How did I spend last evening?
Funny you should ask. I spent it looking at an old group site I used to belong to about Marie Antoinette. I was in the group for about 2 years and only because I had an invite from the moderator, who adored MA and thought my writing my views would lend interest to the group. I, of course, could care less about her. As I read my old posts, I had to laugh. I brought more than interest. It was sheer controversy and chaos. I was roasted more than once, one fan actually threatened me, called me lots of really nasty names, made aspersions about my intelligence (and lack of), and sent me emails. I actually filed a complaint about the latter. He hated me. However, there were several who actually liked what I was doing and played along. They didn't agree with me but they had a blast arguing their points. Nasty boy's behavior actually got me more interest. And most members were respectful. I was very disrespectful to their Queen, who I felt was more or less unimportant to history. They, of course, felt she was the be all and end all of Queens. As for the moderator who invited me, it was the best two years of his life in that group. He raved about it.
It was actually fun to read over that stuff. It dealt with the history of the French Revolution, and the life and death of MA, and her impact on society. I read over all of it and some of it was amusing. I was deliberately controversial and it showed. I swear it was nearly a cult but there were some really wonderful folks I connected with and I had such fun doing it.
One lovely thing that happened to me while I read was that I realized that I'm a really good writer. I know! I was a bit surprised at it, too. But there was some truly great post I produced during that period. And these were done on the fly in a forum. No time for editing and research. I did do research but usually when I wasn't on the boards and really, the group was quite knowledgeable. They lived and breathed the French Revolution and MA. I knew next to nothing. So, it was quite nice to see I am better than I generally think I am. Maybe I should go and copy those posts and save them?
Tracking down my own posts was not easy. I wasted hours on that pursuit. I looked at the stats for the board. During my time on that board the post shot up to over 700 in one month. Generally, for the whole two years, it fluctuated from about 150-400. Before and since I left they average around 25 and this year, less than 20. It just proves that when you challenge people's thinking, they actually start to think... they may never agree but at least they think and respond.
So, that's how I spent my evening. And I enjoyed it. I left the forum smiling, thinking about rejoining, deciding that the time has passed, and wondering what happened to the group I interacted with. Their names do not appear much after I left and in the last several years of posting, not at all. When I look at all those posts and realized I probably generated the activity, it is kind of ... well, I feel pretty good about it. That was cool.
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