The name for this post was indeed chosen with a head-nod to the minor alterna-hit song of the same name (that made the radio playlists for about 17 minutes in 1991) by one of the pre-grunge alternative rock bands School of Fish. Here’s a link to the video for anyone interested. 😉
Wasn’t that cool Small Talk? And it totally leads into my Topic For Today.
Because it has indeed been “three strange days”. And I’m kinda glad the sun is setting on this third one. If stuff happens in threes, then please god(dess), let this be the end.
It might not have been Three Strange Days if not for a Few Strange People.
I won’t go into very many details here. I’m not trying to play coy; that’s not my nature. It’s more of a desire to express my thoughts without inviting further drama. Because drama isn’t my thing, either. And I didn’t start any of this.
As some of y’all know, I manage multiple blogs, some under different WordPress names. All of them get much more traffic than this one (and I’m perfectly fine with the fact that this one is pretty tame; it means that I get to use this one as sort of a scratch pad for my miscellaneous thoughts and theories and only those of you who follow this blog and dig the miscellaneous – and you’re awesome, by the way! – will see it).
On a couple other blogs, I’ve received some …interesting… comments. Two chastised me for allegedly taking a stance I never took (and in fact, expressly stated everywhere I could afford to without sounding like a broken record that I wasn’t taking), and another hinted at the idea that I was honing in on their intellectual turf, right after I wrote a post definitively and staunchly stating for the record that I would never do that. (Which is totally true. Why steal someone else’s work?)
Was there a Full Moon or something?
Oh wait–yeah, there actually was.
These Strange People were all over the cognitive road, too. The comments seemed slippery and difficult to follow. Now that I’ve had a chance to process what might have been happening (and at that, I can only guess), the accusational one almost bordered on manipulative. I was unfamiliar with their work, so there’s no way I could have siphoned it. I finally did go on an archeological dig this afternoon, to attempt to get an idea of what they were referring to, so I am now indeed more familiar with their work, and I still couldn’t find anything of ours that resembles each other. I even had to look up some of the terms they used.
The stranger-yet part was that one of them wanted me to commit to not creating drama when they unveiled a project they have been working on, should there be any resemblance.
On its face (and I always take everything on its face first, unless I’m shown otherwise, which, if I am, usually bites me in the ass, despite pure intentions), it appeared innocent enough.
But despite the acquaintanceship these people and I share (and have for a while now), I don’t know them all that well, and this afternoon’s foray into their world revealed some (recent) hostility toward views that I (and many others) have expressed in a growing movement, chorus of voices, and circle of friends.
What I’m about to say next might sound very trite, petty, and dim, but I promise: that’s not where I’m going, nor is it the spirit in which I mean what I’m going to say. (Just approach it like I do: with a neutral, semi-bewildered vibe, that carries no judgment, malice, or accusation.)
There was almost a ring of…I don’t know–jealousy? Defensiveness? An inferiority complex? I struggle to pinpoint exactly what I’m sensing, but there’s definitely something along those lines.
Maybe I’m simply imagining things. It wouldn’t be the first time.
But the interesting part is that that possibility didn’t come from me; it was suggested in private by another commenter who saw the exchanges.
For the record, believe me, I don’t see anything I write as being hugely profound or special. But blog traffic and publishers interested in what I’ve written give evidence to the contrary, even if I still can’t see it. The reassuring choruses of empathy remind me that I’m not alone. They comfort me like weighted blankets and snuggle up to me. They also remind me that I’m not so unique. In a world where the more unique you are the more dangerous it can be, it’s good to know that I’m not such an outlier.
But I also don’t consider myself (or anyone else) a “clone”, either, as described by one of the more hostile pieces alluded to earlier.
My partner, who worked in law enforcement for a long time until a long time ago, a career which made him fairly cynical (but in a very plausible way), had a different theory. He supposed that this person might actually be planning to lift some of my work and claim it as their own, and wanted to rope me into a “contract” of sorts, to show that I agreed in advance to anything they might release that might resemble mine.
I have no way of knowing what’s truth and what’s a mirage.
I don’t know if one or more of my writings hit social media suddenly, or what. I just know that attention isn’t always good attention. I was never looking for attention anyway–at least, not consciously. My goal was to help; nothing more, nothing less.
I’m not nearly as “down” as this may sound. What I feel is more like blown away, confused. I do have to remind myself that criticism and zagnuts (like those I described in the beginning, who responded to me as though I had taken a particular angle that in fact I hadn’t) are part of the package sometimes, and I have to roll with it–and let it roll off. I also have to remember the wise words of a wise friend after evaluating firsthand the situation of which I speak: “the drama is certainly on their end, not yours.”
Good one, Wise One (and nope, that’s not sarcasm).
And who knows what kind of role the Full Moon (which occurred on Day 1 of my Three Strange Days) might have played? I can’t discount that, either. That’s a topic for another post, but for now, suffice it to say that it’s a Thing.
I can tell you that the whole set (of relatively unrelated events) really threw me off. This means that I have a little more work to do within. A little tougher of a shell to build, a little more oil to lather on its surface to encourage that roll-off effect.
My Wise Friend also said that my response was too nice. They meant this in the gentlest of ways, of course. Not as a criticism, but as a supportive gesture. Regardless, their point is very well-taken.
And there’s no time like the present to hit a reset button with vigor and issue a few self-reminders…
From here, it’s all about proactivity. Thickening my skin. Oiling my surface. Taking things with grains–or even full shakers–of salt. Standing my ground. Waiting before hitting “reply” buttons. Reserving the right not to agree too fast. Getting myself published, eliminating guesswork. Chinning up. Spreading my own wings.
Time to fly. 🙂