Kage Baker had a real fear of confronting strangers. Not a handy phobia for an actor or a writer, but then she never intended to become a public figure. All she wanted to do was write and perform. She wanted those badly enough to learn to deal with the necessary audience.
She adopted personae to get through most of it – when we went to SF Conventions, she channeled our Aunt, the actress Anne Jeffries. Auntie Anne has a wonderful southern Grande Dame personality; while wearing that, Kage was armoured enough to eventually relax and be her own wry, somewhat less Grande self … those who had the persistence to come to know her, found a shy, funny, sharply observant person.
And, of course, the internet gave her a safety zone. Email, chat rooms, interviews – all provided a layer of distance that let her relax. She still couldn’t read her own mail or reviews, though. I read them first, and I translated them and then I paraphrased them, until finally Kage could bring herself to read the comments first hand. If they were nasty enough, she never read them at all. So any of you who just had to tell her all the hateful malice of your hearts: too bad, so sad, she never saw it. Nyah (I say with with great dignity) nyah.
I mention this because I have just gotten the first mean comment on this blog. Some total stranger met some Faire people once and didn’t like them. She felt it necessary to tell me how horrible my cherished memories are, and how they would constitute her “worst nightmares.”
While I don’t enjoy having anyone wipe their nose on me, I’m not much afraid or impressed. I’ve left her comment up as a reminder to myself that mean people are a fact of life, and that some of them feel required to lash out at other people. I’ve left my answer to her up, too. I admit it’s mean-spirited of me. I’m not sorry.
No one is required to read this blog. Do I really have to say that? But honestly, kids – if you don’t like what I have to say, there are more than a quarter million other bloggers on this site alone for you to sample. Choose someone else to read. I’m just shouting into the dark here, to keep a light lit in this long echoing abyss where we are all alone. If you don’t like my light, go stand by another. Better, yet, light your own.
You sure can’t put mine out.
Tomorrow: who the hell knows?