April 20, 2011

By writing on the web, you can toughen up to the point where you can stand your ground in the physical space that is dominated by people who feel physically and intellectually invulnerable.

That's what I say, in this dialogue with Dahlia Litwick, who feels much the same way...

... except that when I say there's a wall you need to bust through because there's freedom on the other side, she says she doesn't know if she's through the wall. "I think my head's sticking out one side of the wall and my feet are at the other end." I pictured this:

Also in that clip is a comparison of the Wisconsin protesters to the Westboro Baptist Church protesters, whose free-speech right to protest near soldiers' funerals was upheld recently in Snyder v. Phelps. Unlike the Wisconsin protesters who sought to drown out Sarah Palin's speech, the protesters in Phelps took care not to disrupt the funeral:
The record confirms that any distress occasioned by Westboro’s picketing turned on the content and viewpoint of the message conveyed, rather than any interference with the funeral itself....

Here, Westboro stayed well away from the memorial service. Snyder could see no more than the tops of the signs when driving to the funeral. And there is no indication that the picketing in any way interfered with the funeral service itself.


windbag said...

Just the other day I was doing a compare/contrast in my mind using the WI protesters and Westboro. It doesn't say much for you if Fred Phelps has more class than you. It says less about Dem leadership for not calling out those cretins, and it says even less about the MSM for not jumping on it.

Scott M said...

in the physical space that is dominated by people who feel physically and intellectually invulnerable.

AA, can you expand on what you mean by "the physical space" and "physically and intellectually invulnerable"? Are you saying that writing on the web better equips you to go toe-to-toe with people in real life?

Quayle said...

Why isn't one or both of you in your pajamas?

I thought that was a prerequisite for blogging.

I want more pajamas in bloggingheads!

shoutingthomas said...

Althouse, I sincerely doubt if you were ever quite the shrinking violet you've imagined yourself to once have been.

But, I'm glad that the web gave you a place to make your ideas more concrete.

I wonder whether your invulnerable position as a public employee with tenure doesn't have more to do with your sense of assurance.

How long has it been since you had to keep your mouth shut to keep your job? Like the rest of us.

You continue to express support for the childish dress up antics of Madison public employees and students. Once again, I think that the base from which you speak is knowing that you are exempt from getting your ass kicked on the job.

Like the rest of us.

Shouting Thomas said...

And, Althouse, the ultimate irony...

The "hostile workplace environment" and "sexual harassment" frenzy promoted by feminists is precisely what made the office a frozen tundra for the rest of us.

The rest of us can't say shit, courtesy of you and your political allies.

This is sort of like the "civility bullshit" you talk about so much.

You are free to say whatever you please. The rest of us have to STFU and refrain from even tacking a picture up on the wall of the cube, or face the ire of the feminist bitch in HR.

Ironic, huh? But, you won, and in politics, I guess that's all that matters.

I have found a resolution to this, however. I work at home.

Ut said...

Shhhhh. The secret is that these thugs are the best thing that ever happened to the Tea Party.

We don't have to convince Americans that they've elected thugs and gangsters. We just have to show them the video.

And the video never lies.

Scott M said...

The rest of us have to STFU and refrain from even tacking a picture up on the wall of the cube, or face the ire of the feminist bitch in HR.

I take it you've never worked in the trucking side of the transportation/logistics industry.

Shouting Thomas said...

I take it you've never worked in the trucking side of the transportation/logistics industry.

No, I haven't. Please tell me about it. You mean, there's still a place where men can live and talk like men without some crazy feminist bitch demanding that they castrate themselves?

ricpic said...

Where's Tigger?

Timothy said...

I know this isn't what you blogged about, but can we just talk about Winnie the Pooh instead?

Scott M said...

You mean, there's still a place where men can live and talk like men without some crazy feminist bitch demanding that they castrate themselves?

The women therein would make you blush, trust me.

rhhardin said...

Althouse takes pretty mild positions. Position taking isn't her thing.

Commenters take positions.

Any toughening up came from bringing up topics and failing to take the academic lefty line

rhhardin said...

I always enjoyed the hard feminist line at work.

You can get a fine reaction at the lunch table with the simplest innocent, if calculated, remark.

Paul Zrimsek said...

If you're calling Lithwick a Legal Commentator of Very Little Brain, you won't find much argument here.

Quayle said...

Althouse takes pretty mild positions. Position taking isn't her thing.

Perhaps on certain subject matters, but hell hath no furry like Ann Althouse misquoted or opposed by another blogger.

By far the longest posts out there. This lady may be from Delaware, but she's got that fighting Jersey girl spirit.

Luke Lea said...

The left has been intolerant of speech with which it disagrees for some time now, especially on campuses (which is what the whole town of Madison appears to be).

The frightening thing is that when the right gets fed up and decides to retaliate in kind, they are far, far more effective. Think Wiemar Republic.

The cow-bell ringers are their own agent provocateurs.

Luke Lea said...

That was supposed to be "Weimar" Republic. I had it right but spell-check said no!

Paddy O said...

1 Samuel 17

32 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”

33 Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”

34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The LORD who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”

Phil 3:14 said...

I've been around these conversations before.

Uh oh, the women are kvetching again.. getting into their sisterhood. I'll just ease on out and go watch the game

wordsmith2 said...

The point about the challenge of putting yourself out there is true of any kind of writing that you make public. Toughening up is difficult, though. Do you buy into the idea that any publicity is good publicity, or do you want everyone to like what you write?

So here's some self-promotion, although not in the inimitable style of Trooper York:

You can help support the Althouse blog and also have an enjoyable read during this return-of-winter week if you use her link to go to Amazon and buy my novel, titled "Homegrown Muse," a contemporary romance set in sunny Phoenix.

Phil 3:14 said...

As for the Phelps comparison, it doesn't work for me.

Phelps is interested in getting publicity and he knows if he just sets up shop on a street corner he'll be just one more crazy shouting to nobody. But if he protests next to a dead soldier's funeral then he'll get great media play. No need to drown out the ceremony.

OTOH the Wisc anti-Tea Party protesters were about drowning out the speeches. I'd even go so far as to say media coverage of their protests weren't all that important. It was also a rallying point for the faithful.

So no, I don't think the Phelps comparison is apt.

Chip S. said...

What's that weird-looking peripheral that Lithwick keeps holding to the side of her head?

Chip Ahoy said...

What an awesome comparison Westboro makes. I hadn't thought of that myself. It allows the conclusion that clown posse shouters are worse than the worst of the worst.

Chris said...

In "In Which Pooh Goes Visiting and Gets into a Tight Place," Pooh had his head stuck on the outside of Rabbit's house, not the inside. I didn't remember it happening the other way around.

Chris said...

I think that picture must be of when Pooh arrives, not when he gets stuck later.

PaulV said...

AA is bed with Meadw and the new Meadia, for sure.
The Madison Westboro hillbillies is what it is.

PaulV said...

Typo, it slould be

AA is bed with Meade and the new Meadia, for sure.
The Madison Westboro hillbillies is what it is.

There is no Meadw, only Meade and mead to drink.

Carol_Herman said...

Well, perhaps, for the "folks who wanted to hear," Sarah Palin should have done what Ann Coulter does all the time! Speak inside college space. Speak inside an auditorium. That way anyone who disrupts speech on private property can be thrown out by the HIRED bouncers.

Or the cops can be called ... so a comedy routine can also be done ... call it the Keystones. First, one of them carries in a big ladder. Once in the middle of an aisle ... slowly they turn.

Does SIZE matter? Had more people turned out ... would this hav cut into the antics of the thugs?

We're way past this event's 15 minutes. Sarah Palin did something no other republican has done ... And, The Donald (Trump0 hasn't done either.

And, if you measured the story ... Palin's story is being discussed now, LATER ... while Trump didn't gain, or add, to what everyone now knows. Though Trump is the better candidate.

People have free speech rights.

Madison has the nicest people!

That thugs get bussed in? At union rates they really are NOT hard workers!

And, "dealing with them" will be something people will discuss. Since a thug, grabbing for your camera. Or making loud and rude noises ... might not get any further than Code Pink? Or remember Cindy Sheehan? Maybe, that's why the thugs have added muscle?

While there was a funeral for a fallen marine (sgt. Rogers), in Mississippi this weekend. And, the Yosemite Sam of "religion" ... the kooks from the baptist church ... were gonna come to the funeral and scream out their gay gibberish.

Townspeople took matters into their own hands. When the "church members" got together in an empty lot (to hand out their vulgar signs), and to plan their route of attack ... it was on private property. So, the cops got called. And, arrested everyone there for tresspass.

Then? At motels that had cars parked with Kansas license plates ... a few big truckers came and parked their trucks, blocking the car's path OUT of the space. The drivers couldn't be found for hours.

Calls to the cops? They were at the cemetary keeping the peace. Which they did very well.

Oh, those who got arrested for trespass? Were houses for hours, because there were no extra-cops to send in who could interview them. (It was like an EST meeting, if you remember those.)

Yes, there are bozos out there.

Yes, when the cops play to them, and not to the thousands who came to hear Sarah, the one lesson you can take back ... is that the cops in Madison are worse than Keystone cops.

Shakespeare was right about keeping your reputation clean.

On the other hand? The people who produced the Keystone cops still make money. While no one who acted these scenes out gets paychecks in the mail. Why is that? It took lawyers time to figure out the contracts you needed if work you did keeps circulating.

Or else, like here, it's free.

Scott M said...

Paxil, much?

bagoh20 said...

I think Madison got lucky. Some of what I saw via video seemed on the verge of violence. There were definitely some people there who would have preferred kicking some tea party ass. It's a testament to Madison people that these individuals felt it would not be well received there, and that's what stopped it. The left really hate these people. It's an ugly side of humanity that it can hate so strongly with so little reason.

I think all the civility bullshit has actually provided a residual layer of protection.

Chip S. said...

Typo, it slould be...

Now this is the sort of irony that I can detect.

Smilin' Jack said...

That's what I say, in this dialogue with Dahlia Litwick...

Since you feel the need to tell us what was said, I think you're finally starting to realize that no one actually watches this BH crap. No one is going to watch an hour of stammering blather to extract content that could be read in a minute. So why not just post transcripts of the interesting parts to start with? There's a reason that "talking heads" is a pejorative term in the broadcast industry.

Carol_Herman said...

You know, I'm not a lawyer. And, heck, I hardly have much respect for most of them.

But a few are worth the price of admission.

Still, without being a lawyer, I have my own view of PHELPS. It was the case that was supposed to be LOST! And, then, we'd have watched Free Speech going down the toilet.

No. I don't want law enforcement! I actually want to keep FREE SPEECH! People get good at drowning out the thugs ... even if they're marching in unison ... throwing up their right arm, stiffly. (Which was the way the American flag got forceability saluted by American kids till 1942) ... when a smarter justice on the supreme-O's wrote: "You don't have to force love of country. You just have to get out of the way." FREE SPEECH RULES.

The Westboro nutjobs brought out the best in a Mississippi county, that laid to rest one of their own heroes. Sgt. Rogers.

Everyone in town made sure the "kansas nuts" from Westboro ... got their just deserts.

Never, ever take an empty lot for granted! Do you need to see a "Don't Trespass" sign first?

Well, short-handed police arrested as many of these vermin as they could. But when the funeral was over ... and, the arrestee's had spent hours and hours in jail ...

Unlike Saddam, or Q-Daffy, the paperwork dropped. And, these morons were free to go.

You know, there wasn't a single scratch on their cars! No one stuck a knife in any of their tires.

And, most surprising of all, no one peed into their gas tanks.

Free to go! Bye-bye.

To disrupt local events ... when everyone in the community has their eyeballs out. Well, "having an advantage" wouldn't be Westboro's motto. The Yosemite Sam's of religion.

Carol_Herman said...

It's Lithwick. Where the hell did the "H" go?

Scott M said...

I think all the civility bullshit has actually provided a residual layer of protection.

Possibly, but I think it has a lot to do with the people involved. The type of person that engages politically is probably also web-savvy. If you're web-savvy, you know flipcams and such are ubiquitous. This is the layer, I believe, that keeps things non-violent, if not civil, when ten years ago or so, it would have come to blows. Web people know things go viral and count as evidence.

Carol said...

"Think Wiemar Republic. "

Wait, I thought the Nazis (reacting to Weimar excesses) were also on the left, according to Jonah Goldberg.

So confusing.

Scott M said...

So confusing.

It's actually blindingly simple, but doesn't get discussed much as such. The further left you go, the more you favor government solutions. The extreme of this is absolute tyranny. The further right you go, the less you favor government solutions. The extreme right of this is anarchy.

PaulV said...

Carol, what is the difference between national socialists and international socialists. It is not
worth a bucket of warm spit.

galdosiana said...

Carol said:
Speak inside college space. Speak inside an auditorium.

And good luck trying to find that for Sarah Palin in Madison! Heck, I am actually still shocked that the Midwest Horse Fair is held each year at the Alliant Energy Center. For one weekend a year, southeastern Madison is graced with the presence of cowboy hats, boots, ropin', ridin' and good ol' country music. Maybe she should have tried to get a booth and presentation time there! It was going on at the same time as her speech on Saturday!

Moose said...

I have issues with Althouse's comments that men use women's "fragility" to dominate them. The thing is, other women use it too. Men yell - women can perceive this anyway they want, and often incorrectly.
People have huge protective mechanisms available to them *if they're smart enough to use them*. So this is more a matter of intelligence than just developing a think skin.

Stephen A. Meigs said...

I have noticed the same phenomenon. I remember when I first argued for my ideas (~15 years ago) on message boards and internet forums, people would try to make me feel violated. They would not only try to make it seem that my arguments have lost but also that my having lost the argument was tantamount to having been violated. I remember one particular nasty saying that [I lost the argument so bad] my rectum was going to be bloody. This was all sort of unsettling at first, but after not a very long time of practice in dealing with that sort of thing (along with concomitant understanding), the techniques don't faze me at all.

As regards matters not endangering their own innocence, people tend to be too hesitant to jump in. People rightly suspect that it is important not to get screwed up by dealing rashly with matters having the capacity to screw them up. But most people are rather clueless about what has the capacity to screw themselves up, so they end up having rabbit like timidity about starting things wrongly even when starting wrongly has very little chance of actually causing one to fall into some sort of depraved addiction. So yes, in the ordinary matters where there is little risk of getting sodomized, people tend to be too careful and shy about jumping in.

That said, there are a few issues of such fundamental nature that being somewhat careful about not getting things wrong at the start is important notwithstanding depravity is irrelevant. Take logic. Logic is very fundamental, and if one learns something the wrong way and gets into a habit of understanding the subject the wrong way, the erroneous way of looking at the subject can get so deeply engraved in one's brain that finding the correct way of viewing things becomes excessively confused and hopeless. I am quite convinced the whole notion of semantics popular in modern mathematical logic is just a wrong notion that yet has sufficient resemblance to the correct syntactical notion, that having thought too much using the wrong notion makes it near impossible to discover the right notion. Because I didn't study logic beyond what I wanted to when I studied math, I actually think I am well positioned to discover what is the right way of looking at the matter, which I actually think I mostly know already, and which further study in logic would not have helped me to discover. (The only significant thing I had to figure out on my own that has already been written about is the importance of allowing semisets, which I probably wouldn't have read about anyway since outside of a few Czech set theorists, no one much cares about them--and such writings as exist on internet about semisets are gushy and enthusiastic and basicallly in a style that would not have attracted me to reading them).

Anyway, after pushing through a wall, it is probably wise to reflect on one's theories about one's feelings about pushing through walls, and if one can't make good sense of them, maybe it is best to pause and further consider the feelings generated by the having pushed through the wall, lest one introduces errors into one's fundamental notions of the feelings generated by pushing through walls, which errors, though not likely to be consequential if not becoming so repeated as to become habits, yet might become consequential if they often are introduced as givens into one's future thoughts.

Trooper York said...

I think you ask Titus but I don't think that's how a glory hole works.

Chuck66 said...

Ut, good point. About the videos helping the Tea Party activists.

Evidence: the worse a video shows the left's behavior, the more, almost panicked, comments the liberals enter in comment sections. They know damage is being done to their cause.

Trooper York said...

Now the time has finally arrived for Tigger to run for king of the jungle. His only competition was Penelope who was a very ordinary pussycat who was only popular because of her husband Pepe Le Pew. And he wasn’t even a cat, he was a skunk. His sexual misadventures were infamous, but he still was very popular in the jungle. Tigger had a lot of energy and he knew if he just offered change he could get a lot of votes especially from the young people. I mean why would they vote for his two rivals. An ordinary pussycat who never did anything in her life but cling to her husbands skunk tail or the other party’s nominee, the octogenarian Old Deuteronomy who was only famous for being tortured by Marlon Perkins during the fourth season of Wild Kingdom. The election was his to lose.
(The Tigger of the Narcissus, Joe Conrad Klein)

deborah said...

Moose said:
"People have huge protective mechanisms available to them *if they're smart enough to use them*. So this is more a matter of intelligence than just developing a think skin."

Will you please elaborate?

MamaM said...

So Pooh pushed and pushed and pushed his way through the hole and at last he got in

The illustration shown pictures Pooh pushing to get in to visit Rabbit, which fits AA's description of the process which brought her to a new place. The part in the story about getting stuck happens on Pooh's exit as Chris points out. It fits Dahlia's description of her experience.

Oh, help! said Pooh, I'd better go back
Oh, bother! said Pooh. I shall have to go on.

There is no return, but as Rabbit wisely states,
"... having got so far, it seems a pity to waste it."
Bear began to sign and then found he couldn't because he was so tightly stuck; and a tear rolled down his eye, as he said: "Then would you read a Sustaining Book, such as would comfort a Wedged Bear in a Great Tightness?"

Sustaining Blogs serve a similar purpose. As I read Althouse, I receive encouragement from observing curious and creative people engage and stand ground.

MadisonMan said...

So A A Milne is really Ann Althouse Milne?

vbspurs said...

PaulV wrote:

There is no Meadw, only Meade and mead to drink.

There's also "Belle Meade", I recently found out, near Tampa, Florida. I wonder if Laurence named his daughter that, because it's pretty.

vbspurs said...

Carol wrote:

Wait, I thought the Nazis (reacting to Weimar excesses) were also on the left, according to Jonah Goldberg.

So confusing.

You'll never guess who were the fiercest opponents to Joseph Stalin, Carol. Trotskyites. Yes, imagine that! Far lefties totally opposed to Far lefties. Weird, huh?

Of course, this only doesn't make sense to people who think that the natural opponents of one group have to be diametrically opposed to them, else it's a lie or mistaken.

vbspurs said...

Bagoh20 wrote:

I think all the civility bullshit has actually provided a residual layer of protection.

I may be completely wrong about this, and I'll demur to any Madisonian who disagrees with me, but despite the "who are you to lecture me, you effin brat" guy, I never once got the sense that the Madisonian protests were made up of physically violent people. On the contrary, as much as I laughed about their getups, they struck me as nice, Midwestern folk who simply had a beef different than mine.

This isn't to say there weren't elements who could turn violent. But more than likely, they were out-of-towners, in my opinion.

Now, Berkeley, California...that's another kettle of fish.

traditionalguy said...

The combat experience does accustom one to combat. If there is a secret to combat, it is learning to keep your mind alert to action going on without allowing fears to distract you. Famous summation of this is , "Fear is a useless emotion, unless you can instill it into your opponent." In the end we are always one on one with an opponent.

Moose said...

@deborah - when you come to realize what people really are, how they interact, why people "bully" other people, you start to understand how to interact with people, whether they are online or in your face. Althouse and Meade for instance have learned that if they act in a certain way in public - as in don't react to people trying to make them react, they can weather most any confrontation. Within bounds of course.
People skills tend to fall into the old adage, "Ignorance is correctable but stupidity is forever". When you learn people's limits, it gets easier to communicate, particularly when you learn the difference between talking at someone vs. with someone.
Unfortunately commenting on blog posts tends to be more of the former than the latter.

deborah said...

Thanks, Moose.

chickelit said...

Hooray! Hooray! Hooray for you and me!
The poo will soon be free!

Sheesh, you all sound like you're missing Titus already or something.

Victoria said...

(OT) Egad! I posted a reply on the Texas thread, and saw it eaten by Blogger. But when I posted a plea to Ann for her to undelete it, what do I see, but Blogger changed my ID from "vbspurs" to "Victoria"! WTF.

I'll only know if it happens again, when I hit send now...

Victoria said...

(This is bad, bad, Blogger)

It's also confusing because there's a dippy chick here who posts as Victoria, too, and I sure as hell don't want to be confused with her.

So...here goes the only way to tell the difference, until Blogger rectifies this.

--> Cheers,
--> Victoria

chickelit said...

@vbspurs: Is that you or an imposter?

Send me a DM on Twitter.

Victoria said...

It's me, I tell you! Wow, now I know what it feels like to Grand Duchess Anastasia. Oh wait, she turned out to be an impostor. Drat!

(I'm off for now. Hope this gets fixed)


Scott M said...

Wow, now I know what it feels like to Grand Duchess Anastasia.

I think you look more like the Chrysler building.

vbspurs said...

Slim and pointy. Thanks, Scott!

...turns out someone tried to access my account. I've rectified it, and when I press send now, we should all see "vbspurs" back. If not, gulp.

Sorry to bother folks with this.


chickelit said...

I think you look more like the Chrysler building.

Art decorum?

Scott M said...

Art decorum?

No. The "Keep It Gay" scene from The Producers.

edutcher said...

Ann Althouse said...

I say there's a wall you need to bust through because there's freedom on the other side

First, I think the screenshot of Ann from the bloggingheads shows how this subject animates her. Rarely does she look that enthused and excited.

Second, what she said reminded me of the motto of Christopher George (of Rat Patrol fame), "Go to the heart of danger, for there you will find safety". Pericles said it a bit differently, "Courage is the secret of a happy heart".

I've noticed The Blonde has a similar attitude.

In Ann's case, I think blogging, and parrying comments, has shown her the worth not only of her ideas, but also the hidden reserves of strength she has as a person.

The only way we learn this about ourselves is to face some trial or criticism and find we can master it and justify ourselves. The Nanny State would rob us of it - which seems to be its intent.

Richard Dolan said...

I thought of this post when reading a review of a new bio of Susan Sontag. According to the reivew, the author (Sigrid Nunez) comments:

"Even more striking, though, is Nunez's sympathetic treatment of how gender warped Sontag's work and life. For Nunez, Sontag's not being a man left her vulnerable to public ridicule -- and perhaps even made her into the tantrum-thrower she was. "Was it because she was a woman that people felt they could address her like this," Nunez asks after yet another audience member has viciously harangued her."

"Nunez describes Sontag's many efforts to keep up with the boys; she never carried a purse, for example, and ridiculed Nunez for putting Tampax in hers. Back then, it seems, playing a man in drag was the only thing a woman in the all-male world of the New York Jewish intellectuals could do."

I guess that's how Sontag "toughened up" in the time before writing on the web came along.

Scott M said...

Back then, it seems, playing a man in drag was the only thing a woman in the all-male world of the New York Jewish intellectuals could do.

So that's where Hillary's fashion sense comes from.

vbspurs said...

Richard Dolan wrote:

I guess that's how Sontag "toughened up" in the time before writing on the web came along.

I read that Simone de Beauvoir would alienate other Frenchwomen as a young woman, because they mocked her need to be one of the "boys" in the Sartre set at university. She would use coarse language, drink, and carouse until the wee hours.

But you know, I never got a butch sense from de Beauvoir, like Susan Sontag, so it might've been a phase. She certainly liked dressing up, makeup and I'm certain she had Kotexes in her Herm├Ęs handbag.

(Both women were bisexual, but I think Simone was more heterosexual than Sontag. It does play a role)

EDH said...

"By writing on the web, you can toughen up..."

Sorry, I just couldn't resist:

Toughened your nipples, didn't it?

Tomas said...

A soldier's funeral and a political rally are (or, ought to be) two rather different kinds of events.

Penny said...

Moose said...

"People have huge protective mechanisms available to them *if they're smart enough to use them*. So this is more a matter of intelligence than just developing a think skin."

LOVE the typo "think skin" for "thick skin"!

Or was it a typo?

Developing a "think skin", sounds much more appealing.

Perhaps if we did just that, we'd spend more time taking down walls than busting through them?

Crystal Kelley said...

A local lefty blogger with whom I have developed a cordial relationship sent me the link to this video after I reacted badly when a commenter on his blog called me illiterate. I then received a very mean-spirited (well, cruel, actually) comment on a very heartfelt blog post I wrote called, "The Gift of Unemployment," which chronicled the positive things my family found though two years of my husband's being unemployed. I shot back at the message with at least two guns blazing, and I was not kind. After admitting to my lefty blogger friend that I need to grow a thicker skin, he sent me here. I am a very sensitive person, pre-programmed, like so many, to be "approval seeking." I do feel that through this experience, though painful, I am at least approaching "the wall" you spoke of and I feel just a little more empowered to try to "get to the free zone" after watching your video. Thanks. It's not fun to be a thin-skinned blogger. Funny, when I write, I rarely hold back, but when I am personally attacked, I flip. I can endure people disagreeing with my opinions all day long, but I don't think it should escalate into personal attacks, as it often does. Again, thanks for your perspective about skin.