Do You Worry About Your Credibility

I received an email earlier this evening that questioned my credibility. Or should I say that it chastised me for not being worried about my credibility as a writer. Being a sassy and insouciant sort of fellow I replied. If you are easily offended than you might not want to read my response. I’ll share a few thoughts about the topic below my reply

Dear Max,

Thank you for your concern and your desire to warn me about the dangers of not being credible. Since you claim to be about my age you probably remember that game they used to show on the television show we all watched as kids, One of these things doesn’t belong with the other. Let’s play now. I’ll provide a list of things that I have decided not to write about. Some of them won’t be true but at least one will.

Ready? Take a deep breath and let’s begin.

Thanks to you I have decided not to write about:

  • I dunked on Michael Jordan.
  • I once stole Castro’s cigar.
  • Your mother asked to see me naked.

Ok, which one of those wasn’t true? Not sure? No problem I am going to give you time to think about it by providing a list of three other things for your review:

  • I painted the Mona Lisa.
  • My real name is Dikembe Mutumbo.
  • I took a picture of you fellating a goat.

Did that help or should we come up with three more items for you to review? I opt for the latter so here are three more things for you to wonder about:

  • I worked as an agent in Hollywood and explained to Keanu Reeves, Kevin Costner and Matthew Perry that America is tired of them playing the same character in every movie. But I did that on behalf of the patron saint of limited acting ability, Nicholas Cage.
  • I am responsible for the cuyahoga river bursting into flames.
  • Your sister asked me for a three way with your mother.

Ok, that last one wasn’t true, it was your father who asked but he looks just like your sister and I am easily confused. Now before you freak out and huff your way into a terrible asthma attack allow me to explain a few things. I have never understood why some people think that the best way to affect change is by sending someone a very strongly worded email that suggests they are an idiot. Frankly I would have had more respect for you if you had just come out and called me one. For that matter you could have called me many names and I would have shrugged my shoulders and moved on, or maybe not.

You see I think that your email was linkbait. You hoped to start a flame war with me. You wanted me to link to your blog and write a post about how nasty you are. Now I could have done that but this is far more fun. Why? Because thanks to the magic of statcounter I know that you have camped out here all night long, watching and waiting for my response. So you got it but you aren’t going to get an traffic from me.

Although I am known to occasionally engage in juvenile antics I try not to be a blogger who bullies others. I don’t always succeed and I suppose that this crosses a line of sorts but I am ok with it. In fact if you hadn’t mentioned my children in your note I wouldn’t have taken the time to spit back at you but I am a little crazy about them. Talk about my kids in a way that doesn’t please me and you’ll get my attention but not the way that you want.

So little man now that I have climbed into the gutter with you make of this what you will.

Credibility is earned over time. You have to earn it. It is not bestowed upon you because you have a blog.  There are quite a few posts here that blur the lines between fiction and nonfiction. So what. Maybe you don’t like wondering what is real and what is not- go somewhere else. There are millions of blogs that you can read, you don’t have to hang out here.

I don’t claim to be an expert on parenting but if someone asks for my advice I give it. That doesn’t mean that it has to be accepted. I don’t promote myself as being Dr. Spock or any sort of doctor at all. I am a writer who has extensive experience in a number of areas. Take that for what it is worth.

I suppose that what I am really saying is that I am big on accountability. Storms follow where I walk. At times I am a muckwracker and troublemaker. I have been known to be my own worst critic and enemy. But I clean up my own messes. I don’t wear a sweater because someone else is cold. Nor do I believe everything I read. Where and when appropriate I check facts. I am a curious fellow. I go looking for information about things I wonder about. Maybe it is about ways to improve your marriage immediately or How Much It Would Cost to Make The Death Star.

I believe that communities form around bloggers who are honest and authentic. My community is filled with smart people. They know how to Google information. They know how to research facts. They know that when I try to scam the scammers I don’t expect to be given a million dollars for my efforts.

More importantly they have figured out that courtesy goes a long way.  They have enough common sense to communicate with myself and others in a way that allows for open dialogue. I don’t need for everyone to agree with me. I would be bored silly if they did.

Sometimes I love the internet and its ability to expose us to so many different people. They are ever so interesting.

And now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

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10 Comments

  1. Alan March 27, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    You’re about the most authentic guy I read online. (Offline, it’s Donald Trump.) So I kind of find it hard to believe anyone would take a jab AND drag your kids into it. Read any three of your posts and you get a pretty clear picture of the Papa Bear who is going to protect the kids.

    I also thing the fact that you were able to work in a fellated goat reference into your response earns you a very special place in the Heaven of your own personal belief system.

    Well played, sir.

    • Jack March 27, 2011 at 10:14 pm

      I am definitely one of the crazier guys online and though I really am not very materialistic I’d like to have Trump’s plane. I don’t like flying and I suspect that my own jet would help make it more enjoyable, but who knows.

      I am just a guy who likes to write.

  2. Clark Kent's Lunchbox March 27, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Well this is quite interesting. I’ve got to go with you on the link-baiting assessment, only because you’re one of the most honest bloggers out there, plus you’ve been blogging since before blogging was the in thing to do. Here’s a sad fact I’m starting to discover: the more real you are as a blogger in what you write about, the more likely it is that you’re going to get people throwing these jabs out at you, and for a variety of reasons–link bait, they don’t like you, what you write hits a nerve of insecurity.

    I just got a nasty comment from a friend of my ex-wife who called me a liar and a fraud; there were a lot of wild, unfounded claims–claims I disproved with a boat-load of documented facts. It was a very measured response that I ended politely with the metaphor about never bringing a knife to a gun fight. (I also emailed her with my reply just to make sure she didn’t miss it.) With this guy who challenged you, I hope he realizes that he just showed up with a slingshot to the grenade target range.

    PS – I really hope you got through to Costner. He’s playing Clark Kent’s dad in the next Superman movie. I’m nervous,but not as nervous as I was when they were batting around Nicolas Cage’s name as a possible Superman a few years back. Whew!

    • Jack March 27, 2011 at 2:30 pm

      I love the reference to The Untouchables- great movie. The older I get the less I understand the need to get involved in business that is not my own. Life is simply too short for that kind of crap. Go along and get along is so much easier, not that I choose the easy route.

  3. Stacey Herbert March 27, 2011 at 6:19 am

    I can’t think of many words to describe that email response.. genius- comes to mind. I dread to think what the email must have said to solicit such a response. I love this post, probably for all the wrong reasons, but I love it none the less.

    • Jack March 27, 2011 at 2:27 pm

      Some people forget that real people sit behind the keyboard. I have a thick skin but there is a big juvenile streak that runs through me. They just managed to tap into that.

  4. Abby March 27, 2011 at 5:46 am

    Wait a second. Now I’m confused.
    Does this mean that I have to think for myself instead of just accepting every word written from other bloggers?
    This is troubling, but I will take it as the law if I have read it here. 😉

    • Jack March 27, 2011 at 2:26 pm

      You laugh but people really do lend additional weight to that which they see in print.

      • Abby March 28, 2011 at 7:59 am

        I’m an editor of three publications. Although my slice of the world of print publications is backed up with credible research and sources, I still get crap. Online it’s even worse, given the opportunity for anyone to proclaim themselves an authority. Trust me, I know all too well 😉

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