The major drawback to running PeeJ

June/2004: PeeJ musing - There are dreadfully few drawbacks to running There are certainly even fewer long-term drawbacks... save one. It, to me, is the largest drawback to running that website. And it has been a consistent drawback. It's a drawback that makes it hard to start up the email in the morning, and difficult to sometimes read the forum in the evening. Sounds terrible, no? Sure. But it's not terribly terrible, if you can wrap your mind around that.


That's the drawback. Consistently, since the site was started, I've received often lavish praise over the website and how I run it. Compliments ranging from theological in nature (God bless you!) to atheistic in nature (Thank you for showing the world that atheists care!). All manner of compliments, really. And I hate it. I really, really hate it.

I've been online four or five years now, and typically I've gotten to deal with a lot of hatred. Hatred for strongly-worded opinions, statements, or moral stances. I'm comfortable with hatred. Hatred is actually fun to receive. It's easy to mock. I've been called every name in the book, so they don't exactly mean anything anymore when I hear them. Just gives a nice outlet to make fun of the person who is trying to lay down some serious insult.

However, with PeeJ, it's compliment city. Can't mock them, that'd be a terrible thing to do to someone. All you can do is say "Thanks, it's a team effort." But often, that isn't enough. a person will still go on with the compliments. It's enough to drive me batty. The website is a team-driven enterprise. Complimenting myself is foolhardy in the face of that. But moreover, I just hate hearing it, even if it were to be justified.

What special commendation should someone be given for doing something that anyone should do? None. Objectively, nothing I've done with the website is compliment-worthy because it is nothing more than what you should do. Looking from a strict point of view, paying myself a compliment is like saying "oh, what you're doing is so extraordinary, I could never do that." Yet, the fact is that you could have done it, and probably would have. So why compliment me? Makes no sense.

I often have seen the same sort of issue arise when dating. I would be paid compliments for doing things that I don't even think about doing, they're that natural. I was once complimented for simply listening. Listening! Is, of all things, listening that difficult for the typical male that it is now somehow compliment worthy? No. Just that they don't do it. That doesn't mean I should obtain a compliment when *I* do it, it means they should recieve condemnation when they don't do it.

I consider PeeJ the same way. Don't give me a compliment on it. It not only makes me uncomfortable, but it's rather insulting as well. Not insulting to me, but insulting to who the reasonable person should be. The reasonable person should undertake projects such as this. It shouldn't be viewed as difficult, for the work is it's own reward. Only contextually, in view of this shitty society and how horrible humanity commonly is, should what I do be complimented. And I would rather not be paid compliments because everyone else sucks so hard.

One notable example was the webmaster of a website that emailed me a few months ago, wanting to give me an award for the work I do on I politely responded to her, explaining that the website was a team effort, and that the award should be given to the team that accomplishes what we do. The person responded and agreed, but then never did it. However, had I said "oh yeah, I'll take it", I bet it would have happened right away. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not insulting the person, it just typifies how people seem to view things.

They want an individual face to things. It can't be a group compliment in general. I suppose it's easier to think a person is doing something, rather than persons. I really don't understand why people are quick to compliment individuals yet slow to compliment a team of individuals. It makes no sense to me. Why anyone would view that front page and immediately think to give commendation to myself is out of this world. Can people not read the names of the people actually posting the chats?

It reminds me, in some ways, of the presidency. How many of us say "Oh, ______ was a great president!" when in actuality, most ideas come from the cabinent, or advisors. The recent death of Ronald Reagan is a great example. It is no slam on Reagan to point out that his many speeches were the brain-work of speechwriters. That some of his noble lines were actually the idea-children of others. When he called upon Gorby to tear that wall down in so many eloquent lines, he was complimented extravagantly for it. Yet if it were not for that speechwriter, no sentences are uttered.

I simply prefer to view humanity as it should be, not as it is. We should be better people, at base. We shouldn't be so terrible to each other, yet we are. That doesn't mean you commend the person doing what the reasonable person should do. Not at all. It is an insult to our forefathers, who often did far greater tasks with less rewards. It's an insult to ancestors who fought Imperialism, Nazism and tyranny of all other forms. I truly wonder, of those who have emailed me compliments... did they find a WW2 veteran? And if so, since they complimented me, did they get on their knees and lavish praise upon that veteran of that great war? Did they give gifts upon him? Because the compliment I was given should be multiplied by a factor of one million for someone who actually did do something heroic. Yet, I doubt that they did. Or even if they truly sat back and thought about the kind of sacrifice WW2 veterans made.

That is the worst part of each good tiding. Thoughts of the truly great... at the end of their lives, going without commendation. How does one take a compliment with such thoughts in your mind? Basically, you don't take the compliment. You say "thanks" to wrap up that section of the conversation, and then you move on to another topic quickly. That is the major drawback to running the website. It is literally the most uncomfortable, unpleasant feeling that I have to deal with.

Hopefully after writing this, I won't have to experience it again.