I was going to give you some Twitter advice to help you promote your blog because I uncharacteristically clicked on your spam barrage of links on your Twitter feed and I thought, Huh– this blog is not half bad.
I am AGHAST at your LACK of “humanity”. You were indignant and offended at the ladies at the store who didn’t say “good anything” to you and yet when presented with a man whose foot just might even have to be amputated, you told him it was disgusting and gave him all of one dollar. When telling his friend to get Jed to a clinic, you forgot to add, “…after you collect a lot more money because, of course, a dollar isn’t going to get you anywhere.” Maybe you don’t have much money or didn’t have much on you. That’s understandable. What is not understandable is your comments to him. Not, “I hope that gets better soon!” or “I’m so sorry. That looks painful.” No, you “snapped” that his foot was “dis-gusting”. Where was your compassion? You judge some ladies for having poor manners when you lacked something greater?
Your first thought was “Foot ointment? Ah, this is one I haven’t heard before.” You were judging him. Sure, a lot of homeless people suffer from alcoholism, to try and shut out the pain of their world, but not all of them do. And because you cannot know for certain, you should never, ever take it upon yourself to judge. Live generously without judging and be blessed while letting the sin of lying be upon the head of he who lied to get money from you.
You couldn’t have taken him to the clinic yourself and asked someone to fix his foot? Asked if they had any sort of charity program or whatnot? I don’t know how it works there. In Canada you don’t have to pay for basic health care– everyone is cared for.
Even the word you use for these people– “bums”– associates them with something lowly and maybe they are by appearances. But when judgment day comes, it’s very possible that these bums will rise higher than you, because they’ve very likely been given very little with which to work.
And even if you don’t believe in God, you claim to believe in humanity. But you begrudged it.
Even to sandwich such a sad issue like homelessness in with your prophetic tree frog and your wedding dress shopping is so dismissive!
I NEVER leave critical comments on people’s blogs. But you really don’t seem to have any idea how this post comes across and since you put it out there, and you linked to it, and you’re trying to drive more traffic to it, and you’re trying to become a writer, I couldn’t in good conscience walk by and just toss you a measly dollar.
Best of luck with not stepping on the tree frog, finding the right dress, and dealing with “the bums”.
Your blog is very pretty. I like the scarf in your picture and I dig most of the to do’s on your bucket list. I figured this place was as good as any to post a reply to your criticism (ie: MY first hate mail.)
What can I say? I refer to bums as bums. It rolls off the tongue.
I realize it’s less P.C. than “homeless person,” “man on the street,” or “transient.” I’ve learned from many conversations with bums that street peeps resent the word transient. Most of these guys/gals hang around one city block longer than I’ve lived in some apartments. And since “homeless man” or “man on the street” sounds too Phil Collins, and since most of the ones I interact with nearly every day tend to do a lot of bumming around, I’ll stick with bums.
Despite my crude sense of humor, I do have a heart. I’m a sucker for GD bums. In fact, I have friends with much more sarcastic senses of humor who’ve suggested I suffer from, “a Pollyanna complex.”
Note: I only had two bucks on me that day.
Note: When my boyfriend moved out of his apartment two years ago, I delivered a stack of his old blankets and pillows to a man sleeping on the sidewalk. Having observed this man earlier in the day on a bike ride, I returned with my car and the bedding, careful not to wake the old bugger as I set a pillow by his head.
Good lord, Mormon. I wasn’t passing judgment. Sure the guy’s foot was battered, but no more than mine after a muddy music festival and a bad fall. His request for foot ointment WAS a new plea. Usually I get asked for cigarettes, quarters, dollar bills, lighters, etc … And usually these requests are followed by – or preceded by – a catcall.
Was I cavalier? Probably. Am I always cavalier? No. Was this post an honest snapshot of the day? Sure. Did I embellish his wound by calling it “gangrenous?” Probably. I’m a writer not a doctor.
As for driving this guy to a walk-in clinic, if I were to personally escort every ailing person I pass to a medical facility in St. Pete, I’d log more miles than a NYC cab.
Natasha, your blog is lovely. And I mean that sincerely. My boyfriend was “following” you on Twitter and since I’m a blogger with limited readership I figured I’d follow you too. I wanted to share my posts. The “spam barrage of links” on my Twitter feed is the only way I know how to draw traffic to my site, that and Facebook and MySpace. As irritating and exhausting as social networking sites can be, they’ve introduced me to a bevy of talented writers and photographers.
Like you, I just want to make people laugh and think and come back for more. If my “behavior” chaps your ass, I encourage you to read more of my posts. I’m much more than a bum-bashing pisspot.
Also, by scolding my dismissive behavior you totally overlooked my two favorite literary devices – juxtaposition and symbolism. The post that left you AGHAST had both.
Having said all that, thank you for your comment. I’m tickled by hate mail too. I was working on a freelance piece about a Tuskegee Airman when I read your comment. It woke me up and carried me through to deadline.
Maybe we can be friends.
Okay, first of all, I did not give you hate mail. I didn’t call you stupid or use crude language. I was commenting on your behaviour and I believe my writing left it open as a dialogue.
I sort of hear you on the symbolism and juxtaposition thing. Sort of. I wrote a post about my Twitter philosophy that got me MY first critical comment, except that unlike my comment to you, this one attacked ME personally instead of just my behaviour. And the reason she attacked me was because she didn’t notice the symbolism in the very thing she was criticizing: I was telling people who use Twitter to tell me (or you or any other Twitter follower) how they could make them happy, make them “remarkable”, etc. etc. I objected to the arrogant language by using it myself to say, “Maybe I can help YOU!” and then proceeded to tell them a better way to use Twitter and it was TOTALLY on purpose and some readers picked up on it.
Speaking of which, here is what I wanted to tell you: People want to get to know you. If you tweeted little random thoughts, links to other things on the web, comments back to people, and funny observations, only then intermingling links to your blog, you’d get a lot more followers and ones who would be following not out of obligation but because they found you engaging. Twitter really is about relationships. But when all your tweets are about your blog, it looks like you don’t want a relationship. You just want to talk about you.
And that’s NOT a criticism. I am not suggesting that there’s any symbolism there with how you use Twitter. You just started. And normally I don’t even bother to tell people how to use it better but I could tell you weren’t just some big business jerk-off and I liked your blog title.
However, approaching your point about symbolism and juxtaposition, I don’t see it. If we’re going to critique it as a piece of writing, here goes: It read like a “Here’s what I did today” diary type post. It did not seem to have a moral, a lesson, etc. There was no point. Which is fine, for a blog post. Not all of my posts have a point. But for there to be juxtaposition or symbolism as a creative writing tool, there needs to be a point that is magnified by those tools.
And because it doesn’t look like there was any intended point besides to give a snapshot of your day and your life (and your character, so it seemed) it did put you in a bad light. As I said, I didn’t think you realized how it made you look and how it encouraged a similar mindset for readers. A few of these points that you’re saying here, could have been included. Like how often you’re catcalled, etc. You could have worked it in without breaking up the writing.
My heart is warmed to hear about you dropping off the blankets and I don’t doubt you’re telling the truth.
I’m friends with lots of people and you’ve made it clear that you can have a mature dialogue and are not easily offended. So, SURE!