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To Groupthink, in response to Pope Alexander

EDIT: I did not intend for this post to focus on my criticisms of GT, which I used in my reproduced comment below merely as an analogy in order to explain myself. As I say in the comment, I really do like this place, even though it can sometimes seem a little inclusive and in this one particular instance, quite hurt my feelings.

The point of this post, I suppose, is me venting about someone dismissing a comment I made, in which I attempt to redeem myself for being a bit of an ass during an earlier exchange and apologize.

I did not intend to shit-stir (believe it or not) but I saw no way to post about this without talking about the specifics. So I posted links and named Pope and if I was wrong for doing that, well, alright. I apologize for that, too.


That being said, I don't believe in revisionist history or dismissing criticism (clearly), so I'm leaving the post and comments within unchanged but for this edit you have just read.


In this post, in response to this comment thread, I wrote the comment below, which is showing up in my Kinja history but is not showing up in the thread as of the time of this posting.

I'm now reproducing my comment, unedited and in its entirety, because I really wanted to get it off my chest and when it didn't show up in the thread, I realized that I also really wanted it to be read by more than just Pope Alexander.


Here goes:


Sigh. It really isn't. For example:

I am a regular reader and somewhat regular commenter on Groupthink. I've only ever made a couple of posts myself, but I do have posting privileges. I've had them for a while now. I tend to like the opinions and general attitudes of the people who regularly post and comment here. I now read GT more than I read the Jez and Gawker mainpages. In fact, I saw this very post of yours on GT. I did not even know it was mainpaged until a short while ago.


However, that being said, I also think Groupthink is pretty fucking cliquish. There are people that post articles here 4 or 5 or more times a day and regardless of what they post, they get plenty of responses. That's not surprising, because they have a lot of friends here and of course their friends will want to comment on their posts, but, IMO that can sometimes make it feel like only the popular girls ever get heard. There are certain commenters that have an extremely devoted following of friends and fangirls. I'm not saying it's undeserved, but it's definitely a sign, intentional or not, that some people on GT are not to be crossed if you don't want to become persona non grata.

To me, that is what it means to be fan but also a critic. To appreciate and enjoy something without blindly ignoring its weaknesses. I have clearly demonstrated that I genuinely like something, but that there are things about it which I don't like and I wish were different.


What if I had said instead, "There's this fantastic website that is very aptly named 'Groupthink' because the commentariat there pretty much all think alike. It's super cliquish and I sometimes think it's vapid and boring. I read one post in particular that left a bad taste in my mouth because it was about me, without actually naming me, and pretty much everyone who posted on it thinks I'm a fucking idiot. But I like Groupthink. I'm a fan."


All I ever said to you was that I disagreed with your opinion and that I found it hard to believe you are a fan of David Sedaris because, with the exception of calling this one essay "fantastic" (and then proceeding to give it two thumbs down) you haven't said one kind or complimentary thing about the man or his writings. Well, you know what? You're right. For all I know you own every single one of his books, you have sat next to me at his readings, and you have a much-treasured personally autographed book on your shelf, too. Then, can I ask, as a fellow fan? Could you maybe balance out your vinegar with a little honey?


Well, that's all I wanted to say. I don't want bad blood with Pope Alexander or anyone else here. I consider myself a (not prolific) member of this community. My feelings were genuinely hurt when Pope put up a post that was clearly about me and when people whose opinions I have come to truly respect basically called me a moron who wandered in from the mainpage. But I accept that it was Pope's right to do it and that everyone is entitled to their opinion. Now I've said my peace and I'm calling it a night. Thanks for listening.

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