Since You Bring It Up...
Also, we spend a lot of time around the house making fun of those who write for the local newspaper, as well as those syndicated columnists that said paper chooses to run. One day soon for instance, I'd like to do a celebration of Charlie Krauthammer's highly contagious self love, wonderful man that he is.
Matter of fact, let's examine this: Oregonian writers/contributors I've ridiculed include S. Renee Mitchell, Catrina Bush, Dan Neils, Pulitzer Prize winner/terrible writer Tom Hallman, Jr., and I at least took a swipe at Margie Boule. Local cartoonist Jim Adams was a recent focus, due to his shitty comedic skills. The Mercury's staff in general tends to get a good going over from me, as did local legend and all-around wonderful person Craig Marquardo.
But the only one who ever wrote back was Lillian Mongeau.
I didn't even write about her. However, Aunty Christ did, in the comments on the post before this one. Imagine our delight when the next comment, instead of being from one of the perhaps seven people who read this blog, was signed 'lillian', and it read:
"very smooth assesments. thanks for the constructive feedback. though rich, aunty christ did not actually say that i google myself a lot, you just came up with that. one of the best things about googling my name these days is the stupendous troll comments i sometimes find. it's pretty incredible what people are willing to write in the name of getting others fired up. you two did a good job though, specifically spelling my name all the way out so that i would find it easily, and then switching to writing "mongo" in an attempt to piss me off schoolyard fashion. very clever actually. keep it up, maybe you'll get chelsea cain upset. best of luck!"
And yes, it really was all lower-case. It looked to be written by someone with a Blogspot account, but there was no profile available, and probably no blog. Just created to respond to...us, perhaps?
Point by point, then? Ms. Mongeau:
The observation that you probably Google yourself a lot was made around the house, not on screen. However, there's no way you would have found this blog without having done so, and that makes the above sort of pointless and sad.
In this particular case, you'd be the troll, Lillian. I didn't come to your virtual house and poop my pants. I personally never thought you'd be seeing this, or if you did, you'd remember that you are published on a weekly basis in a newspaper that is distributed statewide. Your comments, whatever one may think of them, are a matter of public record, and people might very well have things to say about them, some of them disparaging.
But what the fuck do you care? You have a public forum, so you win. Don't be a crybaby.
I'm not sure one could say that we were trying to get you fired up, either. In fact, that would suggest a highly Lillian Mongeau-centered view of reality that very few people actually have. 'Spelling (your) name all the way out' is what we do here in Good Grammar Land, and isn't some insidious plot to drag you back here and see yourself savaged by some heartless, anonymous and under-read bloggers. On the other hand, were I a nicer person, I could have spelled it M******, and we wouldn't be having this conversation.
Yes, around the house you are known as 'Mongo', assuming that is the way that 'Mongeau' (ah- there I go spelling it all the way out again) is pronounced. The 'schoolyard fashion' comment caused us to wonder if that is indeed what they called you on the playground, resulting in childhood trauma that lives with you to this day.
Those Generation Y kids, they can be so cruel.
So hey, about the constructive feedback? I know sarcasm when I see it, missy, but since you bring it up, let's do some o' that.
The fault lies at least partly with The Oregonian itself for thinking someone may adequately speak for their generation. Perhaps you yourself see the idiocy in this, but on the other hand, enjoy having a byline, and a place you can write your thoughts in public.
This leads, unfortunately, to a scenario in which you are forced to write about things in a somewhat narrow context. A fairly straightforward and not exactly unique set of observations about marriage must then be presented as something native only to people of a certain age group, which it isn't.
I bring this one up a lot, but Gore Vidal describes his time writing for television as an attempt "to do well what should not be done at all". Gotta make a living. I myself, more often than not, find myself setting stages for performers that I consider to be awful.
And so one finds oneself writing pieces to please a somewhat strange standard, as part of some arbitrarily determined 'generation'. It's patronizing and demeaning, and occasionally must kinda bother you.
I've been writing all my life, and never entertained any serious notion that I'd do it for a living. The lady of the house actually has been paid for things she has written. Having said that, it isn't bitterness that would cause us to say the things we do about you.
It's that you have the high place to stand and shout things, where at least some people will hear you, and yer doin' a shitty job of it, in our opinion.
Hm. Guess I don't actually have any constructive criticism after all. If you want though, you could complain about my blog in your column and make me pseudo-famous.