Yesterday on dooce, Heather and hubby Jon lambasted a select few who had, at some time, sent her nasty or critical e-mails or left similar messages on her blog. Lacking her usual charm and wit, she displayed the messages as a post in themselves and STRUCK BACK! in the most benign and lazy of ways: She responded to their comments by spinning jokes off their choices of words, making fun of their use of the English language and, the old standby, telling one angry sot he just needs to get laid.
Of course, some of the people who posted were obviously religious nutbags who couldn't string a sentence together if you did most of the work for them. And most of the people also didn't seem to know enough about their own language to get punctuation and spelling right, either. These imperfections didn't get past the scrutinizing eyes of Heather and her most ardent of fans, cronies, brainwashed lemmings and blind ambassadors, the 100 billion fans who are served on her site every day. Heather and her witchdoocery have become a force to be reckoned with, y'all, and ya best not fuck with the dooce...or her peeps.
I must have coincidentally clicked onto her site the instant she posted that message yesterday. I immediately logged in to leave a comment relating to her topic of choice but one that had to do with my own site and the couple of shitheads who have enjoyed leaving cruel and offensive messages here, messages I didn't try and pretend never existed by immediately deleting them as Heather might have done.
Seconds later, my message appeared on her site, but, guess what? I was already number 11. That's high up on the chain for me there as far as messages are concerned, though, don't get me wrong. Her fans are everywhere, and they are eager to comment on her every breath, her every word, her every thought. Being a fan of the dooce myself, I've left a few messages in the past. This time, I was number 11 among 591 others who had something to say about this particular rant of hers. The others echoed her sentiments and gushed about their love for her and her husband, daughter and pooch. In their eyes, it seems, Heather can never do any wrong.
I think Heather is funny. I think Heather is charming. I think Heather is incredibly lucky to have the life that she does. I think she is brave for getting away from the church. I think she is cool for not being ashamed of her depression. I think she is entertaining. I think she is a good mom. But I don't know if she is taking her readers seriously enough, because some of the people she so immediately dismisses may, just may, have a point.
Here's my criticism: Heather plays it safe. I like Heather's style of writing and her sense of humor, but I would hardly consider her to be as controversial as she seems to think she is. Maybe she is controversial in the atmosphere in which she lives, but she's speaking to an audience that spans the globe. Her readers aren't just morons or ex-morons (yes, I spelled it right) in Utah. They come from Canada, Japan, Australia, California, Georgia, New York, Colorado, Texas - all over this country and all over the world.
Dooce has the visibility to really shake things up. To take a stand, to sometimes be a voice of reason in a really shitty world where men, women and children are being abused and killed on the streets and in their homes, senseless wars are being fought, millions are going hungry and homeless, the masses don't want to learn and the government doesn't care what you or I have to say about any of it.
Heather could learn from her readers be they hostile or friendly or somewhere in between. But, sadly, it seems you're either with her or against her. For her, and for her fans, there simply is no debate.
Note: This post has been amended since its initial publication to more accurately reflect my viewpoint.