What follows applies to me as well, and yes, there is an apology coming.
If you spend more than an hour visiting the various forums and online media devoted to dogs, you’ll notice something very quickly.
Lots of people are unnecessarily mean to each other. You see people fighting over stuff that no one even thought to fight over ten years ago, and for some reason, the dog world is where it’s perfectly acceptable to be an asshole.
When you add to the dog world the appearance of anonymity of the online experience, you get to see what happens when the dog world meets the online disinhibition effect. What happens is that when people go online, people choose user names, and it becomes somewhat easier to feel that no one knows who you are. If no one knows who you are, then it is okay to let your hair down and fight as dirty as you like.
When you add all the controversies that exist in the dog world to this effect, you have a very toxic milieu in which one can discuss anything.
I admit it. I went down this path for a time, but to be honest with you, I came of age on this site when the whole damned dog blogosphere was nothing but poo-flinging apes writing screeds about how stupid “the others” were. I thought it was perfectly okay for me to be stroppy, and I wasn’t just stroppy: I was cruel.
I apologize with deepest sincerity for that time.
I don’t think it helped anyone, and when you’re in your 20s, every man goes through an angry young man stage. I’m finished with being so angry. I’d rather use this space to educate and discuss things I love, not things I hate.
Unfortunately, others will have never outgrown their angry young man stage. Finding men who write about dogs is kind of a tough challenge. Most people who write about dogs are women, and I think the reason is pretty simple. Men are way too into hierarchy with each other, and if two men disagree in the world of dogs (which is guaranteed to happen), there will be war.
Deep down, I am a beta male. I don’t like using the terms from the worst of the misogyny movement, but I’m not a chest-thumping silverback of any kind. I am not happy when I’m tearing someone down. It actually makes me miserable. And my guess is that it works the same way for those in the dog blogosphere who still think the best way to operate is to by bullying and Trumpizing everything.
And I’ve also hit the place where I know enough about dogs to admit to you that I don’t know enough.
And that should be good enough.
I’m done writing about stuff that can never be solved.
I’ve gone through a period of being disillusioned with lots of things, and now I am feeling that I’ve been able to clear away some of the thorny bushes and I can see more clearly into the forest.
What I see is better than what existed before, but it might not be to your liking.
I’m fine with that.