Saturday, May 19, 2012

This Space Is Not For Rent

When I started this blog back in 2008, I wasn't sure what kind of content I'd be putting up here. I didn't then, and still don't, read many blogs and didn't have a clear concept of the function of them. But I thought it would be a good outlet for my musings and observations and a way for people (mostly friends and family) to keep up with developments in my life. I hoped it would get me writing more regularly, which it has. 

And mostly, the feedback I get from my small readership is positive. People tell me they think the blog is funny (and cleverly named -- thank you, Noah!) and when I don't post for a while, it doesn't go unnoticed. My stepdad, for instance, is always encouraging me to post more because he likes forwarding my posts to his co-workers, who apparently enjoy reading it despite having never met me. 

So all in all, I dig the whole blogging thing.

But it has happened occasionally that someone will ask me to take down a post, usually for their own personal reasons. And this really irks me. Because this is a personal blog. It's not The New York Times. And I stand by my right to write whatever I feel like. Now, I don't engage in personal attacks (well, not often) and I never aim to hurt anyone's feelings. I don't lie/make things up, either. I may exaggerate for the sake of humor, but I think that's within my creative prerogative.

So when I was asked yesterday -- well, actually, more like told -- to take down a post (a poetry post, no less) from last December, it really pissed me off.  The issue was that before reposting the poem, I explained my connection to the poet. And that connection was that we share an ex. I said I'd never met her, but that I admired her work and hoped to meet her someday. And then I posted her poem, which had been previously published in Ploughshares. 

Apparently, six months later, she came across it and freaked out on our mutual ex, and he basically demanded I take it down. Which I immediately did. But I'm irked, especially because of how he went about it -- he didn't say "Hey Katie, [redacted] saw your blog post that mentions her dating life and she's upset. Would you consider taking it down or editing out that part? I would appreciate it, thanks."

No, he wrote in an email including the link: "Delete this."

Again, I did. I don't want to upset people.  And to be fair, he called and apologized for the curtness of the request.

But this isn't the first time this has happened, so I feel compelled to assert here, on this publicly-read space that I 100% author and own, that I feel entitled to write what I want here. If you are in my life, you might wind up here. Sorry, them's the breaks. For instance, if you are an ex-boyfriend and cavalierly brag in an e-mail about having sex with a Brazilian, I might design a t-shirt that says "I Fucked a Brazilian" and post the image here. (Stuff white people like: boasting about one-night-stands with non-white people?)

Oh, wait, I did do that -- but then I took it down when he asked me to. Even though I did not name him or provide any identifying information, i.e. there is no way anyone who doesn't know me personally would know whom I was talking about.

So from now on -- I'm not taking anything down anymore. Date me/be my friend with caution, I suppose. I can promise that I won't make up things about you or say intentionally nasty things. But this is the masthead of my blog:

Editor-in-Chief:  Katie Vagnino
Managing Editor:  Katie Vagnino
Staff Writers:  Katie Vagnino
Copyeditor:  Katie Vagnino
Publisher:  Katie Vagnino 

You get the idea. If you think I'm a snarky bitch, feel free to write all about it on your blog and I will never ask you to take it down.

(here's that aforementioned t-shirt design. It is available in S, M, L, XL)

1 comment:

SFB said...

Katie, I applaud your correct use of "whom," but I DEMAND that you TAKE DOWN IMMEDIATELY your HORRIFYING sentence ended with a preposition ("whom I was talking about.")


Bwa ha ha ha.