Okay, so a couple of weeks ago I was minding my own business reading blogs that I subscribe to – one of which was on a blog I recently started reading. The blog author is very intense and writes with a take no prisoners attitude. Very popular.
However, as I started reading the post I frowned in confusion. First I couldn’t figure out what the point was – was it a rant, a joke, were they serious? Of course I had to read the entire post to finally get to the last line which basically said, in case you’re too dense to figure it out, this is satire.
But here’s the problem – satire is supposed to be funny. It makes fun of something or someone in a clever, witty way, that enables us to laugh, sometimes even at ourselves. But the post wasn’t funny. For a few reasons…
It danced around the topic instead of coming out and naming it outright. I mean crap, if you’re satirizing something shouldn’t you say what you’re satirizing? It was also very clear what the author’s personal views were on the topic and satire isn’t personal, it’s satire. And finally, it insulted anyone who didn’t share the author’s point of view. Myself included. It used phrases like ‘true believers’ and I believe ‘kool aid’ which we all know is code for well, you know….
I considered making a comment but in viewing the other comments I saw it would be a flame fest, should anyone have the opposite view of said satire.
In the end, I unsubscribed from the blog. But not because I was pissed and not even because the author and I had different views. I unsubscribed because I came away from that post thinking, “This writer thinks I’m an idiot.” And no matter what else I might’ve thought about the post, that was the lasting impression. So then why would I subscribe to a blog written by an author who thinks I’m an idiot? Naturally, I wouldn’t.
Now whether or not this author would give a flying crap about my unsubscribing from the blog is irrelevant. In fact, I’m pretty sure the author wouldn’t give a flying crap. Unless of course 100 other readers unsubscribed too. Or more. That might make the author notice. Or not. It’s hard to say. But I can guarantee, I’ll never buy anything written by that author. Which also means, I’ll never recommend anything written by that author, or their blog or conferences where the author is a speaker. And so on. So maybe it does matter or should.
We all have our world views and that’s fine. But there is a fine line between expressing our views and insulting our readers. I’m not sure I even know what that line is and frankly politics exhausts me so when I feel like ranting about it I try to do said ranting on political forums. Not always, but usually. But I find myself doing less and less of that because my focus is on books – writing them, reading them, helping other writers, and readers, making people laugh and generally not add to the noise of the incessant ranting on the Internet. I have to say, I do sleep much better at night now.
So, what do you think, would you unsubscribe from a blog under similar circumstances or just shrug it off?