Crazy Complaints

Ever get one of those comments on your blog that complains about the content, the colour of your text, or your choice of shirts in your profile picture?  You know, those kinds of complaints that make you wonder why they even bothered to comment.  I have.

A couple years ago, I got a comment that wasn’t directly on this blog, but it was on a poll I conducted.  The poll asked about which sequel I should read next.  Here is the comment:

With all due respect, is it really necessary to have someone make this decision for you? Or are you going to ignore it. In which case, why the need for a poll? Boredom, perhaps. If so go read a book. If not go read a self-help book. Smiles all around.

I’ll address each part of this comment.  No, it wasn’t necessary to have someone to make this decision for me.  No, I didn’t ignore it.  Why did I do it?  For a little variety, for some unpredictability, certainly not boredom.  Most of all, I did it for interaction with my readers.  And I did read the books in the order they were voted in.  I love how insulting this was, beginning with “with all due respect” and concluding with “If not go read a self-help book. Smiles all around.”

I had to laugh at this comment.  It wasn’t constructive at all.  The person seemed to want to insult me.  I’ll make the insult now:  People who make comments like this must not have much going on in their lives, probably sitting in their parents’ basement leeching off their money, eating their food, and not interested in making their lives better.

I’m all for constructive criticism, and I welcome it, especially when critiquing my writing.  On my most recent part of Journey to Ariadne, I received a wonderful critique pointing out so many problem areas with my writing. It’s got me thinking differently about writing, and I’m much more careful about using passive.  Those kinds of critiques do wonders and are great.

Now, I’d like to see some of the craziest comments you’ve received.  Leave them in the comments.

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What’s Around the Corner?

I love to explore.  In recent years, one of my hobbies has been walking.  But not for the sake of walking.  I walk to explore new places.  I often pick somewhere not so far from my home and decide to see what’s there.  Sometimes, I’m surprised.

Beautiful garden at Hasedera temple in Kamakura.
Beautiful garden at Hasedera temple in Kamakura.

Sometimes, I go to places I’ve been to before and find something new.  A couple weeks ago, I was in Kamakura with a friend, and we visited Hasedera, which is probably my favourite temple in the city.  There was one gate open that I’d never gone through before.  It had always been closed.  The picture above is what I saw.  I had no idea.  It was a wonderful surprise.

Another time, I went to Keio University with my family.  It’s not far from where we live, and it’s a pretty famous university.  Next to the campus is a large bamboo forest.  Walking through the forest is incredible.  Being surrounded by the tall bamboo was like being transported to another time.

In Kamakura, there’s an often overlooked shrine that’s near the much more popular Zeniarai Benzaiten, a shrine where you can wash your money.  This lesser-known shrine, Sasuke Inari Shrine, evokes an image of traditional Japan.

Many red gates lead up the steps to Sasuke Inari Shrine.
Many red gates lead up the steps to Sasuke Inari Shrine.

An incredibly large number of red torii gates arch over the path leading up to the shrine.  There are occasional fox statues on either side of the path welcoming visitors.  For those of you who enjoy stories of ninja, the name of this shrine, as well as the neighbourhood, is shared by a famous ninja, Sasuke.  In fact, this area has an interesting story.  During the Kamakura Period, back when Kamakura was the capital of Japan and the seat of government for the Shogun, this valley was a kind of hidden village.  There was only one way in, so it was very well-protected.  It’s said that this village was the home to the predecessors of the ninja.  It’s a fascinating valley.

I want to do some more exploring.  It’s like being in my own little epic fantasy story.  There are so many places to see and so little time.  I wonder what I’ll discover next.