Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Well I Don't Call Myself Utah Savage for Nothing

Sometimes I'm a complete ass. Not only that, but I'm savage about it. And what's worse I am sometimes both unrepentant and unforgiving. If I were the killing kind, I'd have been locked up long ago. I think my weapon of choice would be a switchblade. I found one when I was a kid and it appealed to me far too much, and after watching me get real good at flipping it open and throwing it into the bark of a tree with amazing accuracy, my dad took it away. Might of been the only smart thing that rat bastard ever did. See what I mean? My dad's been dead for years and I still hate him with a white hot intensity, and it's not because he took my knife away.

Well, what with my big mouth and my nasty temper, I got myself in a bit of a pickle in the blogging world. I have lost real life friends because of my impetuosity and nasty temper. And in truth, I'm mostly pretty unforgiving when I think real damage has been done to someone I love by someone else, or even by my friend's own bad judgement. I will give my friends plenty of do- overs, but if they just keep doing the same stupid shit in the same old way, I eventually gut them with my eviscerating tongue lash, and forget they exist. Oh, I may miss them, think about the good old days before I knew the truth, but once that bottom line has been crossed, I'm merciless.

I have committed a serious blogging faux pas . Perhaps the equivalent of a throwing down the gauntlet. For awhile, when I was married to my third husband I took fencing. It might have saved his life, as it was a mighty fine outlet for my hatred of him. But now, here I am traipsing from blog to blog, thinking I am making friends everywhere. And being a somewhat passionate woman, when I really like someone, I hate like hell to find them insulted, especially if I think the insult is stupid, gratuitous, petty, or nit picking. And being a rather literal woman, sometimes the finer points of irony are lost on me. I don't think of myself as humorless, but some subtleties just might pass me by. Just saying.

So now we get to the meat of the matter. Lets say, blogger S writes a short story, and kind of hides it like she is slightly shy about sharing this fine piece of writing. I read the story and think it's really good. And in the comments thread, blogger P makes criticism that doesn't make sense to me--like there's too much description of the layout of the house (which there isn't) and blogger S has used the main character's name too often (which she didn't). I jump right in and call bullshit--because that's what I really think it is. Then this critic P tries to justify his criticism by giving an actual word count, I shit you not, which trips some switch in my brian and down goes the gauntlet. I say bring it on motherfucker. Well, actually I said, are you kidding? A word count to make a petty point that is bogus to begin with? Are you shitting me? So I take blogger P to task for the small minded pettiness of his criticism. It gets a little heated and pretty soon he is calling me stupid and an idiot and not worth his time, and then I say, "Yo mama!" And I swear if we were actually in S's living room (which we sort of were) and I still had my switchblade, I 'd have gutted him right then and there.

Then just the other day, I was visiting blogger A who wrote a lovely piece , the topic of which currently escapes my memory, and when I went to leave a comment about her lovely piece there was blogger F followed by blogger R. So far so good. I can't remember what blogger F's first comment was since it didn't push any of my buttons, and blogger R said something lovely and used the word "catharsis." Then following hard on the heels of blogger R, blogger F comes back and says, "Don't use the word catharsis, it's hackery." Well, button pushed, by god. I happen to really like blogger A and blogger R, and have a lot of respect for blogger F. But no one insults my friends and gets away with it. So I go on the fucking rampage. I wake up this morning and call my post Catharsis, which kind of makes sense since last night was the Indiana and North Carolina primaries and I had to stay up really late to find out just how close it was in Indiana--it was a bit of a nail-biter. Then I go to A's site and she has written a lovely post on Catharsis, giving it's history--she is far more elegant than I. Then everywhere I go I find a way to work either catharsis or cathartic into my comments. So now I'm wading knee deep in petty bullshit, and creating a little ill will with blogger S who is a close personal friend of blogger F. So now I'm begging forgiveness. Please F, except my apology. S, I didn't mean to insult your friend. R, I know you are capable of using your own razor like wit to defend yourself if you ever need defending. Did I forget anyone? Oh yeah, P. Well in P's case I was completely justified and I don't take back a single word, even the "Yo mama!"


Vigilante said...

Yeah, Utah. I see your point. I think I'll start using the nickname "Blade" for you in the future. When I want to get on your good side, anyways.

Randal Graves said...

This post seems to have been very cathartic.

No, please, go on and put the blade back in its sheath. I'll behave myself.

Life As I Know It Now said...

I think this happens to a lot of people who blog often. What I do is take a few days off if I feel miffed for any reason. Usually I am blowing it all out proportion in my own head. I'm not saying you are but in my experience the problem is me taking things too personally. So get some distance, grow a thick skin and then tread lightly. Yes, you are allowed to have your own opinion and if you need to post up a storm about that opinion on your blog. Take this advise however you wish but it is offered with good intentions.

Utah Savage said...

Thank you Lib, I need to hear that good advise. There was a fairly long bit of time in my past history, married to husband #2, when my nickname was "quick draw." I earned it fair and square.

Stella by Starlight said...

Everything liberality said. Absolutely on point. Blade. Good one, Vig. Utah, I wish I had more time to visit. Don't worry about offending me. I'm a cranky old gal.

Ah, word count on a piece of fiction? Well, to me, that's hardly a pertinent way of judging writing: unless you're Dickens, Poe or (speaking of Blade...) Twain, who got paid by the word.

According, I introduce the Swift passage regarding critics that got me through excess critical theory in college. My first venture in reading fiction again started right here with you, Utah. I'm posting this quote because I know how much you appreciate "A Modest Proposal."

Now, from this heavenly descent of criticism, and the close analogy it bears to heroic virtue, it is easy to assign the proper employment of a true, ancient, genuine critic: which is, to travel through this vast world of writings; to peruse and hunt those monstrous faults bred within them; to drag out the lurking errors, like Cacus from his den; to multiply them like Hydra's heads; and rake them together like Augeas's dung; or else to drive away a sort of dangerous fowl who have a perverse inclination to plunder the best branches of the tree of knowledge, like those Stymphalian birds that ate up the fruit.

These reasonings will furnish us with an adequate definition of a true critic: that he is a discoverer and collector of writers' faults; which may be further put beyond dispute by the following demonstration:- That whoever will examine the writings in all kinds wherewith this ancient sect hath honoured the world, shall immediately find from the whole thread and tenor of them that the ideas of the authors have been altogether conversant and taken up with the faults, and blemishes, and oversights, and mistakes of other writers, and let the subject treated on be whatever it will, their imaginations are so entirely possessed and replete with the defects of other pens, that the very quintessence of what is bad does of necessity distil into their own, by which means the whole appears to be nothing else but an abstract of the criticisms themselves have made.

To ex-humanities majors, a rant to cherish.

Utah Savage said...

Stella, thank you for giving me the time of day, not to mention the wonderful words of swift. My taking on the critic is the only part of my mess in the intertubes for which I am unrepentant.

Faded said...

...tell me about it.

anyway, finally took your advice and put something up about the past on the new blog. sheck eet out when u have a chance.

it ain't pretty, but its a memory.

Blank said...



I swears it!

I understand completely. And I'm flattered you would want to come to my defense as a friend.

Utah Savage said...

Well Miss Scarlet you just outed yourself as blogger S. I did what I could to protect you. But now your Scarlet, blogger S.

I'm glad you feel no ill will. If you did, i would completely understand. Blogger F went to blogger A's site and told me the reason I went all ballistic was that I am exactly like blogger P. He says my thing is PROJECTION! Well, he might be right, and that's some nasty crow to eat. God knows I've been in therapy long enough to know that when I hate someone, it's usually that I see in them something I see in myself and cannot stand. And I can't avoid the fact that it hurts my weak-egoed feelings that blogger F has never actually visited my site. So jealousy and envy are not absent from this equation. I'm guilty. Another great Randy Newman song. Ghost, where are you?

Kentucky Rain said...

Well now! While I appreciate your obvious sincerity Utah, I must point out that I am rarely offended, because there are few people I care about, much less those I "meet" on the internet. Regardless there are a few and they know who they are. My response to those who attack me is to respond in kind, or just to ignore the attacker, because I could give a shit about them. Sometimes I point out the fact that I don't give a shit about them and counter-attack anyway:-)

I like blogging and those few wonderful people I have met while doing so, but I don't take it too seriously. It is but another medium in which to express one's opinion. Regardless it is nice to know that you do give a shit:-) Keep up the good work....

Sculptor Dude said...

I don't think that you really need to explain yourself, your temper or your tongue. It is what it is. When you canned me from your blog roll it didn't bother me (too much), I just figured that I must have offended someone else with my political views. I still come to your site because it is your passionate writing style that I enjoy reading, not your political position. If something I wrote offended you that much you have the right to say fuck you any way that you see fit ... which you did.

I have a really nice throwing knife that you are welcome to should you ever feel the need.

Utah Savage said...

Goodnevilguy. Twas merely an oversight. I am just learning some of the basics of the link. And I got pretty lazy while making that blog roll. I'm glad to know you read. And to be honest I carry a straightedge razor in my purse, keep another right beside my head on my bedside table, have a Louisville slugger behind the door and if all else fails, I have my custom made foil handy, and in the completely unfair way I fight have sharpened the edges and could whip the shit out of any intruder. all this and I live with a Rottie/Mastiff/Shepherd mix who has never needed to bark. He is my real, silent, attack weapon and he loves me like no other.

Sculptor Dude said...

Damn Utah, I know why I arm myself that way ... I can only imagine why you do it.

As far as projection goes, who the hell doesn't do that?!? There isn't anything wrong with you that isn't wrong with all of us. You just have the guts to admit it. I admire that in anybody even though there will be many that question the sanity of that kind of personality. Keep on writing ... I believe it is ... what is the word I'm looking for ... oh yes ... CATHARTIC!

Unconventional Conventionist said...

I won't pretend to know the ins-and-outs of whatever happened, but I WILL say it resembles a teensy bit whatthe good Dr. Z. had to say here.

And thanks for stopping by my place Utah.

BTW, since you asked, that URL thingy stands for "Uniform Resource Locator" and is shorthand for anything that begins with http://

Smooch and stop back often. I'll come back frequently since you evidently know how to wield a blade. :)

anita said...

Utah, I've been in and out of the blog world for a few years now, and I know how emotions can get seriously fired up. My sense is that most bloggers do have tempers and do have strong opinions, otherwise, why would they even have a blog in the first place ... it's a place for writing about things that mean a lot to them and for ... uhh, achieving ... some sort of ... well ... shall I say it? catharsis!! There I said it.

But I won't say it again !!

My experience from reading F's blog is that he's a bit of a curmudgeon, but a nice curmudgeon. As Neil Young once stated so perfectly, "Don't let it get you down, it's only castles burning ..."

Have a great day Utah!

Forrest Proper said...

Damn, I hate missing a good brouhaha.

Randal Graves said...

Does that mean that Scarlet has to wear a, er, letter?

Come on, no one laughed?

Stella by Starlight said...

I'm cracking up, randall. Good one and nice to know someone's up on their Hawthorne.

Goodandevilguy, I'm so verbose, when this is what I wanted to say all along: I don't think that you really need to explain yourself, your temper or your tongue.

I'm with him, Utah. Please don't excuse yourself for being you. Dryden once wrote, "The elevated art of satire is to wield so sharp a sword as to sever the head and leave the body standing."

I'll find you a good sword, Utah.

Utah Savage said...

Randal, I'm laughing my ass off

s. douglas said...

I would never ask you to excuse being you, just as I, am me, and offer no excuses.

I really don't care if people get pissed off, my problem is, people get pissed off for the wrong reasons, and knee jerk.

If Randal was upset, he could say, "Fuck off," and then I'd send one of my gangster friends to Ohio to arrange a settlement ;)

It is admirable to stick up for your friends, but it's also condescending. Randal, and some of the others in this thread visit my blog fairly regularly, they know how I am, and that, in the end, I really don't give a fuck if people are offended.

If I did care, Jonestown would have thousands of visitors a day, and our "Technorati Rank" would be in the hundreds.

Alas, tis not the case.

And I do visit your blog, but I rarely comment because I prefer not to comment on works of fiction, and/or poetry unless I know the writer personally.

For example, I know Ms. Blue, and she knows I love her writing, and that I would never offer criticism just to be a prick.

And, and-

There's no need to apologize. You're hardly the first person who's gotten upset with me, and hopefully you won't be the last.

Nonetheless, apology accepted.

And, and, and-

95% of the time when people get upset after reading someone's post, it's because they missed the larger point, and instead fixated on one or two sentences.

Case in point- I'm a smart ass, non-linear, and oppositional. The majority of my posts are a combination of those traits.

Oh, and I couldn't give two shits about Grammar.

The same is true when it comes to commenting, as you can clearly see.

It's just blogging, and there's only two reasons a person should ever get upset-

1) Stupidity


2) Stupidity

So you know, I'm deathly allergic to stupidity.

Kentucky Rain said...

Great comments here. I am glad you apologized Utah. It engendered a lot of interesting thoughts. Do it again from time to time:-) :-)

Beach Bum said...

I'm with the Colonel on this one I somehow missed the entire brouhaha.

Utah Savage said...

Fairlane, thank you for the comment. Since this is your first comment on my site, I thought you either didn't read my ranting and/or didn't like my point of view. I have now put my fiction in another box and will only publish poetry rarely.

And yes, you are right. My defense of other bloggers might seem a little condescending since everyone here is a grown up and perfectly capable of defending him/herself.

I didn't start blogging until late in January of this year, so I am the newcomer to this community. I'm just learning the ropes, the rules of civilized discourse, but again, the word savage does kind of describe me and my style. Fiercely loyal and not quite civilized.

Thanks for weighing in. It is to you that this whole piece is directed, so I'm happy to know you hold no grudge or ill will toward me. And since I'm so fond of Scarlet, I'd hate to piss her off, by pissing you off. The blogger known as P, not so much.

And as for the blogger known as P and my projection. Point taken. I'm no stranger to the curse of projection.

Mauigirl said...

As a kid I threw scissors at a neighborhood bully so I can relate to your rage. (He lived, LOL!)

So far I haven't been embroiled in any imbroglios (is that good alliteration or what?) but I have seen it happen on other blogs. I'm sure your friends have no problem with it!

Ghost Dansing said...

i'm here Utah..... i was just trying to figure out if i was one of the secret bloggers you were discussing...... i see Scarlet Blue outted herself as a participant, so that wouldn't be me then..... hmmmm...... who could i be?

i could be blogger "p", but i didn't count any words...... this is a real puzzle.......

i was thinking about this song when i was thinking about all that:

she's a rebel

Utah Savage said...

Ghost dansing man, not you, never you. The only time I get the least little miffed with you is when you take recreational time off on the weekend. But I was starting to wonder what I did to chase you away. If I offend you, please let me know so I will have the opportunity to apologize again. Some of my male readers seem to really like the spectacle of watching me eat crow, while clutching a switchblade.

Nice video clip. and yes, I am a rebel.

D.K. Raed said...

Finally someone else (you, Utah) said what I can never admit: that when you find yourself hating someone it is usually because you see something in them that reminds you of something you don't like about yourself. That certainly explains my relationship with my late mother-in-law!

OK, I am late to game & don't know the story, so all I can say is I don't think it is EVER wrong to call BS when you see it, or even when you only suspect it. I don't give benefit of the doubt. I ask for explanations. When pressed, I find most people can convince me they aren't that bad. If not, I can always iron them flat. Communication is the key -- not letting thing fester.

And OMG, switchblades?!? Well you got me beat. I'm told I once tried to steal my baby brother's bottle by sneaking up on him with a hammer. Fortunately, I wasn't as sneaky as I thought. This might explain why I later knocked his teeth out.

Utah Savage said...

D.K., I can never recognize projection in myself until I've become such a self- righteous asshole that someone else suggests I might be projecting. I usually can't see it, myself, but I know it happens, and so I just cop to it whether I actually believe it applies to me or not.

Kentucky Rain said...

Who the fuck is "P"?

Utah Savage said...

Well, if this isn't the oxymoron to beat all, P is the blogger known as Progressive Traditionalist

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

The only time I went completely ballistic was when I saw some douche-bag try and "swift-boat" McCain. I'm not voting for McCain but, since I was outraged by what happened to Kerry in '04, I felt the need to be consistent.

Kentucky Rain said...

That is one hell of an oxymoron!! Thanks Utah.