Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Art of the Succinct Reply

My pal, Ho Lee Zhit, recently groaned while reading a blog post somewhere, "Oh, no. Another 400-pound diva has entered the room!" When I asked for an explanation, Ho Lee remarked that people seem to take themselves (and their pursuits, which they consider an integral part of themselves) very seriously these days, and there's increasing evidence of this on blogs.

So I did a little investigating. Sure enough, I found a plethora of long rants, sniperish bursts, skirmishes, excruciating examinations, analyses, and justifications, and just generally enough hot-air huffing and puffing to contribute to global warming -- if, that is, it were coming out of mouths instead of fingertips.

Umbrage, umbrage everywhere.

Posters, I realized, could easily and effectively make their points with far less expenditure of energy. In the interest of lower blood pressure and unstressed attention spans, I compiled a list of succinct replies to Internet statements that people -- and authors, in particular -- seem to find irritating.

* "Your book sucks."
* "Take it up with God. S/he dictated it; I'm just a stenographer trying to get by on a lousy $125.44 a week."

* "Your book's title sucks."
* "If all you can manage to get through is a book's title, you might consider enrolling in a remedial reading course."

* "Your book's cover sucks."
* "If all you can manage to do is look at pictures, you might consider giving up reading as a hobby."

* "All romance novels are crap."
* "Of course they are. That's why people read them. Life is so unrelentingly fine, we must escape its cloying clutches now and then lest we get spoiled."

* "You're not gay."
* "Yes, I am. And proud of it. If you don't believe me, go fuck yourself. Or Ted Haggard."

* "You're not straight."
* "Yes, I am. I just wish I were gay."

* "You're not bi."
* "Well . . . sometimes I am and sometimes I'm not. It depends on who's sitting next to me at bar close."

* "What you said is offensive."
* "It offends me that you called my statement offensive. I refuse to type another word until you apologize."

Ho Lee Zhit approved of these, saying, "Yep. A hint of diva is better than the whole smelly, vermin-picking gorilla."

4 comments:

Belinda McBride said...

Wonderful blog, KZ! I've found the key to sanity is to just walk away from the rants, attacks and flames. I don't take myself that seriously, why should they?

I'll have to remember some of those comebacks....

My favorite so far?
"Romance novels suck."
"Studies show that women who read romance have up to 74% more sexual activity with their partners than women who don't.

That usually does the trick.

K. Z. Snow said...

Hi, Belinda, and Happy New Year!

Ooo, snappy comeback on the romance novel issue. Hard to argue against that one, since statistics are their own defense!

jessewave said...

I love this post KZ. Wish I was smart enough to think up some really cutting things to say to people who piss me off - not you - other people.
I hope my blog is not included in the ones that you hate :)
I found a plethora of long rants, sniperish bursts, skirmishes, excruciating examinations, analyses, and justifications, and just generally enough hot-air huffing and puffing to contribute to global warming
Love this!
Anyway, just wanted to say hi and tell you what a joy it was to have you on my blog yesterday. By the way, I have a copy of Looking for Some Touch on my reading list in the next couple of weeks and I'll send you a link to the review when it's ready. Have a great day.

K. Z. Snow said...

SO nice to see you here, jessewave!

No, no, a thousand times no -- your blog would've been the last one to come to mind when I wrote this post. Your site is fun and informative, and your good nature makes everyone feel good when they're there.

I strongly urge everybody to check it out, either by clicking on your name or going to my Links section.

Actually, I don't hate the blogs I visit...or I wouldn't visit them. There are individual posters who get under my skin sometimes, but I certainly don't blame blog owners for the behavior and attitudes of their visitors.

Thanks for stopping, Wave. Hope to see you again soon!