Let Me Just Pull That Out of My Magic Asshole

I had two email messages time-stamped between 5:30 and 5:45 this morning from someone who posts to the message board on one of my other sites. He was having trouble posting and accessing messages, and he requested that I “fix it as soon as possible” and that if I couldn’t, I should set up a new message board account. The implication was that I should do THAT as soon as possible as well…

Never mind that this was probably a short-term glitch (about which I had no other complaints) and that it may very well have been a problem with his own browser or ISP. And never mind the fact that I don’t do ANYTHING at 4:30 in the morning, least of all try to figure out glitches with some company’s free message board server for no compensation whatsoever…

What I’m pointing out here is the really annoying sense of entitlement that has accompanied the Internet era. Because people have become accustomed to having instant access to so much information for free, they have begun assuming that it is their absolute right to continue doing so ad infinitum, and that providers like me, who do this purely as a labor of love, must provide whatever they want, whenever they want it. For free. And cheerfully, please…

Fortunately, it’s not a really widespread phenomenon, but it’s enough of one that I’ve written about it several times before, and I’ve fumed about it on even more occasions. I’m amazed at the sheer audacity of anyone who would tell me that I “need to provide reviews of dance clubs, even if you don’t like them” or who are “appalled that you showed a picture of yourself smoking a cigarette on your site” (both more or less actual quotes). And anyone who tells me I need to fix some problem “right now” deserves whatever response I choose to give him…

How dare anyone presume to tell me what content I “must” provide on my own sites, which I do at my own (considerable) expense, for my own amusement, and for no compensation at all. Fuck ’em…

That’s not to say, of course, that I’m not open to hearing other opinions or to rational debate, when presented ina respectful manner. Nor does it suggest that I don’t want to hear about it if something’s not working right…

But this whole entitlement mentality which gives people the impression that they can visit my free website (I don’t believe they were coerced into doing so) and insist that I make certain changes immediately just on their say-so leaves me really cold. These are the same people who somehow manage to convince themselves that their “rights” are being violated when companies start requesting payment for certain content, or (God forbid) begin actually enforcing copyright laws…

My thanks to the 98% of you whose minds don’t work that way. The other 2% can suck my ass while I cheerfully offer them a full refund of all the subscription fees they’ve paid me to date…

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