This blog story isn’t an easy one to write, on a lot of levels; but, it’s still very important. I’ve even been going back and forth about whether or not to let it go and not upload it; but, I’m going forward with it, because of its importance.
When I was about seven or eight years old, I went to visit my friend Mike. We played together in his sandbox and had great conversations. What they were, I can’t even remember, but if he wasn’t a good conversationalist, I wouldn’t have wasted my time in his sandbox.
One day, unbeknownst to me, he had just been told that he was going to be moving. I took my usual seat in the sandbox and said, “Hi, Mike!” He had a toy gun in his hand at the time. He flipped it around so that he had it by the barrel, and hit me over the head with it. Now I know and understand… years later… he was so angry with having to move that the he took it out on me. You know that song, “You always hurt the one you love, the one you shouldn’t hurt at all.”
All I remember doing was screaming in pain, getting up, and never looking back.
FAST FORWARD to the early 1990’s
My husband Jose is an internet junkie, whose IT capabilities are phenomenal. (Let’s just say he gave up going to M.I.T. and Columbia in deference to going to Bowdoin on a full scholarship.) Jose’s continually feeding me new things happening in the Internet world. In the early 1990s, he turned me on to the newsgroup alt.food.wine. I had been working at Belvedere Winery, and was enrolled in Santa Rosa Junior College’s Wine Sales and Marketing degree program. I wanted to learn as much as I could about the wine business, because I was so new to it and an older entry person. I had about 20 years of catching up to do. I couldn’t afford to be riding in the breakdown lane.
So… I was having a great time on alt.food.wine, sharing a lot of what I was learning and experiencing (much like this blog); simple things, like Russian River Valley wineries are known for great Pinot Noirs. You would have thought I had said, “The moon isn’t made of blue cheese, it’s made from Roquefort.”
Off they went on me…
I need to specify. I signed up using my real name, while most people had pseudonyms. They were anonymous; while I was, and still am, transparent.
Once these knuckleheads began to throw sand at me, for the most simple of statements ~ how could a woman know anything about wine? ~ I got the heck out of the sandbox. I don’t need to ever feel that handle again.
I’m amazed as I read other bloggers’ work that, for some of them, I can’t even find a full name. Is that in their best interest? Does it make for credible reading?
As regards what’s happening with Blake’s readers, if you don’t know, he talked about a larger than life winemaker ~ innocently enough as an advocate, much like my statement about Russian River Valley and Pinots ~ and it completely deteriorated, just as my alt.food.wine days had me get beaten up once more… Except, they weren’t beating up on Blake. They were beating up on the winemaker, who wasn’t there to defend himself.
It seems that being “anonymous” just isn’t going to cut it anymore. If something is going to be said, the sayer must now take full responsibility… anonymous or not… painful, but fair…