Regarding my last post, I did receive one interesting bit of feedback that didn’t show up here on the blog. Considering the fact that I haven’t posted on this blog for a few months with any degree of regularity, I find it amazing that anyone found my post at all, but it indeed did happen… on Facebook.
I sometimes forget that I have an oddly assorted audience on my various social networks that consist (amongst many other segments) of a few people I never talk to and couldn’t be bothered to walk down the street to meet for my 10 year High School reunion, let alone alter the fabric of my writing style just to please. You can rest assured that if I can forget the fact that these folks exist in my social graph, one or two of them can occasionally forget that my world doesn’t really revolve around theirs.
Jessica Carroll-Ogden and I go way back. In the mid-90s, we played Legend of the Red Dragon together on the various local BBSs in East Texas, along with a handful of my nerdiest friends. We talked rarely back then (in-character and in-game), but in “real life,” she ran with a much different crowd than I. It was only after a mutual friend after high school had me tag along while he visited her that I had a conversation with Jessica that lasted for more than a few minutes.
In general, she’s one of those persons that, throughout my entire life, I’ve known mainly by reputation or as a friend of a friend. This may be, now that I come to think of it, the first time she’s ever directly reached out to me with real words and said something to me.
She left the following comment on the Facebook share for my blog post:
"Not cool. 🙁 we call that the "R" word at my house. I have two adopted kids with mental retardation and that word makes one of them cry. And Jess is off her soapbox now."
*Sigh* Here We Go…
Look, I get that there are mentally handicapped kids in the world, and I understand that there are probably more than a few people in my life who have kids that fall into that category. Heck, one of my best friends in the world is (by technicality) mentally handicapped (and he loves the word “retard,” and has used it on me occasionally … I’ll let him out himself in the comments if he likes.).
Why will I continue to use the ‘R’ word?
It’s freakin’ funny. It is. I like calling people names like “ecotards” or “frigtards” or “motard” or “Jason and the Tardonauts” (I just made that last one up, but I’ve got to find a reason to use it. Anyone have any really good dirt on Jason Calacanis?).
More importantly, in the context of my last post, it was a movie reference. Blame Ben Stiller. Blame a dude dressed as a dude disguised as another dude. Blame the Physicians Desktop Reference.
Don’t blame me, though, I’m just the messenger.
Or, if you’re Jessica, you can continue to blame me to your heart’s content. We’ve been officially disconnected on Facebook (This is the first time I’ve ever done that – had to really hunt for the “unfriend” button).
Why the heck would I unfriend someone I’ve known so long? Well, mostly because I paused to think of exactly what it would mean to keep her as a friend on Facebook.
1) She’d see this post and have her feelings hurt. I really have no desire to directly and intentionally hurt people, and you shouldn’t either. If you’re one of the 27 mutual friends of Jessica and me, only show this to her if you want to hurt her feelings (and we know from her previous comments that she’s pretty sensitive).
2) I don’t want to make (more) kids cry. I get enough of that on a daily basis from my two-year-old (and you can just ask my 8-year-old how unfair I can be sometimes), and I have no desire to inflict that level of emotional trauma through the power of technology on the off-chance her kids read my retarded crap over her shoulder.
3) You’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you. Damnit, I wasn’t calling her kids retards, I was calling a Yale graduate a retard. Seriously… RTFA!
4) There’s not room in this social graph for two egos this large. When I think of how long I’ve known Jessica, and how many meaningful interactions we’ve had (and how this ranks up on the top 10), I realize that there’s really no reason for me to have someone who thinks I must censor myself for her benefit as part of my “inner circle,” which is in essence what a Facebook friend is.
5) The word ‘retard’ is, was, and continues to be funny, and that hilarity is completely disambiguated from actual mentally retarded folks. It carries no social stigma like the word “racist” does. Calling someone a retard is a victimless crime (that is unless Jessica sees it, in which case she and her children immediately become the victim). The mentally handicapped aren’t my core demographic. If they somehow become a group of people I regularly write for, I will at that point refrain from using the word “retard” on a regular basis.
Speaking of which, why is she letting her kids read my blog?
I realize I’ve let the blog go to fallow over the last several months. My focus has been on building up SiliconANGLE, and I’ve largely been successful at it. When I relaunched rizzn.com a couple weeks ago, it has a distinctly more personal feel to it since I can channel all my ‘professional’ efforts into what I write and edit at SiliconANGLE.
This blog is generally safe for work, but let me state here and now that the blog is not safe to read if you’re mentally handicapped. Other groups of people that should not read my blog (if they have thin skins): scientologists, people who run Twitter conferences, City Code Inspectors, socialists, President Barack Obama, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the FTC, bankers, people who work for Business Insider, Sarah Lacy, Steve Gillmor, and anyone involved in the criminal justice system in Denton County.
Speaking of which, I need to get back to work. You probably do, too.