Black Sheep of the Blogosphere

I know you, you know me
I’m the black sheep of the family,
I’m in an’ out of trouble
I’m the talk of the town
I get wild in the street
When the sun goes down
I steal around, like a thief in the night
Dancing ’til the break of day

Whitesnake

I don’t know who was following the blogosphere over the weekend, but there was a fight taking place on TMM’s blog.  TMM felt that someone had taken a lead/idea from one of his blog posts and then repackaged the idea several months later without giving him credit.  (Edit: See the story in question here.  For the record, I do think TMM was the first to find it.)  TMM and I spoke by phone today.  For right now he has taken everything down in deference to the contributions that all of his colleagues have made towards Asian American culture.  Hopefully all parties can be happy.

I don’t know the details, so I won’t go into specifics of the incident this weekend.   What I will say is this:  It’s hard to be one of the black sheep of the blogosphere. Those of us who don’t post on pop culture or mainstream politics don’t and will never pull in the traffic of those who do.  I just wanted to give TMM a shoutout of support.  Again, this is not related to the specifics of the incident in question.

I do feel TMM’s pain.  I can express black sheepdom in one sentence: no one ever links to you because they don’t want to be associated with your so-called craziness or anti-socialness, yet people read you and like you. It’s kind of like being that uncle or aunt or cousin who embarrasses the family.  The key difference is that people would kick that uncle or aunt or cousin out of the family if they could.  When you’re a black sheep of the AA blogosphere, on the other hand, people read you and like you; they just don’t always acknowledge you.  I mean, really, look at TMM’s traffic on his sidebar.  His audience is NOT small. People are reading him.  I think it’s fair for him to ask for some occasional love, even if he’s not mainstream.  I understand that we live with the normal rules of association, where it’s normal and expected that popular culture bloggers would be more likely to promote other popular culture bloggers, but think about how much more powerful the movement is when everyone’s voice is included.  Frank Chin is a great example of this.  He’s considered less marketable that Hong Kingston and Amy Tan, but look at how much the man has contributed.  The mainstream doesn’t promote him enough.

Anyway, I don’t have much else to say about this topic, other than the AA blogosphere is like a small family.  There’s a Jewish phrase, Shalom Ba’yit, which means “peace in the house.”  I hope we can have peace in the house, with a place at the table for all of us, big sheep and small sheep, white sheep and black sheep, and all other contributors together.

11 thoughts on “Black Sheep of the Blogosphere

  1. His contributions are noted and acknowledged. I am not always on the same page as TMM, but I subscribe to his blog and have no problems letting folks at large know that I subscribe to his blog. TMM is a necessary part of the AA blogosphere and I appreciate his work.

    However, he was in the wrong. Posting derogatory comments that insult the physical appearance of other bloggers, questioning the integrity of other bloggers, and making inappropriate inuendos won’t garner him sympathy. Deleting the posts is not enough. He should apologize directly to the parties he hurt. There is a difference between scathing criticism of a blogger’s content and what he said about those parties as individuals, who happen to be people I deeply care about.

  2. Thank you for setting it straight. I was completely on the wrong for acting foolish and childish when I could have been professional.

    If anyone would like to post anything they feel strongly about, please do so.

    Matter of fact, not only am I wrong, but I deserve to be scolded and have my name ripped apart like I have done to them, every single one of them, who I admire.

    Steve, if you have that video of me being drunk on the Banana panel, please post it or give it to someone to post it.

    My life is a train-wreck. I will be attending AA (the alcoholic kind) meetings soon because my girlfriend is about to leave me if I don’t.

    My home is being foreclosed on in the near future and I am still unemployed and live in the basement under their roof, and trying earnestly to be retrained in another field.

    ——–

    THIS IS FOR JOZ/JEN (You two are beautiful people) and this one is the karma I deserve. Let me tell you my insecurity which I haven’t posted on yet:

    One time, when I used to be so insecure about my skin color when no one accepted me when I was a kid, I tried bleaching my skin with real bleach and scrubbed it so hard with a sponge, my skin burned.

    ——–

    However, I am what I am. Please understand me. I need my blog because that is my home. It’s my only way to express myself for now.

    Let me recover first and I will change because I know people are reading me. I will make every effort to make it up to the people I hurt through my irresponsible name-calling and unwarranted comments.

    But please let me clarify this: I am not dangerous, nor I am suicidal.

    I’m just hurting inside and I am fighting it really, really hard.

  3. Thanks for posting this.

    TMM, like I said keep ya head up. We appreciate who you are that’s why we follow your blog. If you need anything let us know.

    I don’t have much to add to the Asian blogosphere as I am roamer more than anything. I would say that it internet tends to lean towards promotion of “big blogs” over smaller blogs. Seen it in the political sphere as well. Not sure why that is, but it is observation by many others.

  4. Everybody’s human… so I don’t feel it worthwhile to dwell too much on “the drama” these websites sometimes create. Oh the war stories, from the good ‘ol days of the F44s Byron, myself, and others could tell…

    TMM might have been wrong in full-frontal attacking the “big names”, but I think beneath the assault was at least a valid point: there’s plenty of Asian American / Asian Canadian / Asian hyphenated bloggers who put in work that isn’t often credited by the mainstream (though I would argue AngryAsianMan is the most link-friendly). I think it helps keep things in perspective that most of us are “amateurs”, we don’t really blog for income, rather, we write out of passion for our communities and the issues relevant to them. If we start obsessing about page ranks and Google results too much, we risk losing the passion we had in the first place when we started writing.

    peace!

  5. it’s true, i know my links on fb have been jacked, they are so random that there is no way anyone could find it. however, maybe someone shared it w/ someone else that shared it w/ someone else, so now they have no idea. unlike tumblr, we don’t know who the original owner or blogger was. however, even in the tumblr world, the first person that posts it still isn’t sure if they are the owner of it. it’s like dr. dre vs pdiddy, they both jack beats, but as the comedian patrice o’neal says, ‘dr. dre is just a deeper digger’ lol.

    so even though i know other people aren’t saying who they credit, and just by timing of it all, knowing i posted something and minutes later it’s on their blog, i still don’t know 100% so i don’t say anything. however, in that same token, i jacketh posts, pictures, etc too and i like to link, but sometimes my ass is just lazy.

    a big problemo i have, is when i post videos, many times found from channelapa, sometimes i post links, and other times i’m just lazy to. however the problem seems not that sometimes people don’t want to link things, it’s that they are lazy lol or in tmm’s case blackballed. in today’s internet world…..sooooooo many people are jacking images, me included and not crediting, however many times it’s because they can’t credit because they have no idea. and when the original owner finds out his image is jacked, it’s no longer viral and he doesn’t get the millions of hits as the jacker does. i’ve seen it happen to my friends batman killing a shark underwater w/ a light saber image. the jacker got millions of hits, and when it got back to him, the hype had died down.

    the solution to me, as far as images, is that images need to have the credits ON the image. that way they will always get credit. however, for text, it’s waayy harder. people will just google and find another blog they would prefer to link to when you know it was you. but what can you do? i just say screw it, we all jack, so who am i to tell people to credit me, however i also don’t make money for it. if i did, then maybe i would be mad about people making money from his posts. however, about the whole keni styles thing, i knew about him way back lol and just saw him on big lebowsk xxx! he’s the ‘oriental’ that jizzes on lebowski’s vhs porn collection lol. i also wrote to him when he just had his blog and suggested him to get a facebook page actually which he made like a couple minutes later. in fact, wrote to him on myspace days too. now, as far as all those other male pornstars, i have no clue lol. but if i posted something about keni styles, which i never have, i would have because i watched his ‘movies’ before lol.

    i think this whole thing is an important part of the blog ethics world. i don’t think the question is if we should link others, that’s obviously. some bloggers are blackballed, that’s obvious too. it’s more like HOW to be credited when it’s text based. i guess you can’t? images you can put your name on, but for stories, it’s just one big honest policy. that’s the big problem.

    what do people think is the solution? sure everyone can link everyone but you know that’s not gonna happen. however, when the huffington post jacks stuff, do they have to credit too? they probably don’t either.

    it’s just the wild wild west right now in the internet world and this is what happens when there are no rules. in fact surprised this doesn’t happen sooner and more often.

    really can’t think of a solution to link other peoples work other than honest policy. anyone else got any ‘solution’ ideas?

  6. This is the thing. People…we have emotions. Some are better at identifying, understanding, using, and managing them than others. But when they arise, real emotions, they raw. Some are better at speaking from the heart than others–unfiltered. But this comes with a cause. People . . . we not mind readers. We need a phone call. Though, when the fire settles…let’s put sand over the ashes. Thanks, Byron. And you too, comrade.

    I apologize to plug this here, but I think bigWOWO can appreciate.

    BANANA II – A Place Where AA Bloggers Can Come Together To Chop It Up will happen this November.

    A lot of things to talk about. (TMM, you get to stay home to recover until you’re ready.)

    Love,

    -Lac

  7. I have nothing but love and respect for Militant. He’s been through a lot in the past few months, and it’s safe to say that emotions got the best of him. I admit, playing damage control wasn’t fun… but sometimes we just have to forgive and forget.

    Hey B, when are you going to be in California? I wanted to know if you were free to do an interview with me. Let me know when you decide to stop by and pay a visit.

    Take care,
    Steve

  8. Thanks, Everyone!

    TZ:

    You’re totally right about the physical comments. I know TMM feels very bad about that. I also know apologies can’t erase words once they come out, but I hope they can at least mend some of the damage.

    TMM:

    You’re one of the most exciting bloggers out there. Don’t give up. Please take the time you need to heal, and then come back strong.

    Frank,

    I agree with you.

    Gar:

    You and I are on the same page; maybe because you and I come from the same blogging/commenting background. The war stories!

    neaato:

    Good points. I don’t know what the solution is. Unless one quotes an idea word for word and claims it as one’s own, one is not legally obligated to disclose where one got an idea…that was TMM’s issue…so I don’t know what the solution is.

    Lac,

    Thanks for your words, Brother Lac! I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it down to LA this year, but I know the conference is going to get better and better.

    Steve,

    Thanks for the comments, and thanks for working the damage control! I don’t know when I will be in CA next, although I’d love to go. Life is just so busy with the kids these days!

  9. Pingback: Rest in peace, Minority Militant | bigWOWO

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