Today should have been a very good day for me. I was on the Brian Lehrer show on WNYC, which is a big deal, and I thought I’d done a fairly respectable job. Brian is a big sweetie, he and his producers were well-prepared, people called in. Brian is a wonderful host in every sense of the word. You’ve got your headset on, and your mike is live, and you’re trying to be clever and quick, and he’s smiling encouragement from his side of the table the whole time. Very sweet.

I was pretty pleased afterwards, and even stopped to indulge in a bagel at a nice greasy spoon on the way home. And then I made The Mistake. I clicked onto the WNYC website and happened to notice a whole bunch of comments on Brian’s blog, under my segment.

Now of anybody in the whole world, I should be impervious to the mean-spiritedness of internet trolls. It’s been four years since I started Baristanet. We’ve had 159,000 comments. Many of them mean, many of them directed my way. I’ve been hearing for years that people are afraid to comment on Baristanet, they’re afraid the trolls will jump on them. Occasionally Annette, who works for me, is brought to tears.

Today I was, goddamnit.

Posted by: sheela March 31, 2008 – 10:54AM

Maybe this is realistic but it’s grossing me out. Wear black and buy an iphone. Yuk.

Yah, I’m sure everyone in Montclair is obsessed with the identity of this yoga teacher.

Thank you sheela. Then there was this.

Posted by: Jim March 31, 2008 – 10:55AM

No surprise a re-plant from VIRGINIA, the non sense of place capital of the world, would think she has insight to anywhere she happens to be, even NJ

Wow. On behalf of all Virginians, including Thomas Jefferson, I apologize for presuming to observe anything. And this.

Posted by: Gene March 31, 2008 – 11:05AM

This whole episode was just insufferable.

And somebody over at WNYC removed some of the worse ones.

Why is it that no matter how many people congratulated me today, it was the ones who found me insufferable that got to me?

Everybody thinks it’s really cool being an author, that you go on a book tour and you’re instantly famous and the fact that your book is reproduced with a slick cover will make you happy. Well, it doesn’t. Being an author makes you naked. It exposes every poorly-worded phrase you’ve ever cobbled together, and all the raw ego and ambition you’ve ever dared to muster. And you know what’s even worse than the talentless hacks who feel it’s their job to say how talentless you are? The even more deafening indifference of just about everybody else.

I know this isn’t fair to all my wonderful friends and family. I’m rich in friends. My e-mail box runneth over. I’m just so tired of doing the pathetic little book launch shuffle, of smiling and tap-dancing and pretending not to sweat.

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