I then posted links of my review on twitter and in a private writer’s group on Facebook. As you can see by the accompanying screenshot, I included Ms. Jemisin’s twitter “handle” in the body of my message in case she might want to read the review (and what author doesn’t want to read reviews of their books?).
As an aside, before someone mentions it, I suppose I could be accused of “trolling” Jemisin…except I wasn’t. All I did was put @nkjemisin into the body of my tweet which also contained a link to my review of her novel. If I had put her handle as the very first word in the tweet, it would have gone straight to her and it would not have appeared in my twitter feed. I didn’t do that. I wasn’t exclusively “aiming” my tweet at her, though I certainly wouldn’t have minded if she saw it and read the review. I suppose she could have taken it the wrong way.
Now to continue:
I popped over to her twitter account just for the heck of it and gave it a brief read. I don’t recall the specific content. I was just curious.
This morning, I decided to post another tweet referencing my review. I do this several times in twitter since folks might miss it the first time or two. I decided to include Jemisin’s twitter name once more, and out of curiosity, visited her twitter account again. Lo and behold, I was blocked. What the heck? What happened in the last 22 hours or so?
Maybe she read my review and didn’t like it. I’ve noticed on Amazon that 19% of the reviews for the novel are three stars and under (that makes 81% of the reviews four and five stars, which is nothing to complain about), but that’s pretty minor. Not everyone is going to love your book, no matter who you are or how well you’ve crafted your novel.
Of course, I mentioned sexuality and gender identity in my review, since Jemisin made a point of including those topics in her novel. Maybe she didn’t like what I said (read my review for specifics).
Then it occurred to me that maybe she did what I did. Maybe she got curious about who I was and took a look at my twitter account. I suppose it’s possible, given that we’re different human beings with differing perspectives, that she took exception to my opinions.
I decided to find out. Oh yes, I may be blocked when I’m logged into twitter, but when I log out or use a different web browser where I am not logged in, Jemisin’s twitter account is perfectly visible.
Below, I’m posting side-by-side screen captures of my tweets and Jemisin’s for comparison. I took exactly seven screenshots of each of our twitter feeds and put them together into a single, very long image. I did not edit out any content. This is a continuous view for the last two days of what we each tweeted/retweeted without any additions or omissions.
Whew. Yes, that’s a lot of content, and as you can see, we both have differing political and social opinions. But is that enough to actually block someone? I never addressed her directly on twitter, just included her twitter handle in a tweet with a link to my review (and if she spent the effort to read my twitter feed and read my review, I guess I should be honored since she’s a three-time Hugo winner and I’m just a guy).
Then I saw this:
Wow! Okay, I have no idea if she means me in her tweet or not, but if you look at the time index (both screenshots were taken within minutes of one another), you’ll see that my initial review appears 22 hours ago and her comment 17 hours ago, five hours later. That would have given her time to read the review and respond with the above-referenced tweet. She mentions wanting to “cut motherfuckers” plural, so perhaps I wasn’t the only one to upset her (or again, it has nothing to do with me…maybe).
I noticed that 20 people responded to that particular tweet and decided to see what some of them said. Maybe it would provide some illumination…or not.
Gee, I hope Robbie Q. Telfer was being metaphorical when he justified her desire to “cut motherfuckers.”
Anyway, if Jemisin checked my twitter feed, and if she found my comments odious enough to block me, I can still say that no matter what my opinions may be, I have never wished to “cut” anyone (even metaphorically), nor called anyone a “motherfucker,” though I’ve had some pretty grim thoughts about the child sexual abusers I call out in social media.
So what does all this mean? Probably not a damn thing. Ms. Jemisin will never again have to be burdened with my tweets, and as long as I am not logged into twitter, I won’t see hers. Of course, she’s a human being, which means she has feelings, can be offended, can become angry, and all that stuff. Interestingly enough, I follow a number of people and news sources, not all of them lining up with my personal social and political beliefs. I find that I can learn more from people and organizations I disagree with rather than simply tuning into my own Echo chamber.
I hope she enjoyed her Snickers, hanging paintings, playing video games, and feels better by now.