please tell her to fucking return my calls!  but enough about that.

after getting that mean comment yesterday, i’ve been thinking a lot about what the future holds for me and my identity as a blogger. at this point, i feel exceptionally lucky that i’ve only ever had 2 negative comments in the 6 month life span of my little website. but as my traffic count starts to swell (swell obviously being a  relative term), so does the possibility that people aren’t going to like what i have to say. and the truth is, i’m not that nice. the person who told me i should stick to reviewing PB&Js did so because i completely eviscerated a local restaurant. and i did so unapologetically. i’m blunt and brutal and bitchy. sometimes for comic effect, and sometimes because i’m honest and i don’t care to waste time candy coating things with a protective layer of waffling and neutrality.

unfortunately, with this inability/unwillingness to play nice, i make myself a target for naysayers. as much as there are people in the universe who would shank their own grandma to avoid a conflict, there are other people out there who would shank their own grandma to start a conflict, because picking fights gets them off. the internet is the perfect place to do this because you never have to use your real name, use your real email address, or tell anyone what restaurant you work for when you’re telling someone they’re not qualified to opine about anything higher up the food chain than peanut butter and jelly sandwiches… the internet makes people ballsier and nastier than ever with absolutely no fear of repercussion.

but is it really so bad? if i want my readership to grow, is it time for me start filing off my sharp edges? criticism feels bad right now because i’m not used to it, but a lot of people have gotten very famous being the bad guy. howard stern, rush limbaugh, gargamel, destro… being hated means that people are paying attention. being hated means that people care enough to have formed an opinion. is being merely likable compelling enough to keep people visiting every day? exactly how evil do i have to be to get more people to subscribe to my RSS?

but seriously, i don’t think i’ll be amping up or amping down my level of darkness any time in the near future. i’ll never be polly people pleaser, but i also have a hard time being pointlessly mean spirited. as those cheap shots start rolling in… it will be a challenge to decide how to handle them. it is tempting to join the pissing match, be the villain, especially when being the hero seems like such a fucking snooze (sorry captain america, no thank you). in the meantime, before i start concepting possible furniture layouts for castle grayskull, i think i’ll settle quietly somewhere in the anti-hero category for a while. that way, i can still be fundamentally good, without having to be fundamentally boring or having my purity of spirit make other people uncomfortable (i’m pretty sure people probably make an effort not to swear in front of superman).

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10 responses

30 03 2010
Lynn

Don’t change! And I don’t mean that in the yearbook, “stay sweet and have a great summer!” way. You are honest and hilarious and soul-searching and creative and I think that combination is very powerful. It strikes a chord in people, or at least this people. You also offer something totally different than all the other deal seekin’ sites out there (which are great, but there’s decidedly room for something different).

30 03 2010
bessmarvin

awwwww. i’m not really thinking about being evil. although i am just evil enough to consider it as a viable way to drag in some extra blog traffic. i love howard stern (not so much rush, i’d get jiggy with gargamel first), but i could never be so cruel to people. my crusty sarcastic exterior hides a sentimental old puss who cries at the end of the wedding singer EVERY TIME. that said, although i find most of the deal sites are robotically neutral and inoffensive, the few super jesusy/anti-feminist ones definitely bring out my black heart. i have stopped myself from saying some pretty terribly things at points (remember that time that money saving mom dropped that big old “jesus saves” post around xmas time, and then TURNED OFF THE COMMENTS?! i was half way to full apeshit mode within 2 sentences of that bullshit ).

30 03 2010
kitkat

i concur! your honesty is refreshing – i wish i could be that forthcoming with everyone! plus you are genuinely a nice person – not a manipulator like rush. sometimes people just can’t handle the truth. sometimes they just disagree.
(and ps – has that elitist ever even tried pb&j time? i’d take an organic crunchy peanut butter & pomegranate jelly on borealis multi-grain over anything grace has to offer any day…)

30 03 2010
bessmarvin

thank you for thinking that i’m better than rush! i should put that on my business card. i’m actually feeling really good about it today. opposition gives everyone something to talk about. it’s good for people to figure out how they feel, and make decisions about what they stand for. i’m definitely on the pro-conflict side, even when it makes me wince a little. (your sexy description is making me want a pb&j so bad i’m almost willing to brave the rain!)

30 03 2010
blackgirlinmaine

Seriously, don’t worry about it. I have been blogging since 2008 and as a Black chick in Maine, I sometimes attract the crazies, it also doesn’t help that I write for a local publication and at one point had a letter sent to my editor that was so scary he sent it to the cops. Look, people are strange and you cannot please all the people all the time.

I like your blog since so many of the Maine bloggers are Mamas (granted I am a Mama too) and they have this general tone that is so sweet I feel like wicked witch of the west since I am not that sweet mama.

Yes, being truthful and outspoken will attract a certain level of attention but for the meanies that’s what the delete button is for.

30 03 2010
bessmarvin

yikes! i’m keeping my fingers crossed that my hate mail never gets quite that bad! i don’t have an editor to watch my back. amen on the mommy blogs being too damn sugar coated! i mean, can you PLEASE stop calling EVERYTHING a blessing! it’s like they never get grumpy or ugly or overtired. it’s all perfect family photos 24 hours a day! what i love about you is that you’re a mama who blogs about everything, not just huggies and gymboree. you are a smart, multi-dimensional woman, and you are honest and raw. your post about being a non-custodial mother blew me away. seriously, you’ve got skills.

30 03 2010
Jen

PLEASE don’t change! You make me laugh and I love that you speak your mind and damn the consequences (and I love that you use the word “fuck” so much). As for the hate mail on the review, you told the truth and sometimes the truth hurts… but its a hell of a lot better than sugar coating it with lies! Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one. Different opinions are what make us who we are. BTW, I am STILL dying to come up there and go to that PB&J place!

31 03 2010
bessmarvin

i do use the word fuck a lot. i should probably have some sort of disclaimer…. naaah. and don’t worry, i’ll still be the same blunt sarcastic bitch that i’ve always been 🙂 i was actually more strongly considering becoming more evil than less evil any way. seriously, any time you need the portland food tour, i am at the ready.

31 03 2010
blackgirlinmaine

Thanks. 🙂 I didn’t realize you had checked out my blog..I had started off wanting to be one of those Mama blogs but realized that is so not me. I love my kids but I don’t want to talk about them all the time..I like to think I am like the Mamas of yesteryear who had balance.

31 03 2010
bessmarvin

you know, i think you’ve struck a really great balance between your family stuff and all the other things in your life that are important and exciting. it’s refreshing. i saw that you had a blog when you first commented, and i’ve been visiting ever since. i’m also a twitter follower! like i said, you got skills.

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