The Darwin Exception

because it's not always survival of the fittest – sometimes the idiots get through

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Darwin Goes Viral

Posted by thedarwinexception on April 19, 2007

It’s been a busy week. Apparently I was featured on the radio and everything! Just my luck that I’d get my 15 minutes of fame and not show up, right?

From what I have pieced together a Lady from the Malone Chamber of Commerce found my post about the Redneck Games. She was highly offended, at *me*, not at the town officials who sanctioned calling her a “Redneck”, of course. Because the Redneck Games include a Free Concert, and the blog doesn’t. I guess the second time someone denigrates you by calling you a name it’s worse than the original denigration. Or something like that, I’m not sure.

After reading the post, she apparently copied it and put it in an email to some of her closest friends, and the email went viral from there. By the time I started receiving comments in my email, all mention of “blog” had been lost, and people were writing to me as though I had personally sent out a “letter” just dissing the people of Malone offhandedly (and not for a worthy cause like the blog).  A couple of the emails included the original post the person who forwarded it to me had received and it no longer even *resembled* the original post. Kind of like that “telephone” game, where you sit people in a circle and tell them a phrase to see if it’s the same by the time it gets back to them.

Then I noticed the spam catcher here at the blog was filling up and I looked at a couple of the comments from just the first page of comments Akismet had determined were spam. They included things like “you should leave malone you cunt you are a brook bitch.” Comments, of course, that do more to reinforce the message of the blog than refute it. But I doubt the writer could recognize the irony.

Throughout all this, the blog stats kept getting higher and higher, until they reached a peak of over 7,000 hits on Friday. I figured there was no way one email could do that, especially since my stats that show referrers were showing maybe 100 or so “yahoo mail” and “netzero mail” hits, but nothing in the way of 7,000. Something else had to be going on.

Then, I got *another* email from a viewer of the email, and we started a little correspondence. She is an extremely articulate and intelligent lady, and, as I had been doing with all the people who wrote comments explaining their positions rather than attacking me personally, I listened to her points, agreed with some, explained my position on others, and we got an interesting dialogue going. She happened to mention that she got the email from a friend, with no mention of a blog, and that her friend had gotten the blog address from “the local radio station”.

That’s how I found out I had been mentioned on the radio – and I wasn’t even there to hear it – too bad. Because I would have loved to hear *that* discussion. I probably would have even called in.

Then I updated a previous post in AFCA I had made about the Chamber of Commerce lady emailing me, and Lo and Behold, she posted in AFCA. She tried to convince the people there that I was offensive and wrong, (Not surprisingly, she failed). And she confirmed that she had, indeed, forwarded my “blog page” to the people who “work hard on the Redneck Games” and it “went from there”. Where it went, I do not know. But, it got me 7K hits in a day, so, you know, who cares?

But, this shit storm has generated more email in my inbox, more spam in my spam folder and more comments to weed through. And I don’t have the time or the inclination to go through them all, so I am emptying my blog email address inbox, hitting “delete all” on the spam folder and answering everyone here in one fell swoop.

1. No, I did not “delete your comment”. Akismet does that for me. If you called me a cunt, a slut, a pussy, told me to “suck your dick” or used any of the other obvious pornographic phrases I filter on to weed out spam, your comment was automatically deleted and I didn’t see it. Usually I go through the spam filter looking for legitimate comments that may just happen to use a word or phrase I have filtered on and I unmark those as spam, but lately I haven’t had time to plow through 1000 spam comments just so I can undelete a comment that says “get out of malone you cock sucking whore suc my dick.” So, if you have a reasonable comment or question, or a legitimate viewpoint you would like to see addressed, clean up your language and try again. Oh – also, Akismet automatically marks as spam anything with more than 2 or 3 links, so if you are linking to a bunch of counter sites, put spaces in between so Akismet won’t see them as links and try again.

And if you are upset that your thoughtful, heartfelt and intellectually stimulating comment consisting only of “fuck you cunt” still won’t be showing up for all the world to see, too bad. This isn’t a democracy, it’s a dictatorship. It’s still my blog. Don’t like it? Go start your own “Malone is the Best!” blog and call me a cunt over there.

2. Most of the questions that people are writing to me to ask are already answered on the blog. If you were the recipient of one of those emails of my “letter” that stripped out any mention of the blog – now that you are here,  look around. “Why do you stay?” Answered on the blog. “Do *you* work?” Answered on the blog. “Does your husband work?” Answered on the blog. “Where are you from?” Answered on the blog. Did you know we have a great history? Answered on the blog.

I’m not going to write this crap out 100 times and email each of you individually, so find the answers yourself. They are all here.

3. “Why don’t you shut up and volunteer here, there or the other place to make things better?” Mostly? Because I have a terminal illness that makes it hard for me to get down the stairs let alone go out into the community to volunteer to teach Malonians how to read or Malonian teenagers how to care for their infants. Oh – and this would also be apparent to those who read the blog. I discuss my illness quite a bit.

4. A couple of different people have written to me asking “Who cares what the Redneck Games are called? It’s for the chilllllldreeeeennn.” I think this was best answered in AFCA by Dover, who pointed out that the woman from the Chamber of Commerce seemed to be sanctioning the Redneck Games simply because they were “for charity” and asked if it would be appropriate to host a dwarf tossing contest simply because it was supporting the Salvation Army, or cock fighting because it was supporting the Boys and Girls Club. Frankly, *I* care that it’s called the “Redneck Games” and I object to the advertising posters that are plastered all over town heralding their upcoming arrival. It’s not an image of the town that I would want to project, and frankly, I can’t understand why anyone who claims to want to “defend the honor of Malone – because I just love my town so…” can honestly say that those posters and games *aren’t* damaging to the image and reputation of the town, and are also worthy of being defended against, if you really love the town. 

5. If you’ve left a comment supporting the blog, or recounting your own experiences with growing up here and then “escaping” or living here for a few years and then “escaping” and I haven’t answered you personally yet, I’m sorry. I probably won’t get around to it individually, but I really thank you for your support, your kind words and your encouragement.

6. If you heard about the blog on the radio – write me and let me know what was said. I’d love to know.

And tomorrow – back to our regularly scheduled programming.


4 Responses to “Darwin Goes Viral”

  1. Valerie said

    I think that you have been misled. This blog was not talked about, or was it ever mentioned on the radio. It was however sent to a few of the local radio staff. You were in no way mentioned on the air in any way.

  2. Crap! Oh well, I can dream…..thanks for letting me know, though, it was driving me CRAZY!


  3. Dana said

    So where the hell did the 7K hits come from, then?

  4. The scintillating writing isn’t enough?


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