I got kinda disgruntled last week. Some commenters were mean to me, y’all (pouty face). One comment led me to google myself which I hadn’t done in a while (insert joke here) and I found some mentions of me and my stories online that cheered me up a little. (Warning: Some bragging ahead. Stop reading if you are anti-bragging!)
The commenter was angry over a post I compiled last week of Confederate markers in every Alabama county. When I was researching the post, it never occurred to me it might be controversial. Of course, the post was being timed with recent controversy over the statues but my post was merely a list without commentary. What made a handful of commenters so angry? They felt I was creating vandals by telling people where the statues are located. These are big marble statues, y’all, in public squares. People know they are there. They are also listed online by the Sons of Confederate Veterans and United Daughters of the Confederacy. Why? Because they are proud of them and want people to see them. But somehow when I list them, I am a violence-loving member of the liberal media.
AN ASIDE: I haven’t publicized my opinion on Confederate monuments because it is such a heated topic and, as I’ve learned over many years, people read what they want into whatever you write. They think there is some sort of subtext in your writing when it’s really subtext in their reading. But for you guys on the blog, here are my thoughts: I understand why people see symbolism in them and I don’t see a need to celebrate a war that was so divisive and deadly and so long ago. But as a historian and a lover of cemetery monuments of all kinds, I would hate to see the statues, many carved by famous artisans and intended as memorials to the dead, demolished. (I know some people bring out the argument about Hitler and the fact that Germany has no statues of him. Differences in the two conflicts aside, there are likenesses of Hitler in museums, and at one point, even a wax statue from Madame Tussauds. It’s really difficult to erase a person’s existence altogether and I don’t think we should try. We learn so much from our past). So, if the statues were in danger of being broken or defaced, I would like to see the statues moved to museums or cemeteries instead. The end.
Here’s why I ended up googling myself, a guy named Charles Adam @Cha85Adam, whom I don’t know from Adam (see what I did there?), was taunting me on Twitter about my post listing the Alabama monuments. His original posting used the “F” word, since deleted, and made little sense with missing and misspelled words. I asked him what he meant and he grew angry. He wanted to know who I was and I patiently explained Twitter accounts have bios because he apparently didn’t know. His last tweet was “Doesn’t seem like some great Bio. Have you done anything important or life changing for others? And how much does the blue check cost?” (The blue check refers to being a verified account on Twitter so people will know they are dealing with a reliable source. It has to be earned and approved by Twitter.)
Of course, his question about my changing someone’s life was idiotic at best, but still I responded with “Try Google.” Then I thought, “Hmmm. I wonder what Google is saying about me these days?”
Here are a few things I found:
1. This story from the Smithsonian National Postal Museum gives a post I wrote as a source at the bottom with a link to my story. Y’all the Smithsonian used me as a source. This made me even happier than knowing I am a source on Wikipedia entries.
2. The Los Angeles Times mentioned a recent humor column I wrote about use of “irregardless.” Although the writer disagreed with me, at least she realized I was writing humor and linked to my column, which you can read by clicking here.
3. The Huffington Post mentioned me in a column about National Shower With a Friend Day, which is in February. The writer said, “(I) found this humorous article that poses seven very good questions when considering how to honor the day.”
4. Lastly from this search, I made the summer reading list in an article on CollegeandMagnolia.com, the Auburn Fan Page of the Sports Blog Nation. Writer Jack Condon said, “… read Kelly Kazek’s HIDDEN HISTORY OF AUBURN and you know all about the events that have shaped the town and the university off the football field.
Thanks for letting me vent about my bad week. All better now.