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Celebrating 20 Blocked Writers

It’s 4 AM.

My brood slumbers.

Time for Mornin’ with Me starring Me with special guest Me!

<enthusiastic air-claps from studio audience (all Me)>

On today’s show, I’ll be showing how to whip up a hearty Midwestern breakfast.

“Always start by removing the smoke detector battery.”

<audience summons Olympian strength to muffle laughs / control pee flow>

I cook and stir until the fried rice reaches a nice shade of shoeshine.

“Mmmm — you can really taste the salt.”

Bowl on table, I boot the laptop to see what Medium has in store.

Solitude, sodium, stories:

In the words of the great Lynn Redgrave, “This is living.”

And it gets better — my notification cowbell is lit.

Oooooooo!

I clickety-click to reveal the mystery message.

Is someone serving up some generous claps? Has a sentient being become a follower based on something I wrote? Maybe someone with shared interests has highlighted my highlights which have highlighted layers of others' highlights.

Nope, none of that.

I find a crass remark from someone I don’t know.

Judging from the image, she’s a twenty-something with a keen sense for eyewear and a knack for outdoorsy selfies…or she’s a foul-mouthed wood nymph.

For reason unknown, she’s seen fit to introduce herself by way of warping context to one of my comments so she can fashion a crude, vulgar barb pointed at me.

Why?

I lower my lucky-boy spoon so I can clearly examine the situation.

I need understanding to guide my feelings and reactions. I need to know this person; learn why a lewd, derogatory quip is her chosen salutation.

My meds roll in my palm like Baoding balls.

And I mull.

Who are you young one?

What inspires you?

Where is your happy place?

Why…

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ah screw it.

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WELCOME TO HELL, MISS NASTY PANTS!

HAAAAAAAAA *breath* HAAAAAAA!!!

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It’s been months since I’ve blocked anyone.

In my early days on Medium, the exercise was quite frequent. Lack of user customization mixed with an audacious force-feed of editorial staff’s pet writers twisted me into a crazed serial blocker.

self-promoting know-it-better-than-you-ever-will graduate of Google Search U

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political satirist trying desperately for an internship at The Onion or — fingers crossed — Clickhole

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sex expert reporting on liberating benefits of threesomes, foursomes and bowling league-somes as they occur

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I thought Medium curators were moonlighters from CNN and Pornhub.

I figure my first fifteen hits occurred within a two-month span back in 2017. I distinctly remember a fear of receiving a letter of admonishment for not being a willing participant of Kool-Aid consumption.

I also held an irrational but real-to-me anxiety that I’d block so many writers, I’d cause a Ghostbusters type containment unit to breach.

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Then things improved.

Enhancements came along.

I learned to access Medium through my carefully constructed network page rather than the home page. (Sure, I’ll sometimes check feature posts once in a while to see if my theory that all tech and sex writers will eventually hook up for a grandiose speed-date summit comes to fruition. Don’t say you don’t.)

I come to this website -

  1. to be amused
  2. to be inspired
  3. to be informed
  4. to visit with friends and make new ones

Sharing thoughts, ideas, emotions and clever rib-pokes on Medium has been my only justification for social media in any form including Dad’s hourly Orlando weather updates on Facebook.

My network is just a small village in the Mediumverse, but it’s proof that community can be had here, and it’s the best source of entertainment I know short of the library.

I want to protect it.

Which brings me back to Miss Nasty.

I’ve never blocked anyone for thoughtlessness or bad etiquette. I was subjected to a troll once and attempted to engage him, but his mom must’ve changed the WiFi password cuz he went away.

At least the troll had an opinion. He just needed help expressing it. And a more open mind. And a tummy rub.

Fact is, I wouldn’t have blocked any writers I didn’t care for if they hadn’t been shoved in my face early on.

But the daughter of Beavis was most unwelcome.

In a quest for claps, she crapped out some insulting humor at my expense without any consideration other than self-aggrandizement.

Her action was fit for delinquents’ summer camp, not a platform for aspiring writers and deep thinkers.

I have few qualms about my reading experience on Medium nowadays. I know how to tame the politicos and sexumacation specialists so they don’t bug me. (God forbid they ever go rogue and attack: Everything you know about the electoral college and insertion is wrong!)

I’ll admit that I may, on occasion, even take a looky-loo at a how-to-write-better article even though it’s typically rehashed Write What You Know or Write from the Heart or Write After I Quote to You from On Writing hoo-ha we’ve all heard before.

Hey — to all those writers I prefer not to read: More power to ya. You do you. Peace. Live and let live. Write on!

I’ll stay over here and you keep over there.

But for anyone who believes it’s OK to take unprovoked slop-shots at unsuspecting writers because you think it’ll get you noticed and elevate your star, I’ve got my own Stephen King quote for you:

You don’t know half as much as you think you do…shitter.

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That ending would’ve been way cooler if I she could read it.

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"Hi. My name is Roy." - Now that just sounds stupid. (thehappysidestep@gmail.com)

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