Thursday, October 13, 2005

Rant Control (where's Frank Zappa when you need him?)

Well, I'm a little pissed. I might have known it was going to come to this. For those who haven't noticed, there's been a bit of a rant going on in the last part of my comments section of today's HNT (pause while everyone goes to check). No, not by me--I've been at work all day. And actually the rant isn't found in my comments. I'll explain....

Here's the scenario. A certain HNTer has chosen to post pictures of her breasts (so far, this covers an awful lot of you!). There's a comment or two made on my site, and then out of the blue, a comment by the first one to tell us that she's tired of the negative comments, and this will be her last week. Well, not knowing what the hell she was talking about, I go to her site and read some of the comments left for her. Pretty complimentary and friendly, as we've generally been. And then I see it. A long comment. Very demeaning and uncalled for. Of course, it's linked to a name I'm not familiar with, so I check it out. It comes up with a profile with absolutely no information. Should I be surprised? Probably not. But it was enough to bring out some others with equally negative comments. I checked those bloggers, and yes, they're "official". What was disturbing was that they are also HNT participants. One person in particular seems to be leading the pack, if you will, by having ranted a couple of times. And there are the followers, who thank her for her rant, because it needed to be said, yadda, yadda...

Here's the problem--there's never been a beauty/nudity/weight/pose requirement for HNT. But for one or two people to PUBLICLY attack a woman for posting pics, and to have others jump on the bandwagon is reprehensible. To me, there are two ways to handle this--1) If you must address what you think of as being "ugly" (and how dare you or anyone else impose your views of what's "ugly"), then you search out an email address somehow--even to the point of asking for it, and respond privately, or 2) You don't say anything, make note of the website, and never come back to it. Interestingly, the people who left the most acidic remarks were people who returned on at least a few occassions! To claim that they got here by hitting the "next" button doesn't fly--maybe once, but Blogger's got a gazillion other sites it'll send you to next. It's not going to bring you back to the same place.

I could write forever, but then I'd lose you (if I haven't already). So I'll list:
  • I'm not going to spend time babysitting bloggers.
  • One of the great things about HNT has been the support shown to others to post revealing shots of themselves, both inner and outer revelations.
  • Half-nekkid is in the eye of the poster.
  • Porn is in the mind of the reader. For the record--nothing that's ever been posted in the name of HNT can be considered "porn". Some of it "sexually explicit"? Of course, but you take the chance of that when you come to a site associated with the word "nekkid" in it.
  • If you recognize yourself as one of the "followers" I mentioned above, realize that I have nothing against your views or your pictures. But I find it a little hypocritical that you can agree with the rant, yet post half-nekkid pics of yourselves. You all had the chance to check out what HNT was all about prior to joining in yourselves. Having said that, I'd still like to see you continue HNT.
  • If you don't like what you see, leave. Or hit the "next" button.
  • If you are someone who lurks or comments, but doesn't ever post a HNT, your negative comments are meaningless.
  • If you are leaving negative comments in any sort of an anonymous fashion, including coming up with a false blog name, you are the scum of the Blogworld. You are a hundred times worse than spam. You should be deleted, ignored, and/or hung by your genitals. You have NO grounds for participation. If you feel the need to vent, at least have the cojones to leave some sort of contact for rebuttal!
  • I would never assume to tell any of you what to post, either in words or pictures. Your blog is just that--yours. Don't tell me what I should or shouldn't post on mine, because it's just that--mine.

Some final thoughts--I realize that we're talking about one or two "bad apples" here. And out of 300+ of us, maybe it should be expected. It still pisses me off. I think it's significant that the ranters and the followers are relatively new to HNT. Maybe HNT isn't something they should be involved in, or they don't quite understand the guidelines (press the blue HNT button in the sidebar). To tell the truth, there are some long-time HNTers whose sites I don't frequent much because they don't impress me much. I have issues with some HNTers based on the comments they leave others. I find it embarrassing as a male that women would be subjected to those comments. I've discussed this before. But NEVER have I found it necessary to demean, degrade or otherwise subject those sites/commenters with my personal opinions in a public or private forum. Their opinions are equally valid as mine. No more, no less. It's just not the place for it.

To the individual blogger who's going to be quitting, I'm sorry. I hate to see that. I would hope that you wouldn't, but I certainly understand it if you do. I think I'd do the same if I was in your situation. I'd apologize for what you've had to go through over the past couple of weeks, but I can't. Apparently there are people out there who are far better than you or me.