I’m sometimes criticized, especially for a guy who wrote a tender-titled book called An Effort to Understand, for the fierceness of my responses to people who take issue with my posts here.
Well, fuck you.
Fuck you for expecting that I am going to:
• Write a blog post every weekday since 2008. (We are pushing 4,000 posts at this point.)
• Not charge subscribers a plug nickel or so much as look for a sponsor for Writing Boots.
• Respond to your quibbles, “constructive criticisms” and “challenges” with anything besides a rhetorical Gatling gun.
Not that I’m never wrong. I’ve been wrong. Bad wrong. Rarely wrong in fact, but fairly frequently in tone, in emphasis, in perspective.
But if I have voluntarily given you the time and energy to tell you what’s on my mind today, you should be very surprised if I’m willing to agree it’s dead wrong tomorrow. You should be disappointed, too. Oh, of course, you’re absolutely right! Whatever was I thinking when I posted this … yesterday?!
That’s not to say you should not argue with me. In fact, you arguing—or questioning, or clarifying, or amplifying—that’s one of the two reasons I write. I love provoking people to show me where my blindness lies. Especially at 53 years old, that can be thrilling. Cuz I’ve seen so much by now, that my blindness is closing in.
But I’m not looking for your “feedback.” And if you’re going to tell me I’m full of shit, you had better throw with both hands. Cuz I didn’t write this thing by accident. And I didn’t edit it by accident, either.
And if you punch and fail to leave a mark on my face, you had better expect to get it back twice as hard, because that’s the other reason I write: to work the flab off my own thinking, and to beat the flab off yours.
Just because I’ve written a thing, it doesn’t mean I think I’m smarter than you on the subject. But it does mean I’m pretty sure I’ve thought about it harder than you, and more recently.
Proceed accordingly. And whine about my responses in the secure knowledge that I can’t even hear the frequency.
David Murray, Writing Boots
P.S. Also, who cares what I think?