Yesterday, I caught a tweet between bloggers referring to the Guardian’s article about Heather Armstrong’s ( @Dooce) trip to Bangladesh with Every Mother Counts. Of course, I read the article and to my dismay it was a condescending piece of crap. I have been following Heather’s recount of her trip to Bangladesh on her blog. I have been touched by the photos, moved by her words and called to action by what she saw.
But the Guardian article basically threw bloggers, and Heather Armstrong in particular, under the theoretical bus as being pompous westerners who have no business and no understanding of the situation. We are humans. We have empathy and compassion. No worries that we need to be warned “bloggers are firmly discouraged from poking paupers with sticks and asking people to wave their stumps for the cameras”. We may not be rich enough to save the world with our money, nor do we pretend to be but we have a reach. We have followers who listen to what we say and if we can bring a situation that needs attention to the light, what is wrong with that? We are trying to make a difference. We are proactive. Heather Armstrong is being the change she wants to see in the world. She got up off her ass and made the trip to Bangladesh to experience the situation firsthand so that she could give an honest , firsthand experience to the world. Obviously, this all disgusted me. It seemed to hurt and outrage Heather, as was evident on Twitter. I don’t blame her. What joy do journalists get from spewing condescending comments geared towards bloggers like venom? Does it make them feel better about themselves? Do they think it’s funny? So, to the Guardian..oh yeah, and especially you Rowan Davies, you get a Throat Punch for being a completely condescending, not checking your facts asshole.
As I was reading Liz at Mom 101 perfectly written and poised post about WHY bloggers share the stories, I was touched by the support and the community we bloggers have with one another, for one another. She touched on how we can make a change in the world and how the world changes us, from a personal perspective. I thought to myself “Thank God, a voice of reason. Retribution and understanding!”
But then the day got even more bizarre. I came in on the middle of a Twitter conversation between Heather Armstrong and Anna Viele ( ABDPBT). I have read both ladies and think they are both good bloggers, in their own right. I’m not going to comment on the conversation because I don’t know all the facts, all I know is that it got really ugly really fast. There was hurtful things said and not really by the two involved, it was more by the people watching it go down and throwing in their two cents. I thought two grown women should be able to handle their own disagreement. I’ve been the one attacked for having the unpopular opinion, so I know how that feels. No BUENO!
I guess my qualm is with the fact that we lost sight of the original issue. We, as bloggers, should have been supportive of one of our own going forth into the world and trying to make the world a better place rather than attacking one another and taking sides about semantics. And if there is a disagreement to be had, have it in the privacy of email or DM. Why do it so publicly? It only stands to humiliate and anger. I understand completely, Heather and Jon taking a stance on the situation, as it was directly pertaining to their lives. They have every right to defend themselves against insults. But what was all the name calling by people who I am not sure were aware of what the original issue was ( people who were not directly involved int he conversation)…the condescending and nonfactual article by the Guardian! So, again, I am giving ANOTHER Throat Punch to the Guardian for inciting a riot within our blogging community. Can’t we all just get along and spread bloggers peace to the world?