Yes, I know I just yesterday said I might be on an extended leave of absence from blogging. So sue me. It’s just that a fairly innocuous conversation I had with someone this morning convinced me I might need to address a potential issue. Just note, however, that I find this type of writing incredibly condescending to my readers and I have no intention of making it a regularity. This is primarily intended for the people who have a hard time catching on.
A lot of my writing/tweeting is satirical in nature. I might have grown up in southeast Oklahoma, but it is not a culture into which I neatly fit and for a variety of reasons. I enjoy city-life and am cosmopolitan at heart and I like poking fun at rednecks and the provincially-minded. I am a progressive liberal and I like to gibe at conservatives and the religious right. I am an ardent supporter of gay rights and I deride the flimsy logic of those who oppose them. I am a recovering Charismatic and I like to highlight the idiosyncrasies of the Charismatic/Pentecostal strains of Christianity. I oppose the politicization of the Christian faith in any form and go out of my way to point out the logical inconsistencies and blundering failures of those engaged in the politicizing. None of this is a secret. All of that said, I do not now, nor have I ever considered myself “superior” to any of these groups of people. No, not one.
One thing I am not, however, is a fool. I know who reads what I write. I have readers who agree with me (or correct me when I’m wrong or offer insights that I overlook) and others who disagree with me (or borderline hate me or think I’m just an arrogant son-of-a-bitch). I also have readers who fall into one or more of the categories of people I deride on occasion. And, of course, I have readers who happen to stumble onto my site from random Google-search queries like “lonely ORU student” (FML) or “wranglers and boots” (WTF). Even so, you may rest assured: I LOVE ALL OF THEM. Seriously, I do.
To all my fellow bloggers out there on the Interwebs, a word of advice: be intentional with your writing. For me, that means meaning what I say and only saying what I believe to be true. Of course, along with that comes the importance of having the humility to correct mistakes. While there have been a few posts I’ve deleted for various reasons (typically because they no longer reflected my views), to date I have not written anything (yes, anything) on my blog that I have felt any need to apologize for. That’s a fact.
Now, one of the greatest innovations that has befallen these here Interwebs is the ability to submit feedback in the form of comments. I love comments. I love all types of comments. I especially love the kind where people engage me in intelligent and informed discourse about the topic at hand. I even like the ones where fundamentalists accuse me of being an agent of Satan, which I like to print, laminate, and paste on my bathroom mirror. Each and every one.
If someone thinks something I write is unclear or seems to be offensive or bigoted, I won’t know unless the concerned reader talks to me about it in person or posts one of those lovely little comments. Don’t worry, I won’t bite unless you do–and even then it’s really more like lots of playful nips. We might not agree in the end, but at least we’ll (hopefully) both know where the other stands. What I do find entertaining though are people who use back channels and mutual acquaintances to express disapproval for something I’ve said. If you’re the sort of person who does that kind of stuff, I sincerely hope you’re not expecting me to give a damn. I don’t, just so we’re clear.
There are consequences associated with being honest and expressing how you really feel in a public forum like a blog and I’m fully aware of them. No one should ever set out to be a serious writer and be overly concerned about what people think. Indeed, any good writer is bound to make at least one person angry at some point. If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s someone who wastes their talent writing fluffy bits of pandering nonsense. Have you read the stuff that’s designed to appeal to everyone? Trust me, it’s trash.
What I want people to remember is that I never set out to offend for offense’s sake alone. Offense is for me a tool and I use it to mainly to point out why the things that offend most people are ridiculous in the first place. Also, a lot of the humor I employ won’t really make sense to people older than the millennial generation since that’s my target audience; if you fall into the “older” category, I don’t think you’re stupid, it’s just that you might have a harder time catching the humor. And, finally, while it is one of my fundamental beliefs that upwards of 99 percent of humans genuinely believe they’re doing the right thing, I have no qualms saying why I think they’re wrong. If you can’t handle that, my heartfelt recommendation is for you to find another blog to read because I genuinely don’t care whether you “approve” or “disapprove” of what I have to say. No, not even a little.