Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dear Anonymous,

I feel like one of those politicians who makes some kind of gaffe and is taken to task, perhaps rightfully, for a careless and casual comment. A couple of days ago, I posted a photo of a box of TIDE detergent, which you can look at again, HERE. When I posted the photo, which was sent to me on a phone, it struck me as funny in the way old-timey advertisements for housekeeping products strike me as funny. You know the ones, where women vacuum happily around the house in aprons or greet their husbands with a cheerful drink and neat children, lined up to kiss daddy after a hard day. I was also thinking about how commercial products are branded -- Joy, for instance, for dishwashing liquid and the Odyssey, for a minivan. I knew that the logo "Loads of Hope" was probably for a charity, but I didn't google it and find out. I also thought that given the context of my own often morose and depressed state of mind, it was just damn funny in an if only sort of way.

In fact, I now know what the charity is all about, thanks to you, my ANONYMOUS commenters (I know that's not a real word, either), who, with the exception of the person who signed with the letter "A" (I know who you are!), felt compelled to take me to task.

Here's the thing, Anonymous Commenters: if you read my blog regularly, you probably know that I have a sharp, sometimes caustic tongue, but you probably also know that I wouldn't be making fun of people who have been in a catastrophe, nor am I some kind of bumbling idiot, (a.k.a Trent Lott, who applauded Strom Thurmond's efforts to fight desegregation much to his detriment as a Senator).

I maintain that commercial advertisements are often incredibly goofy, no matter what they advertise.  And while I applaud Tide's efforts to come to the aid of the victims of Katrina, I also know that Tide is essentially a product of a multi-national corporation interested in making vast sums of money and also just happens to be a product that pollutes the water and might be, just a tiny bit, in danger of perhaps losing its status as the premier clothes-washing detergent as more environmentally-conscious companies figure out more sophisticated ways to sell their own products.

But I digress. I confess to feeling a tad irritated when I read those comments this morning. I wondered why people register themselves as Anonymous and only pop up when they have something negative to say. I have decided to remove that option from my blog because, frankly, it drives me nuts. I love a good argument but I also like knowing that the person who disagrees with me and has a point to make isn't afraid of attaching his or her name or some sort of signifier to that point.

Now I'm going to do a load of Seventh Generation.



  1. Personally, I've thought for a long time now that you are the root of all evil.

  2. You tell 'em - this is YOUR blog and you can say what you want to say! XOXO

  3. "I love a good argument but I also like knowing that the person who disagrees with me...". I love a good argument because when real it shows that someone is paying attention and understands the issues. Or not. But it is making silver in my book.

    And I agree with SD/DD.

  4. Dear Elizabeth,
    My name is Jennifer and I like your blog. I've liked it for awhile and not got around to commenting yet.

    I'm not sure how calling an ad campaign 'goofy' constitutes insulting hurricane victims or that a company's money raising efforts. Some people take things so seriously, and worse yet - so literally.

    Anyway, I read you because you're forthright, honest and you're telling your story like it is. I appreciate that.

  5. Oh Elizabeth- What crazy twists people let their panties get in. Sure, it's wonderful for Tide to go to natural disasters and help people wash their clothes but for heaven's sake- to use it as an advertising gimmick is pretty darn obvious.
    And you- you were just trying to have a light moment in your life and share it.
    Let people get over their damn selves.

  6. Let me get this out of the way from the start. I would NEVER compare you to Trent Lott!!!!! Anonymous is anonymous so negative comments can be freely banded about, well, anonymously. I get your sense of humor. It is, in part, why I read your blog. I don't have to read your blog. You don't have to read my blog. If I want to be negative, I will do it openly. I know you would do the same. Even though I don't like this saying "nuff said"!


  7. I'm not sure what this is all about here, but I know your right:)

  8. jeeez. some people have a serious lack of the Sense of Humour gene.

    i looked at the original post and it was pretty tame, you werent offensive at way


    maybe you can take it as a compliment, in a wierd way. all those anonymous wet blankets are actually reading your blog, after all...and are they all out there full on campaigning for charity? I doubt it...unless sitting on your bum reading blogs and getting cranky and mean counts...

  9. Forgot to mention this article in yesterday's NY Times re dining in Durham.

    Would you have thought it back in the college days?


  10. Well. Congratulations. You have called the whole "Anonymous" veil out. Good. Why hide behind nothing and throw sticks and stones? Why not come out in a transparent way and have a decent conversation? I do find it interesting when people "disagree" with you, and that makes you "wrong." Right. I mean, that makes no sense.

    Anyways, your original post was not agreeing or disagreeing with anyone. You said how you felt about seeing the words, "loads of hope," on the detergent box. There is nothing to disagree with here....

    Oh well. I could garble a while longer, but won't. I believe that your sense of humor is your salvation, along with your courage and willingness to write into your introspection, your feelings, and into the sometimes whacky things that Life puts in front of you.

    Every time I read your posts, I am amazed. I mean it when I say Congratulations.

    I have enabled/enlisted the "no anonymous comments" feature.


  11. No, I went to UVA but you told me you went to UNC at Chapel Hill sometime ago. I grew up in Roanoke, VA and spent quite a bit of time in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area with friends and relatives who attended UNC and Duke.


  12. I went back and read the anonymous comments on the original post. I couldn't help but wonder if they came from the Tide corporation PR people! This also brings to mind the recent court decision about corporate donations to political campaigns that has basically given corporations the same rights as individuals. It seems we heading in a scary direction if a corporation is seen this way.

    ANYWAY. I wanted to tell you that the photograph in my recent post that looks like book spines is actually the inside cover of the Natalie Merchant CD. The names of the songs are written along the spines. It is gorgeous. Leave it to Natalie!

  13. way to go
    I like what screamish says about the sense of humor gene :)
    you gotta laugh or else you'll cry

  14. I highly doubt that those Anonymous commenters had read more than one post on your blog. But of course I could be wrong, as I also would have doubted that anybody could get offended at your Tide post.

  15. Oh Elizabeth, I love your spunk and intelligence and strength and humor.



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