STUFF I *REALLY* LIKE: Monetizing the Hate


I don’t have one fraction of the public attention as a blogger that Heather lives with, but even I, somewhat piddly li’l Appalachian mommyblogger that I am, can be subject to/of some really, really mean online commentary.

Lately, I must tell y’all, that anonymous vitriolic stuff has really been getting me down. As someone with even the relatively minor public profile I have because of my blog, I’ve dealt with this at a certain level for years, and I really thought I’d gotten well past caring. I’d accepted that it comes with the territory, and any complaining I might do about it would be useless whining. If I couldn’t take the heat, I needed to get the hell out of the (blog)kitchen. Not that long ago, I would have told you that I was comfortable that this is where I’d finally landed on this issue as a blogger.

But since Henry died, it’s just gotten SO much uglier. So much more painful. Worse lately.

And in recent weeks, after reading some online comments about me as a person and a mother that literally left me in tears for hours, I’ve found myself seriously rethinking the whole idea of blogging at all. Maybe it’s because it’s April again – the second year. I just don’t know.

Some of it is just so pointlessly cruel… I’m not talking about people who disagree with me on issues, or who want to have a vigorous debate on a matter of opinion. I’m talking about people who just want to make sure the world knows that I’m fat. Or stupid. Or that my husband and I are obviously experiencing marital distress because I’m so ugly that he’s clearly decided he can’t take it anymore.

And the things anonymous online commentators say about my Henry… Oh my God, those things can hurt if I read them online, or they come to me via direct email, as they quite often do. I mean, even if I actually THOUGHT vicious things like this about someone else, I can’t fathom making those thoughts public, or emailing them to her. I mean, why would anyone do that? Just… Why?

Anyway, Heather Armstrong definitely gets WAY more of that than I do, and as a result, she’s just brought back her groundbreaking “Monetizing the Hate” section at Dooce.

When pointless meanness and unkindness can be converted directly into dollars put toward charities that do good, well, that’s an idea I can get behind.

Team Heather.