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.