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Let's take a chance and write about Lindy West

You know whose writing I love? Lindy West's. Like, to a degree where she'll write an article and I'll sit in despair in front of my computer because her writing is SO GOOD and SO HILARIOUS and I'm over here still being amused by repartee like "That's an ugly turtle." "YOU'RE an ugly turtle."

But more often lately, my friends have talked to me about how they don't like Lindy. Sometimes on a personal level, sometimes based on the articles she writes for Jezebel. And I get it. She is a terrifying individual. Hilarious, yes (HAVE YOU READ HER TITANIC REVIEW? I am going to have it framed someday). But still terrifying. Terrifying to the point that I'm scared she's going to find this post and somehow come after me, even though I love her with the kind of love those Siamese children have for the King in The King and I.

How I see Lindy West

But she does this thing. This thing where if her focus is on you and you're at all disagreeing with her, you feel that at any moment a mighty wrath is going to be unleashed and you will be left like the blasted and hollow exoskeleton of a crab on the beach. I tweeted at her once a few months back about how mayyybe her style of replying to people who disagreed with her could be viewed as bullying, and I seriously had MULTIPLE PEOPLE either PMing me on Twitter or gchatting me, all saying "OMG WHAT ARE YOU DOING I WILL MISS YOU WHEN YOU'RE GONE."

So there's that.

When I read this, my reaction was basically " don't need to say anything. Because this is 100% not my business." But I feel like the few times it's been said, it's been JUMPED on in an extremely negative way, so maybe if it's put out there by someone who thinks the King of Siam is REALLY SWELL but maybe shouldn't beat that slave, it's worth saying again. 

Which is that: People who disagree with Lindy West do tend to get immediately shut down in a terrifying way that few are strong enough to withstand. People whose intentions I sometimes think she's really misunderstood get told they're idiots, and then her legion of sycophants goes after them, which is kind of like watching a pack of hyenas gnawing the carcass of something taken down by a hilarious but brutal lion. YES IT'S THAT UNPLEASANT TO SEE IN THE JEZEBEL COMMENTS SECTION OR ON TWITTER. If you .@ reply to someone you're arguing with on Twitter, you're essentially saying to all your followers "Hey, check out this asshole." And they will then attack en masse, because they want the lady they follow to favorite the thing they said. 

You can say "I'm not in charge of what people who follow me do," but I don't understand how you can NOT see that you're encouraging them to act that way and thereby silencing people who might disagree with you, but are afraid they'll be misconstrued and then mocked/told they're dumb/ganged up on. She has a lot of truly excellent things to say, but some of them get buried by a misreading of and unfortunate reaction to occasionally legitimate criticisms.

Now if you will please excuse me, I have to go cleverly hide myself somewhere.

There we go


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