Skeletons in the Closet
I’ve been sitting on this topic for a while. If you go back and look for it, I first mentioned it several months ago, suggesting it was going to appear in the next few posts. Then again a few months later. One reason I’ve sat on it so long is that I simply don’t know how to approach the topic. I also don’t know how sensitive of a topic it may be (or may not be). I know that in some of my email exchanges with other bloggers we’ve touched on this topic, so I know I’m not the only one thinking it. The fact is that the topic is really as plain as day and as common sensible as they come. Everyone lies, you see, and more so on the Internet, so why wouldn’t bloggers, too?
I choose my words pretty carefully. There are those out there who write their posts and post them immediately, not rereading, proofreading, revising, or giving it a second thought. I’m impressed by such a process; I pour over my posts at least once and frequently two or three times before I finally push the publish button (with the rare occasions when I accidentally hit publish instead of “save draft”). I look to invoke just the right meaning in what I’m saying, to be specific and descriptive so that my message flows clearly across the screen. It makes sense with my background, of course, but it makes sense for a second reason, too. I helps me hide the parts of me I don’t want exposed; it helps me cloak the real me from the persona of Stubborn.
I don’t think I’m alone in this. I strongly suspect that most bloggers cloak their full form from public eyes with words. Some hide their unhappiness, or the depth of their unhappiness. Others hide a temper (sometimes not very well) or a vengeful personality. Some of us hide a lack of experience or education. Whatever the case may be, the truth is that probably every blogger has skeletons in their blog closet, hidden behind doors of word choice and selective writing.
Here, then, is some of my dirty laundry. I’ve tried to be honest in what I’ve written previously about former guilds, tried to really represent what happened. I don’t think I was unfair (and in fact asked one of my former guildies in my “best” guild, who agreed), but that doesn’t mean I shared everything I was thinking. I am, you see, dear reader, a schemer. A a manipulator. I think a lot about how to get what I want. I don’t necessarily try to do it at the cost of others, but I’m not above trying to ruin someone who I don’t like. Being good with words, it’s easy to goad people into a fight that makes them look like the aggressor.
I’ve mentioned before the guild mate who ate my lightwells up because he hated lightwell so much he’d rather ruin mine than let it work well. He made it easy to ruin him; he ruined himself. However, I wasn’t kind to him in the process. I saw immediately he was a EJ style bully (not that Elitist Jerks are bullies; they simply provide a lot of good information, but there are plenty of people out there who wield EJ knowledge like a weapon, and this fellow as no exception). Knowing what he was like, it was easy to goad him into having a numerical argument with me that I knew I would win, since he clearly wasn’t up to date on Lightwell numbers. Only after losing that argument – publicly – did he start quaffing my lightwell charges like a dehydrated sailor stranded at sea (the language was much the same, too). I didn’t make him be a jerk, but I certainly didn’t help him be a better person, either. I didn’t like him, and I gave him enough rope to hang himself with, and he did.
That tendency is one of the reasons I work hard to be amiable and convergent on this blog. I’d much rather find the common ground with people, but it’s partially because I’ve got a nasty, nasty temper. I’m not bad to my wife or anything (she would rend me in two if she felt I deserved it), but when people who I’m not particularly attached to really annoy me, I often go out of my way to serve some form of “justice.” While I’ve already announced my bully-busting tendencies, the fact is that it’s not really just out of a sense of justice, it’s more a sense of revenge, which is, as Ahab taught us, not a good motivation. I’ve found myself wanting to quote Gabe of Penny Arcade, who after a nasty exchange with a bad customer service rep, said,
I think there is a big difference between being sorry and being sorry you got caught. I have a real problem with bullies. I spent my childhood moving from school to school and I got made fun of everyplace I landed. I feel like Paul is a bully and maybe that’s why I have no sympathy here. Someday every bully meets and even bigger bully and maybe that’s me in this case. It’s the same thing that happened with Jack Thompson. It might not always make the most business sense and it is a policy that has caused us some legal problems, but I really don’t give a shit about that. When these assholes threaten me or Penny Arcade I just laugh. I will personally burn everything I’ve made to the fucking ground if I think I can catch them in the flames.
Honestly, I get in moods like that. I get in moods where it becomes more important to me to “see justice served” than anything else, and afterwards, I’m not sure what came over me. To quote Gene Wolf, “We say, “I will,” and “I will not,” and imagine ourselves (though we obey the orders of some prosaic person every day) our own masters, when the truth is that our masters are sleeping. One wakes within us, and we are ridden like beasts, though the rider is but some hitherto unguessed part of ourselves.”
So why bring all this to light? I’m tired of sitting on it, really. I posted recently a very revealing bit of my past in response to Apple Cider’s very revealing post about her experiences. I wasn’t proud of what I put. It wasn’t cathartic, but it was honest. I was in the middle of my previous series, then, and didn’t want to interrupt it twice (I had already interrupted with my belated blogiversary). This, then, is really a response to her honesty, and the other honesty that followed. It’s not a coincidence that I took the name Stubborn for the blog, after all. Yes, it was my current toon’s name when I started the blog (but not really, even then – it was still who I considered my main, I guess), but Stubborn is not just who but what I am as well.
David (but Stubborn again tomorrow)