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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

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« Radio's playing some forgotten song | Main | Just another ethical debate during dinner. »

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)

Geez, people can really suck sometimes. This post was the perfect rebuttal. I am a fairly new reader here and I am thoroughly enjoying your writing.
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda Brown
What weirdos. You did a great job of putting them in their place.

Some people just like to spew.
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAll Adither
I just admire Alice for having the balls (ovaries?) to put the money giving option out there, unlike those of us who cower in the corner and wonder if anyone reads what we're writing, let alone likes it.
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered Commenteranother Michele
People need to get over themselves. I don't know why people come peruse the internet and then take this mostly anonymous medium as a personal affront anytime that something upsets them. I say "Pbbbbt." Ignore the crazy bitches and ho's.

More fun, is that my super cool uncle had a band and they had a song called "I Make You Sick" and that is what I thought of when I saw your post title. And the song is free online, and I won't even ask for donations. Heh.
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterNicole
The fact that it says Shameless! right above the button made it so funny to me I laughed at the button . . .damn all the trolls - keep doing what you're doing - you're great!
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered Commentermommitutu
Wow, looky at all the comments! You can get a different picture instead of the DONATE button. When you go to Paypal to get the code for the button, you can upload a JPG file instead and use that picture. I mean if you wanted to.

Trolls ugh. Donating money is optional people, she doesn't have a gun to your head. Sheesh.
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterVeronica
Back in the day, writers would serialize their work (Dickens, e.g.) and their readers would pay for each chapter or bit or whatever (not the actual technical wordology. Yes, I am aware that wordology is probably not a word. Word.)

What is so wonderfully intriguing and seductive about personal blogs, for me, is that I feel I'm reading almost like a serialization of an actual life ... in real time. Obviously if one doesn't enjoy the writer, they don't read, they're not invested ... but if you do read, you are invested, and a tip/appreciation/acknowledgment/ha ha! button makes total sense. If you don't agree, don't give. Simple, really, yes? It has more to do with the giver's finances, to a degree, than the givee, yeah?

It's not like you're demanding we pay by the smile, laugh, guffaw or titter (are you?). Write on.

December 5, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterdianne
Sh*it. And I wish I could donate, but I'm broke.

Ignore, ignore, ignore, the unhappy trolls.
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered Commentermegan64
what I teach my kids is that we TELL on bullies.

and reading all these wonderful, affirming & protective comments today reminds me why.

way to be, fanslippies.
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKyran
You know, I really think that writers like J.K. Rowling and Stephen King should just start giving away their stories, because Jesus, don't they have enough money already?

Seriously. What part of OPTIONAL don't these critics get? Why do people not understand that there are hosting fees and time invested in creating entertaining websites like this one, and that some readers might actually find value in that and want to encourage the writers to carry on through tipping? Do these same critics ask waiters what their household income is and what they plan to do with their tip money before deciding whether or not they deserve it - or might they acutally realize that a tip is (ideally) an optional gesture of appreciation for a specific act of good service? I just don't get it.
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterTracy27
Sigh. I'm sorry. It's your space and I enjoy it tremendously. Thanks for writing.
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered Commenteralecto
Keep the button!!! Don't let anyone else tell you what you are worth. The truly happy people in this world? They ask for what they want. They might not always get it, but they ask and they put it out there for everyone to see.

I love your blog. It makes my day brighter. Do what you have to in order to keep it going.
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSheila
Magazines, newspapers, cable television, and even movies these days have some form of advertising and yet still, people don't balk at having to pay money for them, so I think it's totally valid that bloggers have some kind of contribution button on their site, even if they have ads. I don't have run either on my blog but that's just because I've been blogging for less than a year, and frankly I'm not gutsy enough to do that...yet; but I hold the right to change my mind about that one day. As far as you're concerned Alice, you just do your thing because this is your website. I think it's great that one of the readers offered to design you a new Paypal button so the weight of the word "DONATE" won't be an issue for the people who have a problem with it since you don't need a kidney.

Besides all of that, your finances are your business; and I wonder if the people who fault you based on the assumption that you "don't need" the money have the same axe to grind with the magazine publishers and the cable companies of the world. Seriously!

JulesHouse of Jules

December 5, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterjules
I had my first experience with a troll on my blog this past week. The funny thing about it was, they clicked around my site for more than three hours just to come up with an incoherent, typo-laden brain fart of a comment. Still, the intention was clear and it made me upset. It's no fun when people are mean, even when they're kind of pathetic.

You're a brilliant and entertaining writer. I love reading your blog, Alice. You certainly deserve any contributions you receive, whether you need them or not. You deserve them.
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie
Hi Alice!

It sort of reminds me of this thing I read in P&W the other day, where a writer was talking about a conversation he had with a doctor, and the doctor said "Oh, you're a writer? I always wanted to be a writer! I just never found the time." And in his head, he thought, "Yes, and I always wanted to be a doctor, but never found the time for medical school." As in, just because you're literate, doesn't mean you can do my job, asshole.

You compose, my dear. If people in some other professions I can think of had to put up a little donate button to get paid for their jobs, despite having put the work in, you can bet they'd be raising hell, rather than calling each other wusses for wanting compensation.

In short, that commenter's a pussy. I spit on thee, pussy commenter!

cheerio, my dear!
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterlis
Kyran:I love your coinage. "Fanslippies", unite!
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered Commenternadarine
Keep the tips jar open. It should be there.

And I agree with you that people don't kick the open guitar case. However, I vote that being a woman and (gasp!) a "mommy" makes you (and me!) less worthy than other "real" bloggers out there.

Phhhhhht on them.
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnita
how odd. some people really do have too much time on their hands, huh? Keep the jar!
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJessie
how odd. some people really do have too much time on their hands, huh? Keep the jar!
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJessie
i love you, Alice! you can have one of my kidneys anytime.
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterislaygirl
That's ridiculous. People are obnoxious. My husband and I had a website (not password protected at first so it was viewed a lot by any old Joe Schmo that happened upon it) that had pictures of us and our kids and was basically just to keep friends and family up to date on our lives. You would not believe the number of nasty comments we got from random people! One person said something like, "i've been on your site for 2 hrs. looking at all your pictures and you guys are such losers..." and they recommended us to a site called And we were thinking (and I think my husband responded) "who's the loser? the one who spends 2 hrs. looking at pictures on a site of somebody he doesn't even know and then complaining about it?" All those people need to just move on... So sorry you had to deal with that. I LOVE your blog and should tip you for the gut busting laugh I had over your cat's love letter to you and Charlie;)
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSteph
You are one of my favorite bloggers. I would PAY to read your stuff if it weren't just openly available here on the nets, that's how much I love hearing stories about Henry! It makes me happy to be able to give tips when I read something that makes my day. Shame-free on the button!!!
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
I have noticed a weird trollish vibe all over the place lately. What is all this anger about? The economy? 7 years of President Chimpy? Windows Vista? I dunno!

Have you met Jennster? She will call you a whore ONLY if she likes you. I once tried to get her to call a troll a whore, and she said "NO! I only call my FRIENDS whores." So maybe it is a compliment. Doubt it, but I try to think positively.

And for every dunderheaded troll, there are 1000 of us out here who think you are a Smart Pretty Princess!

Did you see my Halloween costume? Why not, you whore! (Joking!) I went as a troll:

December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSuebob
Ah! It's your blog, your words and your donate button. The trolls need to leave your blog and Christmas alone! haters.
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterGin aka Darla
Oh, sorry. I was looking for
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBusy Mom

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