Blogging and The Nature of Criticism

Email, Comments and Rules

The private stuff stays private, but I usually have two rules for posting an email:

  • It’s so on point about a specific subject, I want to share it.
  • It’s so irate and angry, usually towards my blog and myself, I want share a good laugh at the joke(r).

Regarding the comments section, it’s more or less an open-door policy.

Most comments go through automatically, because the administrative software will allow commenters based on a trusted ID. Once I approve your comment 99.93% percent of the time, you can come back to freely write and express yourself. I barely or rarely censor. Rarely.

Although through no fault of my own something goes awry, a few comments are held in a queue or sent to spam.

This is my domain. I pay for the site. Yay. I am mistress of my own domain! Hmm. That sounds so empowering, no? I’m a bit of a control freak, and the software gives me a lotta admin power! I love power!

Hmm. Power.

When a comment is awesome, I want to make it topic to run with. However, I get so many on point good comments, it’s becomes harder to decide. It’s a matter of breaking up a thread to start another. That can get tricky.

What Chu Say? The Illiterate’s Brain Fart

If a comment is out of bounds, I’ll give the person the exposure they deserve. Of the few posts I’ve put up, with regards to criticizing the blog or myself, they’re from the comments section. This is not an invitation to trolls.

Have you noticed that the irate are nearly always incoherent?

Folks enjoy upsetting themselves in a many manner of ways. They fume at words never written, but boy! are they certainly clever! to decipher what’s supposedly implied. Sort of a grand conspiracy of blogging: maybe they highlight invisible words by selecting the screen page to find the truth of what’s written. Made you look.

This is me: If I want to insult someone, I’ll use the exact words required. I don’t aim for subtle.


Recently, one moron from Facebook, who is as bright as a box of hammers, sharp as a dull kinfe, polluted my email box. You wanna know what my first reaction was? Laughter. I responded with polite sarcasm.

Now, you may wonder, Why bother? Hey, I figure, what am I gonna be mad at? Feces is fertilizer. Right? Maybe there’s a nugget of wisdom to be discovered. Not.

I reply, because I feel sorry for the feeble minded. I don’t like beating up on the mentally handicapped.

Here’s the gimme: An angry email or comment tells me how much power I have over this person. They’ve wasted precious moments of their time to tell me nothing. To send me their mental upchuck. I love that kind of power.

I think I’ll conquer the world from here, blogging in my warm and comfy pajamas, with a nice cup of herbal tea by my side.

Criticism Is a Fundamental Good

I appreciate criticism. I welcome constructive, make it work, useful, thought provoking differences of opinions. That’s how we all learn. Trial and error. Through observation and analysis.

I’ve worked jobs where I get nervous if I’m not getting feedback that tells me where I’m going wrong (or right). I’ll request criticism. I need to know the correct dance moves. If I’m going left, while everyone else is going right, shouldn’t I be told the next steps? (In real life, I am horrible dancer.) I appreciate the “swim with the school of fishes” mantra as long as it fulfills my goals, metrics, deadlines and the like.

I do not pretend to know all the answers. I do not have this mindset that what I say is the last word on any subject.

I write observations, not absolutes. I’m not writing position papers. I’m not recruiting for a cause. (Unless it’s for the secret Black Women’s Illuminati. Remember that we don’t exist, okay?)

I write assertively, because I consider writing a tool. It needs to be sharpened. Repeatedly. I realize that this is the subtle distinction the fuming, irate, nitwits miss. I cannot raise their IQs, so it’s not on my agenda.

I blog as an intellectual exercise. It’s interesting and rather fun. And I’ll keep at it until I’m truly bored, and then I’ll stop. If you are helped by my words, that actually brings me joy. I like sharing my thoughts. I am sincerely greatful when you share yours with me.

Have a good one.


5 thoughts on “Blogging and The Nature of Criticism”

  1. Constructive feedback is always useful, but often people try to employ written drive-bys or haven’t invested in actively engaging in other people’s forums then what to be catered to. I’m going to leave a separate reply to that post about the illiterate DBR and his ramblings. Woah…..

    GoldenAh: That’s true. When the focus is on black men, on this blog, it happens within the context of what works for our needs / wants, not the other way around. I honestly don’t care about black men (non-familial) what they want, need or desire. It doesn’t interest me.

    Thanks for the feedback and stopping by, Faith. πŸ™‚

  2. Wow, I really was tired yesterday. My previous post is incoherent! What I was trying to say is that being relatively new to contributing to blogs myself – I never did this until the end of last year – I can see there are things to keep in mind when reading/posting:
    1. everyone has a right to their opinion
    2. written communication is always missing cues used to evaluate communication effectively

    3. if you try to be brief, you will more than likely leave something out that is important

    4. Once you get the temperature of the blog and you don’t like it, move on to a better climate.

    One this I love about your blog Miss Betty is that your writing is so flavorful!

    GoldenAh: No problem, Sherry. I got the impression you believed in keeping an open mind.

    Oh, you are so right about number 3. That’s why I try to aim to be very focused per post. Wandering off on tangents is enticing, but I try to stick with a certain theme or two. πŸ˜€

  3. They fume at words never written, but boy! are they certainly clever! to decipher what’s supposedly implied. Sort of a grand conspiracy of blogging: maybe they highlight invisible words by selecting the screen page to find the truth of what’s written. Made you look.

    I’m always confused by people who do this, whether it be trolls or otherwise sane people. Sometimes, I feel crazy because…clutching pearls I generally take what I read at face value. Seriously, you can post something like: The sky is blue. And dude…..someone will post an indecipherable novel on why it’s not blue, and what you’re implying about people who say it’s green, pink, whatever.

    *blinking in confusion*

    And after several years of reading various black women’s blogs, I can’t even get worked up over Brian-like posts. It’s the same ish, different day. Nothing new under the sun.

    Anyhoo, I appreciate your pithiness, although I’ve also read the flip side of this elsewhere in the blogosphere: implying without actually saying it. And then feigning ignorance and innocence when someone calls it out. Whoo, boy, that’s a pet peeve of mine. Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining, thank you very much.

    You keep posting – I’ll keep reading! Thanks!

    GoldenAh: I almost choked on my apple when I read “clutching pearls”. You had me rolling. LOL. πŸ˜€

    I still remember when you wrote “special snowflake” describing Common’s character in Just Wright.

    Daphne, girl, you kill me. πŸ˜€

    Love ya feedback, as always.

  4. I love your blog. I hope you don’t change it one iota. People are free to exercise their right not to read a blog. Quite frankly, I am sick and tired of all the whining by some black men the minute they are not lauded for doing what they essentially should be doing. Black women have the right to their own spaces. They have the right to be frank in any discussion involving their welfare. Keep up the good work!

    GoldenAh: You have written the perfect quote. Couldn’t have said it better. These guys even like to be on gossip blogs where women are writing about cosmetics, clothes, and feminine issues. It’s like being followed into the women’s bathroom stall. Sick.

    Thank you, Trish. Glad to have you stop by. πŸ˜€

  5. I was going to write this on the post “I hurt this black man’s feelings’ but I think it also fits in here just as well and this is a more recent thread.

    The thing about the trolls (and the folks who send crazy emails) is that they normally start off trying to disguise their hatred of you and your agenda. They know that if they come straight out and say they hate you and what your talking about you’ll probably stop reading immediately, so they start off with fake compliments just like the guy in that comment did. But before you know it they’re calling you all types of names, rambling, and the lack of punctuation in their writing almost makes the whole thing unreadable.

    It’s almost as if you can see their true feelings coming to the fore as they struggle to hide the worst of it.

    But its just like you say, if these folks enjoy upsetting themselves then so be it.

    GoldenAh: You are dead-on correct. It’s the same pattern each and every time. Actually, once they say something along the lines of “I’m not trying to …” Hey. I see what’s coming. πŸ˜€

    These guys listen to rap / hip hop music. They love to pretend that the vicious vulgarity and meaness expressed is the “truth” when it comes to black women. I grew up in NYC. Couldn’t walk down a street (since I was 12 years old) without being harassed. Everyone thinks it’s okay for black women to be verbally abused, denigrated in the media and everywhere we go. Why should I pretend that the people doing this isn’t black men (or others)? Yet, we’re not supposed to talk about it, or we require permission to. Heh. I don’t think so.

    Folks will have to brace themselves and toughen up. ‘Cause if a website bothers me, I keep it moving. It’s just an opinion. {{shrugs}}

    Thanks for commenting, Jamila. Your blog looks on point.

    Check it out folks: Homespun Wisdom

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