Monday, November 8, 2010

Oh, Shut Up

The Internet hurt my feelings today. I mean, it did until I realized how dumb I was being.

You may recall last week I wrote a piece about how I thought the city of San Francisco was being silly in their quest to take toys out of fast food kids' meals because it really didn't fix the problem it was trying to fix, and it seemed like a big waste of time for elected officials facing more important issues.

It was a piece I liked. When it appeared it was a piece other people liked I decided to send it to Huffington Post, to see if they would like it too. Amazingly, they did, and published it! They even sent out a little message to my Facebook friends to let them know they liked it, and to make me look kind of cool. I was feeling good.

The first punch came from Facebook. Well, not really a punch, more of a poke. It was someone wondering why, if there are bigger issues to focus on, I was focusing on this one. I was going to respond "because I am not using taxpayer money to focus on it" but instead I went in the bathroom and cried. That actually made me feel young though since the last time this person made me cry we were 13.

The people commenting on Huffington Post were a lot less nice. Most of them assumed that I feed my child nothing but trash, and that I possibly stand outside the back of fast food places just waiting for the grease because the meat product gets in the way. Then there were those thinking I have a personal vendetta against San Francisco, possibly because they are more enlightened than the rest of us. My favorites, of course, though were the ones who thought I was trying to run from some "truth about myself" (I'm guessing Hambuglar fetish), and that if I really feel there are more important issues I should address those.

By this time I had left work, so I was crying in my car. I thought about answering every one of the comments. I love San Francisco! I feed my kid organic produce! I hardly ever go to McDonalds, but when I do it isn't the toys, it's the fact that it is convenient and kid friendly, and unfortunately, those types of restaurants aren't the best health choices! Go after the food, not the toys! I know there are more important things, I just think looking out for wasting taxpayer money and sqaundering public opinion on such a non-issue as this one is pretty important!

I was getting ready to write all of these things when I realized something very important: none of these people know me. They don't care about me. They aren't responding to me. They are responding to who they think I am, or who they want me to be in order to reaffirm themselves, and validate their thoughts. As far as I'm concerned, that's okay. People now need affirmation more than ever, and getting anyone to think is a good thing.

I had also had a glass of wine by then. Oh, and a long phone call with T. I heart her.

Of course, that doesn't mean I wouldn't do some serious knee kicking if the opportunity arose. I mean, I'm not made of stone...

32 comments:

Nik said...

You should hang out in the Arts page where it's safe! Bravo for putting yourself out there. I hope the dagger-wounds heal quickly.

She Said said...

What? You don't just lick the grease off of the meat? I am SO outta here.

Kim said...

Did I ever tell you that when I was 16 I had to dress in a Hamburgler suit at some event at McDonald's? Of course I did. Thus the Hamburgler allusion. Oh Libby, when will you ever accept that I am just not interested?

Hey, who cares what they think-- you got published in the Huffington Post. Fuck 'em.

Deidra said...

You have the entirely right attitude. These people don't know who you are, and you have no reason to value their opinions of you. Keep doing what you're doing.

The Tame One said...

Some people don't say anything unless its rude, judgemental or stirs the pot. I think you were exactly right. Toys don't make kids fat, Mighty Kids meals do.

justmakingourway said...

Clearly, they are totally jealous that you were published in Huffington Post.

And Bravo, by the way. I had to go back and read the original letter (cause I'm lame). It was excellent.

So, in closing, you rock. Everyone who dared to insult you will suffer some sort of painful embarrassment in the near future. (At least they will if I graduate from my Exacting Revenge class.)

LL Cool Joe said...

I always admire someone like you that stands up for what you believe in and writes about it, the way you do. The truth is they don't know you, and who cares if they do? Don't let them get to you.

msprimadonna67 said...

Oh boy. Good for you for making yourself heard. Ignore the negativity--you rock!

Riot Kitty said...

Jesus, what is the matter with those people? I congrat you for getting it published! I'd be doing the victory dance...these people are self righteous motherfucking idiots, I tell you.

Hippo Brigade said...

Whatever. All those nay-sayers can suck it. They don't know you. They're just being turds.
Oh, and you know you're big time when people start saying mean things.
Saying mean things plus being featured on the huffington post? That pretty much equals being the coolest person ever. Did those dorks ever get featured on the Huffington Post? I don't think so...
So raise your wine glass to the turds, and toast to being one of the coolest people ever, right along side the hamburgler.
Cheers.

ShaLyse Walker said...

Oh girl there are so many crazies on the Internet. They have no context of who you are--- which is intelligent, well informed, and hilarious! Don't take any of it personal. Oh, and congrats on the Huffington Post. That's AMAZING!

ShaLyse Walker said...

Oh--and my dad always says thats it's not when people talk about you that you need to worry--- it's when they stop.

Riot Kitty said...

BTW, here's the post I wrote when it happened in the county where my parents (and younger siblings) live:

http://riotkitty.blogspot.com/2010/04/phrase-patently-ridiculous-comes-to.html

It's as if somehow people think you lose your progressive credentials when you don't buy into the nanny state!

Jules said...

Congrats on the getting it published!!!

And I have to remind myself not to take it personally EVERY time a parent yells at me. It's not about me. THEY don't know ME! They have pent up anger and need to take it out somewhere.

Really, are they THAT concerned about having toys in Happy Meals? Are they THAT angry about it? And do they REALLY care what YOU feed your kid?

I highly doubt it.

kendall said...

I've never understood the psychology behind trolling. What possesses a person to attack someone personally for their opinions and views like that? Is it that they feel they can act like a douche with impunity because it's the internet? "Hey, this is great--I can be a dick and no one can stop me!" Are they really nice people in real life? I think they must be or else we'd be tripping over douches much more than we already are. I can honestly say I've never said something nasty about someone on the internet simply because I can.

Congrats on the Huffington Post nod--you're a great writer and thought-provoker and that's what we all aspire to.

Lynne said...

Dont let them get to you, Libby. Whenever someone is unkind to you it is because they are jealous! Every. Single. Time.

And now you can put one of those super cool "as seen in the Huffington Post" badges on your blog! :-)

Granny Annie said...

The day I read your post on the meals I heard a similar commentary on the news. Obviously lots of people shared your opinion. You can't please everyone but obviously you pleased someone at the Huffington Post who decided to print your fine letter. It's always good to make a commotion don't you thing?

JenS said...

I give you credit for putting it out there. You are right about the affirmation.

Oh - and the hamburgler is so hot. ;)

Carlea said...

I just went and read the comments. Jesus, those people are ASSHOLES.

I hate the internet. Then again, it's precisely why I know you so I guess I love it.

Sam said...

You're amazing for putting it out there. The internet is a scary place. You were brave. :)

Daniel said...

I haven't read this letter yet (I work backwards when I hit up my Google Reader), but... yeah, people suck. And everyone has to have an opinion on everything. I bet I'll probably dig the letter, once I read it...

We'll see. Comment will be forthcoming.

Amanda said...

I know you - does that mean that I can make cruel comments? Please?
I have never understood the whole "open forum, let's be mean" philosophy of the internet - so here is my philosophy - FUCK 'EM!

You've Got to Be Kidding Me said...

I went and read your article (loved it...made me laugh) and the comments. I didn't think the comments were bad at all. Sure there were the usual strays, the Conspiracy Moms, the Organic Mafia, the San Francisco Nazis, the Conservative Corps, whatevs. Nobody pays any attention to them.

Maybe comments always sound way worse to the writer than to the reader? Everyone once in a while there's an evil troll who makes us all go,
Holy Hell, but I don't think you did badly at all in the comments section.

So I say, Good Job. And way to go at getting a byline and everything.

The Vegetable Assassin said...

Yeah this is why I never post anything anywhere other than my blog - there're always idiots who take it entirely the wrong way and get mean because they can hide behind their anonymity. It's ridiculous really. I don't socialize online to fight with people or be belittled so I don't get other people's intentions to judge. Just toast the idiots and ask for them to find some intelligence or humanity somewhere and live your life your way. In more "me" terms "screw those a-holes!" :)

G said...

Honestly, I don't know which PC/Big Brother city is the worst, San Francisco or New York City.

Honestly, if you can push people's buttons like that, then you did your job correctly.

Kelly said...

Sorry your feelers got hurt. I liked your letter, and now I know someone who is famous!

Heather said...

Seriously, every single Hater was NOT published on the Huffington Post that day and you were.

And by the by, I totally agreed with you. Happy meals are not the devil. The devil is the devil, if in fact there is a devil which is a question maybe The Haters would like to take up in a post of their own? See! I feel better already.

Don't let them get you, Libby. You keep on keeping on.

Scribe said...

Oh libby, you are so right. They don't know you and they make comments like that to feel better about the choices they are making and the people they are. I'll get my butt kicking boots on and be right over!

Rassles said...

I am super on your side. And I'm also a big fan of San Francisco. And once I dressed up like Grimace for Halloween, and those sonsabitches at McD's wouldn't give me free french fries.e

Catherine said...

Libby, some people are just out looking for a fight. I see it over and over again with blog posts and editorials. It seems like you cannot just have an opinion anymore with out someone picking apart everything you say and assuming you are for or against a bigger cause. I recently wrote that I wished Oprah would change up her magazine cover which automatically turned me into an Oprah hater. It's not what I said and not what I meant. People hear what they want.

Erin said...

First of all, congratulations on having your post published by the Huff Post! Secondly, whoever asked you that hurtful question is kind of a douche. You could easily answer their question, but why bother? What a dumb question it was to begin with. Thirdly: YES! I think banning toys from fast food joints is a slippery slope and smacks of prohibition, almost. You can't ban food, you can't ban freedom. It goes against what this country is about. Amen and thank you. :-)

Gina said...

Sometimes I am envious of the bloggers with tons of readers and tons of comments, but then I see some of the abuse they take and say fuck it. And for what it's worth, I totally agree with the SF Happy meal nonsense.