Today, I'm left frustrated, irritated, and with a general frown on my face related to all of the above. This happens periodically, and I know that I have a role in it. Somebody comes along - somebody who's outside of my regular readership, or who at the very least isn't an active commenter. And they use something written on this blog to make some kind of a point about hysterical, insensible, "odd" people, and then it whips me into a pissed off frenzy. Now, the thing is, I shouldn't be in a pissed off frenzy. I should just refuse to engage. But rather than do that, I somehow, no matter what my original intentions, am drawn into attempting to defend myself. And because I'm angry, I allow the false positions into which I've been put to define the terms of the debate, and I end up attempting to engage in a debate in which I'm never going to be on equal footing with the opponent.
And so yes. This is frustrating and irritating, and it makes me wish that I only had a hundred readers and that people who normally don't comment or respond to me would stay the fuck away. I know, not generous, esp. when so many people who aren't the usual stoppers-by have been directed here lately.
So, a few things and then I'm going to fill my day with work and put this from my mind:
- I'm not some sort of voice of the working class or of underprivileged college students. Sure, I think that we need to talk about how their experience of higher education is different, and I think that we need to talk about the higher education that they actually experience rather than pretending all higher education experiences are basically the same. Sure, I think we need to acknowledge that actual experience and not attempt to abstract it in order to make ourselves more comfortable. But I'm not trying to tell anybody what they should believe about their own students. I'm just talking about my experience, and if you don't like what I have to say, even enough to admit that what I say might have merit as you disagree, then just leave me alone.
- This blog has a personal voice. I don't want it to have a more formal one. I like to feel like this blog is a place where I am in conversation with people - not where I'm "fostering debate" or where I'm at my fucking job. If you don't like the voice I've chosen, if you have a strong reaction against inconsistency or if you find somebody writing in a loose way about the topics that I choose "odd," your prerogative. But if you can't engage with the blog on its own terms, or with me on my own terms, then just leave me alone.
- I'm fucking tired of being used for other people to further their own agendas. I'm tired of being used as a selfish, hysterical, wrong-headed, uncommitted, delusional postergirl through which other people can grind their axes. Dude, if you need me for that, then you really probably don't have a leg to stand on. And thus, you'd be better off leaving me alone.
- Whenever I feel frustrated like this and post this sort of thing, people blab about me only wanting people to blow sunshine up my ass and to agree with me and to praise me, as if I'm some sort of attention-whore. Not so. But you know what? Hold on a minute. Yes, I'm just going to go out on a limb and say, sure. That actually sounds pretty good. No more fucked up and harassing comments, no more using something about which I post to be an asshole to me. Yep, just make me feel good if you want to come around here. Of course, you can disagree with me, but only if you're nice to me. Actively nice. Maybe flatter me a little bit before you express your disagreement. Or tell me that my hair looks great today. Something like that. Because you know what? There is no honor in welcoming people to respond to me in ways that make me feel like crap on my own blog or because of what I write on the blog. So if you feel like that would censor you, then - you guessed it - leave me alone.