May 28, 2009

Judgment

Last week I wrote about stupid people and the smart-ass things I had to say in response to said stupid people. As a result, I took some flack from some folks. I think some of you thought I was kind of an asshole. Maybe you're right but I sincerely don't think so. Then I was told that I am "unsure of my self-worth". And that just pissed me off.

When you read my site, you read me. If I'm doing this right, you should get a feel for who I am as a person, what my family is like, how I think, what I dig. But you don't know everything and you'd be mistaken to think that you truly understand me completely - my motivations, my fears, my passions, my life - based on the evidence you have in front of you. After all, I'm a pretty biased source of information. And I don't tell you everything. Certain things you just don't need to know. They're personal. And mine. Other things are just so mundane that they'd bore you to tears. I mean, you probably didn't know that:

  • I have kinda small feet. 8.5, maybe a 9.
  • I was the youngest ever recipient of a prestigious community service award in Virginia for my work supporting the homeless in the DC area.
  • I've played music most of my life but I can't read it to save my life.
  • I really love old episodes of Scooby-Doo, something my wife can't understand.
  • Large ships - specifically the bottoms of ships underwater - freak me out.
  • Crappy 50's science fiction movies are seriously my favorite movies ever.
  • My bellybutton is an outie.
  • I can't stand ketchup. Tartar sauce is even worse. It's the devil's jizz.
  • I think I kinda pee too frequently for someone who isn't 80.

You can judge me, fine, but you're judging me based on incomplete information (you know, like that tartar sauce thing). And to draw conclusions about a person based on so little evidence is kinda stupid.

As for the self-worth issues, I'd like to officially inform you know that I am awesome. I am pretty smart, graduated from high school and a well-respected university. I have a fantastic job that requires me to use a brain to solve difficult problems for which I am well compensated with a nice salary, insurance, benefits and a reasonable work-life balance. I am a father to two amazing children both of whom are happy and healthy, and I am husband to an amazing woman who is way out of my league but loves me anyway. I can write a mean sentence, play a guitar, pluck a bass (the instrument, not the fish though I'm sure I could do that too), tell a joke, write a sonnet, compose a song, dance a foxtrot, clean a house, grow vegetables, build a computer, take a photograph, read good literature (and crappy literature too), cook, change a tire, replace a ceiling fan, plant a tree, pitch a tent (heh) and build a campfire, lead a meeting, feed the homeless and take care of sick children in the middle of the night. In short, I do not have any issues with my self worth nor am I a raging egomaniac. I like to think I strike a nice balance.

When I read blogs, I try to keep in mind that, no matter how open and honest the author may be, I'm dealing with limited information about someone who, for the most part, I don't know. Additionally, not being a psychiatrist, I try not to psycho-analyze people. Making smart-ass quips in reaction to stupid situations and people isn't the sign of an asshole. Making snap-judgments about people with incomplete information and calling into question their mental state inclusive of their feelings of value in the grand scheme of society, well, that's pretty much an asshole move in my book.

Posted by Chris at May 28, 2009 7:09 AM
Comments

you summed it all up in the last paragraph... !!! amen!!! if they don't live with you...they don't really KNOW you... and their feet wouldn't fit in your shoes... (mine wouldn't and i'm a girl!)... you do not write for other's opinions of you... you write your opinion...and this being the good ole USA...entitles you to do exactly that!!!

Posted by: the unicorn at May 28, 2009 7:30 AM

I was with you until you said you had an outie.

Sorry, but I just have no respect for your kind.

Posted by: Jon (was) in Michigan at May 28, 2009 7:51 AM

I don't understand people. I doubt I ever will.

You said jizz. (heh)

Posted by: MariaV at May 28, 2009 7:55 AM

I can't believe anyone would attempt to psycho-analyze you because I think for the most part, you are really private. I think you share the everyday things, but I think blogging is kind of like creating a character. You share the parts you want to share, and you don't share the parts you don't. That's the beauty of it. For what it's worth, I think you are NOT unsure of your self worth. In fact, I think you come across as a nice guy who values what he has in his life and really treasures it.

Posted by: La Petite Belle at May 28, 2009 8:07 AM

I decided to use a magic 8-ball instead of a brain at my job. A brain required too much maintenance. ;-)

Posted by: LeSombre at May 28, 2009 8:17 AM

I've thought your were great all along! Even with the "outie"!

Posted by: Maribeth at May 28, 2009 8:17 AM

Really? People are damn ridiculous sometimes. Jackholes.

Posted by: donna at May 28, 2009 8:21 AM

Sadly, I think people do that ALL the time, because it makes them feel better.

Posted by: Claire at May 28, 2009 8:21 AM

I know you didn't ask, but I think you strike a nice balance, too. :o)

Also? The fact that you have an outie belly button makes me giggle. (It's the little things in life - right?)

Posted by: Emily at May 28, 2009 8:41 AM

Like you I have been officially called a smartass. Here is my response to them "better a smartass than a dumbass". This usually shuts them up. :) Of course thats just me. As for making an un-informed opinion about you, well that just shows the level of intelligence in someone.

Posted by: Elizabeth at May 28, 2009 8:49 AM

Go Chris! I really liked today's post.

And I really like old Scooby Doo episodes, too. Lucky for me, my four year old son loves them so I get to watch all the time!

Posted by: akofaolain at May 28, 2009 8:55 AM

(shaking head) Some people's children. Thanks for sharing. :)

Posted by: Christy at May 28, 2009 8:58 AM

This is actually one of my big disappointments as a new(er) blogger. You can't EVER give the whole story - even if you wanted to - if your mom reads your blog! Just me? ;-)

Also for me, work is such a big part of my make-up (for better or worse), I'd just like to vent sometimes about that end. But you know... the firing.

This (your apparent openness) is why I've put you (and several other bloggers - including your wife) into a category I call "Those with whom I'd have coffee with" or "Look up if I were ever in their town". (I wish I'd thought of that when I wrote my favourite crack list last week, b/c that's pretty much what my faves come down to.)

Posted by: harmzie at May 28, 2009 9:00 AM

I recently found your blog and even though I don't know much about you (I know much more after today's post), I don't judge. I enjoy your writing and your unique perspective on life. Blog on!

Posted by: Trisha at May 28, 2009 9:17 AM

Because I am compassionate and sweet I will continue to hang out with ya online, despite the fact that you have an outie. I can't believe you outied yourself.

Posted by: Debbie at May 28, 2009 9:25 AM

Well, clearly I can't continue reading your blog, because what kind of asshole doesn't like ketchup? I mean, seriously, it's deliciously perfect for hot dogs and full of lycopene. WTF?

:)

Dude, I don't get nearly enough traffic to my blog to get rude comments from anyone other than my f'ed up, crazy sister-in-law who stalks it regularly to find fodder for her hatred of me. So, I can offer no advice from direct experience, but I think you did a pretty good job here addressing it. Do your thing any way you want!

Posted by: morninglightmama at May 28, 2009 9:28 AM

Just some random thoughts:
If I read something on a blog that I don't like, I might think to myself, "wow, this person isn't someone I'd really want to be friends with." And I might walk away for a week, a month, or forever, and so whatever, right? Won't agree with everyone all the time.

But people who take the time to comment and insult the writer over it strike me as bored. Annoying.

And so I guess I am thinking that I wish you didn't care so much. I'm thrilled to know that you can say, "F it, I'll write what I want!" Because I love reading it. Even about the people whose stupidity you share with the world. Even if I giggle to myself, "wow, that could have been me he's writing about. I'm that clueless when I'm [insert daily activity]!" But remember that someone who psychoanalyzes you and makes absurd judgements is just that: absurd. Don't let it piss you off, please!! Otherwise, you might stop blogging! And I don't want that.

Posted by: Sabrina at May 28, 2009 9:29 AM

Amen! I have never understood why people read the blogs of people they think are assholes anyway. If you don't like them, don't read them.

Also, I have an outie.

Also also, you should get that pee thing checked out!

Posted by: Lisa at May 28, 2009 9:30 AM

you are pretty amazing sir. and any post in which you pitch a tent and jizz is ok in my book ;)

Posted by: Kris at May 28, 2009 9:45 AM

FWIW I pee a lot too ... and I'm only 36.

Posted by: Jase at May 28, 2009 9:45 AM

KETCHUP IS THE ESSENCE OF LIFE.

START LOVING IT OR WE CAN'T BE FRIENDS.

I'm probably a douchebag for making fun of people for being ridiculous. Sorry.

Posted by: Sparkle Pants at May 28, 2009 9:55 AM

I must like you because you have the same shoe size as my husband and (currently) my son.
But not loving ketchup or Tarter Sauce? what is WRONG with you? ketchup for the steak and TarTAR sauce for any kind of fried fish/seafood is a must.
Yeah, I can't get involved enough to psycho-analyze any of the blogs I read. What the heck does low self-worth, or whatever it was she said, have to do with responding to stupid questions? Hmm, notice the negative comments were the only ones without blogs of their own because there was no link in their signature. Or maybe they just really don't want us to know who they are. They're "Blog Bombers" . Like Photo Bombers who infiltrate pictures and move on.

Posted by: NancyJ at May 28, 2009 10:17 AM

Blogs can't be psycho-analyzed??? Really??? Well fuck...so much for that being my new hobby.

I think you're cool....but I just play a Dr. In the commentary section. :-)

Posted by: Kristy at May 28, 2009 10:33 AM

Blogs can't be psycho-analyzed??? Really??? Well fuck...so much for that being my new hobby.

I think you're cool....but I just play a Dr. In the commentary section. :-)

Posted by: Kristy at May 28, 2009 10:33 AM

I can only hope you bring that open mind to my site when you visit.

Great post, by the way.

Posted by: Rebecca at May 28, 2009 10:44 AM

Cactus, Chris Cactus is too COOL for some people. Keep up the good work!! Those who don't agree deserve a good ole Bronx Cheer.

Posted by: joss is boss at May 28, 2009 10:48 AM

YES!

Posted by: kati at May 28, 2009 10:54 AM

Tartar sauce = the devil's jizz. Thank you for that mental image. I myself despise black licorice. I can't even stand the smell. It is the tapeworm pulled from the ass of a dead bull.

Posted by: martin at May 28, 2009 11:06 AM

I think you rock! I'm a little freaked out about the bellybutton info, but still think ya rock!

Posted by: cyndy at May 28, 2009 11:06 AM

So, it all comes into focus now. The reason you have so many odd bathroom encounters is because you pee a lot. That explains everything.

Except how some people get off on using a person's comment box to trash the person or suggest (in a non-joking way) that the person has issues, or low self-worth, or too much time on their hands (Oh, wait, that was my blog commenter.) I agree with whoever up-chain said that if I don't like the voice of the blog author, I just click away and read someone else.

Posted by: alison at May 28, 2009 11:10 AM

It's not even delurking day and I felt the need to comment. I thought the blog you were talking about was HYSterical. You had me at the grocery store lady.
I think sometimes readers of blogs forget that we are reading what you post online and not stalking you in your neighborhood, which is obviously illegal in most states. It's nice to remind them like this every once in awhile!

And for the record, hello, it's not "perfectly pleasant cactus".

Posted by: The J at May 28, 2009 11:16 AM

You, dude, rock. Haters are just haters. They wish they were as cool as you. :)

Posted by: oakley at May 28, 2009 11:25 AM

This might be my last comment - just had to let you know that I have a fear of small man feet. So, I guess this is it.

Seriously, though - people are nuts. The pseudo-anonymity of the internet allows the crazies to roam freely and sometimes that's a very bad thing. But I'm happy that it's not going to change you or the way you write.

Posted by: TUWABVB at May 28, 2009 11:26 AM

In truth, I think it's hard for non-bloggers to understand what you're saying. Until you've written in a way that reveals so much, yet so little, it's hard to explain.

I also think some people get a rush from judging others and making quips on the internet. SO NAUGHTY ARE THEY!

Posted by: Brad at May 28, 2009 11:37 AM

I thought that post was hilarious, does that make me an asshole? See I kinda always strove to be an asshole. Matter of fact, I have had several people inform me that I am indeed an asshole. I hold that as a point of pride!

Bet ya didn't know that about me now did ya?

Posted by: Jeff A at May 28, 2009 11:40 AM

OK. This post made me finally come out of hiding.

I read the post you are referring to and in no way did I think you were an asshole. I thought you were funny, and totally related to having to deal with idiots out in public.

As for the idiots on the Internet, you hit it bang on. Some people forget that the stuff we post on the Internet is but a mere snippet of who we really are.

Posted by: Angella at May 28, 2009 11:45 AM

People criticized you for that post? Seriously? I thought it was hilarious. And something most people think when confronted with stupidity. The ones that don't have a stick up their ass, anyway. You're awesome. You know it, I know it, and the if the ignorant masses don't know it, fuck 'em.

Posted by: Michelle at May 28, 2009 11:57 AM

I just heard that Paul Simon didn't learn to read music until he was almost 60. So, you are in good company in the "talented musicians who can't read music" segment of the population.

Posted by: MamaKaren at May 28, 2009 12:02 PM

I must have missed this post. Going to have to go back and read what ruffled some feathers.

Posted by: One Mom's Opinion at May 28, 2009 12:12 PM

Not liking ketchup? Sorry, I can't read your blog anymore...after all I am from the hoome of the greatest ketchup ever...Heinz!! jk

I totally understand what you mean. I have had people come to my site because they thought they would get some great psychiatric stories or that I was a complete wackjob in need of friends. Only to find out that the name has little to do with me today and I am fairly well-adjusted. (Notice I say fairly) ;-). People do not "know" you just from what you write. You said it so much more eloquently than I ever could!

Posted by: Krush at May 28, 2009 12:40 PM

Will you marry me? Oh...damn. :-)

People who go around implying that other people have low self-worth bug the crap out of me. I mean, a lot of people who make fun of other people have low self-worth. But not all of us. I make fun of people and I think I'm awesome, too.

Rock on, Chris Cactus. Don't let the bastards grind you down.

Posted by: Brooke at May 28, 2009 12:41 PM

You can Fox Trot! Color me impressed.

Mean people suck. May they spend eternity bathing in Tartar Sauce.

Amen.

Posted by: Pocklock at May 28, 2009 12:55 PM

I cannot tell you how many times I have felt this way but was never able to articulate it so well (read: without sputtering, stammering, ranting incoherently, etc). All I can do know is stand here, nodding vigrously in agreement & applaud.

Well said!

Posted by: Dawn at May 28, 2009 1:10 PM

Don't let the bastards get you down! Yours is the one blog I read every day. (Well, 5 days a week since you taken weekends off and leave us all hanging until Monday!) Your blog is perfect. Don't change a thing. I like it because you are "real"...to the extent that this is possible with stranger-friends.

Posted by: James Proffitt at May 28, 2009 1:27 PM

People need to realize that it's okay for not everyone to have the same views as you. Hell, it makes life much more interesting. Especially for those who like the argue and debate!

I've got not beef with you... that is unless you're a vegan or something ;)

Posted by: Dozenroses13 at May 28, 2009 1:28 PM

Better a smartass than a dumbass I always say...well, not really but you know what I mean ;) I'll try not to hold the outie against you.

Posted by: LaineyDid at May 28, 2009 1:45 PM

filter. some people need to learn to have one. this is YOUR site. if you don't like it, they can make like a tree and get out of here. heh.

Posted by: ali at May 28, 2009 1:53 PM

Hey Chris thanks for taking my comment. Long time lurker first time commentor. I had to go back to that post, which I personally enjoyed and realted to, and read the comments. Personally I thought that comment proved the point of your post perfectly. Even on your blog you are not safe from stupid people. Someone calls you judgemental and then specifically states they are judging you based soley on what you said you were wearing and the beer you drink ?!?! WTF? Hello, pot? Big giant 2 ton witches cauldron calling. Oh, the irony. Don't sweat it, dude.
I always love random factoid lists but I must disagree with you on one point: ranch dressing, not tarter sauce is the devil's jizz

Posted by: Somebodys Mother at May 28, 2009 1:56 PM

I thought the stupid people post was pretty funny, myself. Of course I am also a smartass.

And tartar sauce is disgusting, just like its cousin, mayo.

Posted by: bad penguin at May 28, 2009 2:04 PM

Would you please stop writing to the assholes who don't appreciate you and spend more time writing to the assholes who adore you.

Posted by: Marshall Karp at May 28, 2009 3:22 PM

So, not to be snotty or anything, tell me why you're not judging people as stupid on incomplete information (or as you say, "little evidence"), like a single encounter outside a mall parking garage. I can get pretty loopy when my noggin' has been fried in the sun or in Nordstroms (hallelujah I don't live within 100 miles of something like that), but I really don't think temporary confusion counts.

FWIW, I just think you're being humorous. And I enjoy your humor. A lot. Daily. But your defense to whomever seems a bit hypocritical. I'm just sayin'.

Posted by: bhd at May 28, 2009 4:53 PM

I've worked with the public. (Directly!) So I know for stupid. Other than other people getting hurt - ideally in slow motion - there aren't many things funnier than other people caught being stupid. We all do stupid things, and part of the reason most people enjoy Stupid Anecdotes is that it's nice when someone else gets caught in the act. Probably. Then again, I'm probably kind of an asshole. (Probably? Heh.)

Besides, "they" will have to pry my bookmarks to The Onion and Failblog from my cold, dead, uh - browser? Well, you know what I mean.

Posted by: robert muller at May 28, 2009 4:56 PM

OMG! I thought I was the only one who had the large boat phobia!!! Big ships scare the jizz outta me (that is, if I manufactured jizz, but you get my point... I just like saying jizz. Jizzzzzz.)

Posted by: gojennings at May 28, 2009 5:00 PM

"It's the devil's jizz." bwaaa haaa haaa!

I *AM* totally judging you on the tarter sauce. JUDGING YOU TO BE AWESOME!!!!

Posted by: Aimee Greeblemonkey at May 28, 2009 6:54 PM

Dude some people will be fuckwits no matter what and say stupid things. You don't have to defend yourself, just include them in the post about stupid people and the things stupid people say.

And you forgot to mention your weed-whacking skill.

Posted by: jessica at May 28, 2009 7:21 PM

We can watch Scoobie, while the spouses go do something MUCH less entertaining...

Posted by: Nat at May 28, 2009 9:20 PM

Gosh and all this time I liked you? Oh wait, I still do. I read the post, no idea what the hubub is...I thought it was funny.

Posted by: The Stiletto Mom at May 28, 2009 9:23 PM

You forgot to mention: If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all! (Except when you make fun of stupid people. That's just too funny to pass up!)

Posted by: margo at May 28, 2009 10:03 PM

AMEN!
Some people just, well, they frustrate me.

Posted by: Lori at May 28, 2009 10:50 PM

AMEN!
Some people just, well, they frustrate me.

Posted by: Lori at May 28, 2009 10:50 PM

And here I thought you were just a funny guy with an enviable readership. You already know this but never underestimate the utterly humorless hordes on the internets.

I should insert one of the Lolcatz images of the cat the keyboard with the caption Teh Internets is SRS Bizness.

People seriously need to lighten up and have a laugh or go look at some monkey porn every once in a while, jeez.

Posted by: Erik at May 29, 2009 10:17 AM

This post should be required reading for all bloggers.

Posted by: Laura at May 29, 2009 11:22 AM

Okay, I'm sorry and no I don't have complete information, but you don't like tartar sauce?! Or ketchup? What do you did your fries in?

Posted by: Dianna at May 29, 2009 1:08 PM

Well-I think there is a difference between being funny, and being mean. You always strike me as being funny, and never mean. We all do stupid things, myself included, and might as well just laugh at them..if people blogged about the dumb things I've done, it would be pretty funny, actually. People who feel the need to go all high and mighty, then accuse you having no self worth need a good swift kick off their pedestal.

Btw I hate tartar sauce too.

Posted by: Scatteredmom at May 29, 2009 10:22 PM

Ah, you're a vegetarian, well, I guess I'll let it slide because I like ya ;)
I think I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum, growing up my best friend was vegetarian so we'd go out and get a dinner - she'd eat the veggies, I'd eat the meat and we were both happy :)

Posted by: Dozenroses13 at May 29, 2009 11:49 PM

So I let my blog reader get a bit behind, and now I'm really late, and wow you get a lot of commenters around here, don't you?

So I'm guessing it's unlikely you'll ever read this, but I'd like to say speaking as a highly qualified and registered mental health professional, that I'm majorly jealous that you can foxtrot. Carry on.

Posted by: Jo MacD at May 30, 2009 3:08 AM

You can foxtrot? I am impressed.

Posted by: Dee at May 30, 2009 5:27 AM

I have a strange fascination with outties. I think it's because my innie is a caverness mystery and I hate it.

Posted by: Amaya at May 30, 2009 2:10 PM

well said cactus. fuck em all if they can't take a joke. lol

Posted by: raino at May 31, 2009 10:23 PM

oh. and one other thing. it must suck to have an outie. where in hell do you hide your gum?! lol

Posted by: raino at May 31, 2009 10:25 PM

Nicely done, sir, all around.

I know where you're coming from with the large ships thing. I think whales are nice and interesting and all, but when I imagine floating free and alone out in the open ocean, the thought of some enormous whale just sliding through the water beneath me scares the hell out of me.

Probably because it would remind me of the vastness of the body of water I'm in, and my lack of knowledge about all that's going on in the blackness below.

Posted by: LiteralDan at June 1, 2009 2:37 AM

I am opinionated... some say very...my friends say it's what they like about me. I generally choose friends who are opinionated too as that's what makes folk interesting in my book. People without opinions (and/or senses of humor) bore me, so I guess that's why I don't have a massive circle of fawning fans.... !! : )

But I guess by writing a blog you must accept/want feedback (that's why I don't!)or kind of what's the point... yeh...so what's my point !? I guess if you write interesting/funny/opinionated stuff I'm thinking you have to take the bad with the good...and then totally ignore the bad....

In my level-headed opinion you are extremely sensitive and reasonable (almost to a fault..!!!) Perhaps I should write something really obnoxious to really get the naysayers chomping at the bit or perhaps they should bugger off and read a blog by a dull, right-winged bigot like Miss California for example. (as Im sure she has one by now)

keep up the good work and let it go mister !! : )

Posted by: english thorn at June 1, 2009 4:58 PM

I can't believe you shun ketchup--I get the whole tartar sauce thing, but ketchup? I can no longer continue to read your lycopene hating drivel. ;) Seriously, let all the negative crap roll away. If the world had a few more like you, I think--and that is of course my judgment-- it might be a better place.

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Posted by: LilySalas20 at February 28, 2010 6:38 AM

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Posted by: Lancel at November 18, 2011 5:10 AM


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