(…all I remember about The Upside of Anger was that Joan Allen was drunk all the time. I just thought it was a decent title for this entry.)
Someone recently told me that they read my blog, and while they mostly like it, they said that “it seems like a lot of complaining.”
I guess I can see how someone would think that about this blog, mainly because yeah, I do complain a lot. It’s my blog. What do you do when you’re on the Internet? If I could condense the Facebook statuses of all my non-blogging friends, I’m pretty sure the bulk of the content would be complaints. That’s what people do. Healthy people, I mean. That’s what healthy people who do not go on shooting sprees do when something really chafes their ass.
Show me someone whose blog “seems like a lot of happiness” and I’ll show you someone who takes Xanax and watches terrible TV. While there is nothing wrong with writing about pleasant things and good feelings, anyone who blogs and does not complain ever needs to get off the Internet and start scrapbooking.
At least I try to make the complaining funny. If I write a pagelong tirade and realize there aren’t enough jokes in it, said tirade gets deleted, or shelved for later editing. And for me, it’s way easier to make jokes about stuff that sucks than it is to make jokes about things that are happy. Whether or not you think I’m funny is up to you, but whenever I can, I write the stuff that makes me (and, if no one else, at least my depraved group of close friends) laugh. I’ve been writing for almost 5 years now and have a collection of regular readers. I’ve made new friends with this thing. My blog has never been about the always-happy stuff because that stuff is boring. Clearly other people get it. Without something to laugh (or cry, or rage) about, it’s a fucking motivational journal. Which is fine for some people and I’d never tell someone they can’t write about what genuinely brings them joy, I just don’t care to read about someone’s goals to lose weight, be positive, and really listen to Oprah’s advice for living a better, fuller life! LOL!!!1!
So there’s a difference between complaining because you hate the world and complaining because you’re trying to recognize the gloriously absurd in it. The person who made the “a lot of complaining” comments understands this (I think), but if this blog is the only way you know me and you don’t understand that difference, then you might want to go someplace else. I laugh a lot in person. I make an effort to ignore the stuff that will incite humorless rage. I change the channel during those awful ASPCA commercials.
Although I complain, I am not a very bad person. Not all the time. Even if I’m laughing derisively, I’m still laughing.
Except when someone I know on Facebook posts a response to my blog, and that response is a link, and that link goes back to a positive thinking website that asks me why I’m so angry all of the time. Um, I don’t know, because people like you are trying to tell me I shouldn’t be? That fucking link ranks right up there with “well, tell us how you really feel!,” a phrase that I think should be taken out back and tied up for the zombies to eat first. It implies that what I’m feeling is too much for you, and that because of your delicate sensibilities, I should have kept it to myself. Or it implies that I shouldn’t feel that way at all, and again, fuck you. Don’t tell me what I should think (which to me is the same as feeling, although this might not be immediately understandable to some people, even those who spend a great deal of time on positive thinking websites). If you’re uncomfortable with what you incorrectly perceive to be uncontrollable anger, then stop fucking reading.
And if you must tell me how to conduct my life, probably you should do it in a manner that does not involve website banners featuring a rainbow, some mountains, and a hot air balloon. That’s some lazy motherfucking web design. I don’t know, maybe the site designer was too emotionally centered to be creative. Sounds valid. Maybe I’d rather spend my time writing and reading things that are interesting and funny and provoke some sort of reaction other than hearts and kittens.
Which are clearly amazing when they’re presented in the right way, and I can’t wait to see what sort of link comment this will generate: