Saturday, April 01, 2006

doctor orders me to stop being harsh

It's officially Spring, so I had a physical checkup, to make sure I'm strong enough to do all the gardening and landscaping I have planned for our new bungalow.

Boy, was I shocked at the news.

My doctor said I needed to relax, calm down, and avoid conflict. When I asked if personal confrontation and professional critique were "conflict", my doctor said "Yes".

"But Doc," I explained.

"What?" he asked.

"My online persona is a character, an alias, named Vaspers the Grate," I continued.

He gave me a look that signified incomprehension.

"I analyze web sites, marketing strategies, and business models. Sometimes I get upset, cynical, angry, forceful, severe..."

"Stop it," my doctor said.

"What can I replace it with? You can't expect me to praise all the crap (I think I said "shit") that I see in the blogosphere, or in local podunk hick businesses, can you? I mean, I can't pretend to be someone I'm not. I can't be insincere and flatter and tolerate all the garbage out there. The arrogant CEOs, the Harem Mentality dress codes, the pension raiding, pseudo blogs, spammers, mommy bloggers, phishing, offshore outsourcing of sensitive data..."

"You must calm down...or die," he replied grimly.

"Nobody will read my blog anymore, I'll be ruined, I'll have to call myself Whimpers the Flake." The more I protested, the more he hardened his resolve.

"It might be best if you abandoned the blog, and took up chess as a hobby," the non-geeky doctor remarked. He was really getting on my nerves. I wanted to punch him. Thank God, I held back.

"My blog is not a freaking hobby," I shouted so loud, I scared myself. "It's who and what I am, my blog is me, and it's my social life, my primary way of connecting with other people."

"You can accomplish the same thing by joining a health club," the medical man asserted.

So, alas, if I wish to continue living, I must stop being Vaspers the Grate.

This will be my final, tearful post.

Goodbye, friends. It's been a wild ride through rough tides. Thanks for coming along.


Steven E. Streight


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