In one entry on her private blog, she mentioned that she made it private because she was trying to avoid a "stalker;" she was referring to Tom. She said she wasn't sure if he had the address of the blog. Well, he does; I gave it to him the day I discovered it.
Why? Put simply, over the past two years, I have had it up to my eyeballs with people, particularly people online, who immediately judge people on the basis of one small area of their lives, slapping labels like "stalker" on many who, while they might make pests of themselves, are otherwise harmless, good people.
Tom is a good example. He is a highly unusual individual, no doubts there. However, I've gotten to know him fairly well over the past year. I originally wrote him when he posted a comment to Riin's blog to which I originally took offense. I wrote to tell him how I felt. I didn't expect a reply; I just felt the need to express my ire. To my astonishment, he not only apologized to me but actually went to Riin and asked her to remove his comment.
This caught my attention; in his shoes, that is exactly what I would have done. That's when I realized Mr. Frost was truly a man of honor. Honorable people seem to be in unfortunately short supply these days, particularly online. So, at that point, I decided to get to know Tom better. As we corresponded, I discovered that he was one of the most interesting, kind and unusual individuals I've met online. He has since become someone I regard as a friend.
Yes, Tom is a bit obsessive compulsive. Of course, that is one of the points of identification I share with him; I am a bit OCD myself. Yes, Tom's obsessiveness might make him fairly persistent in sharing his point of view but he is otherwise harmless. If he doesn't like you he might try to get under your skin but he'd never hurt you.
That is, in fact, exactly why it troubles me that Bonobobabe slaps the label of "stalker" on him. I had the same label slapped on me as well. The simple fact is, neither Tom nor myself would ever hurt anyone. Yes, we both sometimes make pests of ourselves to make our points, but being a gadfly does not make someone a stalker.
Bonobobabe at one point whines that she has a right to an "online presence;" she feels that Tom is trying to take that away from her by harassing her into silence. The thing she fails to grasp however is that, when you have an online presence, you have to accept the fact that there are always going to be people who comment on you. You're not going to like all of them, and they are not all going to like you; that goes with the territory of being a blogger.
As far as I'm concerned, the term "stalker" should never be applied to anyone unless they actually physically follow someone around, invade private accounts (like E-mail, bank accounts etc.) or they make threats. Other than that, not every person who decides to follow someone's public image is a stalker no matter how annoying they might be.
The troll on this blog is an excellent example. He or she is bloody annoying, no denying that. However, as a blogger, that's the risk I take. I put up with this idiot for over a year and did absolutely nothing about them because, by putting my life out in cyberspace, I invited comment; I deal with it. It wasn't until they decided to physically threaten me, complete with my street address in the threat, that they crossed the line from gadfly to stalker.
In the Star Trek episode "Elaan of Troyius," Elaan, the Dohlman of Elas, had to learn polite behavior before she married the leader of Troyius, a marriage that was intended to make peace between the two warring worlds. As the leader of her world, that was her obligation, but she spent most of the episode complaining bitterly about it.
Captain Kirk castigated her for her attitude, saying: "If you enjoy the privileges and prerogatives of being a Dohlman, then be worthy of them. If you don't want the obligations that go along with the title then give it up!"
With a little paraphrasing, I could apply the every same sentiment to Bonobobabe (and, by extension, all bloggers): if you enjoy the privileges and prerogatives of having an online presence then be worthy of them. If you don't want the hassles that go along with the territory then give it up.
The Dohlman of Elaas ultimately went through with her marriage, preventing a war.
Likewise, I think Bonobobabe should continue to maintain her online presence if that's what she wants; I simply think she needs to learn to deal with the consequences, good and bad, of that choice. I mean, what's the point of having an online presence if no one knows you're there? I think she should open her blog back up to the public, suck it up and deal with people she doesn't like.
Ultimately, that's what we all must do in life.
On January 7, 2009 3:52:14 PM AST, Tom Frost Jr. wrote:
It appears that you might have succeeded in shaming her into slightly reducing the extent to which she censors us "stalkers": I see she just _approved_ a response by _you_ there!Yes; I was somewhat surprised to see that. Not that there was anything particularly inflammatory about my comment itself but I thought she might have something against me since I admitted responsibility for deliberately trying to lead you back to her blogs.
I'm _not_ holding my breath, on the other hand, for her to approve any of _my_ responses there . . .If you were holding your breath, you could breathe easy now, anyway. Go back and take a look; you'll see what I mean... ;)
Anyhow, in my latest . . . response there, I actually _complimented_ her, for doing her latest promotion of her eating habits in an uncharacteristically-for-her, devoid-of-negativity way. Specifically, she connected a certain set of dots which I'd never connected before:That only speaks to the point I made on her blog that perhaps some people's bodies simply work differently. Maybe your body handles meat well; mine doesn't. Simply speaking, you, I and everyone has to decide to eat what feels right for each of us; no one standard fits every body.
[Editor's Note: In the blog posting in question, Bonobobabe was talking about how so many people tell her they "feel better when they eat meat" to which I replied in my comment that I feel better when I eat vegetarian.]
1. _I_ feel better when I eat meat (unlike her), _exactly_ like in her responding-to-that-concept blog title. She (and to a lesser extent, you) equates meat with junk food, which I don't.
However, I _would_ be happy if I could just kick the _extreme_ _version_ of that habit which I've developed lately (and which then spiraled out of control thanks to my Bible-thumping, anti-Muslim-bigot, "friend" taking me to McDonald's _thrice_ as often as _even_ _I_ _want_ to go there).Funny you should bring that up. On a recent day trip to visit a friend I caught sight of a McDonald's when I got into her town. For some reason, I suddenly had a monster craving for a Big Mac. I didn't cave, though; like I said, my body feels too good when I keep meat out of my stomach and I wasn't about to subject myself to the... digestive problems McDonald's used to cause me... :P
But I also feel better . . . when I jump right into a creek regardless of the temperature . . .Define "regardless of the temperature." We talking "polar bear" swims here?
[H]er censorship of that latest response there by me, is also a typical example of her ignorant, "better"-than-yours-or-mine, brand of - or in her case, I think complete lack of - humor.As it turns out, she might not be so lacking in humor after all... ;)