I think people think that, because they're not like, looking me in the eye, they can be totally nasty and rude and spiteful in the blog comments. I have a feeling these people say and do things that they would never say or do to people face-to-face. I'm making a point of not saying "in real life" to get to my point, which is this:
Someone who writes something on the internet is still someone. I'm still a person, and this blog is not an official newspaper that you're paying to get information from. I never claim that my blog is a verified source of statistically accurate information for all of Brazil, researched at the Brazilian census. It's just what happens to me personally in Brazil and how I feel about it. Other people in Brazil have different experiences. Check out the sidebar for a list of blogs to compare my stories to.
The reason I write the blog is two-fold: (1) I don't have a lot of friends to talk to here, and I wouldn't want to just complain about their country to them all the time anyway; and (2) I DO have a lot of friends and family in the US, and it's easier to keep them updated on my goings-on through a blog than by like 50 individual email threads going back and forth.
And what I don't understand is this: If you don't like my blog or my opinions or my perspective, why do you read it? There is one particular commenter (who conveniently has his profile turned off) who continually leaves sarcastic and rude comments finding ways to insult me. It's like... I don't watch Fox News for a reason.Think about that.
I get people who scan through my entries to find my few spelling mistakes and then leave comments telling me things like "you misspelled 'committee'! And you call yourself a teacher?".
I get people who tell me that my education ruined me (I think meaning my liberal/UC Berkeley education, though they might be a Portuguese speaker writing in English who never learned the difference between "education" and "upbringing", because they're the same word in Portuguese). This one makes me laugh because I imagine that if the person has nothing better to do with his free time than put down some 24-year-old girl living in some small Brazilian town and telling little stories about it on her blog, his life must be pretty sad, and probably not spent in a job that pays better than mine or makes him as happy as mine does. So, dear Sir, I'll take your taunts all the way to the bank.
I get quite a few people telling me the opposite, that I'm just an American imperialist propagating American ideals (not the words they use) and ignoring all the problems that America causes in the world, and that I should say USAmerica because the word "America" refers to all of the countries in the 2 (3?) continents, not just the US, and my saying "America" for the United States is just another sign of my self-centered American imperialism.
So the word "America" has two meanings, and you can figure it out from the context, and me saying "America" reflects nothing of my values or opinions. Here, check out the definition from dictionary.com:
| (ə-měr'ĭ-kə) |
Besides, USAmerica looks and sounds ridiculous. (Let's think about the only other person who says "US Americans".)
Occasionally I come across blogs that seem like they will be good, but then the person just kind of gets on my nerves, so I stop reading it. That's it. I think it's because I'm satisfied in the rest of my life with expressing how I feel if I think someone is wrong, so I don't feel the need to attack people on the internet.
My conclusion is these people are usually cowards or doormats, and don't defend themselves or say their opinions in face-to-face situations, so the internet is their way to release all of their pent-up rage at those who they disagree with. (Alexandre says, "they don't look at enough porn. They should try that. It's healthier. And don't type that. Your grandma reads this. I said don't!").
And the thing that gets me the most is that these people always have their Blogger profiles blocked, and they don't have blogs of their own. If you've got such strong counter opinions, make your own blog and share it with people. I'll even link to it if you'd like. That's how you open a discussion.
So yes, I rarely publish these comments. I know that one could argue that that's against the ideals of freedom of speech (which is one of the cornerstones of my "life-ruining education"). But here's how I see it: (1) No it's not: these people have all the freedom they want to leave the comment. (2) Imagine you are talking to some of your friends, and some guy walks by and yells "LOSER! YOU SUCK!" Are you going to like, ask to take a picture with him and save it in your diary or wallet? No. I like to use my blog to reminisce about my time here, and I don't want it to be tainted by all this negative energy.
So this is my appeal to the snotty commenters: This is not some reading requirement for your adult literacy class. If you don't like the blog, just stop reading it. Go find blogs that suit your interest and reinforce your previously-held beliefs about the world. Mine is clearly not that for you, and it's not meant for you anyway.
To the other bloggers reading this, do you get similar comments? Do you publish them?
Just for fun this time, I'll publish all the comments that come up for this entry. And The Trolls will probably resurface, and the rest of you can get an idea of what I deal with.
Thanks for reading. With the next entry, we'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming.