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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)

Phooey on them. My donation follows.
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnne
I think whatever your other income is, is beside the point. Either you appreciate a blogger's work enough to contirbute or you don't. Alice and other bloggers are not asking for a hand-out. They are providing you with entertainment and/or enlightment. Some choose to show their support for them financially, and others of us become their minions. I'm broke, send me the minion uniform. I hope there is a cute hat as part of it.
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLisa V
I am sorry that people are being that way towards you.

I love your blog and whatever you decide to do with it is your business. If other people do not like it, then they shouldn't come and READ IT! DUH... it's pretty simple?!?

Keep up the great work!!!!!!!!
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered Commenteronthegomom
I love your blog. I'm not a mom, I'm just a college student, but I like reading your rants and seeing pictures of your projects etc. When your donate button showed up, I thought it was pretty amusing. I don't see any reason for people to get so mad.
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMarie
Thanks for the blog. Am a tired, busy mom who doesn't have time to read and yet I try to read every entry. Because you're funny, thoughtful, self-aware, and reading helps me observe, remember, enjoy the things in my own life. If finslippy were a magazine, I'd subscribe, so I just clicked the button and did.
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLisa
How about a button that says

"My Lexus Needs Detailing" Fund.


You make me sick, too.

Sick with envy.

Not only are you cute as a button, but your writing is fabulous.

I'd donate some money, but my Lexus is in the shop and I have to pay for extra therapy appointments because it's so stressful to be seen in a Toyota.
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJozet at Halushki
there are just crazies around who have nothing better to do with their time. seriously, they are the sad ones.
December 6, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterapronstrings
You make me laugh everyday and that's worth something.
December 6, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterCarrie
dear alice, i still love you.
December 6, 2007 | Unregistered Commenteryer fren
The last paragraph was awesome!! You need a button were people can purchase Haterade, maybe even in bejweled mugs. Hate ain't free y'all!
December 6, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterStrizz
you're neat.

...that's pretty much all i have to say. sorry.
December 6, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAlly
I promise, I won't call you "bitch" and "whore".... "moneygrubber" was more like what came to my mind. And trust me, I would have one of those DONATE buttons on my blog too, if I thought anyone would use it ! More power to you - ignore those jealous harlots and move on. There are plenty more of us out here that love reading your blog and support you whole heartedly !
December 6, 2007 | Unregistered Commenter=^..^=
It never ceases to amaze me what people will say behind the "wall" of anonymity. I do think that Heather at Dooce has a pretty good technique for calling out her trolls by devoting an occasional post to the "best" of her hate mail. I don't know if it makes her feel better, but to me it totally negates the seriousness that the trolls might have had by bringing them into the light. Kind of like cockroaches.

Leave your donation button just as it is. Sooner or later people are going to have to get used to the idea that good content can't be totally free. There's a reason that freelance rates are stagnant, and a big part of it is because there's a real perception out there that anyone and everyone can be a writer. I guess it's true that most everyone over the age of 10 can, you know, write--but that doesn't make them a goddamn writer.

You, my favorite blogger, are a writer. And you're absolutely worthy of support.
December 6, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterNicole
Okay, as a former newspaper reporter, getting paid for writing doesn't seem ludicrous at all! I mean, if I put a donate button on my blog (which usually gets about two hits a of those of which is my husband), it would seem ridiculous, but TONS of people read your blog, and the laughs you generate are WORTH something. I look forward to reading your blog. It brightens my day. Thanks for doing this. I know it takes time, and I'm excited to see your BOOK whenever it comes out.
December 6, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLisa C
I love this blog and read it a lot. And I love the idea that there's a button that would let me show monetary appreciation directly to the author :-).

Here's the definition of "donate" from Merriam-Webster at

1: to make a gift of; especially : to contribute to a public or charitable cause

The definition is a bit ambiguous, but when I saw the "donate" button I didn't get confused -- I didn't think for a moment that the blog author intended to present herself as a "public or charitable cause". I didn't think I'd be able to itemize my "donation" on my taxes. And she's made it even more clear by explaining the word "donate" wasn't actually her choice.

I have developed a large amount of anger as I've grown wiser over the years about charitable donations. Many of the organizations which send me mail or call me on the phone really do misrepresent themselves. And yes I've made donations which I later learned didn't go to a good cause. And yes I'm still angry about that .. angry both with the people who were misrepresenting themselves and angry with myself for "falling for" what they told me.

So I guess I'm trying to explain that I understand why some people are angry about the "Donate" button. It stems from differences in what people consider the word donate to mean, and from a prevalence of fraud associated with causes trying to present themselves as charitable.

But the "donate" button on this site isn't intended to be about charity, but about giving people an opportunity to recompense the author for all the fun we have reading her blog!

I think there's a very simple fix: change the name of the button. At least one commenter has offered to help :-).

December 6, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterRandy
Right on, Alice. Who are these troglodytes who are so dumb they can't just vote with their feet and move on?

Your site, your rules. If you want to ask people to send you shiny pink monkeys, you can do that too, and no one else has a say in that. God, people piss me off.
December 6, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBrooke
I'm sorry that some people suck. If more than 6 people read my blog, I'd have nasty comments, too, I bet. (I guess it's a perk of being one of the unpopular kids.) I love your blog and most people do. Just duck when you see the change flying from the guitar case...
December 6, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne
I agree with the hungry college student...RUDE PEOPLE ARE LAME!
December 6, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterVanessa
Choice has been a recurring problem for many folks and generally, those who don't understand what choice is all about, have a nasty streak a mile wide. In my experience, anyway.

December 6, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLin
I want to donate to you and to all your commenters. Especially Busymom - RenalPal??? That's gold, baby.
December 6, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLetterB
In my naivety, I really was surprised to read that so many people have been so mean about the donate button. The only good thing about this is that it has given you some material to be highly amusing about. I've thought for a while that it would nice to be able to donate, given that I've enjoyed reading your blog for free for so long. So now I have, with the added bonus that you benefit from the current strength of the £ against the $. Yes, you have an international readership!
December 6, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSteven
I am fed up to my fullest fed up place with obnoxious people.

You made the point perfectly with one single line: If you have that much contempt for me and my ilk, why are you here?


But I really didn't come here to comment on the slimy trolls. I came here, to this post, four times now. Why?

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.

Best sentence ever.
December 6, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer
Oh dear god, who are these people? Please! I think it is very extra super awesome that you have added a donate button. It shows you value your work (which you should, because it's smart and funny) and when you value your work, everyone else values it more too! I mean, my only complaint is that I can't give you a whole lot. But I figure I should at least pay my favorite bloggers what I would spend on a People magazine, right? Because what you write is awesome, and what People magazine writes is crap, crap, crap. So, HOORAY YOU! And they can go to hell (can I say that here?? I only curse in your support.)

December 6, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMeg
Sorry to hear you're having problems with trolls. I love your site and find myself laughing days after reading (thinking about Izzy pre-op right now). Good luck!
December 6, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAndre Torrez
Oh, and re: other commenter up there, I don't consider giving you cash to be a "donation," I'm not giving you money because you seem poor. I do, in fact, give charatable donations, but it's quite a diffrent thing. I PAY money to you wonderful bloggers because you provide something great in my life that is totally worth paying for! It is of VALUE to me, and I think it's only ethical to pay for things that are of value (even when we could get them for free). So there.Geeze. I'm clearly going to need to donate more soon, to put my money where my mouth is...
December 6, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMeg

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