Confirmed: I hate Mondays [rage page]

I’d say the week’s off to a wonderful start!

Only five hours into my Monday, I was cornered in the area studies section of P.— Library by a fellow RAS student who’d apparently read my blog. Referencing The problem with Putin Panic, So you’re a Russophile, and the Fragile Empire review, the person proceeded to tell me just how unfit for blogging I really was.

He began by making it clear how disgusted he was with the “rancid pile of Putinophilia” that is Russia Reviewed. Desite studying in the same department as me and knowing I was at a higher level of Russian proficiency than himself, he accused me of not having any experience with Russian and only relying on RT and Sputnik to support my “faulty” analysis.

“Before taking up the torch for that fascist [Putin] and his government,” he said, “how about you learn some Russian, go live in Russia and abandon your old friends Sputnik and RT? Or better yet, just stop blogging.”

And we can’t forget the ad hominem! The student called me a useful idiot, a bootlicker, and several other derogatory terms I don’t feel like including here because I think you get the point. Since I was quite literally cornered between the wall and the HV-6531 shelf, I had to stand there and take it.

It was a pretty rough three minutes.

Look, I know the world is full of diverse opinions, so I don’t expect every person who reads the blog to agree with or like what they read. One could certainly argue my writing is flawed or that I could take a different approach to Russia. I’m open to criticism – if it’s constructive. So why couldn’t I receive such criticism today?

Because no matter how polite and fair you try to be, some people just love being an a-hole toward others.

And because if you’re writing about Russia, people can’t just disagree with you – they have to question your intelligence, question your allegiance, s**t on your work, and denounce you in the lowest terms possible.

All because your viewpoint doesn’t align just-so with theirs.

I know I’m not supposed to take this person’s comments personally. I know I’m supposed to chuckle to myself and move on. But I’m human, and I’m hurt by them nonetheless.

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8 comments

  1. Sorry to hear that your Monday has gotten off to such a rocky start. I hear you. I haven’t so much had to deal with this in person as online (in person people just tend to humor me or give me that deer in the headlights stare to deal with their cognitive dissonance upon hearing my perspective on Russia, among other things). I’ve had every epithet in the world hurled at me: I’ve been called a Russian agent, a dupe, asked how much I’m getting paid by the Kremlin and told “you fucking bitch, why don’t you just leave the country and go live over in Russia.” Some days it bothers me more than others and on other days I just laugh it off.

    I’ve been doing activism and writing on controversial political topics for many years now and I’ve gotten to the point where I feel like there are times when it’s not my job to be popular but to tell the truth as I see it. And if that makes me unpopular, well then, so be it. One is never going to be able to take a principled stand on anything if they are overly concerned with everyone liking them. I’m not saying that you’re overly concerned with that, just that one has to have a way to develop a thick skin and keep it in place and that is what I tell myself in order to achieve that. Just remember: If people aren’t ever disagreeing with you, then you’re not doing anything interesting.

    Hope your week gets better. Stay strong.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “…and told “you fucking bitch, why don’t you just leave the country and go live over in Russia.””

      This, and its twin – “Wuaaaaah! My candidate lost! Пора валить из Рашки на Запад/Time to emigrate to Canada!”. Uhm, whythese people choose Canada (or something equally “noice” place) as a the destination of their emigration?

      Don’t like the results of the elections to the point that you are ready to emigrate? Fine! Why not choose, say, Albania? Or Bangladesh? Or the Ukraine? After all – these are democratic countries with capitalist systems!

      They should be paid in their own coin and try their own medicine. What – sport upside-down American flag as your avatar? Still twitt #NotMyPresident? Get out of the country and live in, say, Estonia. Or Greece. Or Haiti.

      P.S. The obvious elephant in the room is too obvious – those Adorable mostly “white” distressed folks were immediately arguing to emigrate to Canada… but not to Mexico. Hmm… can’t be some sort of bias here?

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  2. Hey J.T.! I’m sorry you had this experience.
    You are very right when you say his words weren’t “constructive criticism”. I have a hobby of mine: I like to read controversial articles, and then read the comments posted below them. Very rarely commentators dignify to comment on the point of the article itself. Usually when people feel irritated by the article, they tend to criticize not its contents, but individual characteristics of its author. This is what happened to you — in real life.

    Also, I have a feeling if you were a heavy, tall man, this person might think twice before cornering you and starting to say all those things… Maybe I’m wrong.

    There actually is not much someone can do. On the internet, you block or ignore. In real life it’s not so easy. I think that you wrote about it is a good thing for you. After this, I think it would help you to know you are respected and looked up to by your readers, for example, by me. Everyone has different opinions, and have a right to express them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear J.T.

    Net-messaging is such a crappy way to express one’s feelings and emotions, because not matter how you try, you’d still appear not entirely sincere. So you’ll have my word that I’m absolutely disgusted and livid, literally ready to roar with anger due to what happened to you. And that you then mentioned, very matter-of-factly, that this not the first time such thing happens to you, turned up whatever negative feelings within me up to 11.

    What have happened to you is not right. The fact that a person, who did that, probably, voted Clinton, tend to lambast “racists, homophobes, transphobes, and xenophobes, but especially racists” (c) within a safe confines of various handshakable Twitter Echo Chambers (“a wonderful place full of kind, smart, interesting folks” (c) where such people hang out when THEY get stressed), allegedly “independently thinking person(s)”, who, nevertheless, subscribe to the common hive-mind tropes of “You-All-Watch-RT-And-Sputnik”, well… What a douche!

    I can’t wrap up my mind that such thing could happen in the place if Higher Education – in the University! Petty bullying and “cornering” belongs to the school, what’s wrong with these people?! And to do this to your fellow student over… politics? I… I just… I can’t comprehend…

    People who are chanting “Stop the Hate!” proved themselves to be a bunch of slimy haters, too weak to do anything openly, and instead trying to make themselves better by fining someone who won’t fight back and allow them to vent off their butthurt pain.

    I’m a wrong person to give any kind of advice. Clearly, I’m. People who more or less familiar with can imagine what sort of advice I might give should I have a nasty turn of mind. So I will only express my sincerest sympathy to your situation, J.T. and wish for your to remain strong, determined and unstoppable, slowly but surely grinding down and annihilating any resistance on your way.

    P.S. My Monday began with heavy snowing. Fimbulwinter is upon us.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hm, probably there’s a constructive conclusion out of this unpleasant situation. You should definitely visit Russia as soon as you can. First hand experience will add strength to your position and your arguments will get more substance.

    Liked by 1 person

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