I allowed my Reactionary Redneck to take over yesterday when I called out a massage therapist publicly for behaving badly on my blog. If you’re a regular reader, you may know of whom I speak. I’ve always been against censorship, but I’ve now stooped to that level; I’ve deleted the comments, which I had unfortunately allowed to go on for too long, and warned the person that future comments would be deleted. I also stooped to his level by talking about him on FB. I’ve deleted the thread, but it got a lot of comments (all supportive) before I took it down.
My Reactionary Redneck pops out occasionally…well, okay, regularly. I just don’t always put it in print. Sometimes I yell at the actual person I’m mad at. Or I at least call them up or send them an e-mail to voice my opinion. Sometimes I just sit here with smoke boiling out of my ears and don’t unload to anyone except my husband and the dog. Massage is one of those subjects I’m passionate about–and as my livelihood depends on it, the one most likely to spur a Redneck Reaction.
When I am writing about the politics of massage, I am frequently in the throes of a Redneck Reaction, but I try to channel that into constructive journalism. It’s sometimes a struggle to just report the news and offer an intelligent, balanced opinion on it when what I’d really prefer to say is “WHAT ARE THEY THINKING? HOW CAN THEY THINK THIS IS EXCUSABLE? WHAT ARE THEY TRYING TO PULL? THEY MUST BE STOPPED! WHAT A BUNCH OF MORONS!” My evil twin is cussing like a sailor, while my professional self is trying to write a professional, well-thought out, balanced piece of commentary. That’s what I strive for, anyway. Occasionally I fall short of the mark.
I don’t delete comments just because people disagree with me. I’ve been disagreed with by some of the most brilliant minds in this business. Most of the time we agree to disagree, and do it in a civil fashion. Sometimes, one of us comes around to the other person’s point of view. Occasionally, my Reactionary Redneck takes over. Yesterday was one of those times. A colleague called me out and pointed out that I was stooping to this person’s level, and I was. I hate it when that happens. None of us like to hear that. We tend to want to make excuses, and defend ourselves. It’s human nature.
I’m putting my Reactionary Redneck back in the closet, and she’ll come out another day. I can guarantee it.