on unfollowing

i do not unfollow and/or unsubscribe lightly. i appreciate and enjoy having many sources of information and entertainment, and i certainly do not decide to unfollow based on a difference of opinion – i appreciate different perspectives, as long as they are logical, well-thought out, and expressed with some grace and dignity.


well, this is not that. this is just ugly, and not fancy ugly – plain. i am not unfollowing @dcagle (and unsubscribing to his newsletter) because we differ in opinions. i am unfollowing because the above is a classless example of either (a) going for the cheap shot in order to stir up controversy (traffic, views, mentions, @s), or (b) whatever other reason was behind this, who knows or cares. matters not.

i took the day to evaluate whether or not the content provided by the newsletter and tweets had enough value to me for me to overlook this thoughtlessness. these feeds did have some value, but, to borrow the words of @catawu, “I can’t support something that is mean-spirited or proudly devoid of compassion or intelligence.” ignoring the overwhelming amount of good that Ted Kennedy did in favor of hawking about a once-juicy forty year old scandal is either sleazy or just plain lazy. and ugly, either way.

does it matter that one little follower, 1 of 52,996 who linked to a few cartoons from her modest social media accounts, unfollowed? nope. hell nope! do i feel a whole lot better, cathartically clicking those “un” buttons? yes, yes i do.

7 thoughts on “on unfollowing

  1. I follow him too… and I consider what your underlying reason is, to be important…and I respect that you have such strong feelings about it, that you’ve taken that ultimate step of un-following him. Honestly, I don’t go look at everything he does (draws), and I might be willing to ride this out, if in fact, it was a thoughtless mistep. That’s just because I’m not sure that he’s completely without value, and as such things go, undeniably talented at poking fun at life in general via his caricature view point; But, I’m also proud of what my personal “reputation economy” represents, and on the strength of social networking, and the wonderful and important relationships that I’ve built over the years, I’m also immediately inclined to say… I pay even MORE attention to what my good friend Dot Lizard does (and says about how she feels)… so, now I’m watching something that I wasn’t paying all too much attention to yesterday… and thinking about the implications. Sign me undecided for now, but thankful that I’ve been appraised of this by you. ;P
    .-= Phoenixbird´s last blog ..Soup of the day =-.

  2. in discussions i had with @catawu last night, she pointed out that he behaved similarly after the death of Michael Jackson. both men had their share of scandal in life, yet both contributed to our culture and our world in very significant ways, and it is reprehensible to me to toss all that aside in favor of going for the one-dimensional punch line.

    to my mind, when tragedy strikes, going for the cheap shot is low. for one thing, the target of that cheap shot is no longer around to defend himself, or to direct his publicists to do so — the ones left are the family and friends who are grieving — do they deserve that kind of vitriol not hours after their loss?

    no matter how flawed either man was, turning their lives into shallow caricature within hours of their passing is tacky, rude, and lazy.

    it should be noted that both gawker and wonkete found a way to speak frankly and entertainingly about Senator Kennedy’s flaws while still respectfully acknowledging the tremendous impact of his life. these posts are honest and irreverent, yet thoughtful and powerful. they look at the whole man, not just one of the days in his life.

    i would never expect anyone to eulogize Senator Kennedy as a saint, i just can’t abide the kind of lazymindedness, immediately and reflexively taking the low road.

  3. Hi Lizard,

    Sorry to offend you. I’ve drawn plenty of sappy sweet obit cartoons about celebrities I didn’t care much about –but when someone I don’t respect in life dies, I have no interest in showing respect at the time of their death. Readers who disagree with me often see disrespectful cartoons as cheap shots, for example my Michael Jackson obit cartoons or cartoons where I send a celebrity to Hell.

    As it turns out, I haven’t drawn a Ted Kennedy obit cartoon. I didn’t come up with anything I thought made a worthwhile point and it didn’t seem quite right to send him to Hell – but if you continued to follow, I’m sure I would offend you again.

    All the best,

  4. I can understand the bit about not showing respect in death for those you did not have respect for in life, but I still wonder how, in either of these individuals, you could look at their legacy and see only the bad things, without acknowledging that a significant and in fact overwhelming percentage of their contributions to the world were good. It’s quite possible that the instinctive tendency to reduce celebrities to their lowest common denominator and write helpful labels on everything to make sure no one misses the point is one of the traits that makes an effective editorial cartoonist, since the genre is not known for its subtlety and nuance. So, maybe being offended by you viewing people in caricature as illogical as, say, being pissed off when Slashdot nerds snark about Windows (which is not as bad as all those poindexters would have us think, you know). It’s just what they do, it’s just who they are.

    But, I do give you credit for bothering to respond to one obscure little blogger, which is kinda cool (even though I know it’s a function of maintaining an online brand). It’s still cool.

    So, yeah, I’ll probably just go and click that follow button again. Because I really did like the cartoons, ironically because they simplify complex issues …

  5. He’s a cartoonist for MSNBC and sends out newsletters, links to collections of editorial comics. I do have to admit these are good things to subscribe to.

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