I just want to clarify something about my modus operandi as a blogger and as a person. I am not a mean guy. I really do try to avoid hurting others. But I also have a wicked sense of humour, and like many of my original compatriots (the Brits), it is based on a kind of sardonic mockery with lashings of wordplay. Plus, it runs pretty gallows, too. Sorry, not gonna apologise for that. I just want to put it on record that, if I poke fun at something you feel is uncomfortably close to a personal attack, please please approach me privately and ask. I do not bite, other than playfully, and 99 times out of 100, you'll find I am just messing around, nothing unkind or offensive meant. If I have a problem with an individual, I will approach that individual. At risk of sounding complacent, this is what grown-ups are supposed to do, yeah?
Now, when a controversial issue crosses my radar and I recognise a bunch of folks are getting butthurt over it—legitimately or not—sometimes I will parody or satirize the entire topic in a blog post. To kind of blow it up, make it transparent. This doesn't mean I'm taking a position, necessarily. It means I am acknowledging it as a point of contention and using humour to defuse the tension a little. It's how I play. Test how it feels to be on either side of the fence. Or simply on the fence, splinters and all. Which is how I learn. Splinters in one's glutei work wonders that way.
To be honest, it feels kind of weird that I'm having to spell this out, but it seems there are some fellow interwebizens (yes, I just made that word up) who missed the memo that by employing enough snarkology we can sometimes illuminate or otherwise get to grips with a hot issue. I mean, do they live in a world somehow scrubbed of all traces of Jon Stewart? Or Eric Cartman, for that matter? As an example, I mentioned recently a post I wrote for Indies Unlimited that mocked internet collectives who scam writers and set themselves up as phony "experts". Well, yeah. And I still stand by that, of course. Snake oil salesmen deserve all the censure and ridicule we can muster. Unfortunately, those who are not selling snake oil can also feel they're being targeted. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you're not exploiting my fellow writers and are offering a reasonable service, fair play to you. Because look, although I am not even decided on the issue of whether these new "gatekeepers" can have any positive impact, I'm also not convinced they won't.
So, given my ambivalence, when I am able to take advantage of a free promotional opportunity to use one of these ventures for my own book, it is not hypocritical. And even if it were, so what? Show me someone who hasn't accepted his or her contradictions and I'll show you a very restricted and binary thinker. Cut me some slack here and I'll promise to return the favour.
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