Some bloggers have their “Chesters.” Call them “minions,” “sock puppets,” “WKers,” or “fangirls.” They take it upon themselves to defend the honor of their “Spike” (or honour if their mistress is from the UK or just a pretentious git). If Spike starts paying too much attention to another minion, Chester has to go dig up another “cat” to lay at his feet.
“Did I do good, Spike? Did I?”
I believe these people are the reason Stephen King wrote Misery. Annie Wilkes was undoubtedly inspired by a real-life person who showed up to every book signing to hand King a Cheetos-stained Sharpie. “Make it out to ‘My number one fan!'”
I love my regular readers. I depend upon them and enjoy our back and forth banter on Twitter, WordPress, and other sites. It feels good to be part of a community of writers and readers. Real readers. Not the Otto Wests who when accused of being apes smugly claim “Apes don’t read philosophy.”
“Yes, they do, Otto. They just don’t understand it.”
I’ve been accused of “Ivory Tower Elitism.” I’m an English teacher. It’s an occupational hazard. I don’t look down on people who have less education than I. Just on people who say “less than me.”
Some of the smartest people I know don’t have advanced degrees. Smart people read everything they can get their hands on. Old books, new books, magazine articles, blogs, editorials, poems, song lyrics, fiction, non-fiction, history, graphic novels, and anything else printed on a page or a screen. Most of what I know, I didn’t learn in a classroom. In school, I learned how to think, not what to think. It’s what I hope to teach my students. What I know, I learned from reading.
As a result, I know a tiny bit about a multitude of subjects and I’m an expert on a few things that either really interest me or that I’m obsessed with against my will. As I commented on another person’s blog recently, I don’t believe in a “cure” for addiction, but I believe that recovery is a lifelong process. Consequently, I shall always become fascinated with some inconsequential thing like a cat with a mouse and then move on when it ceases to amuse me. Or when my Google Docs folder fills up with student work.
Though I don’t look down on people less educated than I, I do look askance on those who claim to have graduated from The University of Life or its sister school The College of Hard Knocks and think that makes them experts on absolutely everything. That what they know is “real.” I like smart people, but I also like interesting people. Sometimes the latter can be real dicks. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
What I do have time for are the two books I’m trying to finish before my school year starts a week from tomorrow (shitshitshitshitshit). Both are trashy, unsophisticated, embarrassments, but I’m learning tons about herbal medicine, the battle for the English throne in the 1400s, and sex in The Last Glacial Period. So I’ll leave you with this.
Thanks for hanging out with me this summer, dear readers. But if any of you bitches ever turns into one of these fangirl minion Chesters, I will smack the shit out of you.