If the pen is mightier than the sword, then the Interwebs is something dangerous, too.

I’m a frequent reader of Regretsy.com because I have a passion for crafting — temporarily derailed by a serious hand injury — and have crafted a variety of good, bad, and tragic items. Many of which I have given as gifts. Mostly to members of my family. Who love me so much that they all react with joy and adoration, but then mostly never allow the lovingly crafted tragic item to see the light of day again.

My family understands that I have a passion for making things. Even before my injury, my execution was never as good as I imagined it would be when I would set out to create each masterpiece.

So, I read Regretsy with equal parts cringe and giggle. I relate to the concept that sometimes a crafter is so in love with his or her own concept, she or he may lose objectivity. And frankly, even when I’m objective enough to realize, “My sister is never going to wear this sweater that I spent $70 on yarn to make and 10 weeks knitting with a size 4 needle,” I’m still giving it to her with all the conviction in the world, because I spent $70 on yarn and 10 weeks knitting that sweater with size 4 needles!!!

I read a Regretsy post last night about the site’s owner’s reaction to a Depression-era, hobo-themed wedding. As per usual, I was amused by the perspective from  Helen Killer nee April Winchell. But, I remember dressing as a hobo for Halloween as a little kid, so I am keenly aware that agreeing with this perspective could potentially mean I’m a total hypocrite. I think that I thought hobos were cartoon characters of poor, homeless, out-of-work people traveling to look for work. And frankly, my young self admired the ingenuity of a person clever enough to pack his or her belongings in a bandana and tie it to a walking stick to make travel easier.

Times have, as the expression goes, changed. Really changed in my lifetime. Unlike my parents, I am not a Baby Boomer; I have not experienced the Great Depression. Unfortunately, my life has not been recession-proof. I know what it’s like to buy groceries with bags of change earned from having a garage sale while the asshat with Dallitude behind me gives me static about using a Coinstar machine to make his day go a little faster.

My point so far is, I have two strikes in the “be in favor of the Depression-era hobo wedding” column, but only one in the “this is a ridiculously themed wedding about Depression-era hobos!”

I clicked through to the original blog post on Etsy.com. By now, “Juliet,” Etsy’s editorial director, has edited the original post to include an apology for what I interpret is being a CRAP editor. Or a director. Or an editorial director. Does no one at Etsy have the role of actual editor, who would have plainly seen that a headline that reads “Depression-Era Hobo” is inflammatory before publishing it on the Etsy blog?! Etsy moronic editors are either:

  • Lazy. They just lifted an isolated phrase from the bride-author’s blog post and made it the headline, or
  • Morons. They didn’t edit the bride-author’s blog post to ensure that she didn’t a read like classist, insensitive idiot who wrote about her wedding theme in poorly researched contradictions. I mean, was her theme a nod to the Depression, or was it the “great recession”? Was it the bride-author’s obsession with the 1930s, or was it stories of the groom’s grandma’s 1940s wedding that inspired the theme? Any editor worth her salt would see the need to clarify — because the answer is probably that this couple wanted to do something different and handmade with a nod to the past in a very casual way. A decent editor could have sussed that out and helped the author to explain herself that way, thus avoiding a total Interweb shitstorm.

Why on earth am I writing about this? Because in the mess, I’ve seen realizations and threats. Amazing people have shared their amazing stories. I’ve seen accusations of “cyber-bullying.” When most of us post on the Internet, we are our only filter. But a site like Etsty.com with “editors” gets held to a different standard.

And while I’m ranting, why are people still saying “two thousand eleven,” but “nineteen eleven.” It’s TWENTY ELEVEN, people. If the last century you said “nineteen,” then this century is “twenty.” SAY TWENTY ELEVEN!


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