A Character Flaw, For Sure

I am a peculiar sort . . . “%$#&@ weird” is more how I am often described.  I live by my own unwritten (and weird) rules; rules which govern nearly all I do.  

Today a person whose blog I follow (Sarah Takes Pictures) was Freshly Pressed.  It is a considerable honor for us unknown bloggers.  WordPress features the chosen blog in their home page.  Huge exposure for Sarah, and rightly deserved, for she does great work.

And it got me worried . . . 

It had not occurred to me being Freshly Pressed is independent of the wishes of the author, but it is.  Someone, or a group of someones, at WordPress comes across a post they like, and BAAMM! . . . you are Freshly Pressed.  

Not to give myself airs, but there is a chance, a small chance, someone will like something I do, and all of the sudden I too might be Freshly Pressed.  As I said, great honor, great exposure, maybe even deserved . . . it would help tremendously the circulation of my blog.

. . . except for this character flaw of mine.  

I don’t particularly like to be helped.  Anyone who knows me might already know the truth of this, but I never ask for help.  I don’t ask for breaks, deals, free stuff, etc. etc.  Mind you, I will accept stuff that is available to everyone, but if someone is going to give a break specifically to me, and not others, then I have a problem with that.  

It used to drive salesmen nuts when I would ask them the price of something, they would tell me, I would politely say “no thanks”, and they would counter with an offer . . . only to be told I don’t like that.  No deal for me, thank you, because I know for me to get a deal someone will have to pay more.  Were that not the case, the price would be fixed, and I would not have to “negotiate”.  No one would have to negotiate. 

The character flaw, you see, is that I do not like “special treatment” . . . not when I see it applied to others, and not for myself.  

Yeah, but . . . ” you say “this is not special treatment.  It’s a recognition of the quality of your work.  It’s what you are working to.  It’s what you want, for FSM sake!!

Well, yes . . . but there is a side effect to this character flaw, and it applies here.  I like succeeding on my own; I like making it without help, even as I recognize the risk of perpetual obscurity.

I take pride on this contrarian approach to life, all the while admitting the stupidity of it.  I am nearly at 10,000 views for this blog . . . sure, half of them are probably spammers, and another quarter are automated bots scanning the web for keywords and tags, but all those came to my site strictly through my efforts.  

That remaining quarter?  They came, they saw, and some are returning of their own volition.  That means something to me.  There is a personal connection there, however tenuous and probably fleeting.  I do hope someday to be recognized by a large number of people as offering some value, but I want that to happen through the addition of individuals  chancing on my site, liking it, and slowly adding to the numbers who choose to visit again as regulars.  I want circulation to grow by word of mouth.

I want to stress I am human . . . if I were to be Freshly Pressed I would feel proud, validated, etc. etc.  . . . but I do not like that small measure of control being taken from me. I do not like the spotlight shined on me so that people can find me.  I prefer, however stupidly, to wallow in the shallow mud and occasionally be recognized as having a bit of sparkle.  

So, how do I control this . . . I checked the Freshly Pressed site . . . your chances are greatly helped if you use only nice words, words are spelled correctly, and you have pictures.  

I can’t give up pictures, but . . . 

Thanks for stopping by to read my stuff.

. . . and the new regulalr addition to my sign-off  . . . chieken shit.


Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not personally hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.  

About awards: Blogger Awards         About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
This entry was posted in Photography Stuff and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to A Character Flaw, For Sure

  1. m5son says:

    Disperser……I would love to engage you in some conversation about smug mug. If you would, email me at m5son@comcast.net


    • disperser says:

      Emilio, or ejd.

      I’ll e-mail you, but you should know right off the bat SmugMug is not cheap at $150 a year, and it’s geared toward people who sell their stuff (the fabled “pro”).

      I did a wedding for a relative a few years ago, and set it up to let guests buy copies of the photos. I liked it , and I kept it.

      Unless you are interesting in selling your pictures, it might not be for you, and Picasa is a decent alternative (what I use when I don’t use SmugMug). Like I said, I’ll e-mail you.


  2. Sarah says:

    Chieken shit. I like it. Although let me tell you, the so-called “nice words” criterion does not always hold, as I’ve seen some rather (refreshingly) foul posts freshly pressed before.

    Your viewpoint makes perfect sense to me. You want to be responsible for all the recognition that comes your way, without taking shortcuts. There’s something to be said for steadily building up a base of work and people who appreciate it; I think it’s about taking pride in your work and it’s built on the kind of ethic that enjoys the journey as much of the destination. (Sidenote, I thought you had been Freshly Pressed the other day — I browsed that page, saw a picture of a hawk, and the title of the blog began with “Disp.” There’s nothing presumptuous at all in thinking that your work might be featured there. You’re a good writer, and a good photographer, so why not?)

    Let me also say I really like what you do here, and respect your opinion, so it is high praise to hear you think my getting the old FP is warranted.


    • disperser says:

      Thanks for understanding. I was concerned you might take my words as diminishing your , and I repeat, deserving recognition.

      I like that you do get where I am coming from.

      And that’s advice I give to all who listen . . . learn to accept compliments, help when offered, praise and recognition even if sometime uncomfortable. It’s too late for me, but for people who do have friends, it cannot be a one way street. What you offer willingly must also be accepted willingly; people who care about you want to show the same appreciation you want to show them.

      I fear I am still learning that, and sometimes I regret the opportunities I missed to form relationships based on equal give and take.

      Well . . . shoot . . . I’m going all philosophical on stuff. What I meant to say was . . . Yo! Thanks.


    • Shannon says:

      Same hawk photo had me curious too…someone’s out there hawkin’ your stuff! LOL E, that was pretty awesome hawk detail. And unlike the other guy, that was a WILD hawk, doing it’s WILD thing. I’m not dissing beautiful pictures of hawks, but the wild ones lend a difficulty that ones posing on a wrist simply cannot do.


  3. margie ashley says:

    emilio, this is almost like a mystery.keep these segements coming.it is good to see and read not the everyday thing. FOR WHO ARE WE THAT WE DONOT KNOW. KNOWING IS THE PRESENCE OF LIFE.


  4. Shannon says:

    Yea for Sarah! That made my day too. She’s worked hard for it. And I like your contrarian ways. It’s why I’m here.

    I pray to God I am never FP’d. It scares the bejeezus out of me to have that many people walking around in my house without kicking off their shoes first. I’m hoping to avoid it altogether by my crappy writing style and small, unpopular hobby niche. I mean, who actually looks for opportunities to get their fingernails thick with dirt? Keep up the good work. I’ll keep coming back. And this girl kicks her shoes off first.


    • disperser says:

      I did not find the writing style crappy, and I am pretty sure everyone has a desire to “get the dirt” so-to-speak.

      But you do touch on the other aspect of FP . . . The Flood. All these people you have never seen or heard about suddenly coming at you. In real life my first reaction would be to turn around and run (look up “Japanese Mob Prank” on Google or YouTube). My second reaction would be to, as Cogburn aptly put it, “fill my hand” and hold them off.

      The normal social interaction is to meet people one-on-one, develop some sense of the person, and our relationship with them. Having 40-50 people I’ve never met come up to me and tell me how great my ears look, or that they like my shoes, would unnerve me a bit.

      As it is, it’s both flattering and daunting to see 40+ people following my blog. I suspect my next post about religion, politics, or opinion piece about any numbers of subjects, will see a lot of those quietly slip away. And that’s the other thing . . . I already see me tempering some of my writing and comments in deference to the unknown sensibilities of people who may read my posts. I mean, I always did that somewhat, but now I am aware of a few people who follow this blog hold belief systems I challenge and even chastise in earlier posts.

      . . . life is always more complicated than we want . . . or at least, that I want.


      • Shannon says:

        Well, for the record, I hope you get FP’d, because that would be SOME post follow-up. In the words of Cogburn, it might be something more like, “…Well that didn’t pan out.” For whatever it’s worth, I don’t know shinola about nominating someone for being a versatile blogger (I read about it on other’s pages), but you’re right up there on top of my list.


      • disperser says:

        Well, shucks . . .(scrapes floor with shoe, avoids eye contact) . . . it ain’t nuthin’ other folks would do if they had amazing talents, but thank you just the same ma’am.


      • bluelyon says:

        As far as being FP’d, I’m with you. First of all, I don’t think I could take the pressure to live up to the billing. And yeah, big mix of stuff over at my blog. Certainly someone would want to egg my house if they could find it. Then again, my own mother has basically disowned me because of my expressed views at my writing blog so, at this point, there isn’t anything more anyone else can do to me to top that.

        On the other hand, I think the tromping about by the masses only lasts a little while, and then things settle back in. You’ll gain a few loyal followers, and the rest will move on to the next FPer. I had a similar incident back in 2008 when Blue Lyon got featured in a NYT article (only because I was the one willing to speak out and use my real name).

        A related aside: Back in high school I was the leading lady in our spring musical and we performed for all the elementary schools in the area. After that I couldn’t go any where in town without some little girl coming up to me or calling out my character’s name. It was fun for the first couple of times it happened and then I got tired of it. Don’t know how “real” celebrities do it.


      • bluelyon says:

        “anywhere” – sheesh


      • disperser says:

        If you ever want me to fix typos, ask me and I will.


  5. Mary Lou Rutledge says:

    You might be weird but those of us who also fall in that category, find you funny. At least one of us does. I love your photos but enjoy your writing, thinking I should just sign my name to It as well. I understand exactly what you’re saying…see you on the ironing board!


  6. AnnMarie says:

    I do not recall the post but recollect reading your reply that you’d like to get feedback from some professional photographers regarding your photos. If and when you do I’m sure there will be both positive and negative aspects provided. Now you write that “Someone, or a group of someones, at WordPress comes across a post they like, and BAAMM! . . . you are Freshly Pressed.” If I understood your reply correctly, you are asking for feedback, so . . . couldn’t it be possible that some of those WordPress people might be professional photographers and writers? After all, these blogs are filled with photos and writing . . . so someone at WordPress must know something about either subject. Granted, it’s not a one-on-one critique, but a recognition of your work in any case.


    • disperser says:

      They might be . . . but I also said before I would prefer a note, e-mail, or one-on-one comment. Being Freshly Pressed means someone liked something . . . but you don’t know what; maybe they were late for lunch and just picked something that caught their eye, or maybe they do it out of spite having read I don’t like it.

      The bigger problem is the literally hundreds of people who would add comments to the post being showcased.

      I mention some of this in reply to the comment above.

      I also don’t like the anonymity of it. Plus, some of the stuff that is Freshly Pressed is, in my opinion, less than stellar. Don’t get me wrong, some of it is brilliant.

      But the point is that it also appears to transcend the actual content . . . because you were Freshly Pressed, your stuff must be great. The “honor” itself becomes the attraction, and probably taints the perception of those who visit.

      For example, someone goes to a museum, and sees a painting . . . they might otherwise think it sucks, but it’s hanging on a museum, so they “like it”. All I am saying is that I prefer if that same person was walking by a garbage dump, sees one of my posts, and says “Wow! I really like that!” That would be an honest reaction. (Note: not implying the rest of the blogosphere is a garbage dump; just drawing a figurative example).


      • bluelyon says:

        Lot of food posts in Freshly Pressed. Not interested. On the other hand FP introduced me to Raising My Rainbow. Love that one.


      • disperser says:

        That is one impressive mother . . . it’s one thing if you are Brangelina, but she is not.

        I hope her husband supports both her and their children.

        On a side note, I’m always a little uncomfortable reading deeply personal/private blogs. I came across a few where they talk of losing loved ones, being alcoholics, etc. etc. Brave people all for putting it out there as unfiltered and unedited as they do, but for me, in the role of the reader, I empathize too much. I read and explore the world for enjoyment and to escape those very feelings they are showcasing (not that I have those same problems).

        As much as I admire that kind of fortitude, I rather shield myself from it because sometimes it hurts to read about what others are going through.


  7. AnnMarie says:

    All I can add is that I feel we’re both right . . . but I still live two months on a compliment, as Mark Twain said . . . and, naturally, a genuine one at that.


    • disperser says:

      I understand, and I know in part it’s because you want to see me do well, and I appreciate that.

      And I also know I can’t control what others do either for me or to me; all I can do is handle it. Still, I figure I should let my preference known . . . not that the world has ever heeded them.


Voice your opinion

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.