As promised, the continuation from my earlier post:
I am going to respectfully disagree with Paperback Writer. Shocking, I know (This is where I should probably mention that I do have enormous respect for her and like her blog quite a bit)
On her blog yesterday, she mentioned ten rules for bloggers in the aftermath of the hurricane. I agreed with most of them but don’t agree that people should refrain from blogging about their lives (she makes pointed reference to the Maui conference in #5 and #6, I will say I have no idea who or what blog she refers to but I’m disagreeing with the general idea of her point). It doesn’t make anyone a bad person for not dedicating their blog to an outpouring of fury and tears about the hurricane. It’s not our place to judge them- we don’t know what we are doing away from their blog. Organizing a donation drive? Donating time, effort, money, sweat, and tears to help? Perhaps their blog is their online journal where they come to record their thoughts. Regardless, it’s their blog and they shouldn’t be penalized for using it as an outlet.
We can’t all concentrate the energy and fury on these things like Kate and Candy and others have. It doesn’t make them better people for blogging about it (and I don’t think they’re claiming it does)- they are using their blogs for what is on their mind and that’s their right. Shouldn’t the opposite be true? After all, maybe there are people who are extremely offended by Kate’s politics and think that any defamation of the government, politicians, or other agencies is pure blasphemy. But it’s Kate’s right to say what she wants, it’s her blog, yes? Again…so is this the case with those who blogged about the Maui conference or anything else others disapprove of.
And to those who say, “but how can anyone complain about their lives, their jobs, the Maui conference while such a tragedy is occurring”, this is my thought: There is tragedy in the world every day. There are always people suffering and dying and going through a hell we can’t imagine and don’t ever want to experience. Always. That is always the case. The hurricane hits close to home because of the magnitude of the disaster, the devestation we can feel, the up-close and personal affects to our family and friends. Because of the screw-ups and failure of a government we should be able to trust.
Let me put it another way. When author Marianne Mancusi’s house burned down while she was at RWA, I heard no one suggest that others (such as PBW) shouldn’t be blogging about their lives and thoughts despite the tragedy that struck Ms. Mancusi. Many have blogged about their loved ones dying or being diagnosed with cancer or other illnesses (I’m sure Rachel Caine thinks some of the crap people complain about is unbelievable but she is the epitome of style and grace in the face of being diagnosed with breast cancer). But not once has it been suggested that others (such as PBW) refrain from blogging about their lives and thoughts- no matter how trivial they may seem. Granted, we are experiencing tragedy and heartache on a much larger scale and I am not suggesting that anyone ignore what is happening (not even close to suggesting that), but the fact is, we still have to live our everyday, sometimes petty, but still stressful lives. And that is hard enough without having someone call you out because they don’t approve of you “nattering” about it (ahem, PBW– see your own #3 “Try to be kind. I know it’s hard, we’re all angry and outraged, but try”. Irony, anyone?)
Of course, to some of us, what happened at the Maui conference isn’t important. But in the future, when you post about a disappointing conference, experience, lack of pay raise, crappy boss, etc, do you want me posting on my blog about how shallow you are and how dare you try to continue on with your life when there are children dying from AIDS and starvation in South Africa, when someone close to me has just lost a child, or when my neighbor has just drowned while fishing leaving behind a wife and four children? Of course not. Because our lives and the daily events in them are important to us and truly, our experiences and devestations are all relative, but that has always been the case and will continue to be.
I’ll close with this; blogging about the hurricane relief might be your way of coping. Blogging about the Maui Conference or any other number of inane subjects might be theirs. Who knows what they’re doing once they step away from the blog. Regardless, it’s their blog and they should be able to use it to discuss what they want. Whether you agree or not.