Monday, December 15, 2008

Suspicious Beef

A few weeks ago I was in a crowded elevator when somebody farted. I didn't hear it--nobody did. But the stench, oh. It was bad. And the thing about elevators is, of course, the Universal Rule of the Lift (see "ascending room" circa 1823, London): you do not ever make eye contact or acknowledge the fact that you are smushed ass to crotch with complete strangers. You do not tell the lady in front of you that gee, her hair smells terrific as strands of it stick to your lip gloss. Nor do you ever comment on farts even though there you are stuck in a hermetically sealed box smelling the inside of a stanger's colon. Of course every ounce of my being wanted to be all dude, who farted? just so people would know it wasn't me. (It wasn't, I swear. I'd tell you if it had been.) But the suspicious beef went unclaimed.

Of course now we are not in an elevator, we are on my blog and I can say this: DUDE, WHO FARTED? Because I have come to realize that mean anonymous comments are like an unclaimed fart in a crowded room. Yes, I've had all weekend and that is what I've come up with. An unclaimed fart in a crowded room. Wait for the imagery and you will see. Wait for it, wait for it, inhale, inhale-- yeah.

Lately I've received a handful of mean anonymous comments. Part of me says not to call attention to it but another part of me just wants to address the stench and air it out. Here is the thing: I am not for everyone. Nobody is. This is not news. Personally I cannot stand the artwork of Thomas Kinkade but I would never go to his website to tell him to cut out all that Painter of Light shit. He's doing his thing and I respect that. It doesn't mean I have to like bucolic cottages and candlelight.
It amazes me what people will say under the cloak of anonymity, how casually they will criticize and call you out. Some might argue that in writing a public blog I have inherently opened myself up to criticism. But the thing is I have little to no control over the world at large. Someone might flip me off in traffic for nothing and I can't change that. Conflict abounds. But this blog is my little space I have carved out for myself, the surreal estate of my mind full of rollicking pastures, words, ideas and beautiful, smart people. I can build a fence if I want. I can keep out the riff-raff. Yes, there is a guest list. And yes, you are on it. If.
Some might also argue that I only want people who will kiss my ass and compliment me. That is simply not true. I welcome anyone who respects me. I listen to criticism that is constructive. But if you are simply calling me names and questioning my character, well--I reserve that for the people in my life who actually know my true character, not just the caricature of my blog.
So there. I have changed my comments settings to moderated and I am holding a can of Febreze. Please come to my party, read my blog, eat the onion dip--it's to die for! Sure it might give you a little gas. Everybody farts. But if you do, just let me know. I'll stand there with you in the stench of your colon as long as you respect me enough to tell me. Let's hold hands, smile, together we can all enjoy the ride.
*Suspicious Beef is the name that Bryan and I have given our band should we decide to ever start one. I play a mean rendition of Pachelbel's Canon in D and Cyndi Lauper's Time after Time on the piano and Bryan can do The Running Man real good, so watch out! Suspicious Beef World Tour 2009! Dates to be Announced Soon!
**Gah! How could I forget! Come visit me over at The Lil Bee today where I am guest posting as part of her genius Bee's Economic Stimulus Package! No talk of mean comments there! Just pastel rainbows and unicorns, puffy paint and pink! Come on by!


michele said...

Don't go private and take your humor and wit away from all the people who love you (and the super cute pics). People are sad and angry, screw them. You rock.

Misplaced Country Girl said...

Mean people suck! Go away mean people and leave us be with the blog we all love so much!

jane said...

don't let it get you down. lots of people like you. comments are part of being a blog.
i thought this was funny... joel stein piece on how he really doesn't want any comments, EVER.
another option i guess.

Patti-atti said...

I guess that anonymous person must be having a rough go right now - in life. I find that negativity can be something which forces others to lash out. Working in retail for a long time made it all too clear how easy it is for people to get satisfaction from treating other people like poo. I always think to myself, "wow, am I ever lucky I'm not them.. my life would have to be pretty crappy to treat others like that and... well, my karma isn't clouded with the fog of an elevator fart."

Good for you for calling it out, though. Some people say that you're only giving them what they're looking for - but I say that the air's a lot clearer around here!

Peace out!

Robin said...

My motto, taught to me by my dad: be nice to everyone, but don't take crap from anyone.

Well done standing up for yourself, let the nasty anons go roam in a blog less wonderful than yours.

Aartee said...

mean comments=plugging your ears or in this case eyes and yelling la la la la la la at the top of your lungs! If they can't even post their name it's not worth it!

Anonymous said...

I am so embarrased to say that I farted at a party this weekend..I was talking to so other girls and talk about a party FOUL!

Tara said...

Yeah, I can never understand the impulse to pass public judgment on someone else's life. I can bare muster the energy to comment even when I really care about something!

But mostly, I just had to share my own "elevator fart" story.... At work I once entered an empty elevator that was absolutely VILE. The previous occupant clearly had digestive issues that called for an emergency medical professional, and soon. Anyway, I rode my floors and stepped off, just as the scariest partner at the firm (truly a terrifying woman, and this was before her brother became a Supreme Court Justice) stepped on, took a sniff, and spun to glare at me. I wanted to cry that IT WASN'T ME, but it seemed childish and of course no one would believe the protestations anyway. So from that point on I could never again cross paths with the most powerful woman at the firm. And my career had been so promising to that point, sigh.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Personally - I've never understood nasty anonymous comments.

First of all - if you have something insightful to relate - take credit! What kind of satisfaction can you get from saying something but not letting anyone know that you said it. I am way too narcissistic for that.

Aside from a desire for attention though - what is the point of saying something unpleasant? If you're being constructive (which is often debatable) or just participating in a heated discussion about politics or gay marriage or the ridiculous quote Vogue assigned to Jennifer Aniston's December cover... Well, that's understandable. But seriously, vicious attacks are a bit overkill for a blog post. I've read my share of blogs that start to annoy me. I've found myself skipping over posts in my reader because the writing has started to bore me. But I don't see that as an opening to be cruel to the writer.

For me - it all comes down to two things. If you want to have your say, then you have to take responsibility for it. And if you have a negative opinion about someone's blog, then don't read it. It's a big internet out there - move on.

Petunia Face said...

See? Now this is the Petunia Face that I want to foster: love and fart stories, kumbaya. You all make my heart grow.

Erin said...

Ohh, man! After reading this I went back and read through the comments from the last few posts to see what you were talking about. That anon was an IDIOT! Probably someone we knew in high school who has always been jealous of how beautiful and loved (and, yes, popular -- lame word, but true)you have always been. What a miserable, insecure jerk. Sorry you've had to deal with this. Just remember, there are WAY more nice people in the world and on your blog than there are cowardly, anonymous losers!

Petunia Face said...

Oh Erin--that wasn't even the worst comment. I didn't publish the other one!
Happy happy joy joy! :)

Regardez Moi said...

Perfectly said. I get my share of mean comments and they always send me reeling. And for what? Why do I take these things personally when the anonyasshole who is writing doesn't know me at all? It's part of the reason I took a break from blogging. Just like how if I'm at a party and someone stinks up the room with a suspicious beef, I leave the room. You know, until the air has cleared. Then I go back in.

I decided not to moderate my comments because I'd still have to read hte negative ones either way (and can delete them even after they are posted) but I did disable anonymous commenters. I didn't want to, but... I had to. Getting anxiety when I see in my email inbox that I have a comment from anonymous is NOT why I am blogging. I have enough anxiety in my life - I don't need it here, in my space.

Sooo... we love you. Eff the haters. They are dumb. And you know what? I don't want their feedback, constructive or otherwise. Not if they are just being mean for the sake of mean.

Ok, that's all.

monkey said...

i love onion dip.
but if i come over, do i have to wear that suit?
because i will.

Petunia Face said...

monkey--yes, please wear that suit. Somebody has to. I'll provide you a can of talcum powder.

Everyone else--thank you for your kindness.

And I still accept ANONYMOUS comments. Just not cruel ones :)For now--we'll see how this goes.

That Girl Designs said...

I enjoy your blog, so why doesn't everyone else? I mean if I think its great, than it must be!

Sorry you have had a few nasties! Try to giggle and take pity on their poor, poor souls.

Sarah said...

There really are some awful, hateful people out there. I love your blog, don't change a thing about it.
I hope the comment you deleted wasn't anything mean about Zoey cuz I may have to kick some ass!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you're having to go through this. I finally got tired of similar things happening (on my previous blog), only I knew who they were...and they just happen to be related. I made my blog private, and started this new one that I absolutely love. I know how you feel, and I hope they'll get the hint and leave you alone.

benson said...

hey susannah-
this is what i think we should do. we find the anonymous' ip address and track him or her down and then maybe a little something like this:
the lost ending of "suspicious beef".

Jessie said...

If we were on a playground, I'd smush their faces in the sand under the stinky slide!

Nobody messes with my friend Susannah...

...and I MEAN NOBODY!!!

The Lil Bee said...

I f'ing love you and your suspicious beef and your surreal estate and Febreeze. THANK YOU for being you!! And those idiot anonymous posters are hiding behind a cowardly cloak of you-can't-see-me-but-my-farts-still-stink brand of bullshit!! You might be "invisible" but everyone knows that the worst farts are of the silent-but-deadly variety. Suckas.

Oh, one more thing, I am REALLY good on harmonica and even better on the mic (six Ketel Sodas deep), so I'd like to be considered for the Suspicious Beef World Tour 2009.

Suspicious Bee(f)

Judy said...

Yes and Amen to you and you and you and all.....All of you who have the dedication and courage to blog, well, you have my support and my awe. And those of you, like me, who don't blog but LOVE to visit and interact with such an incredible community of readers and people who have the guts to sign their names-even if they disagree and do so with respect, you all ROCK. I've seen a lot of things in my time but I have NEVER seen the phenomenon that is blogging-at least as I have come to know it through Susannah and all of you fine friends. Who knew that the vast, cold, lawless, wild, untamed internet could serve to succor a group like this one with it's many, many tentacles spanning so many people, so many ideas, such a wealth of, not only talent, but warmth and support! Never, would I have looked to the internet for this and yet, here it is.

I hate and despise the gutless wonders that sneak in and shit on such well-intentioned, lovely, awesome writers and commentors here and elsewhere.

Tell you what, the second you open an anonymous fartmail, just close it and forward to me. I need an outlet to be "not nice" badly through the day. Responding to such Assholes would give me the opportunity. As Satchel Paige said, "Don't look back, the bastards may be gaining on you!"
Love you and love your friends!

JackeeG4glamorous said...

Ninja stars to they ANON eyes! Get outta this space-pizza face, and all that jazz.

Farts and all fart comments are much more fun to converse about. And honestly, there's only one thing worse than beef farts....popcorn farts.

Course I don't pass them, I just smell gas, if you must ask? Estee Lauder could bottle it.

Visual Vamp said...

Aw those anon farts are the worse.
They stink up a blog for just a little while, until you air out the joint.
So thanks for the airing out.
The blogging rooms need it once in awhile.
xo xo

corine said...

"You are not for everybody" .. but you sure are for me.

I suspect anonymous are like that mom who pretended to be a boy and seduced this teenage girl who ended up committing suicide. You know, really awful, awful people who are also cowards. (this is the bitter me who gets her share of vile anon visitors speaking.)

betsy said...

That! That's what I can't get my brain around. I have been an online gamer since the mid nineties and this stuff has been going on since then. Of course we did not have blogs back then and we knew who was attacking us verbally, we had no annon to hide behide. People feel protected and sheilded by their own actions by the wall of technology. There are no repurcussions. No one is going to get called out in public. Remember, little lurkers, we are not invited to read someone's blog. We do that on own on. So, if you don't like it, get the hell out. We LIKE it here. What we don't like is YOU. Your kind makes my head implode. Farts do too, occassionally but I digress.......

kristinimartini said...

wow. i am stunned at how people can behave this way and hide behind anonymity. obviously they too are afraid of criticism themselves since they won't own what they've said.

Capri said...

Yes, anonymous flamers are cowards, there's no doubt about that, ditto for anybody who thinks they can get away with sending unwanted flaming private email. I believe in exposing such idiots as far and wide as possible.

I happened on your blog when working on something else, and can be a real sass myself at times - but not usually w/o good reason, and will tear into anyone without mercy if I catch them trolling and can't do anything else about it.

I have waged battles against numbskull trolls and whooped their arses only to watch them crash and burn, and laugh at them. One such pathetic dim twat years ago tried to get me to give him moderator status on a mailing list I was running at the time. I refused. He went nuts and started trying to post junk to the list. I wouldn't let it go through, and banned his addy. He subscribed again under another ID and started again. And again, he was kicked off. He thought he could get away with sending me flaming private email. I posted them to the list and some of the members laughed and ridiculed him. He kept joining under different addies, and one of his last desperate and most laughable attempts at winning me over was to send me a love letter! Roflol No kidding! I laughed in his face and posted it to the list. Then he really got mad. When I banned his last addy, he finally gave up. But I haven't forgotten him, his misdeeds are up on display at the rotters wiki, along with several other low-lifes who thought they could get away with anonymous online bullying against people, communities, and lists. I don't just go after anyone who ticks me off. If their bad behaviorr crosses my monitor, they're in for it.

It's good to see a blog where people are sounding off about these people. Most places are full of people who just want to sweep it under the rug and not allow themselves to laugh at, vent about etc. online bullies, while other sites have mods that let these brats get away with way too much for too long. If the brats want to get laughs at our expense, I definitely think we should do likewise and turn the tables and their own game against them. :)

Elements of Style said...

I so agree- I get mean comments all the time and wonder "If you dislike me and what I stand for so much then why are you READING MY BLOG???" :)
Delete, delete.

Baking With Plath said...

I don't understand what these mean anonymous people think they are going to accomplish. It's just so...juvenile.

We all like you just the way you are, anyhow. :]

Kwana said...

Very well said. I can't stand those ANONs that hide behind that and spew their venom. Cowards! Sorry you have to moderate like that but it's your blog and you'll do what you have to. Much love.

Patois said...

I cannot imagine a better analogy for mean anonymous comments than elevator farters. I'm damn impressed.

zakary said...

That's why I stopped reading/commenting on certain design blog...too many hateful ass ANONs.

It was messing with my mofo.

Hope you have a lovely, non-commment drama filled week!


Chessa said...

I followed you here from Bee and I'm so happy I did. I've been away for a few days and have finally had time to catch up at all my favorite places and this is now one of them! I loved your guest post!

I have just officially procrastinated (I'm VERY good at it) here for over 45 minutes. sigh. I'm happy to add another fabulous and fun place to my blog roll.

I can't stand those spineless anon commenters. If you're going to be an a-hole at least have the guts to be honest about it. cowards.

sorry someone farted. that's awful. My mother is terribly claustrophobic and hates elevators all together and she is the kind of person who would openly reprimand the person for passing gas in a public place. And if she didn't say something verbally, she'd definitely give you the "face" - the "are you effin' kidding me?!" face. She's good at that too. Yesterday on our flight back to NY she started shh-shing the guy who was snoring in the row in front of her. This sparked a lot of laughter in our row and the row in front of us which in turn woke up the offender - so it worked!

this is the longest first comment on a blog ever.

Richie Designs said...

who are they? point them out! I will go kick their ass RIGHT NOW!!

seriously, mean people suck.

don't like it...don't read JUST GO AWAY. we don't need you here.

essee said...

suspicious beef is an amazing band name.

Reluctant Housewife said...

Anonymous smack-downs are so not cool. It's just people trying to make you feel small because they're so small themselves - If they weren't they'd have the balls to put their name behind their thoughts.

I don't blame you for moderating them out! No reason you should have to put up with that.