Criminal law tends to draw an odd assortment of interested folks, which is reflected in the comments to posts here which range from brilliant and incisive to utterly idiotic. As regular readers know, I try to weed out the worst comments, the ones I feel are dangerously wrong or misguided (remember, this is a law blog, and non-lawyers may read something and believe they can rely on its accuracy, to their grave detriment) or sufficiently offensive and annoying that I decide to make it disappear.
Some think this is part of what makes SJ work. Some do not. Some do except when they are on the receiving end of a spanking, where I go from being their hero to the zero in a blink. Volenti non fit injuria. except for them.
But if you don’t like the way I decorated the place, no one forces you to stop by for a visit. Bear in mind, anyone who wants to read here gets to do so, free of charge. To the extent there is a price you pay, it’s tolerating me. My choice of subjects to write about. My opinions on those subjects. My experiences with those subjects. And my sweeping up the mess in the comments afterward. It’s not that the world is all about me, but SJ is.
After a relatively minor tussle in the comments the other day, a reader concluded with this comment:
No, actually I’ve been reading you religiously for years. Not new at all. I’m an actual outright sends-links-to-friends fan.
And I’ll continue to do so, because your blogging is that good… even though this exchange has been an example of the tendencies in your handling comments that I’ve liked the least.
And, again — I never asked you a question. But admitting a simple mistake needn’t be part of your running your blog the way you want.
I’m asked on occasion whether I get tired of doing SJ and will ever shut it down. My stock response is three times a day, at least. It’s a half-snarky response, which means it’s half-true as well. It’s comments like this that make me regret this blawg.
As I’ve explained many times, I write because I like to write. You get to read it because it’s here. I do not owe you a post. I do not owe you a tummy rub. I am not here for your amusement, for your entertainment, to voice your angst toward the law, police, prosecutors, judges or lawyers. I am not your bitch.
So you are a big fan? So what? Do you think that gives you some sort of equity here, a right to expect me to meet your approval? Every once in a while, someone leaves a comment to the effect of “you pissed me off, so I’m not reading you anymore.” Aside from the pathological narcissism of thinking that SJ exists because they showed up, do they think this impacts my choices because I write to seek their approval? Apparently so.
To those who think no lawyer would have a blog if not to market themselves, projecting your slimy view of life onto me is offensive. I fully expect that I drive far more people away because of what I write here than are possibly attracted, but that’s the price (to me) of strongly-held views. There are tons of insipid blogs trying to massage their way into people’s hearts by pandering to their audience. If that’s what you want, go find them. They will make you feel good about yourself, no matter how ignorant you are.
But if you choose to read SJ, you do so with the understanding that this is my blawg, and it will be run my way, for better or worse. You don’t have to pay money every month for a subscription, and I couldn’t buy lunch off the fabulous riches I get for writing posts or cleaning up the mess in the comments. But there is a price: if you want to read and comment here, you have to tolerate my vision of SJ. If you can’t, then get lost.
This is not your soapbox. We are not on the same team. I owe you nothing, and if you think I’ve been so unfair to you that you write some passive-aggressive response to me about how I’m wrong but you will allow me to pretend I’m right, then I neither want nor need you here.
Read at your own risk. Comment at your own risk. But when you act as if you’re doing me a favor by doing either, do not expect me to be kind. I don’t go to your house and demand that you rearrange the furniture to suit my tastes. You don’t get to come here and make that demand of me.
If this doesn’t work for you, then go find somewhere else to read. Trust me, I’m good with it. In fact, I insist on it. As long as I plan to continue writing this blawg, notwithstanding the fabulous wealth and fame I get for doing so, it will not be to meet the approval of assholes. If you don’t like it, you can have your money back.