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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
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« Radio's playing some forgotten song | Main | Just another ethical debate during dinner. »
Wednesday
Dec052007

This one's for you, YOUMAKEMESICK.

I try not to engage the trolls, but the latest rash of negativity is getting me down. Historically, when I am bummed out by my blog, I avoid it for a few days, but as you may know, that is no longer an option for me. I am committed, people.

Apparently I have angered some people with my "donate" button. (And I agree with the comments that "donate" is a misleading term, and implies that I need a kidney. I mean, I would love an extra kidney, just as a backup, but need is overstating the matter. I would prefer calling it "tips" or some such, but the button belongs to PayPal. Maybe I could design my own? This is outside my sphere of knowledge. I am but a humble wordsmith.) (Wow, could that have been a longer aside? I don't think so.) I know that they're angry because they’ve used words like "bitch" and "whore," and people don't generally call you these things when they're pleased with you.

At first I was amused by the sad people who have nothing better to do than hurl invective at the Internet. But the comments accumulated, and now I'm cranky. Given that donations (tips, contributions, whatever) are strictly optional, that I am demanding exactly nothing but rather providing an opportunity for those who want to contribute to do so, I think the anger directed at the idea of donating is an excuse. An excuse to spit at "stupid mommybloggers" who dare to think that their "useless blogs" (actual quotes, dear readers!) are worth anything. If you have that much contempt for me and my ilk, why are you here? Move along, sir or madam; there's plenty of porn or celebrity gossip out there you could enjoy instead. You know: real content that deserves money.

It can't just be about the idea of donating. To paraphrase my friend Kyran, I doubt that you routinely kick over open guitar cases on the sidewalk, or fling piano-top brandy snifters against the wall.

Although maybe you do. The next time I see someone on the street, punching his hand through a top hat while a mime silently weeps, I'll say hi.

Reader Comments (137)

You know, I read so many blogs that I would love to comment on, but I just don't have the time or mental faculties to sign-in, form coherent sentences, etc. I assume that this is because I am a mom. So, where are all these trolls coming from and how (especially if they're so busy being righteous people/parents) do they have so much time on their hands?

Honestly, I never even noticed the Donate button because I was so taken-in by the fantastic (albeit, humble) wordsmithing. Keep up the great work, Alice! We loyal lurkers appreciate you.
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJenn
Donation buttons are so common on blogs that I can't imagine someone finding them offensive in any way. I've actually gone *looking* for them in some cases when a blogger sounds down-and-out. People are so weird.
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAverage Jane
Wait, we get to punch weeping mimes? Is that what you said? Do we become eligible for the mime-punching when we donate? I must scrape up some pennies to give to you, then.
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered Commentersrah
No punching mimes, srah--only their hats.
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered Commenteralice
I came here because someone (whom shall remain unnamed)--mentioned this entry so I came and looked.

Maybe people are a little bothered about the donate button because you don't seem like the "needs donating” kind of woman. I mean you fly out to see Eden (who I do read) you fly out to see Maggie, you fly...you get the idea--you don't appear to be in need of food stamps or you’re having your power turned off.

I think most people have giving hearts but there are those who take advantage of those of us who do donate to true causes. You know like those assholes that used their Red Cross Katrina cards to buy x-boxes and 300 lucky jeans. I’m not saying you’re them, and I’m not even trying to lump you in with that breed. Just saying.

I think that it can appear avaricious when you don’t by appearances sake seem disadvantaged. I mean like Dooce whom I’ve noticed you’re friends with. She has a donate button for her site. People who need donations don’t make money from their websites or buy $1000 coffee machines. Seems more than a little gluttonous to me. You do make some money from your ads—that’s something. I mean by people donating you’re saying that you’re writing is worthy of people paying to read you. I mean there are some wonderful writers out there who let us read them for free.

I understand a writer wanting to get paid, so that’s why you write articles-- to get paid. About having to pay for hosting, this is a choice you made when you bought your own domain. You could still write for a free site like Blogger or Wordpress. Sure you wouldn’t have as much control but it would be free.

And please all you “word smiths” I’m sure you’ll call me an asshat or troll. I’m neither and for one, both of those words are OVERUSED & Unoriginal, I’m just voicing my thoughts.

December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMichele
Given everyone on the planet has a mother, mothers are, in fact, pretty common creatures. Has it ever occurred to these mommyblog bashers that, you know, maybe, just maybe, these mommyblogs are so popular because the topics discussed therein, though perhaps uninteresting to some, might actually be of interest to a remarkably large group of people? Do the mommyblog haters also go around trash-talking blogs aimed at such special interest groups as, say, mystery novel readers, or birdwatchers?

I don't think they do. I suppose it just must be truly distressing to some to learn that mothers' brains don't actually get pushed out with the placenta.

Anyway, you are the best writer I have ever read on the internet, Alice. I would read this blog even if you only ever wrote about shiny pebbles. Because you, Alice, would know how to make shiny pebbles sound so funny I would spit hot tea all over my monitor. And, as the best writer I have ever read on the internet, I believe you are absolutely entitled to shill for donations. One of these days I my broke-ass self will even get around to giving you one.
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterjaelithe
Michele, you don't have a clue what my finances are. Not a clue. The fact that I flew somewhere twice in the past year doesn't reflect anything about them, either.

As I said, "donation" is the wrong word, because that implies getting something for nothing. The button is a simple offer to anyone who feels like contributing, no more, no less.
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered Commenteralice
I just donated. It went against everything I stand for which is why I only donated $2. I don't give anything, normally, to random causes or people on the street.But I read this post. And I thought - I come here every day. You are the only blog I read at the moment who tries to post every day. So I am not wasting my clicks - usually. By the time I have read you for a few months I will have saved myself the cost of a newspaper! Hence the $2. I am sure a newspaper owner doesn't "need" that $2 either, Michele.BTW I loved your dryer post. Reminded me of how I just had to buy a new washing machine and now I can't afford to take a vacation.
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSophie
Michele, I think there's a really fine line among perspectives here. I've known people who live in NJ, like Alice, own two Lexuses and can afford to stay home without a second income - and don't consider themselves "rich." Then there are people like me who live in northern New England and scratch our heads at such an idea. Yet others who live just a few streets over would considered us "rich" because we have no debt, I do stay home with my children, and my husband has a salary from the public school system. No matter that we live hand-to-mouth, that we barely cover the cost of living up here. In fact, when I mention having no savings, I've heard "So what?"

I really don't understand why people have to comment on everyone else's income level and whether they "deserve" donations. How do you know that Alice and her husband don't donate a substantial portion of their income to charity? And so what if our donations go to Alice's Starbucks latte fund? Everyone likes to have a pick-me-up, a treat. Life sucks for everyone in different ways. So why shouldn't we try to make it a little sweeter for a very good writer, whose words we benefit from whenever she posts?

Besides, how does any of this justify calling her a bitch and a whore?
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterChrista
If you do relabel the button, "Appreciation" would suit nicely.
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Vogel
I'm sorry that "people" felt the need to leave such ridiculous and callous comments. It rather made me mad and if I could afford to donate to you, I would, right this second. So consider this a "would-if-I-could" donation!!
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnn
Why should it even matter what Alice's finances are, Michele? You either choose to contribute in the spirit of supporting her writing here, or you don't. The End. You can TOTALLY IGNORE that button, because Alice does in fact let you read for free. Then you don't have to wrestle with yourself over whether or not she's going to use your money in a way that meets your approval.
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSundry
you are a brilliant writer, you can put a smile on my face, and that says a lot!y NOT get paid?!anw, maybe you should not read EVERYTHING people write to you, non? or not care so much?



December 5, 2007 | Unregistered Commentertina
I'm always so shocked when people care about that sort of thing. Me, I have waaayyy too many other things to think about other than what someone does/does not put on their site.

Meh.
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBecky
I have to say, before everyone gangs up on Michele--I think she's expressing what other people think but don't express here. While I disagree with her point, I'm glad she provided the opportunity for me and others to respond to it. And without calling me a whore! So thanks, Michele.



December 5, 2007 | Unregistered Commenteralice
It seems to me that people are conflating the separate aspects of this little "donate-a-kidney" story. While some perceive the misnomer "Donation" to be a call for genuine appreciation (and its resulting compensation), others seem to think of it as pleading for compassion with Alice's unknown financial story. Others see speculative begging and form tiny revolutionary commitees to bring down Finslippy from the throne.

I? I think of this as paying for books which are not published yet. I want to read Finslippy and I buy her work. The gesture has nothing to do with presumed self-inflated sense of generosity that leaves the giver of 2 measly bucks all fuzzy and warm for "helping" Alice.

Yes, I agree. Rename the infamous button.

December 5, 2007 | Unregistered Commentertzena
wow, some people go crazy out of whack. I'm sure the owners of WalMart don't "need" what ever it takes to buy something there... but a lot of people sure do plunk down the dough! What in the world is wrong with contributing to someone who puts a smile on my face nearly every day, and makes me think in new ways, and writes well?! Who cares what her finances are!



December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAurora
Maybe people need to start thinking of you in a different way. Sure this is a joy for you but it's also your job. Not many people love their jobs so more power to you for having found a profession that brings you joy.I'm sorry that people feel it is their right to call you names. To sound like a very old woman (I'm not), when I was growing up calling complete strangers hideous names was unacceptable. It's too bad that these people haven't learned that.
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca
Thanks Alice I appreciate you're having enough maturity to let me state my opinion.

I knew I would get it hard. I also knew a lot of poor reading comprehension skills would come out. Another way to put it is, people read into things because they want to see some certain outcome, but I NEVER called you a bitch and a whore as one of your readers stated? I also don’t claim to know you’re tax bracket. I’m just making assumptions like people make so easily with TV celebs like Brittany, Paris and Carson Daily—they see and read things so they assume they know EVERYthing about them. And that it's the 100% truth.

Don’t you all play saints now.

I must add when you become a popular blogger the minion mentality comes out in certain followers. That's just scary. Why do people have to reach for the knife and bag of vulgarity when they’re mad? My mother a simple woman told me when I was young teen and learning to express myself with four letter words. “Anyone can use those words it’s common and easy to come by, it’s takes an intelligent witty person to respond with something greater.

December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMichele
Alice, I have been a regular reader for years but have never commented. I finally bit the bullet and made a typekey account just so I could tell you how much both my husband and I enjoy your blog. The fact that you have gotten negative comments for your donate button just made me want to donate more. I enjoy your enteries so much I would happily pay to read them. I am not a laugher and rarely laugh out loud at anything, but your posts often make me actually laugh. Thank you and keep it up. We love the frequent posts!
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered Commenternuncyhere
Goodness gracious! I've noticed the Donate button. I did not actually understand it; not sure if clicking the ads meant I donated or if it was really a direct donation.

It also doesn't matter. Readers can ignore it, or if really offended not return to Alice's blog.

Why isn't it that simple? Like changing the channel, perhaps?

I think the people upset about this should get a life. Do volunteer work at a "real" charity maybe and get outside their own heads and off their high horses.

Alice, you rock. They are just jealous!
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAmy
Want me to guit them?
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterelise
Delurking to say screw 'em. It is your blog and if you want to put up a tip jar, you can put up a tip jar. Every where I go there are tip jars these days so why not here?
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
oh, YEAH?well, just for that, I clicked on every ad five times. THAT'LL SHOW THEM!
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered Commenternadarine
I can honestly say I haven't given your "donate" button a moment's thought since you mentioned it last week. Odd, how some people just have so much time on their hands, they can find nothing to do but obsess about us "stupid mommybloggers" and our "useless blogs". Jackoffs.
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterCandy

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