Standing Up…

This post started all nice and sweet. Then it got less sweet. Then it became way too long and overly passionate. Now I just have to say what I think and how I feel.

Drama has flared up in the Blogosphere again, and I wasn’t going to say anything – again. I was going to let the latest drama just fly on by, because I don’t read the site that was home to the drama (avoiding it is best for my stress levels) and I was only hearing about it from others. But after spending some time reading and re-reading Trish’s post, I could not sit in silence anymore. (By the way, if this post is full of holes for you, you can fill them in there.) It’s the same thing, every time. Every month or two, someone gets roasted – and I want to make it clear that I am far from the flames.

I’ve been venting for months that I get so frustrated at times that people associate my blogs with other blogs. I write for me, for myself, and share what I think. My blog is a drama free zone. Last time I think I went off on a troll, it was someone that I still suspect was either my former employer or my ex – and that was about two years ago. Flame wars don’t happen here and that’s a good thing.

The bad thing is that I am afraid that people assume that they can’t comment here because of the circle they think I’m a part of, that they think they aren’t one of my friends so they can’t, or the worst, they associate me with other bloggers that tend to send posses after people. Yes, I’ve written about all of this before, always in vague terms.

That is not me. I am not one of them.

I don’t read the blogs you probably think I read, and I don’t want to be thought of as one of them.

And I’ve been too chickenshit for the past 7 months to just flat out say that.

I’m shaking like a leaf just saying it now.

How freakin’ sad is that? How wrong is it that I am actually afraid to speak out on my own blog and say “I am not one of them” because I fear the wrath of those words?

NO blogger should cause people to shake with fear. NO ONE. And yet there are some that do. They have this power, and they don’t care how they weild it or who it hurts. With great power comes great responsibility. Power abused is a terrible thing. And I am sick and tired of it. I am tired of people assuming that I’m like that. I am tired of meeting bloggers in person, and being asked about the Blogosphere drama queen.

I don’t have the answers. I haven’t for months. I’ve tried to sort it out, I used to make excuses, and then I walked away. I couldn’t take it any more. It’s like a cult, and I left. Which is never easy. It’s not easy for me to walk away from someone that for over a year I considered a close friend. I haven’t felt that way for months now, and I don’t think I ever will again in this case. Normally I try to repair friendships, but I have seen this unending pattern for some time now, and I don’t think there is a fix. I decided long ago, after witnessing things that happened offline, no more. But I kept it to myself.

So many people have been hurt by this behavior in the past. People have stopped blogging because of attacks, or taken their sites to hidden spots to avoid further abuse. When you reach the point of contacting someone’s employer because of things said online, that is going too far. It disgusts me even more to hear that people are cheering this behavior on. If there is more to the story, that’s fine – but don’t post half of it and not the rest. Take it private.

What point has the blog society reached? Is this really how we want to treat each other?

It’s not how I want to treat anyone, and I never want to be treated like that. Blacklist me, delink me, block my e-mails, whatever. I don’t care. I refuse to live in fear. I was asked months ago by numerous people why I didn’t stand up and publically say something. Fear. Followed by my too optimistic desire to make everything ok, keeping everyone happy. I will not be afraid any longer.

Enough is enough. I’ve tried to say it for months in subtle ways, but enough of that. This will be the LAST time I speak out on a Blogosphere drama, but this is the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

So, once and for all, for the record… I am a free-thinking, free-standing, blogger for ME. I always have been. I have friends that I adore, but I think for myself. I would not ever be a part of something so horrid as these latest events. I’ve been to scared to say this for months, but no more. Read my site for who I am, but please don’t think that I am the sort that will tear you to shreds for what you say here in response.

DISCLAIMER: Big Pink Cookie is a drama free, comment friendly zone. If you disagree with me, that’s ok. This time, something had to be said – for all the times I’ve been silent before.

By Christine

Christine is an Avenger of Sexiness. Her Superpower is helping Hot Mamas grow their Confidence by rediscovering their Beauty. She lives in the Heights in Houston, Texas, works as a boudoir photographer, and writes about running a Business of Awesome. In her spare time, she loves to knit, especially when she travels. She & her husband Mike have a food blog at Spoon & Knife.

90 replies on “Standing Up…”

When someone makes the threat that they live in your state, you should be very scared, and they have the photographs to prove it (leaving it up to you to interpret just exactly what “photographs to prove it” means) — may I ask exactly what you would do in the same circumstance? When such things are sent from work accounts, you’d better believe I don’t think it’s “wrong”. Fortunately true friends that know the whole story don’t either.

I followed the link and I am still clue-free. But I applaud the thrust of your post.

You can’t make soap opera go away. It appears in all sorts of fora. But you can always walk away from the soapy people.

Spiderman? Whathuh? I’m almost afraid to ask.

Well Robyn, as you said – I’m not a true friend who received info on all of that. You select which ones you want to BCC me on, normally the ones involving situations that I know plenty about already from the other side. Being threatened is scary, and I would have investigated it too. However, this is not your first or last blogger roast, I am sure of that. I don’t support them.

And Ginger, that was really my whole point … to let the rest of the world know that I walked away from the soapy people some time ago. Of course, we’ve talked about all of that in person already.

I’d have to say that blueberry is right up there on the list. I’m not too fond of apple anymore. I grew up in Maine near the orchards, and ate it daily during the season.

For some reason, Boston Creme Pie really makes my mouth water, but I always feel guilty for eating it.

What you’ve said takes a lot of guts. I’ve been watching from the sidelines for a long time and I’ve always felt there were as an element to this community that was just downright mean and spiteful.

Let’s not even look at this particular situation, since it seems incomplete, let’s look at how many people have been harassed, called names and forced to walk away from their blog completely.

This isn’t a one time occurrence, this happens all the time. And this is just a build up of all the times it’s happened before.

Be nice. It’s not that big a deal if someone doesn’t see thing the same way you do. Just agree to disagree and get over yourself.

And please get past the idea that this is just about this one time. Its all of it rolled into one giant flaming ball of poo.

Oh, my. Plonk has all sorts of connotations (still there, Ginger?) that I’ll have to tell you about later.

But it is funny – I’d noticed that you do get asked quite often to explain Robyn. I never really connected the two of you – no, I’m not a long-time BPC/BlahBlahBlog reader – but your styles are very different. I always wondered why you were supposed to be able to rationalize all this.

And bravo for putting this all into words.

“With great power comes great responsibility” == Spiderman reference 🙂

As for pie, not a big fan.

As for drama, not a big fan of that either. I like to stick to my own little corner of the world. I didn’t like drama in highschool, and I definitely don’t like it now.

PS. I have NO idea what this latest blogosphere war is all about. Just thought I’d share my two cents 🙂

Oh, my. She said *PLONK*. Does she really mean that?

I can tell I’m old and jaded, because it seems to me like I’ve seen a lot of what we’re discussing before. I don’t know the people involved, but I’ve been through this kind of thing myself. You can stop and walk away any time and you feel better when you do.

If someone actually started harrassing me because of my weblog, I’d definitely investigate it. But I’d be talking to the police, not to my blogger cronies. They can’t help me against a nutbar. When it gets into stalker turf, it stops being soap opera stuff and starts being too serious to talk about on the blog.

PS: I don’t care for Cool Whip either. You’re not alone.

Let’s just make sure the pie is low carb pie. Like a nice meat pie without crust. Or with a crushed walnut/macadamia nut crust. Maybe a cream cheese “frosting”.

Or let them eat steak. Or crow.

Love ya, kiddo. You know that.

Oh get over yourself Robyn! You are making up lies as usual. No one makes threats to you until you threaten them. And trying to make these people believe that Jim was the one who threatened your life with photos is pathetic. Why don’t you start telling the truth for once in your life?

Just so everyone understands…I am the one who told her that I lived in Florida and I have pictures. Pictures of what you ask? I didn’t specify! But obviously she has something to worry about, otherwise she would not be trying so desperately to say face with you. My email her “Only” came after she emailed me, and then sent my previous responses to her emails to AOL TOS, and some (if you don’t believe it I will forward you the emails she send me) She loves to dish it out, but when it comes to taking it….she is a spoiled sport!

“When someone makes the threat that they live in your state, you should be very scared, and they have the photographs to prove it (leaving it up to you to interpret just exactly what “photographs to prove it” means) — may I ask exactly what you would do in the same circumstance? When such things are sent from work accounts, you’d better believe I don’t think it’s “wrong”. Fortunately true friends that know the whole story don’t either. :: robyn :: July 9, 2003 09:49 PM ::”

This post wasn’t about friendships, it was about standing by and watching something that you can’t support when it happens over and over again. As I said, I have struggled with this for months, because I value our friendship. I can’t fix it though, and I can’t stop it from happening, but I can speak out about how I feel about it. Sometimes you have to make hard choices, whether you like them or not.

*wild applause from the peanut gallery* I admit, there have been times I have been afraid to post here, or to speak freely for fear of being “in trouble” in blog land, so thank you for saying what you said and for setting us FREE!

Having been on the roasting end of Robyn’s periodic flame wars, I know exactly where you’re coming from. I had to shut off comments and even considered quitting the blog habit completely thanks to her and her brownshirt brigade’s attacks. And all because I had the temerity to disagree with Robyn. Or, as she put it, because I “stirred up trouble.”

I guess groupthink is an attractive thing for some these days, particularly since it feeds the ego of weak people, but that doesn’t make it any prettier from where I sit.

P.S. Re-reading my comment, I want to make it clear that I’m not excusing or trying to justify any of the actions that may have caused this mess. I just wanted to post that I’m glad that people are feeling less threatened and can talk openly, and (like usual) I wound up blathering on.

James, I just wanted to point out that as a former member of what you refer to as “the brownshirt brigade”, not everyone around Robyn agrees with what she does. Unfortunately, most of them know how she will react if they disagree with her, so they just go along. I disagreed with her yesterday on this issue, and she immediately cut all ties, insisting that I remover her from my blogroll and my “friend roll” (her words.)

I think this has been a wake-up call for a lot of people, and I *hope* it will change the way some people act.

Christine, I was “friends” with her along time ago, and I know how it feels to oneday be dropped because she didn’t like what you had to say. I know that you valued your friendship with her, and that you are disheartened by all of this. I just wanted to state who I was, and try not to make it clear to you all that this guy didn’t threatened her. I don’t think it would be fair for me to allow her, or anyone else, to bash him for something he didn’t do. Sorry if any of you feel that I am being harsh toward her. But you have to understand this is not the first, nor will it be the last time she does this to people who believe she is truly thier friend. I know for a fact she has done this at least 15+ times before you all. It is a shame.

Great. Just when I was considering coming out of the blurking closet, the world explodes.

Someone has lost their *job* because of this? Unbelievable.

Back into the closet I go.

Christine, have you tried the Key Lime Pie donut at Krispy Kreme? Too rich for my blood, but it might be on par with your previous Key Lime Pie experience. Who knows?

Thankfully, there are many doors through which to enter the Blogosphere. I went through the one that involvled mimicking Derek Powazek, reading all the blogs of the upstarts who developed — and continue to develop — the technologies and trends that have made blogging stand out in the mainstream media. They were thought-provoking, entertaining, creative and visionary long before the current crop of popular kids learned what an HTML tag was. And they still are all those things; that’s why they’re the names you see on all the covers of blogging books that line the shelves of Borders or Barnes and Noble. I’m happy to admit that my encounters with the bloggers I read have been overwhelmingly positive. I’ve watched Mena sing “Stand By Your Man” to Ben during karaoke. I hung out with Bloggie founder Nikolai when he was too young to get into any bars. I’ve walked through the streets of Austin with Jish’s arm around my shoulder. Leia, the sassy-haired lady who single-handedly organized over 300 DFW bloggers, was my roommate and still is one of my best friends. And Christine is one of the most entertaining dinner companions a visitor to Houston could ask for. These people, and many more, are my personal “A-list”.

All this is really to say: I live my life offline. I turn the computer off. I go grocery shopping. I hike in the mountains. I play with my cats. And offline, as well as on, I try to treat people with the respect I would want to receive. As nameless and faceless as far-away bloggers may seem, they all have lives that may be, in fact, very similar to my own.

Julie, I would eat suckers with you any day… and thinking of Mena and the “Stand by My Man” karoake night made me laugh. Oh, that was so amusing.

Meeting bloggers in person puts a whole different spin on everything – I highly recommend it. Matter of fact, that may be a good post for this weekend.

Long live the Big Red Button!

*bloop* *bloop* *bloop*

(the sound of names being dropped)

IM-pressive. Not.

Everyone assumes Mister Comment Troll was fired. Has anyone asked him?

Darn. You found me out. See, what I was really trying to do there was impress people I don’t know and, really, have no reason to impress. Those names aren’t celebrities; they’re PEOPLE. Ask them and they’ll tell you as much. That was my POINT.

Yes, Julie, but it’s endemic. We seem to need people to lionize…and to demonize. It all goes around. It’ll be someone else’s turn to hate next month.

My personal “A-List”? Bloggers who have been around for a long time and have no need to hate. Julie’s not name dropping – she’s talking about those same “A-List” bloggers that we have both met in person and have a great deal of respect for. These are the bloggers that have no blogdramas on their sites. There are a lot of people out there that never feel a need to flame or anything like that.

A really key point I would like to stress again… this post wasn’t about the comment troll. This post was about my “Oh no, not again…” reaction when I heard about it, and my need to make it clear to the people that read *my* site that *I* do not condone such behavior. At the time, there was no mention of anyone being threatened by said troll, so all anyone had to go on was what they saw, and what I saw wasn’t a good thing. I needed to speak up for myself once and for all after months of holding it in.

Chel was right earlier – there are two sides to every story. I know that. I’ve defended these very actions in the past. I’ve talked to people on the receiving end and tried to justify actions. Not because I was asked to, but because I always try to see both sides of things. Yesterday, it was time to defend myself.

Julie, I thought what you wrote was great for a lot of reasons, and none of them have anything to do with recognizing some of the names you mentioned. Blogging can be cool, it’s a way to share your thoughts and opinions with friends and strangers, and maybe make new friends along the way.

When I’ve had interaction with people I’ve met online, it hasn’t involved IP addresses. There are people out there doing amazing things, innovative, creative stuff that adds to my life, both online and off. They aren’t looking for a fight, they’re looking for a challenge, or looking for something new to explore, and sometimes they share those experiences with us.

I don’t think the line between being funny, snarky or tongue-in-cheek and destructive, petty behavior is very thin at all. It’s a big, obvious gulf and there’s way too many people on this side of that line to bother with the rest.

And I’m with you — life is lived offline.

Right on, Christine. I was totally oblivious to what was happening, when all the drama snowballed around me. You’re totally right here and glad you had the courage to stand up and speak – I’m not always so gutsy.

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