I’m no stranger to people totally ripping into me on my blog. Hell, I even took down the “I Hate Shakespeare” one because I was so sick of repeating myself over and over again. Frankly, I was also sick of the ignorant, self-serving comments people kept saying. I was called an “ignoramus” by my own cousin (which I’m still in a state of “what?” over). I’ve been called a sir, which I really can’t fault anyone. I’m not running around screaming “I’m a chick” or “Look at me, I’m a dude.” I’ve been told I’m uneducated (just got a Master’s, by the way). And then there are the millions of people who curse my name because I dared to say Shakespeare wasn’t all that. And that’s just one blog.

I do believe, like assholes, everyone has an opinion. I had mine about Shakespeare and they had theirs.

What I will not stand for, and frankly anyone who blogs should do the same, is the downright nasty and rude name calling. If you want to argue your point with me, I’m for that. Do it intelligently and with respect. Behind this blog is a human being who doesn’t take kindly to people telling me I should go fuck myself- true story.

It isn’t because I have a weak skin. I’m a writer and a teacher. You can’t buy thicker skin than mine. Why these nasty comments bother me is because this childlike name calling takes away from the real point. I get so fixated on the fact you called me an asshole, I’m not looking at your argument.

I understand that opinions make the world go ’round and some people think the shocking the better. Some people really do get so mad they have no recourse but to curse, yell, and wish death on me.

I’m not alone in this.

In a small book by Steve Almond called, “Letters From People Who Hate Me,” Almond not only shows the reader the incredible hate mail he has gotten over time, but he also shares his responses. What I love about the responses is the deflection. Sure, Almond could rant right back and name call, curse, and be a raging asshole. But he doesn’t. He responds to the letters more thoughtfully than the person who mouthed off and sent the nasty letter to him.

I wish I would have read this book before I started blogging. It would have saved me a lot of nasty return comments.

If you are interested in getting your hands on this book, the only way you can get it is through going out to one of Steve Almond’s speaking engagements or book signings. It is well worth the time, believe me.

Here’s his website so you can see where he is and get yourself what I like to call my saving grace when daring to have an unwelcomed opinion. We should never back down from our opinions. As long as we present them logically and intelligently, we should not be attacked. I know that won’t happen. Thank goodness for Steve Almond.

Website: http://www.stevenalmond.com/

Go to the “Read, Baby, Read” (The Tour) spot for Where in The World is Steve Speaking (I made that Where in the world part up. Just now.)