a note to haters

Dear haters,

I hate that word, “haters.” It’s childish. I use it ironically 99% of the time. But I bet it got your attention, right?

I don’t know if this is a normal experience or if I just got lucky, but I am plagued with this condition where I just sort of go along doing whatever and thinking everything is okay, and then some asshole comes out of left field at me and treats me like I just murdered a kitten. It doesn’t happen all the time, but it most often seems to happen when I’m vulnerable and it always rattles me.

Most people who consume information are passive about it. They might take action based on the information they read, but they don’t usually bother the information’s creator. There are, however, certain people who feel a burning need to tell the creator what they thought of the information, and it doesn’t matter whether they liked it or not. I have heard from these people over the years. Some of them like what I write, and so it’s usually a pleasure to hear from them, especially if it transpires I’ve helped them in some way.

Some of them are flaming fucking assholes, and usually leave me wishing I could run over them with a Mack truck. About fifty times. And then set them on fire, thus making the “flaming” literally true.

(If that ever happens to anyone I know, I didn’t do it; I don’t know how to drive a Mack truck, and have no idea how to acquire one. But I bet if you looked up what Craig’s been up to, that might get you somewhere.)

Over time I’ve learned to filter the assholes out. It is not like I am NOT open to receiving a diversity of information about the world, or even arguments to the contrary of something I’ve just said, but too many people don’t know how to present conflicting information without coming off like they want a conflict. Some of that is my own temperament and being impatient with being argued with because I so seldom get to say my piece in face-to-face life without people talking over me and drowning me out, and because people so seldom take my words seriously in person even when they do hear me, so to have my one clear platform muddied up — and often with complete bullshit — kind of chaps my ass. So I took steps to lower the volume on the noise: turning off comments, turning on friend filters and shutting out people I don’t want on my account, changing social-media settings so only people I’ve mutually friended can message me, and so on.

So after all that, I’m a lot less defensive than I used to be. Which does not mean not defensive, just that it doesn’t constantly have my blood pressure up and me suffering sleepless nights. It’s an improvement. What can I say.

But I’m still a little defensive. So I just want to make a few things clear here just so I can feel like I dotted all my i’s and crossed all my t’s.

(Defensive again: Yes, you pluralize single letters using an apostrophe. Look it up.)

1. I tell my story the way I see it. I don’t know everything.

If it comes down to saying something here while knowing it’s a lie versus not saying it at all, I will simply opt not to say it. If I say something that turns out to be false, I didn’t know any better. If the matter at issue has to do with you, you can’t just blame me filtering you out and depriving you of right to reply. Even before I built my walls, some of you were refusing to engage with me when we had disagreements because it was somehow “beneath” you. That’s on you. I gave you chance after chance to explain your side and you wanted to play games. This is what you get. I don’t fucking care anymore. So the bottom line is I’m doing the best I can, but I’m not going to lose sleep if you could have told me the truth two fucking decades ago and decided it wasn’t worth your time. Next time, do better. It won’t be with me. I’m done with you.

2. If I tell the truth and you’re offended, that’s your fault.

I can’t decide which is more stupid: that you’d be offended that I told a story about my life that involved you, or that you’d be offended because I didn’t lie about it. Either way, you lose.

If it was a good or neutral thing and you’re offended, you’re even stupider.

If it was a bad thing, you shouldn’t have done the bad thing. Stop doing the bad thing. The problem is not that I am talking about the bad thing. You gave me the fucking material. Don’t do that anymore.

If the story did not involve you at all, get back in your fucking lane. If you’re angry on someone else’s behalf, they’re very likely an adult and should be handling their own shit. If no one else was involved, you’ve got nothing to be angry about. I suggest therapy. Or a nice fat blunt and a bag of Doritos.

3. I reserve the right to speculate about things.

This is related to Point One above because I actually have three options: speak if I think it’s true, stay silent if I know it’s not true, and PONDER OUT LOUD WHAT I THINK THE FACTS MIGHT BE if I’m not sure either way. This is completely normal behavior in human beings and last I checked, I’m a human being too. The solution to this is the same as in Point One: Don’t leave me wondering. Tell me the truth. If you won’t do that then I guess you’re fucked, aren’t you. Here’s a burner. Call someone who cares.

And thus concludes five more minutes than I ever should have spent on any of you.


[Last updated: 02 May 2024]