the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Dear Reader and Occasional Commenter,

So it’s time I sit down and write about the comments on this website, because I really feel like it’s a conversation that we need to have.

And I thought that maybe I’d go back through my archives and showcase all the hateful and hurtful comments that have been made about me, on my own website, if only to point out that I don’t know of many other places on the internet where a person who runs a personal website has to suffer such massive public vilification in her own comments. I mean, I’ve suffered the threats and judgments of the public in places such as Metafilter and Signals vs. Noise, places I would expect such judgment, but I never thought I would face such venom on my own website.

Do not misunderstand me, I knew that by allowing comments on the site in the first place I would run into a multitude of people who would disagree with many of the things I say and do, and I don’t necessarily mind comments that express an opposing opinion. But it’s hard to abide comments that attack me or other people who make viable comments on this website.

I think many of my readers may not understand what I’m trying to do, and this is very frustrating, especially when they make comments like, “I can’t believe you’re making such a big deal out of this, go make yourself a martini and chill out,” only proving to me and to the other readers who get it that they don’t get it at all. And I’m conflicted, you see, because I rarely go about deleting comments solely on the basis that the commenter obviously doesn’t get what I’m trying to do. But I think the majority of my readers, the ones who come here looking for me to make a big deal out of nothing, who know that my greatest pleasure in life is making a big deal out of nothing, find it annoying that they have to sift through all that noise to get to the comments from people who have something legitimate to say.

So I went back through the archives and was reminded that I have a real appreciation for most of the people who read and comment on this website, that many of you are very funny and sympathetic and wonderfully, refreshingly frank about your own lives. And because of you I don’t want to focus on the negative feedback I get from those 3-4 people a day who can’t wait to tell me how much they hate me. And it’s because of you that I don’t want to remove the comments option from my posts.

And so I guess I should establish some guidelines for commenting on this website, even though I know they will be totally disregarded and that the 13-yr olds in Wisconsin are going to try and break my site like they did on Friday, but maybe things would be better if we all tried the following three things:

1. Please read all of the comments before you make a comment, if only to prevent yourself from repeating something that has already been said. I think I can safely say that we all fucking know that Avril is French for April, please don’t point it out again.

2. Please do not use any HTML tags in your comments, as I have turned that option off and your comments will not look like you thought they would. If you’d like to post a URL, just paste the address into your comment. I’m sorry, but that picture of your sore red anus will not show up if you call an image tag.

3. If you’re going to bash Britney, at least say you’re sorry afterward.

Happy commenting.


  • Bast Herself

    2003/01/13 at 7:46 am

    I love reading your site. Pooey on those that bash you and Britney. They don’t have to read your site if they don’t like it. Thanks for making me laugh.

  • jen

    2003/01/13 at 7:47 am

    dear dooce. thanks for leaving the comments up, because the good usually outweigh the bad.

    and if i ever moved to slc, i would bring liquor in order to bribe you to be my friend. I really enjoy your big deals about nothing. 🙂

  • April

    2003/01/13 at 7:47 am

    Well said.

  • owen

    2003/01/13 at 7:49 am

    Reclaim, Dooce – it’s yours, dammit, and you know best.

  • bucci

    2003/01/13 at 7:54 am

    Well, I think you rock. And it always makes my day; puts a smile on my face. You are truly offering a great public service, because, even though it sounds cheesy, you make people smile and laugh in a world that often takes itself too seriously and where bombs drop from planes and it isn’t even in the news. So, thanks, and keep it up.

  • eyemkent

    2003/01/13 at 8:03 am

    Wow… five posts in the time I took to START writing this… maybe that explains all the fucking French definitions… mebbe not.

    I am so glad that you are back, and writing and sharing it, that I almost hate to say anything else. (and the time it has taken to write this may prove that I don’t know HOW)

    Nonetheless, I think it pays to remember that on average, one is more likely to get sycophantic or acidic spew in response to one’s work than anything well thought-out. The fact that yours seems to attract more of the former AND some fun, thoughtful participation speaks more highly of your audience – and therefore you – than any of the mundane (and far too common) pissings that are part of the price mwe pay for all this instantaneous brain-feeding.

    (mmmm…. brains…)

  • Renee

    2003/01/13 at 8:13 am

    I just stumbled across your site… love it! I think being fired for a personal website is bullshit. That’s like saying you aren’t allowed to keep a diary or journal of any sort? Though maybe I don’t know the full story yet, it seems wrong.

    As for making a big deal of nothing… it’s your site, go crazy! I, too, make big deals of utter nothingness, so I’m happy to have found this site. 😉

  • Cody

    2003/01/13 at 8:15 am

    You are a sunny spot in my daily surf, a first-click on my sidebar, and an almost daily smile on my face.

    Impotence manifests iself as hurtfulness. The naysayers are essentially powerless.

    ps — We can’t bash Britney? Not even a little bit? Not even a knock? Awww…

  • annie

    2003/01/13 at 8:15 am

    hopefully comments will be more constructive now.

    it’s a pitty you’ve had to say something.

  • blondie

    2003/01/13 at 8:16 am

    I would just like to say thank you for being a different and fresh voice in the world of repetitive thinkers. I just started reading your site and I much enjoy your nothing-rants! Keep it up.

  • aaron

    2003/01/13 at 8:17 am

    Reading your site is like watching a good Seinfeld episode. Something about nothing? Is that what life’s all about? Keep it up.

  • Miriam

    2003/01/13 at 8:17 am

    Oh, god, I hope I’m not the 13-year-old! Sorry about the link in the comment I posted and I meant only that you’re divine looking. I’ve always enjoyed your site and am glad you’re back. I had never commented before as there’s always so many others… actually I’d have e-mailed you that link privately had I known how. Anyway, again, I apologize. Thanks for a great site.

  • Wayne

    2003/01/13 at 8:18 am

    Does that mean we can bash Christina and Shakira and not apologize afterward?
    dooce, take what solace you can in knowing that those people who are bitter, petty, and slow-witted probably have barely enough self-awareness to know that they are bitter, petty, and slow-witted, and just have to live with themselves the best they can. Those of us with wit and humor and appreciate you and love you…or at least really, really like you…you know, in that way…
    (That wasn’t too judgmental, was it?)

  • shy

    2003/01/13 at 8:23 am

    i love this entry. though i know you were speaking for yourself, i felt that you were speaking for me as well. it’s interesting to note that a lot of the bitter and the power-trip comments are usually left from anonymous people fearfull of leaving an email and/or url.

    luckily, most commenting systems can track ip’s.

    all the best, dooce. thanks for the good reads!

  • Brandon

    2003/01/13 at 8:24 am

    First off, I’d like to say I’m sorry for putting that picture of the little kid on your site. It was pretty irreverent and completely off topic (well sort of). I felt pretty stupid the moment it went up.
    And with the apology out of the way, I want to say I really appreciate your site and your insight. Sometimes we all get bogged down in life. Sometimes we all have tunnel vision. And it takes a different view to help change that. I appreciate your view.
    Keep it up!

  • Toby

    2003/01/13 at 8:24 am

    You know, nothing breathes life into a weblog like the jpeg of a sore red anus. Just a thought.

  • Nisa

    2003/01/13 at 8:29 am

    All the times I’m tempted to allow comments on my own website, all I need to do is think about all the other sites who get so much shit daily from people, and any urge I have is quickly quashed. I’ve had enough in the past, people who don’t ‘get’ the sarcasm of whatever I’m saying, and jump into offended mode. I’m just not brave enough for the anonymity of the comment function, I guess.

  • se

    2003/01/13 at 8:32 am

    Here’s another voice in the chorus of well-wishers. One of the best compliments I can think to give someone is “You make me laugh.” Well *you* make me laugh out loud and that’s a really nice thing to do. People are much more likely to write letters of complaint than letters of praise, and I think it’s the same for Comments. I also think a lot of people out there are yammering yobbos. So take it from someone who takes everything personally–ignore the twits. Most of us have a blast at your party.

  • Kyle

    2003/01/13 at 8:33 am

    Damn! Read *all the comments? You get, like, *a lot* of comments. Okay! I will!

    I’ve loved your site for a long time, Dooce, it’s great having you back and I hope the 13 year olds in Wisconsin and others elsewhere lacking a life of their own don’t ruin it for us again!

    Britney? I’d hit it. If she kept her mouth shut. Sorry!

  • galt

    2003/01/13 at 8:41 am

    you are a brave soul to allow this supremely democratic function on your site, and I think that’s five-star fabulous, even though I’m from Wisconsin, where we fear honest and hilarious blogs and hunt them down for their delicious meats. also, I would like to knock Britney, if you know what I mean. And i think you do. And for that, I am sorry.

  • Dave Thomas

    2003/01/13 at 8:41 am

    See, I just assumed you shut us off because someone called me “Dildo” Thomas. Oh well.

  • Paula

    2003/01/13 at 8:44 am

    I can totally sympathize. I’m STILL getting hate mail and nasty comments from my post about Tom Cruise getting braces ñ even though I took it down over 6 months ago. Also, the pooty tang posts just keep on comin’. People are weird and many of them desperately need lives.

  • Tommy

    2003/01/13 at 8:53 am

    I think your writing is, and has been since the first time I read it(way back when I was just a silly fop), some of the most clever and entertaining stuff I have ever read. Good job Brooke.

  • cicada

    2003/01/13 at 8:54 am

    Angry people aside, much of what’s on the WWW is damn good, and is one of the best sites around. Dooce-girl, comments or no, you rock!

  • Igor

    2003/01/13 at 9:03 am

    I really did scroll down the comment list to see if I wasn’t the umpteenth smartass to point out that Avril is April in French. It’s not a big leap of the mind to figure that out even if you don’t speak any French. I try to contribute in a positive way even though I don’t get it because, hey, women are sometimes a tad hard to grasp. I hope your log shows that I do try to get into the spirit of the thing. I come here because I think Dooce is a good and beautiful person (and not only the deliciously pimpled wrapping Jon gets to enjoy).
    Live the life and tell the tale, sweet Heather. A fan.

  • jie

    2003/01/13 at 9:03 am

    i love your website. i don’t like britney (sorry), and i don’t like avril too. but i still love your website. people harass you coz they can’t bear the fact that you’re famous! hehe…

  • Jen

    2003/01/13 at 9:05 am

    I think there’s way more of us nice people than those assholes, thanks for noticing. I’ve got your back if you ever need to kick some ass.

  • Buckosmack

    2003/01/13 at 9:09 am

    Sweetie, opinions are like b-holes – everyone’s got one. If you’re gonna throw your’s up for the public at large they’re gonna throw back. Don’t take it so personally, it’s really a compliment. You know like when you’re young and your house get’s TP’d? ANyway, it ain’t all sugar and spice and your lovely editorals prove that. It is, however America– and for the time being it’s a free country, people get to say as they please. Just, keep on and don’t let the b-holes get ya down.

  • PJ

    2003/01/13 at 9:11 am

    Where in Wisconsin? I can drive up there and beat the snot out of the little cheeseheads, just say the word.

  • Miss Mea-Mea

    2003/01/13 at 9:11 am

    I love your site. Particularly because you are so (apparently) effortlessly funny. People who do not have their own blogs should realize how tough it is to write intelligently and amusingly on a regular basis. But we need more Chuck pictures, please. I am going through withdrawal…

  • Donna

    2003/01/13 at 9:12 am

    I’m glad you’re keeping the comments. Your site’s comments are the only ones I make a point of reading.

  • the mighty jimbo

    2003/01/13 at 9:12 am

    ah the conundrum that faces all great artists. hang yourself and your thoughts, rants, opinions out to dry and you invite the occasional asshole to take a dump on it. keep it to yourself and you avoid the attacks, but you feel like all those ideas are just gonna get moldy in your head. personally i will never understand why when someone disagrees with you or finds you offensive they just can’t hit the “back” button. seems a helluva lot easier than a two page tirade as to how impressively you suck. ignore the bastards and if you can’t, you are the god of this digital domain. delete delete delete. as a fan, i would hate to see the digital detritus of an attack by some blog terrorist dirtying the content of your site and dulling the edge of your wit. if only to spread a little more butter on your toast, personally i think you are just about the most talented person on the internet and the biggest, baddest ass with a blog. put simply, you rock. and if you aren’t seriously considering writing a book maybe you aren’t as smart as i think you are. and if planting my lips on your ass after mocking britany is all it takes to keep you writing, consider my lips puckered.

  • Xanthan

    2003/01/13 at 9:15 am

    Violent opposition – its the ultimate compliment, Dooce. Though, it seem to me that posting a picture of a sore, red anus is redundant for the poster…. You must be having some effect: today’s news is the Lirva virus, apparently aimed at fans of that anti-pop princess. As the proud product of the California public education system, I can see that Lirva is “banal” spelled backwards.

  • Irk

    2003/01/13 at 9:16 am

    I love Dooce, and I want the whole world to know.

  • Lisa

    2003/01/13 at 9:31 am

    Have you heard that Britney and Justin are back together? Don’t know if it’s true, but the Star says they are…

  • paperdog

    2003/01/13 at 9:57 am

    I love your site & agree that the world takes itself far too seriously these days.
    You offer me a refreshing break from reality and make me laugh out loud at work.
    If I get fired, it’s your fault.

  • JoJo

    2003/01/13 at 10:00 am

    I was gonna go on and on about how much you rock and how you can write what you want and how all those bastards can just rot in hell if they disagree and how you’re just the supercoolest thing since the invention of spice racks (ALERT! STOLEN POP REFERENCE!)…

    …but then I read all your comments, and realized you already fucking know that, so I won’t point it out again.

  • the propagandist

    2003/01/13 at 10:07 am

    i find it incredibly brave that you are willing to even allow comments – after the first negative comment on my site i nuked the haloscan and threatened people.

    maybe that is why i languish in obscurity while you bask in the sometimes harsh sunlight of criticism.

  • LAresident

    2003/01/13 at 10:13 am

    Wow, it took a long time to read all of these before adding my two cents. I was reading the site before you went off the air last year, and I loved it. I like what you do because I wish I had the ability to do it. I look in almost every day, and was so happy to find that you were back on line that I actually stood up and said “Yay!”. I never think to comment, sorry about that. I’m also sorry that I don’t really care for Britney, at all, but I won’t bash her in front of you. Please keep it up, I missed you so much when you were gone.

  • Amanda Lew

    2003/01/13 at 10:33 am

    It’s posts like this that keep things on here especially interesting. Freakishly, I was one of the Avril/April pointer-outers. And I thought I was being all knowledgeable. Oh well, just another reason for me to despise the poor kid. Keep up the great work, Dooce.

  • Eddiewojo

    2003/01/13 at 10:50 am

    Dooce, thanks for leaving the comments. I am of the opinion that putting your rants about this and that and anything that happens in your life in such afunny, pointed and talented way is an art and art is best when it is out there and commented on. Thanks for allowing us to admire your art and let’s face it, Degas and Monet have their critics and detractors as well.

    I unfortunately do not have any talent to do what you do and admire you greatly for it. Thanks for leaving the comments up – reading them is the best part of my day!

  • jwes

    2003/01/13 at 10:51 am

    Rock on Dooce, don’t let the bastards get you down…

  • Lex

    2003/01/13 at 10:59 am

    Dooce, it’s your site, you do what you think is best. I trust your judgment, I love your humor, and if the irony-impaired among your commenters get to be too annoying for you, well, bleep ’em — metaphorically and literally.

  • SnarkyPup

    2003/01/13 at 11:04 am

    You know, as unlikely as it sounds, it seems that Fred Durst and Britney are getting cozy.

  • milk-toast

    2003/01/13 at 11:04 am

    What about a “premium” How many would pay for this service…along with the free daily (or whatever) posts, special “members only” post per week, perhaps.

  • leblanc

    2003/01/13 at 11:07 am

    i applaud you for having comments. a lot of people take them down so that they can speak their minds without having to get any feedback. i’m not quite sure i understand why people post to a public, world wide medium and then get pissed when people make comments they don’t like. if you don’t like comments or don’t want to hear other people’s responses, then why don’t you just write in your private journal or something? anyway, i enjoy your site even though our demeanors and opinions differ sometimes greatly, sometimes not so much. keep on.

  • S.

    2003/01/13 at 11:12 am

    Just imagine what would happen if you said something about the Middle East.

  • Kate the Great

    2003/01/13 at 11:16 am

    Please don’t stop the rock! I need my daily dose of Dooce, and the comments are a yummy buttery frosting, negative or no.

    All those negative nellies are just sour grapes. They’re bewildered by your rapier-sharp wit, as they probably are by most shiny things.

  • Trent

    2003/01/13 at 11:21 am

    Maybe your viewers will “let their conscience be their guide” and quit leaving stupid comments. Most viewers are just leaving interesting feedback and that is cool. The bad feedback is either from an anonymous chickenshit or just a moron with a website trying to draw traffic. Just sad if you ask me. Keep up the good work Dooce. Everything worth while is worth keeping alive!

  • moose

    2003/01/13 at 11:28 am

    Illegitimi non carborundum – don’t let the bastards get you down! Yours is one of the few blogs I read cuz I know it’ll be good. Forge ahead and do what you need to do – which is write these entries! (The book idea should be seriously considered if it isn’t already.) Aside from a couple consumate jerks I feel sorry for, most of us are rooting for you. Even if we don’t like Britney (sorry). And thanks.

1 2 3

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

read more