Why am I on about this tonight? Because.
I refer you to an entry I made back on April 3rd, "You can pick your friends, but you can't pick your enemies, or, it would seem, your audience." Oh, hell, I'll just repost it here. I wrote:
I sort of hate to come back after three days away from LJ/Blogger and cause a ruckus right off the bat, or right out of the gate, or whatever, but something's been bothering me for some time now. I resolved yesterday to deal with it, as tactfully as possible (which probably won't be very). It concerns a question which I've raised here before, in passing, regarding, well, realizing that one has readers that one would just as soon not have. And that's an inherently strange thing to say, I know. On the one hand, I need all the readers I can get. But on the other, I must admit that sometimes I wish readers who find me distasteful (or whatever) would spend their time elsewise. But...I'm being vague, and I have something specific in mind. A couple or three weeks back, I was checking who's reading the blog (I do this via Joule, because it's often helpful to see who's interested in what's being said here). Anyway, I have acquired one reader who, on or about the day she "friended" me, wrote of my fiction:
Too dark (see above) – I don’t know if I ever should read her work again. I haven’t since I’ve become a Christian – no light and hardly any air is a bad intellectual and spiritual diet.
would be ambrosia if she would breathe and create from heaven’s breath – as is, pretty amazing, but inhaling her work was always being filled with such a dark and dank cloud, a bad humor.
I found it very odd that this individual (who I'm not naming, but who will surely recognise her words) would feel this way about my writing and yet "friend" me. I mean, isn't that just sort of odd? Anyway, I checked her journal again a couple of weeks later and found the following, which she wrote after having seen V for Vendetta:
I mean that as a writer. I don’t want to enshrine and glorify darkness, I want to focus and craft form for light, give people something to see through.
It was a film with a very political agenda. It was bloody and pathological, too, and it twisted and blurred goodness, and made sexual perversion morally equivalent to married, heterosexual love, which bugged me not because I don’t love people involved in those lifestyles, but because (I’ve been in them, and) it’s not so, and so it’s not fair to sell people a bright lie while you draw them deeper into bondage.
To which I must reply that it's one thing if you don't want to read what I write, if you cannot see that, almost always, I am writing about the light, if only from very dark places, but it's quite another thing to be a homophobic zealot using Xtianity as your shield. To put it bluntly, I really don't want this person, or anyone who would sympathize with the vile things this person has written, the bits I've quoted, reading my stories or novels or even this journal. Indeed, this upset me so badly I have considered making the journal "friends only." But that rather defeats the purpose, as this journal is not my private journal and is being written for my readers. I regret that LJ does not permit me to block LJ users from reading as well as from posting. Am I being unreasonable? I'm emphatically not saying that this person should be forbidden from publicly saying the things she's said, though I find them loathsome and hateful, striking at the very heart of who and what I am. I merely wish she did not read this journal. Frankly, it gives me the creeps, knowing that she's reviewing my thoughts and judging them by the narrow yardstick of her fundamentalist religious beliefs. It is my hope that she will read this and "unfriend" me at once. Of course, that doesn't mean she might not still be reading, but at least she will not be doing so disguised as a "friend." I feel that I only need tolerate intolerance just so far.
Now, on September 22nd, I see (via Joule) that the very same creepy person, who has not "unfriended" me, whom I'd really rather not read my journal (or my books) wrote:
Oh yeah, this is way cool: I was praying for God to help Caitlin Kiernan have less nightmares, and her post today says she slept better and the nightmares weren't as severe.
No. This is not "way cool." This is just dumb. And it's sad. This is the worst sort of "magical thinking," an exquisite leaping to unfounded conclusions, and a damn fine example of someone who cannot quite fathom the relationship between cause and effect. Which is to say, dear, I'm sorry to burst your glittery Xtian bubble, but the reason that my nightmares improved and I slept better was because I took the imidazopyridine Ambien (zolpidem), which not only makes it easier for me to sleep, it also has the rather fortunate side-effect of making it difficult for me to recall my nightmares. I've been on and off Ambien since 2003. I never take it for very long at a time because a) I don't need another addiction and b) it's expensive.
Personally, I think praying for someone you know full well doesn't want to be prayed for, especially not by you, is damned inconsiderate. And no, it's not the same as someone wishing me well. It's not like this person said, "Oh, I do wish Caitlín Kiernan's nightmares would get better." She actually believes that she talked her god into getting inside my head and fiddling about with my psyche and making my bad dreams go away, and now she's out there bragging about it!
May we here pause to consider the concepts of spiritual violation? Psychological rape? It doesn't matter that I know she's just some loonie who's had way too much Jesus juice and way to little critical thinking and that I know the true reason why, in that instance, the dreams weren't so bad. It's still offensive, and I would like her to stop. Please. Now. I'm asking nicely. Go away. Leave me alone. Take your ignorant, silly superstitions and burden someone else with them (if you must).
Besides, I'll have you know I get some of my best stuff from nightmares.
Long has it been rumoured (and sometimes stated outright) that Caitlín R. Kiernan isn't a Very Nice Person. And I'm sure what I've just said will likely be no small bit of evidence to bolster those claims. But, you know. What the frell. I'm tired and I'm annoyed and right now I honestly do not care if the "blogosphere" consigns me to some dustbin of the perpetually cranky and ungrateful.