As a highly opinionated person, I do love a bit of controversy, and I can be quite argumentative. And my most fiercely held opinion is that everyone has the right to their own opinion.
I’ve argued with a lot of people in my life and what I’ve found is that many people believe I argue because I want them to agree with me. I don’t. I want people to think. I want folks to explore what they believe, and to challenge themselves and me. I want people to have opinions and support them. I want people to convince me of things, and to be convinced of things by me. Or maybe just to have a good discussion that results in nobody changing their minds at all.
I don’t believe that because I think something, the person who things differently about it is necessarily wrong. Probably no one is wrong. I can’t decide for someone else what’s right or wrong for them, and it’s never a good idea for others to try to decide that for me. I simply won’t have it. And feel free to disagree with everything I’ve just said.
With that said, I recently read a post that stirred up discussion, so in celebration of crafting controversy everywhere, I present to you some of my favorite posts. I recommend reading the comments as well as the post.
1. Political agendas: the Etsy Craftivism team on Crafting a Green World. There was a flap on political leanings within the ranks. Do you have to be leftist to want to effect change? It seems sometimes the assumption is “yes.”
2. Also from Crafting a Green World, Julie gets called “retarded” (definitely poor word choice) in the comments in reply to her post about using acrylic felt. As an acrylic felt (and yarn) user myself, I thought the response was in remarkably poor taste, but everyone’s got an opinion. Just maybe insulting others isn’t the best way to voice your response.
3. The post that gave me the idea, the Stitch Bitch’s post on the DIY craft youth movement and its portrayal. And of course, Anna wrote a well-crafted response post as well giving due consideration to the comments she received originally.
4. OMG, the Craftzine dared to post … Squirrel Feet earrings! Creative taxidermy turned out to be very controversial. It incited something of an online riot.
5. Although I’ve drawn out the squirrel discussion in particular since it got people so riled up, Craft in fact noted a whole list of 2008 controversial posts. Never say people don’t have opinions.
6. Margaux Lange, creator of Barbie-inspired jewelry, who posted on her negative experience at a craft show in DC. It’s a long and detailed accounting. I responded, and I realize now it’s overly long, I forgot I had so much to say about it. I was very disappointed in the craft show attendees, and apparently other things as well.
7. Remember the CPSIA flap over new childrens’ products testing and the impact on small business owners? Etsy got really involved, and got the attention of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. I still have a button on my site which I mean to take down ANY day now.
8. Speaking of blog maintenance – I’m kinda sad she edited it from the first, glorious rant, but the point is still there on Urban Craft’s blog post No One Reads Blogs Anymore. You can get a better idea of her original post from the 60 comments. The point is: what’s the etiquette of craft blog posting? Is it really interesting to post about our dinner-making, children and other non-craft pursuits? Do we really read each others’ posts or just skim? Do we take care of our blog links, etc.? Very interesting, and worth a read if you write a craft blog.
Those are the ones I’ve noted and remembered, but I would be really thrilled and pleased if any of you know of any more rants, discussions, arguments, or controversies and can post them in the comments. I do love reading them.
There are currently 50-some people subscribed to this blog, which is amazing to me, but I rarely hear from any of you! So I am hoping at least ONE of you manages to actually stop by! And if you’re the owner of one of the flaps mentioned, I’d like to hear what your response was when you realized you’d incited comment
4 Commentsfeel free to leave a few words of your own...
arlee — Thu Jul 9, 2009 at 9:32 am (link)
:} I used to rant quite often. I post a warning now and if no one wants to read it, they are welcome to move on. I find taking the time to either do the rant or respond to someone who has commented, or who rants back on their own blog, kind of clears my mind. I *have* learned new ways or seen new advantages to things i’ve bitched about, even had my mind changed totally on ocassion.
I’ve also had nasty emails in response to my words—usually, it means the person who responds this way is feeling insulted directly–even though i have NEVER mentioned names or specifics, and rarely if ever have slagged anyone specifically! :}(it *is* possible to rant generically)* People do take things personally with this faceless toneless medium—-odd, but true :}And often it seems, the ranty whiny woe-is-me posts get more comments than the “it’s all mary sunshine here” entries!
As for the “non-craft” posts, your well built and attended grandstand fans will read them: i think it connects them to a “real”person—-my readership is large according to my admin stats, but only a handful *ever* comment. I try to respond by reading their blogs and commenting there, unless it’s a direct query/complaint/issue, whereupon another post is usually in order :}
Jenna Z — Mon Jul 13, 2009 at 5:12 pm (link)
I’ll stop by! I don’t have much to say about controversy or ranting. I left ranting behind when I moved from Livejournal to Blogger. Now my blog is filled with things that make ME happy and I hope they make others happy too. Re:craft blogs posting non-craft things, I like variety and I like more than just crafts. So I skim most every post and have found some great recipes, links to sites/products and tips. I used to flatly refuse to read posts about children but now that I am actually considering making my own (I know, I know), I will read if it’s something mildly cute or fun like educational games or fun food recipes.
Anna — Tue Jul 14, 2009 at 9:32 pm (link)
The very first flap I incited was a complete surprise. I think someone had written on their blog that cross-stitch was “useless” vs knitting and sewing that that were “useful.” I responded on my blog then was accused of starting a flame war. I hadn’t made an ad hominem attack so I have no idea how it had become a flame war.
I spent eleventy-twelve years in graduate school where making arguments that ran counter to what others held dear was encouraged, so I know sometimes I’m a lot more thinky and confrontational than others would like.
My honest response to the latest rant was wow, someone tweeted this? Honestly, I was more impressed by finding my way to twitter (I don’t have an account) than I was worried about having “started something.” Arguing is my natural state. I know other people have problems with it, but that’s their problem.
Someone recently sent me this post about the knitters vs the crocheters (the Socs and the Jets): http://www.metafilter.com/83217/The-Needlers-and-the-Hookers-and-the-damage-done
Miriam — Thu Jul 30, 2009 at 10:41 pm (link)
Just for the record, I make non-craft posts, and I won’t stop, and I am interested in the non-craft posts of the blogs I read, because I’m interested in the people as well as the crafting. I also read craft blogs where I don’t know the first thing about their craft, or their pursuit, but am still interested. For example, I don’t know anything about the competitions that Jenna’s dog participates in, but I still find it interesting to go outside my normal range of things and learn something new. I’m with Jenna, I post stuff that I want to talk about/makes me happy.
Arlee – Thanks for stopping by . I rarely rant (online), except about cell phone use, but I’m always up for having my mind changed. I haven’t ever gotten a nasty email, I wonder how I’d respond …
AVS – Graduate school makes you more contentious? You don’t say! I didn’t know you got tweeted. I missed something. Thanks for the knitting vs. crochet link. That is hilarious. Personally, I still get a kick out of walking into a local yarn shop and stating that I neither knit nor use wool.