Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Problem Of Being Me

If you haven't had to think through the issue of who you are lately, I recommend you do. It can be very clarifying. You may find, as I have, that you're not for everyone. Yesterday, I opened my email to find this:
Please send me no more e-mails. Although I am no longer homeless, I find them very offensive. I had no idea your organization was like this. The regular e-mails I was receiving from Real Change, I never had seen anything like this content in them. I am sorry, but I am no longer supporting this homeless venue, but will continue to support others. Thank you for removing me from this list.

I suspect it was The Air Force Years: Part One that sent her over the edge. Or maybe it was Lick My Decals Off Baby. Being a bit of a freak, it's hard for me to tell sometimes what others might find offensive.

Several weeks ago, I started sending out weekly emails inviting people in my address book to read my blog. Since we're talking about maybe 2,500 people here, many of whom have no interest in getting weekly emails about my musings on homeless advocacy, advanced post-industrial capitalism, my personal history, Captain Beefheart, my kids, or whatever the hell else I might choose to write about everyday, I always include some sort of a "please tell me to fuck off" statement in each email.

A number of people, but not so many as one might expect, have taken me up on the offer. And who could possibly blame them?

When I first started this blog, I found myself confronted with a number of decisions that I hadn't anticipated. There was the obvious "what do I write about," but there was also the thornier, "how do I present myself." I write differently in Real Change's Director's Corner, for instance, that I would here. When addressing large groups of people, I tone myself down a bit. I don't want to scare people.

Little did I realize that within just a few months, my blog would be addressing large groups of people. In the last few weeks, I've had about 1,500 unique visitors, and about 300 of them have been coming back. That's twice the readership I had just a few weeks before. Blog readership, if you're worth reading at all, seems to be sort of an exponential kind of thing.

So, here's the deal. I'll keep on being who I am, and if you're just not interested, or even offended, that would group you with at least 99.99999% of the universe. I won't be offended.


Mark said...

Divergent, different, and dissenting opinion are essential in critical thinking and democracy. I didn't see anything offensive in the AirForce story, I didn't get enough edumaction to get the Capt.Beefhart art.

S. P. Miskowski said...

You make me laugh. Keep it coming. I think you will find Seattle has no shortage of people who wish to promote themselves as oh-so-cool and oh-so-clever, but genuine wit is rare. Thanks!

Dr. Wes Browning said...

I've been dealing with how to present myself to different audiences since I was two. Sometime in the next week or two I'll probably get to the part in my childhood memoirs where I split off a separate personality to love Mommy with. Maybe you could follow that like a recipe, & split yourself off a new personality with which to start a blog that your email buddy can tolerate.

Paul dealt with this in the early churches by, metaphorically, telling everybody to clean up their blogs. Modern corporations are following Paul's example by firing employees whose blogs don't fit the corporate image.

I just consider it another illustration of the long decline of Western Civilization from its height around 1200 BC.

Tige said...

You are a man twisting and contorting to get far enough between your legs and blow your own horn. Hearty glass crashing cheer to you

Stephany said...

Holy hell keep writing it like this! I'm pretty positive that none of us are saints, and quite possibly have no guts to write about it honestly like you do.

Because you wrote about the airforce years, and complain about mickey mouse, teach your kids to charge around ranting snotty kid rants is why I like to read this blog.
Damn good stuff, and real. That's the point. Its real people who run Real Change. LOL.