Dot writes: sorry to go all Lynne Truss, but I do have tiny private paroxyms of rage from time to time at the awful inconsiderate rudeness of people. The targets reflect the triviality of my life, I’m afraid. (I know mothering is one of the most important jobs anyone can do but…) One of my recurring internal rants is against perfectly healthy people without suitcases who rush for the lift at DART stations and don’t pause to see if there’s someone who actually needs it labouring to catch up with them. I reckon it takes a bit over two minutes to cross over to the other side of the DART line with the buggy, waiting on each side for the lift doors to close with infuriating slowness and the posh male voice to announce ‘Doors…closing. Lift going UP/DOWN.’ (I call this voice the Squadron Leader, by the way.) If someone beats me to it I can quite easily miss the train.

Anyway, I vented such a private rant at Blackrock on Saturday when on my way back to Killiney, but there was still five minutes to the Bray train so it should have been alright. The Squadron Leader escorted me to the top of the bridge and I crossed over to the other side – only to find that the lift on the other side was shut up with a locked blind and out of service. Aaargh! I would have to put the buggy (which was hung with shopping) into two-wheel mode and bump Prawn down three flights of steps. With much struggling, after taking the shopping off the buggy, I managed to switch to two-wheel mode without catapulting Hugh into the sea, and I started bumping. The steps are so designed that there are two points where they turn back on themselves, meaning that one has a small landing on which to turn a sharp corner. The big wheels on the stokke are fixed and turning was no laughing matter. I had got to the lower of the two landings when the train arrived. Cue much wailing from Dot. And then my opinion of humankind was greatly improved, because the train driver saw me in his mirror, and actually hopped out of the cab to come and help me down the last of the steps and get me, the buggy, the shopping and the increasingly vocal baby into the train. In my fluster I’m not certain I properly said thankyou, but I hope I did – I was very, very grateful.

On the other hand, on the minus side for humanity, a couple of days ago someone left a comment on this blog to say how boring and self-absorbed it was and how a pram in the hall is the death of creativity. We deleted it, but here I am feeding the troll by mentioning it (and probably confirming that troll’s opinion of us into the bargain). What on earth is the point of such a comment? If you find a blog dull, why not just move on? Why stop to be rude? But I have to admit I saw a blog today that was written in text speak and I was tempted to comment saying LEARN TO WRITE. But I didn’t. I’m just bad-mouthing them behind their backs, which is the only polite thing to do.


9 thoughts on “Rudeness

  1. To be very flippant…
    I fail to see how a pram in the hall is death to creativity, surely it is the sign of having been as is creative as it is possible for two humans to be….

  2. There are people who have an abhorence for human biological process and physical nature. They like to believe themselves above it. How ludicrous. These people believe children are disgusting and that having children is horrible, weak or somehow anti-intellectual. They like to use terms like “breeder”. I wouldn’t pay any attention to them. They’re ignorant, small-minded, irrelevant. In general, flaming is a totally pointless activity, but it gives some cowards a way to express themselves without fear of social retribution. The only time I find it justifiable to leave a comment even remotely like the one you describe is if I feel the person writing claims to be an authority they are not — i.e. their writing is not about personal musing but about telling others as an authority how it is. Then I think it is fair to be quite rude in rebuttal. Otherwise, you’re right, why not just move on? But think about how warped is the mind that would labour over a blog with only disdain in their heart… how could they just move on?

  3. Belle Inconnue

    The pram in the hallway thing is a misquote from critic, journalist and editor Cyril Connolley, 1903-1974 (don’t worry, I just googled it!). He failed to ever write much himself, and was angry and bitter about it. He said ‘there is no more sombre enemy of good art than the pram in the hall.’

    I guess it could be read as a misogyny thing, or a feminist thing, depending which way you look at it.

    Anyway, while I guess its hard to pen that great novel with a baby perched on your knee, having a baby in fact leads to much more genuine creativity in life – all of that singing, dancing, silly chat and making funny hats that fills the days of a mum are actually very imaginative and creative, and make even mundance activities into a bit of an adventure, to prevent the babies getting bored. People who make bad parents, don’t like kids, or complain about ‘breeders’ are actually just totally lacking in imagination and creativity.

    I think this guy was probably just a frustrated pseudo-intellectual who can’t even get his famous quotes right.

  4. kenanddot

    Sorry, Belle Inconnue, your comment had to be rescued from the spam queue (presumably because it had a URL in it).

    I guess what she’s saying is that motherhood still tends to cut women off and that in order to do concentrated work one needs to be able to turn away from the baby for a bit. Women’s creativity shouldn’t have to be limited to womanly subjects such as childbirth. Well, I get this in a way. It is staggeringly hard to write while looking after a baby, as I know to my cost (and not very fair on the baby either). And just because you’ve become a mum it doesn’t mean you’re no longer interested in anything else, though motherhood is extraordinarily absorbing and tends to bend all other issues towards it. But I do think there is a problem here with the way motherhood is not regarded as itself a creative and important kind of work, and the casual way Shirley Dent (not herself a mother) refers to the need for childcare. As you know, I’m finding that a more complicated issue than I’d thought!

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