Friday, February 10, 2006

Trafficking in rudeness

Once again, one of my posts has ticked off the blogging sisterhood of erotic-romance writers, causing them to sputter on their blogs about my "bigotry." For the past several days, their fangirls have been rushing over here as eagerly as if they'd just been offered tickets to a Maury Povich show on transsexuals who steal their granddaughters' boyfriends.* Yes, I have received hundreds of extra visitors in the past few days. No, I am not grateful for the increased traffic, because I haven't been terribly impressed by the intelligence and the personalities of the individuals who have attempted to rail at me here on the blog (I delete all comments containing profanity) and who have sent me virulent e-mails (which I won't stoop to answer).

What's making these bloggers and their followers so mad? Sheesh, what doesn't make them mad? These people love to hate, and I am one of their favorite targets. That they think I'm actually trying to annoy them in order to get attention shows exactly how little they understand about me and this blog. And every time one of them posts something about That Horrible Brenda Coulter, her blogging sisters pick up the cry.

This time they've decided to be offended by a post in which I explained my reasons for excluding non-U.S. residents from an impromptu contest I ran for my newsletter subscribers. Frankly, I can't see why a bunch of erotic-romance writers would be at all interested in how an inspirational writer chooses to promote her new book. Why am I even on their radar screens? I don't read or participate on their blogs, and I never link to them. So why do they monitor mine and then every couple of months, send me a flood of angry visitors who don't otherwise read my blog and who care nothing about my books?

I am continually amazed that so many in the blogisphere believe generating "hits" is the primary goal of every blogger. Ramping up the visitor tally by any and all means available isn't my goal, and neither is it the goal of the bloggers I admire and try to emulate. I will never understand bloggers who pride themselves on "ranting" and "snarking" and whipping their readers into an angry frenzy. And to put it bluntly, the kind of reader who responds to those ploys by rushing over here to see if the attacking bloggers have drawn any of my blood is not a reader I'm interested in adding to my audience. I prefer well-mannered women and men who enjoy a good discussion and who don't search for insults in every line I write. If you are one of those, please know that I'm grateful for your interest in my blog and that I welcome your comments, even when you disagree with something I've posted.

As for the rest of you, read this blog or don't. It's nothing to me. It's not like I'm paying for bandwidth here.


*I can hardly wait to see the Google hits I'm going to get because of that sentence.

24 comments:

Nienke said...

Here here.

Mirtika said...

Baby, I love reading blogs, but I only frequent blogs that encourage, inspire me, teach me something about writing or about a social issue or a Biblical one, or make me laugh like a loon. (Love crazy humor.)

But isn't interesting that the ones who target you are ones who take great delight in being "bi***es" and snark and controversy? What does that say about their intellectual lives or lives? Do they need so badly to find a target--"We're a group, let's go mob someone, let's go cause trouble and get ouselves some blogging hits, let's go find people who annoy us and just annoy them right back!"--that this is part of their routine. Find a contrary position and just go whack-hokey-wild?

Sad. So sad.

Maybe something in their psyches gets them to attack you the way some latent gays attack gays with bats in real life--they feel self-disgust about something they do, your presence is convicting of that self-disgust, and they gotta lash out at you instead of examining themselves.

Or maybe their just whack.

Yeah, that might be it. :D

Mir--very happy yesterday, happier than a clam today, has a husband who worships the ground she stomps on, has eaten a very lovely veggie omelette, and plans to write, read, look at the stars, and thank God I'm not some bitter-controversy hound and like hanging with my friend--MY PAL, NOT MY ENEMY OR RIVAL OR ANTAGONIST OR ANYTHING ELSE--but my online pal...Brenda the Sane.

And please stay the heck away from my blog, you loonies. I only want sane, smart, normal people who don't go looking for trouble just cause they want a blog-hitting rant or free stuff...

Mir--who has a new cd she's about to sing happy songs to in a second, cause hubby just got a video game contract that's gonna bring in some moolah, and man, life is SWEEEEEEEEEETTTTTTTT as jam.

Mirtika said...

Please correct:

"intellectual lives and live" to
"intellectual lives and emotional lives."

Please correct:
"Maybe their just whack" to
"Maybe they're just whack"

And whatever other typos. Cause, you know...I know better and you've got that RED PEN. heh.

Mir

Michelle said...

"I prefer well-mannered women and men who enjoy a good discussion and who don't search for insults in every line I write."

And yet, you continue to disable comments and delete posts. This I do not understand. A good discussion takes two or more people exchanging information, ideas, opposite opinions even. However, when one side is shut down or deleted, it is no longer a discussion, in my opinion.

You also assume much, Ms. Coulter, if you believe my fans and yours have nothing in common. Perhaps you are on ‘our’ radar because we share fans, because we take an interest in what they have to say.

Your blog today, is offensive. You speak of "bigotry" in the same breath you sling mud at those you refer to as ‘erotic romance writers’ and their ‘fangirls’ ~shaking head~. I am an author, thank you. Just as you are an author. My fans are people, as are yours. You do them all a disservice by attempting to shift the conversation away from an exchange of ideas to name calling.

It will be interesting to see how long this comment is allowed to remain for others to view.

Michelle Hoppe
Erotic Romance Author

Brenda Coulter said...

It's a common misconception among your friends, Michelle, that I delete comments whenever anyone criticizes me. The comments I delete are the ones that contain profanity. Yours doesn't, so it can stay.

But if this discussion goes on for too long, I will shut it down, just as I did on the other one, and for the same reason: I have a full, rich life outside of this blog and I will allow you to take up only so much of my time. I do not owe you a forum for enumerating your grievances against me; you will be allowed to comment here only as long as I have the time (and the patience) to monitor this discussion. Clear enough?

Michelle said...

Ms. Coulter,

Twice now you’ve stated that you monitor your blog for – let me quote you – “I must monitor the comments and filter them for spam, profanity, and sheer nastiness.”

Perhaps you should re-read some of what you’ve allowed to remain on your blog. Your words and those of your followers.

“…as if they'd just been offered tickets to a Maury Povich show on transsexuals who steal their granddaughters' boyfriends”

“I haven't been terribly impressed by the intelligence and the personalities…”

“These people love to hate…”

“…are ones who take great delight in being "bi***es"”

“…the way some latent gays attack gays with bats in real life…”

“Or maybe their just whack…”

For me, Ms. Coulter, I think perhaps the comment : pot meet kettle : is rather fitting here.

Clear enough?

Michelle Hoppe
Erotic Romance Author

Jaye Patrick said...

I'm astonished. I've been reading about this all week and while I may not agree with you, Brenda, it is certainly your right to keep your contests within the continental United States. (Perhaps the reasons could have been mentioned a little more politely?)

As for the ranting and snarking, it is also a right of those who comment - profanity is unacceptable if you find it unacceptable on your blog.

However, and this is big, it is not all right to personally insult those who post or those who read your blog.

Once you have a blog, you are in the public domain and subject to the responses of those who might read your blog, even if criticism is on other sites. If you don't want the publicity, don't have a blog.

On the upside, you might have generated interest in your books, and that can't be a bad thing, now can it?

Mirtika said...

Hey, writing about latent gays who beat up gays with bats isn't profane. It's reality. Psychologists talk about it in articles, and it's even been discussed in tv and films. The "butch" guy who beats up a gay man because he can't deal with his own gay tendencies. That's not a hate statment. That's a fact statement.

Or maybe y'all didn't hear about that theory.

And the "b*****" thing..well, that's a word used by one of the main complainers of Brenda's comment. And the name of one of the blogs they promote. So, that shouldn't be considered offensive. I used quotes cause it's THEIR TERM, not mine.

Whack. That's mine. I like it. I use it a lot. Sometimes in jest. Sometimes not.

Mir

Mirtika said...

<< You speak of "bigotry" in the same breath you sling mud at those you refer to as ‘erotic romance writers’ and their ‘fangirls’>>

Hang on. NEither one of those is an offensive term, is it? "erotic romance writers"? "Fangirls"? Whoa, Nelly.

One is descriptor even erotic writers have used. One is a playful term. I'm a fangirl--of Brenda, of J. Mark Bertrand, of Camy or Camy's Loft, of The Anchoress.

All it means is we regularly read/post on blogs and have a special fondness/are simpatico with/root for the particular persons.

How is Brenda's use of said terms insulting?

Isn't romantica a hybrid of romance and erotica? How can "erotic romance writer" be offensive???

Wow...some folks just really, really want to be offended.

Mir

Carolyn B. said...

Good grief. I read Brenda's original post and thought, "Well, that makes sense. It's why I assumed several bloggers are sharing copies of their books, and the decision to ship only within the U.S. is a pragmatic one." I am astonished that anyone would take offense at this commentary. Maybe someone might say, "Well, I wouldn't make that same decision," but get huffy about it? Just seems off-kilter. Why in the world would anyone else CARE how another author chooses to manage her business?

And my personal opinions aside, what it boils down to is this: Just because someone's words are out in the public eye doesn't mean the public gets to set the rules. The very idea of someone bustling in and getting all tsk-tsk-y about who gets to comment, what kind of language gets to be used, etc. -- well, this just makes me feel like snorting. Don't like it? Well, then, by all means, high thee to thy own dear blog. Now. Really. Scoot!

Besides, I can't imagine what others are doing peeing all around the perimeter of your blog unless they're just trying to call attention to themselves. These are just blog-baiters hoping to boost their own traffic, clearly. Feh. I come to Brenda's blog regularly and get something useful, pleasant and/or interesting from the visits. Can't say the same for the pee-ers.

Some people just put the "more" in "morons," don't they.

~ Carolyn Bahm

Michelle said...

Mir,

Out of respect for my fans and peers, I refuse to get in a word by word discussion with you or anyone else about what is and is not offensive.

I was simply responding to a post by Ms. Coulter. I too live a rich and full life outside of the internet community, not just the blogging world and I chose at this moment in time to exit this discussion as I find it without merit.

Michelle Hoppe
Erotic Romance Author

Camy Tang said...

Hey, I have a fangirl! Thanks, Mir!

Brenda, I've been avoiding commenting because I don't want someone who I don't even know to just use my words to fuel some sort of fire.

I would have sent it overseas, but that's just me, my personality, and my marketing priorities and budget. I don't think it's acceptable for someone else to try to tell an author how she should spend her marketing dollar. It's individual choices. Other people may not like it, but it's no one else's place to criticize, because it's not their money.

Camy

Brenda Coulter said...

I chose at this moment in time to exit this discussion as I find it without merit.

Ah. So we do agree on something!
;-)

Carolyne, sweetheart, thanks for that much-needed chuckle. You might have noticed that I'm not answering the accusations here (except for that comment about me deleting posts). That's because I think the tenor of these comments has more than adequately underscored the points I made in my post.

Camy, I apologize to you and to all of my regular readers who have been shocked by this very unusual discussion. (Well, at least it's unusual on my blog.) As soon as the haters pick up on the fact that they're not going to suck me into any foolish and unproductive arguments, they'll get bored and move on.

Shelbi said...

Brenda,
I love your blog. I read it every day except Sunday because you skip that day. I think you're funny, irreverent, and opinionated, and I read several of the blogs of your detractors for the very same reason.

I like people who know who they are and aren't afraid to lay it out there, regardless of the consequences.

But, when consequences happen, you kinda gotta be ready for the fallout, you know? This is your blog, and you have every right to allow or disallow whatever your convictions tell you to.

I've watched this thing unfold, and I'm a little sad. I think it would have gone over without a blip, but one of your commenters jumped to your defense a little vehemently, and said some things that, if someone had directed those comments at me, I would have been devastated.

The subject of your first post was hurt by what you and your commenter said, and reacted in anger. Then her friends found out about it, and they jumped to her defense, and things spiraled out of control.

I, too, am a Christian and it breaks my heart to see anger and hatred directed at other Christians. But it also hurts me when Christians forget that those people who hate us are still people with hearts and feelings.

We are all members of the human race and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, whether we agree or not.

Mirtika said...

Shelbi wrote--I like people who know who they are and aren't afraid to lay it out there, regardless of the consequences. --

Then you must ADORE opinionated and vehement me. :)

Mir

Nienke said...

okay, can we get back to writing?

Shelbi said...

I probably should have added, "Except when it hurts another person's feelings needlessly."

Brenda Coulter said...

Oh, what an excellent idea! Let's go back to arguing about the serial comma.

Erin said...

What makes me angry is the fact that YOU are the one that brought all this out public. YOU are the one that misrepresented someone in your blog by only posting parts of her comments in her emails to you and YOU are the one that whined when some people agreed with her. For someone that doesn't want to debate the subject you certainly seem to be blogging about it a lot. What makes me angry is your unwillingness to be open to discussion.

This comment you made, on your own blog "But to send a book to another country requires that I make a trip to the post office, where I must stand in line to have the packages weighed." tells me I'm not worth your time.

You're not worth my time either. It's kind of funny. I actually have one of your books in my TBR pile.... one that is going to be given away to the library or something like that because I can't be bothered to read something written by someone who tries to belittle me and insult my intelligence.

FYI I'm done with you now. I could care less what you write. You put me into a box stereotyping me because of some of the material I choose to read. Judging me. You have no idea who I am and who I might enjoy reading.

Mirtika said...

Shelbi, you really need to stop hurting my feelings needlessly. It's just really, really devastating.

:)
Mir

Mirtika said...

I love grammatical discussion. CAn we do the semi-colon next, Brenda? That's such a devalued punctuation mark. Although, really, I much prefer the colon. It' so balanced and aesthetically praiseworthy.

Mir

Arethusa said...

I've read both your post and Jaynie's and find nothing wrong with either positions in and of themselves, but did feel that your tone was often unnecessarily condescending and even patronising in the face of an e-mail response--of what excerpts I read at least--that made legitimate points. (If your book is on Amazon it's available everywhere, more or less; international readers can promote as well as Americans, they're mouths still work.) A tone that I thought may have been deflated somewhat if you had actually read her post which was no less polite than yours.

Yes, some of her commenters went overboard but then so did one of yours in a completely unapologetic fashion. Apparently you've been fielding nothing short but the denizens of hell in e-mail and (deleted) comments so I can't fully appreciate that, and am assuming it's the reason for this post.

And of course this weird view that erotic romance writers/inspie writers are of so wildly different a strain that the groups could not overlap enough for them to be, for eg., interested in your blog is obviously a tad silly.

But hey, the whole thing caught you off-guard, no doubt.

Shelbi said...

Mir,

The key word there was "needlessly." You earned yours fair and square.

As for my first comment, I was trying to respectfully get people to think before they type. In your case, unfortunately, this has proven futile.

Brenda Coulter said...

Ooo-kaay... I don't think anything is being accomplished here.

I have just reviewed everything I have posted on this subject, and I didn't come across a single line that was rude or untrue. Shoot, have any of you noticed all the harsh accusations I have declined to defend myself against? I believe I've been more than understanding, allowing all of you to have your say on my blog without returning your animosity in kind.

But to continue would be pointless, so this ends here. I suggest that those of who are so angry you can't see straight were primed to be angry before you were sent over here. No wonder you're finding insults in everything I say.

No doubt some of you will be livid that I've shut down these comments, but contrary to what many have suggested, I don't thrive on controversy and this isn't part of my plan for increasing my audience. I don't want my blog to be about pointless arguments, and that's exactly what this has been from the beginning. I thought you people would cool down once you noticed I was not censoring your tirades, as I have been endlessly accused of doing, but that doesn't appear to be happening.

I think I have a pretty good blog here, and this kind of discussion is not in keeping with its tone. It's as simple as that.