Thursday, February 28, 2013

That has such people in't

The internet can be a strange place. Every place can be, of course, and maybe I'm wrong to think of the internet as somehow separate. But. Still.

I don't have any alerts set up. Not for my name, not for my stories, not for anything I've been involved with. I don't vanity search. I do, occasionally, read my reviews, but even that tends to be something I'm careful about. I avoid these things because, honestly, I feel like there's some sort of unspoken internet rule that as soon as you set these things up, the universe will slap you - the first review you find will be bad, the first mention will be something hurtful. And I know how I am, and I know how my brain works, and so I know that I am much better off missing the good stuff, if it means that I also miss the bad.

And we hear all the time "don't read the comments" "don't feed the trolls" "avoid the bottom half of the internet." There is, it seems, something in the fact that the interface is a screen, not a face, that allows people to be crueler here than they would be in physical life.

Though, sometimes, we are cruel face to face, too.

I was walking my dog this morning and a man I had never met before blocked my way on the sidewalk. "Your dog looks old," he said. "You should put it to sleep."

I'd like to say that I was tough, that I was a badass, that I said something cutting, and punched him for good measure. But my dear cat died in November, and it has been an awful few months for beloved pets among my friends and family, and so I did not act like a badass. Instead, I grabbed Sam I Am into my arms, and burst into tears.

And then I came inside and told twitter. 

And the internet was collectively awesome.

Maybe it doesn't seem a big deal, to type "hugs" or "I'm sorry" or "that guy was a jerk" in response to someone. But seeing a timeline fill up with collective support, it's kind of great. And in this instance, it was a really clear reminder that, even though there are cruel people in the world, there are also kind ones, that people can act from love, too.

So thank you, to everyone who took a moment to be kind today. 


  1. :(. People are ridiculous.

    Hugs to you and your old four-legged guy.


    If I had a time machine, I would let you borrow it so you could zap back and inform that guy that when he's old and busted that you'll be there to suggest someone put his dumb ass to sleep.

  2. Some folk are a waste of oxygen! .... glad you reached out and got lots of hugs :D

  3. I've just read a blog post about offensive speech, and how it only reveals the speaker, not the object. So, when someone calls a woman "slut", this says nothing about that woman; but it shows clearly how full of prejudice is the person who cursed her.

    I believe that applies to the guy in the park.

    Or, as Confucius (I guess) said, an invective dishonors only its author.

  4. Holy smokes, really? I'm not sure how I would have reacted to such a thing either. I'm outraged for you, certainly :(

    (and I love that your dog is named Sam I Am)

    1. Thanks - pugs kind of look like something from a Dr. Seuss book, so it seemed to fit.

  5. I apologize on behalf of the cruel man who apparently has lost his compassion & sense of decency. I'm so sorry you & Sam had that awful encounter. Hugs to you both.

  6. And I missed it entirely.
    I am sorry for this. That strikes me as amazingly un-Minnesotan. What a jerk.