Monday, September 5, 2011

The Battle of the Bytes

My fellow Writers of Mass Distractionand I belong to writers' communities all over the internet. We evenstarted some of them. For the most part, the writers conductthemselves as professionals.

For the most part.

There are the blowhards who think theyhave the answer, no matter what the question; the newbies who can'thandle criticism no matter how they insist they want to know thetruth about their manuscripts--they really just want to be told howwonderful they are; and the "Eddie Haskells," the suck-upswho have appointed themselves the sites' watchdogs, demandingcredentials from other writers when they have no business demandinganything from anyone. There are the clingers, who see any kind wordas an invitation to be your BFF...or something even more intimate, and there are the shit disturbers, who just want to argue to get attention.

The presence of such characters meansthe groups can turn into real soap operas sometimes. There was awoman on one site, married with children and grandchildren who wasswept off her feet by a man who really poured on the charm. Shealmost left her husband for him. When he didn't live up to herexpectations, she went home to her husband...though I heard she laterleft him for yet another man. I suppose that comes from a need tolive the life of her fictional heroine, I don't know. I would thinkthat kind of drama in real life would be be exhausting. I'd rather write the dramas and have a peaceful reality. 

Then there are the fights--really nasty fights.

A few days ago, a friend had a run-inwith a very angry woman in a group I don't often visit. I received anemail from William, letting me know about it. Times have definitely changed. There was a time whenhearing the words, "There's a big fight going on!" prompted me to runoutside to see which neighbors were duking it out.

These days, most of the fights are online.

"In this corner, we have the currentchampion from south of the border, El Gringo, known for his wit andability to piss off anyone, anywhere, anytime. And in the othercorner, the Amazon Queen, spoiling for a fight with any poor bastardwho crosses her path...."

I confess, I don't know what startedthat particular fight. I do recall that she called him a dick. I findthat surprising. The blowhard and the ass-kisser were both present,so what could he have done that would elevate him to dickstatus in the presence of such perfect examples of dickdom?


  1. Ha,ha, ha, ha. Wow, I have a poem about this exact scenario. I think I know who you're talking about too. Ha, ha, ha! Thanks for the smiles!

  2. Oops, that should have said, "Cell"...not sell...

  3. I know the fight you're talking about and you were right when you said that some holy water was needed to be thrown on the woman. She was petty and ruthless for pretty much no reason at all. In fact, I think a padded sell was needed for her...except that there is no such thing.

    I don't know why people can't behave online like they would in real life. I guess it's because they can't actually "see" the other person, as if that makes it ok. But, I've defended people online (yourself included) and I'd do it again if I had to for any of my friends.

  4. Love it. The internet is getting overcrowded with these idiots. Maybe sites have to do an inkblot test before you can join. Just as irritating are the spammers who advertise in the middle of a discussion, like that will make you want to visit their site.

  5. I must be missing something because the sites I frequent don't have this kind of drama and might I add that you're looking especially lovely today Mrs. Beishir!

  6. I've been witness to some pretty impressive online shouting matches. Seems like some people are just a magnet for them. The one time I got involved in one, I got seriously creeped out. Now I just prefer to be a fly on the wall.

  7. Yeah, I know exactly who you're talking about, and I've been known to temporarily abandon the discussions when the pointless sniping starts. I guess I'm maturing ... I used to be one of those who would get defensive and end up feeding the trolls.

  8. Oh, no...Deb has morphed into Eddie Haskell!

    Beth--actually, this happens in real life, too. I think I told you about Collin's squirrely co-worker.

  9. Yep, I long for the days when fights ended quickly. As soon as somebody's nose bled, the rest of the group could return to business. Cyberfights tend to draaag!

  10. And the problem is that the evidence of the fight remains there lingering in cyberspace long after....

    I have in the past been the sort who pokes a stick at the trolls, but these days... what's the point?

  11. This is true. Throwing the proverbial fuel on the fire doesn't shut them up. It's best to simply ignore such combativeness.

  12. LOL!!! I've had quite a few of those experiences. I'm getting a lot of bloggers recently who go nuts after I do them one little favor. Sometimes I do become good friends with some and that has been a blessing.
    And of course you all know about my stalker penis. I'm still not sure if that wanker had a face to go with the erection.
    And I had the pleasure of one nasty fight with Catana on WD. Some people just don't like to agree to disagree. There are some who lurk around, waiting for someone to say something they can argue with. Then they turn into total bullies and the more you try to difuse the situation, the more they act like you're over reacting. I agree, Norma, it is always just best to ignore!

  13. Abso-fucking-lutely. There is good reason the vast majority of authors fail. You have effectively described the primary ones. Know-it-alls know jack shit. I had an author email me freaking out about how to get a negative review removed from Amazon. My response: you don't. People are entitled to their opinion. negative reviews are inevitable.


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