Advice To A Wine Blogger: You Suck!
Every now and then I receive emails from folks who want to offer me advice on my writing and on the focus of this blog. I always appreciate this kind of correspondence…even when done anonymously. This happened again yesterday in response to a blog post on the very close relationship between the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission and Texas Wholesalers.
The email, sent from an anonymous Gmail account, got off to a good, solid start:
"Until you actually work at a regulatory body like the TABC, you should shut up and stop trying to speculate about their ethics."
Mr. Anonymous makes an interesting point. But I'm not sure if their advice on how to choose one's literary subject matter is meant to help guide me in future subject matter choice, is warning me about the perils of speculation in one's writing, or if they really just don't want to have to confront my posts anymore. I think it might be the latter.
"Texas doesn't need fraudulent outside state retailers bootlegging wine into Texas and that's what is trying to be stopped by the TABC and UPS and Fedex."
Here Mr. Anonymous isn't so much offering literary advice as providing an analysis of the Texas wine market. Turns out I agree with the letter writer. Indeed, what Texas needs is a legal and well-regulated way for Texans to buy wine from out-of-state sources, like wine retailers and auction houses and wine of the month clubs, so that wine lovers can access the wines they want but can't get inside the state. Plus, this would clear up the whole "bootleg" thing as well as deliver the state significant tax revenue. It's unclear however, that Mr. Anonymous and I would come to the same conclusions on what the Texas wine market really needs.
Mr. Anonymous ends on what I consider a sour note:
"You don't understand anything, moron. Your blog sucks!"
As you can imagine, this kind of thoughtful criticism of my blogging efforts cuts to the core and makes me re-evaluate the very nature of my blog and the reasons for my maintaining it. I had always worked under the assumption that I understand at least a little bit and that my blog at least didn't "suck".
So…Dear Mr. Anonymous: I'll try to understand things better and try not to suck too much. Thank you for your thoughtful email.