Monday, May 18, 2009

"mobning" in the blogosphere

this may look a little scary
but really it's a totally cool place.

danish has a great word--mobning. i've seen it translated as bullying, but to me, it's a bit more nuanced than that word is in english. it's a word that conveys the whole notion of holding someone outside of your group. intentionally. if you're the parent of a school-age child, you hear the word a lot. because danish schools (or at least the one our daughter attends) are very focused on it and on keeping it from happening, at least to a harmful, overt extent, since you can never really fully prevent it. because everyone needs their albanian. but even an albanian would like to belong.

small aside to explain the last statement: this is one of the earliest theories that husband and i came up with (way back when he was still someone else's husband). we were in the balkans and noticed that everyone there (well, everyone everywhere, really, if i think about it) had someone they looked down on to feel better about their group--the croats and the serbs had each other. and tho' it was never clear to me where the bosnians stood, they had some complex system of someone they looked down on. the bulgarians looked down on the macedonians. the macedonians looked down on the albanians. the albanians looked down on the...hmm. there wasn't really anyone--except maybe the roma and let's face it, everyone looks down on them, so sadly they don't really count. if you were a regular albanian, you looked down on those poor suckers in kosovo and vice versa. so we decided that albanian was the end of the line. and that everyone needs their albanian--someone to feel superior to.

now, back to the regularly scheduled post. i've been thinking about this because things have gotten a little nuts in the comments on some of the other blogs of late (most recently the blog camp blog last evening--and i can't even blame wine b/c i was drinking tea in my hotel room in oslo since the little tiny bottle of wine in my hotel minibar costs 185NOK ($28) and the two glasses i'd had six hours earlier in the lounge at the airport were no longer having any effect).

you see, we're all stark raving mad. and we found each other here in the blogosphere. and finding other mad people has clearly fed that madness. and i fear that some people (like whoever stopped following blog camp in the middle of the madness last night) found all this talk of corn and rocks and herman and to rad or not to rad (definitely the latter) (and which shall hereafter be referred to (on this blog at least) as the r-word which shall not be named) and pink and all that stuff to be a bit much.

but i'm here to say that we most definitely didn't mean it that way. and so you should ALL feel that you can jump into the fray at any time. like monique (hey, she's new!) did last night on the blog camp blog.  all of this madness might have looked like mobning, but it really sincerely wasn't meant that way. we want everyone to feel welcome in this particular vortex of madness. so please play along if you want to--jump right in and ask what all that silly talk is about if you don't understand. we're really quite harmless. we just like the calming effect of rocks and watching corn grow (not watching corn pop, that's totally not relaxing, or so i've heard) and IM conversations in the comment section. maybe it just makes our comment numbers look good, or maybe we're just a bit crazy. but either way, we're harmless and would love it if you joined in the fun. we're all albanians here. :-)

p.s. none of this comment madness really happened here on MPC, but i feel a bit responsible for it because i'm definitely one of the IM-convo commenters, so that's why i'm posting here. click the links above if you want to see firsthand what i'm talking about. :-)

16 comments:

Char said...

okey-dokey

Jelica said...

You made me laugh so much with this whole Albanian thing.

I guess it is a little bit like that elsewhere, too, but somehow in the Balkans the idea of looking down on another group (preferably your neighbors)is so ingrained in all our national myths; it's hilarious even to me (a born and bred balcanicus), I can imagine how ridiculous it looks to outsiders.

julochka said...

char--hope you didn't feel bad about it!

jelica--there is something about the balkans and i mean no offense by it at all--it is just really evident there. :-) ideal ground for formulating a theory.

The Fragrant Muse said...

So glad you opened the space for everyone to join the madness. In truth, I was beginning to feel a tad albanianish.

Now, since we're being all open and honest and holding hands, I confess there's something I've been suppressing, but now fokk it, I'm playin' too...

corn
fokkin rocks and corn and pink

You people can't scare me anymore.

julochka said...

FM--welcome to the vortex. :-)

AquaSass said...

So this is so funny cause for the first time in my life I am feeling a little snubbed in the dang blog community, Im trying to hard to get into it! And it seems you guys know each other and have friends and I want some! I wanna talk to new exciting, opinionated people on line! I am just trying to put in my time and find people who will think Im interesting too:) But until I get at least one....Im talking to cyberspace and no one is listening...

willow said...

Yes, I admit, I was feeling a bit like an Albanian non-camper, too.

julochka said...

aquasass--you are most welcome to join in the madness! just hang in there, i blogged for 3 months before anyone found me. :-)

willow--sorry you felt that way! but that's why i wrote this one, because it suddenly hit me that people might feel like that and that's the last thing i want! i love this bloggy world!

rxBambi said...

It's so funny you posted this because I just posted a blog about wanting to be part of your crowd and wanting to go to Denmark. Although I actually haven't felt like an Albanian (??) it's good to know that you appreciate the way we newbies feel!

Pattern and Perspective said...

I do not feel like an Albanian, but I'd like to have one:) haha. I'm going into the 2nd para here: I had a friend in college from Macedonia - Jasmina Minova - wondering what happened to her. She spoke like 8 languages which always irritated me because I wish I did. Hmm...and my bf's mother (totally off subject really) is Croatian but was born in the US and she's always griping about the Serbs. Hello, it's the year 2009 -- get over it -- (that's what I want to tell her). His mother is always a bit moody - you can tell she's got the fight in her.

Lovely post. Good to put yourself(yourselves) out there to the blogosphere.

Still thinking about the swap.

B said...

Julochka, it's so nice of you to post this, I hope nobody feels like an albanian now!
Don't worry about the follower who is no more. They probably unfollow us for a completely different reason, although I can't think of one. Oh, why don't they love us? :)

julochka said...

rxbambi--i read your post and think it was a great sum up of the feelings this whole thing might have engendered. glad you weren't feeling albanian.

P&P--nice to know others have encountered that funny balkan mentality. i do love the balkans tho', so i don't mind it.

B--i know, everyone should love us!!!

Vancouver's Enviro Girl said...

Oh, Julochka, I just read this post (am catching up after weekend of napping, napping, oh, and napping.) I feel so bad for perhaps creating this whole thing. I send this out to the blogosphere:

I, VEG, have only been blogging for a month now and found Julochka and Extranjera and B and everyone else here quite by accident, but quite happily as well. I too felt a little strange jumping into their world, but am so very glad I did. I discovered great new friends and people and even perhaps a sister. I didn't always get it at first, but just kept commenting and asking questions and stuff. We are all very friendly people and willing to help and listen. And somehow I have 38 followers now, of which I am truly grateful that you read and comment and listen to my crazy rantings. Jump in one and all, I promise the virtual water is fine.

Magpie said...

Yup. Stark raving mad, indeed.

marathoner81 said...

I'm afraid if I start I'll never stop...kind of like the old pringles slogan.

julochka said...

VEG--testimonial much appreciated.

Magpie--yup. totally and completely mad.

marathoner--i think that's pretty much what we're all afraid of. :-)