Marge misses the point

Every once in a while this girl who we'll call Marge (not her real name) on my MySpace friend list (formerly) has some sort of meltdown.  I originally subscribed to her blog because every so often she posted movie reviews I enjoyed, but those stopped coming and were replaced by occasional bouts of crazy.  She'd write these cryptic second-person messages to whoever was pissing her off with oblique references to whatever the fuck they did to piss her off.

As stated previously, I hate these kinds of posts because most of us have no fucking idea what she's going on and on about.  I wrote her about it and tried to make that point, but after I realized she was too thick to get it, I just started winding her up with the intention to repost for your amusement.  And she delivered.  Incidentally,  I should point out that she's not a teenage girl; she just sounds like one in both form and content.



----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Alexplorer
To: Marge
Date: Mar 19, 2009 12:23 PM

Next week sometime I'm going to post a blog called "Who do you think you're talking to?" It was written before your most recent blog entry appeared, but it's about it in part.

See, the problem I have with this blog is that you're using a space intended to speak to the multitudes (everyone from intimate friends to total strangers) to speak to one or two people [Editor's note: Even this wasn't entirely clear.  It read like it was directed at one person and possibly that person's spouse by association]. The rest of us (other than perhaps your close friends) really have no clue what you're talking about.

It isn't that I object to the content of this blog entry or others like it; I object to you writing something that's between you and someone else while leaving everyone else out of the loop. It's rude the way whispering to someone while others are present is rude.

In writing workshops, Kurt Vonnegut used to advise his students to "Pity the reader." That is, assume your audience doesn't know all the history leading up to this point in the narrative and provide the reader with what (s)he needs in order to understand the story.

You're a better writer that this most recent example, and I read your blog because of it. What this post could have and should have been is a traditional "open letter." Instead it was simply a letter posted openly. All the requisite knowledge of the histories and relationships of the parties involved was absent even though other identifying details (e.g., at least one name) were included. As a result, we only have the vaguest idea what actually happened and why most of us should share in your ire.

It would have been made all the more stinging if the transgressions of its singular target audience were aired for any and every reader as you were chastising him?/her?/them? directly.

-Alex.


----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Marge
To: Alexplorer
Date: Mar 19, 2009 9:43 PM

My blog is very seldom written for entertainment purposes, & this was more or less posted out of frustration on my part.

The intended know who they are.
I'm sorry if I've offended you, but it's just as well, as I have been meaning to subtract mere acquaintances from my list anyhow.
Take care.



[She deleted me.]


----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Alexplorer
To: Marge
Date: Mar 19, 2009 11:07 PM

You missed the point and misread the tone.

-Alex.


----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Marge
To: Alexplorer
Date: Mar 19, 2009 10:30 PM

No, I got the point, and tone, but that's not important now.

I vented what I wanted to say, & I hardly expected a critique.
When I posted it, I wasn't terribly concerned with my "audience".


----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Alexplorer
To: Marge
Date: Mar 20, 2009 1:15 AM

Sorry, point was (spelling it out for you), I don't necessarily expect to be "entertained," but something delivered via a blog ought to make sense to the average reader. This isn't a person-to-person medium nor is it a space for an emotional hissy fit directed at no one in particular (even if ostensibly addressed toward specific persons unidentified by name). There's no law against employing it for any of the above, of course; you just look the fool for doing so.

My "critique" as you call it was a polite way of saying you came across as railing ineffectually even when there were, from what I could decode, likely legitimate points to be made in ways other than as a teenage girl scribbling a cathartic "tell-off" letter into her journal, huddled beneath the covers with a flashlight in one hand and a favorite neon purple pen in the other. That you say "audience" in quotes reveals the solipsism underlying the emotions that spawned that entry, and it *was* emotion at the root of it, unchecked by reason or for spelling, ironically, given that you leveled the same criticism in the text.

And (because you're too busy projecting to read objectively), no, I wasn't offended. I'm just taking too much time trying to explain that cryptic rants like that are waste of time for all involved. Getting pissed at me isn't the point; communicating effectively is. Better luck next time.

-Alex.


----------------- Intermission -----------------
Note: Somewhere during this exchange the original blog entry disappeared and was replaced with:
---
So, I say...
Current mood:  pissed off
Category: Life

Fuck it.
I am tired of feeling like I have to apologize for what I write.
This blog is not here for entertainment.
---


----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Marge
To: Alexplorer
Date: Mar 20, 2009 2:16 AM

"scribbling a cathartic "tell-off" letter into her journal"

This is basically exactly what it was, & I don't think there is anything wrong with that.
This is why I make most things private, just so the majority of people dropping by won't have to deal with my personal rants.
There is no need to be so condescending.
I never have claimed to be a great, a good, or even a decent writer.
Blogs of this nature are not an everyday thing for me,
& I don't see why you couldn't have just kept that opinion to yourself, since one could assume that I have probably had a shitty week as it is.


----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Alexplorer
To: Marge
Date: Mar 20, 2009 11:31 AM

You: You're so condescending!

Me: You just acknowledged my characterization of your little opus was accurate.

You: Stop being mean to me!

Me: It was constructive criticism intended to help you say something meaningful instead of incoherent.

You: Stop being mean to me!

Me: I wrote you directly rather than leaving a comment that might embarrass you more than you already have yourself.  How is that mean?

You: Keep your opinion to yourself!

Me: But, um, you posted it publicly...

You: There's nothing wrong with that!

Me: Then why did you delete it?

You: ...


[No reply received.  I wondered if she'd blog about it, but no.  Mission accomplished.]


Copyright 2009 Alexplorer.
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