It's a week shy of two years since my last post. I've been close to writing on the blog more than a few times during this year. The ember that prompted me today? -- a moderation alert in my in-box for an anonymous comment about the June '07 "Viagra and Oysters" post. Better comment two years after a post than "forever hold your piece?"
Q: Wanna know what lights my fire? (that is my urge to write?)
"Misguided." That one word is the unsigned comment's last sentence. I'm taking poetic liberty to interpret that as the intended identifier, a symbolically reflective moniker for the commenter.
At the most, it's my way of "back at you" for forgetting to write his or her name.
Why would I be so judgemental? More importantly, why should you care?
While Misguided's comment is not spam-based, her/his intent was not to address the post's content, either. No mention of the Viagra, the oysters, or the somewhat related sausage or pizza pie (Am I getting you hungry?) Instead the opinion expressed had everything to do with arrogance and ignorance -- a survey of biased half-truths about my personal online presence, veiled as self-congratulatory moral discourse, from a person whose language use seems to have had the benefit of education, yet visibly displays a lack of wisdom and outreach.
[Misguided's comment and my response are below.]
So what? Sticks-and-stones, a few barbs--just get over it?
Admittedly, I was excited to aim a few blows at this unknown person's shoddy line of thinking. The first official comment so blatantly against me. I've finally made it.. somewhere.
But there is a larger picture-- in the aggregate do comments like this ferment a culture of narcissim and hate? What if the person is someone of influence who is able to shape perceptions among many? What if the comment was not aimed at me, as it decidedly was, but instead intent on someone or something of major political importance? What if Misguided really thinks their logical process is flawless? Happens everyday, right?
Is silence golden (turn the other cheek) or is the silence in not correcting false statements actually dangerous to societal knowledge? Should we as a society demand civic rules of debate when we opine for, or against, something? Should we completely disregard the small gems of truth when someone with the title, Supreme Leader, decrees after days of mob demonstration, that politicians should not have name-called each other during the debate? What if the name calling is true? Or when it's not, and when it's in the US, as it frequently happens. To the victors, the spoils?
Here's the Missguided's exchange below. Think Misguided will reply to my reply?
Tweet me @crystalhaidl @SexDayUSA or comment below.
What a wonderful thing you are doing for the standing
of women in society. Promoting further objectification and degradation of women under the guise of sexual liberation. And doing an interview in Hustler magazine is CERTAINLY not antithetical to your cause. pleeeaazse. Clearly you have
inhaled too many fumes from the toliet cleaners you use. Misguided. Friday, June 19, 2009 2:46:00 AM
Dear Anonymous aka Misguided,
First let me thank you for your opening compliment. In a gesture of appreciation, here is my Ms. America speech-- "I only hope that the attempts for all my projects-- along with the works of millions of others-- do benefit open discourse and understanding for women and men, and children, and not just for American democracy, but for a greater acceptance of the uniqueness and beauty within individuals across the world."
This is my Groucho version- "Of course, I openly advocate not just for standing, as you mentioned, but for sitting, sleeping, pretty much any flexible position a person chooses for themselves, as well. (So long as it doesn't impede another individual's space at that moment.)"
Now, that the gratitudes are proclaimed, let's roll up our sleeves, and get to work. Misplaced, you seem to have a grasp of language-- Yes, those big words -- "objectification", "degradation" and"antithetical" give you away-- so, I feel rather comfortable chastizing you a tad. (First suggestion: you might want to brush up on punctuation skills. Shouldn't we all? Using a period for incomplete sentences not only goes against all that diagramming your fourth grade teacher had you exercise, but makes it appear that you yourself think that your thoughts are complete, when they are in fact, merely clauses. You do realize your thoughts are incomplete?)
Transparency and Accountability-- it goes both ways. If this were a newspaper you'd have to at least state "-Concerned Citizen, from xyz, state." (Sidebar-- I once noticed a gentleman I was doing some PR for at a conference was in a state of xyz. He thanked me for saving him from embarrassment during the event. He didn't hire us again. Moral of the story: state your real state, there are 50 to choose from. ) Perhaps, you're happy that print is going the way of the dodo bird. However, even extinct practices have merit, and stating your identity is well, only fair and so mature, especially when you decide to throw insults. If you were applauding me, for instance, I'd want to know who you were, too. Maybe send you flowers or more likely one of those lame Facebook apps. Ohh, are you a FB friend? Sorry, but I might want to de-friend you.
But wait, could that be it ....? Awwwww, are you ashamed of your identity, Misguided, or of your misguided past? Twelve-step program? There's an even easier solution . I'll hold your hand - it's called being open to researching facts, double checking, even triple checking your sources, too. The benefit is that it's civilly responsible,too.
For example--your odd pairing of Hustler and Housecleaning-- you seem to have been doing some selective googling about me under the letter "H". Might I suggest, you should have researched all the way to "Z"? Did you find anything good under "A"? Oh, please do let me know, if you did. All kidding aside, the world is so full of prejudiced half-slander. What goes for world issues, should also go for comments that target an individual. Agreed? You don't want to be responsible for perpetuating lies, that you yourself thought were true, but you didn't actually bother to go the next step? What would the good lord say when you got to the pearly gates?
So, here are some facts for your soul-search--
Hustler-- It was an article that I was paid $700 for, not an interview, as you suggest. For a really fun and educational interview that you might want to pick up a February '04 copy of Penthouse Forum.
Hustler censored/rewrote my work to meet their orientation. Here's a link to one post which addresses this issue. I begrudgingly agreed on the complete rewrite on behalf of marketing my book-- and the 30 some people I owed money to and were dependent upon sales; we sold one copy. Credibility? Hundreds of noted journalists have written for the magazine. I disagree with much of its content, as I do Playboy. But then are the tawdry celeb magazines displayed in our faces at the grocery lines, any more beneficial to societal values? Even so if Hustler would agree to non-censorship of my writing, I'd do it again, maybe even pose nude-- on my terms. Got that Hustler? How about marking my AARP status eligibility in '10?
Housecleaning and Toilets-- I use Comet brand primarily; Mixed properly with water, it would be quite unusual to accidentally inhale--and I don't snort, in case you're wanting that on the record. Funny that you specifically mention "toilet" -- one of the topics I want to explore on Huffington is about people not being aware of the literal waste they leave around the ring (hint: it's not just the men.) It's a wonderful allegory for the crap we all leave behind without thought.
Some Potty FAQ: Did you know there is a World Toilet Day, educating especially the Third World regarding the importance of hygiene and the need for accessible, functional toilets? You can attend the conference in Singapore, December 2, 2009. BTW, when's the last time you scrubbed a toilet?
And finally, regarding your incomplete sentence alleging that I "objectify" and"degrade" women under the "guise of sexual liberation"-- uhh, not sure what your educational/ religious/political beliefs stem from, but substantiate the how, where, when, and what. It's OK if you don't like any of my views, but from what factual premise are you coming from?
Honestly, me thinks, dear Misguided that you've been throwing a pile of feces in public space. Have you, by chance been breathing in too many of your own and/or other's pottys' fumes? Evidence? It's obviously coming out of your mouth. For that, Listerine, might camouflage, but the true cure, the ethically accountable one is your digestion---intake less of that nutriciously deficient pulp fiction you've been eating; ensure you consume wholesome fiber.
And clean your own toilet, at least weekly; more when there's back-splash.