a brief political interlude
qotd, i'll take five, please

opinions plus some yarn

First - it is raining like heck here, which means that my hair is rebelling more than usual.

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Second - I have been crocheting ...

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... and got that cross stitch framed so that I can have all four seasons done and let my inner compulsive rest.

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The pinky-red one in the bottom right isn't as pinky-red in real life. 

Third - I have opinions.

I do. I have lots of them. And some of them are about politics. I think George W. Bush was a whistleass. Sarah Palin makes me want to cut my ears off every time she opens her mouth. I think McCain's blind ambition and impulsiveness is what cost him the presidency -- and I'm glad he didn't win it. I don't know that Obama will be the best president ever but think that he's a damn site better than what we had or could have had.

I also think that the way in which we run our government vis a vis campaigning is deeply flawed. I think that we should find the person who wants the power the least and make him/her president. How bad could it be, really? It's not like the president can get a whole lot done even when he wants to.

You probably disagree with me. Go for it. That is totally your right. That's one of the cornerstones of how democracy works.

I wrote a book that is mostly about knitting. In the 60,000 words in the book, 200ish are about my political opinion, which means that .003 percent of the book is about how I view the political landscape. And yet that seems to be a huge point of contention, not only on blogs but in the Amazon and Good Reads reviews as well.

And that's fine. You are more than welcome to not like my book. There are aspects of it I don't like either, like the fact that I misspelled the names of a couple of important knitters, included the almighty Zimmermann*. That I do feel shitty about and will correct it when the opportunity presents itself.

What gets under my skin, though, is the assertion that my opinions don't belong in my book about knitting. Should I not have included any opinions at all, like, say my dislike for acrylic yarns or fondness for the works of Terry Pratchett? Or am I just not allowed to talk about anything that might be controversial?

Again - you are more than welcome to disagree with me. Lots of people do. You are more than welcome to not like my book. Again, there are many in that club. You can throw it in the trash or set it on fire. Knock yourself out.  But saying that the entire thing is about politics and/or I  shouldn't be allowed to express an opinion you disagree with is a little disingenuous, no?

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* who called herself "the Opinionated Knitter," btw.

** I'd like a list of kosher topics, in that case. And for the record, like Chris Rock, I think anyone should be able to own a gun but bullets should cost $5000 each. I think the drinking age should be 16 and the driving age 21.  I am pro-choice but want better sex ed and birth control access so that the choice won't come up nearly as often. I also prefer cats over dogs. I have no opinion about the designated hitter.

Comments

I am COMPLETELY OUTRAGED that you have no opinion on the designated hitter.

What it is, is people prefer others to have opinions mostly when those opinions agree with their own. And since most of your opinions are, in *my* opinion, the proper opinions ... well, it's difficult to find people who are both stupid enough to disagree with you but smart enough to champion your right to express your opinion anyway.

Ah, but you know that already.

May Cthulhu suck the brains from any fools who can't see that, if they want anyone's opinions repressed, they're advocating for their own repression as well.

your four seasons are a triumph!
the extra curl is nice too, I worry more about the super-dry winter flattening my new short curls.
people who write political opinions on book web sites have too much time on their hands, these negative reviews are totally transparent and do not influence most readers in their choice of books.
knitting dangerously made me laugh hysterically and I mailed my copy of the book around to my knitting friends (sorry, I should have bought more copies)

You want better sex ed? TMI!!!! ((blushing!))

***** STANDING OVATION *****

"In the 60,000 words in the book, 200ish are about my political opinion, which means that .003 percent of the book is about how I view the political landscape."

This looks a lot like a fact. Sadly, the people who are upset about the political content in your book are likely the same people who really can't be bothered with facts, whether they are facts about word counts, Barrack Obama's country of origin, or the connection between Saddam Hussein and 9/11.

You might point out that there are probably more words about me in that book and when they say, "who the heck is Trish?" you can say "Exactly."

Can't believe you prefer cats over dogs....jeez! ;)

Personally, I think your rebel hair is beautiful!

Don't like the designated hitter? Move to Canada.

Oh, wait, they have those there . . .

The cross-stitch looks wonderful. The crochet is definitely keeping a furry one warm. (does he need to be kept warm?) And my hair is doing some massive curling in it's own right, so I feel ya.

The political thing. Really? Cos when it comes down to it that was small potatoes. You interviewing important people in knitting adn getting their opinions about knitting and Starmore? That was the focus. Folks who don't see that have no idea what they are reading then.

Also. I get an email or a phone call now once a week about the book. It is kinda hysterical now. It is a word of mouth book fer sure. It keeps being brought into conversation.

Are you kidding? Not liking acrylic yarn IS controversial. And for pity's sake, don't posit an assertion on the "hand-knit dishcloths vs sponges" debate, or you will be very sorry.

I love the attitude of readers who are like, "I am outraged that this book challenged my beliefs! If I'd realized it would do that, I never would have bought it!" Telling, that.

well, I for one like opinionated knitting reading over vacuous pattern books. So much so, that I took the book out of the library, extended the lending period, lost the book, paid the fine, finally found book under bed and returned to library all without finishing it so then proceeded to buy ebook version. (harder to lose ;-)). And now, I'm reading your blog, so hurray for opinions!!!

i said this earlier but people who don't like opinions being shared shouldn't read memoir (even if it is a knitting-centric memoir [did i just create a new genre?]). gah. people need better causes to die on the side of a hill for than coming across unexpected poltical opinion.

Forum trolls are everywhere, and your tears of outrage feed them. What matters most is 1) how satisfied you are with your book and 2) are people buying your book. Just remember this when it comes to message boards and comments sections: http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/3/19/

Secondly, do you know how to work the white balance on that wonderful PowerShot that you have? That might help with the color of your work. you should be able to set it to a manual white balance and take a reading on a white sheet of printer paper as a baseline. After that your colors should be more accurate as long as the light doesn't change. I would go into light temperatures, but I know what your husband does and I'm sure you're quite familiar.

I bought your book because of a review on a website, read it, loved it, and found your blog and I don't read many blogs. Keep it up with your opinions, that's why I love to read your blog. I relate to you in so many ways, even though I am much older and my curly hair is thinning.
It was your book and if you can't say what you want in it, what the hell!

I think your hair is jealous of your crochet and just trying to fit in:)Also, I enjoy your blog and your book more for the politics as I can not knit (left handed neurological impairment.)Thais

I told that kraut a fuckin' thousand times, I don't roll on Shabbos!

Whoa, nelly - "Why do they think I care what they think any more then they care what I think" is such an off-the-wall critique - um, 'cause she bought your book!

You are spot on with both your blog writing & your opinions. As said earlier - it's hard to find a truly thoughtful & intelligent argument for the "other side". Take care & by all means, carry on. Both the blog & your books are yours & I believe the 1st Amendment applies to those of us who disagree with the far & often "religious"(so-called) right.
They claim it for their most outrageous ideas & behaviors - - it's ours as well.

Ditto on the above, and congrats on finishing your 4 seasons.

And while I may find it a bit off-putting to be reading along enjoying a book only to find out that the author's political beliefs jar with mine, I doubt that consideration alone would inspire me to rant anywhere or recommend to people that they NOT BUY THE BOOK. In all caps, even.

We all enjoy reading opinions that we agree with, and thus it follows that I would infinitely rather read yours than someone who, say, identifies themselves as a "Tea Party Patriot." (I actually came across such a person working in the arts recently, which was kind of a shock.)

If I were to come across political opinions in stark contrast to mine in a book that wasn't about politics at all, I might roll my eyes a bit. So while I wouldn't blame someone on the other end of that spectrum for doing the same, the reaction you're getting from some is seriously overblown.

Which says much more about them than you, friend.

That's all just crazy talk. I happen to love a dash of opinion w/ my knitting. Even if I don't agree w/ all the opinions, I value the flavor of them.
Even in the great La-La Land of Ithaca, there's quite some differing political opinions in the knitting world, which makes for fantastic & lively knitting group discussions. If I were reading a book about knitting written by someone who loved Sarah Palin to pieces, I could probably still forgive it. Sisterhood of knitting and all that ;-)

Thanks, y'all. It's nice to feel supported.

And, nope, the blow-back isn't enough to keep me from writing. It just gets under my skin every now and again.

It is so frustrating when people freak out about political views - I've done my share of that and have sat on both sides of the American culture's political fence - and find somewhere in the middle to be the most likely path. (I generally vote for a democrat, but not always - maybe 2/3 to 1/3)? in my years of voting (since 1981).

People who get all jacked up about you putting your political opinions in a knitting book are just all jacked up in their own fears - we are all somewhat afraid right now it appears. We can give in to the fears or choose to rise above them and work for our cause. It is really, really hard to do and believe me, this is oversimplified - but if I hold on too tightly to politics I find it a quick route to the loony-ville.

Thank God (or not God - whatever your choice is) for knitting and writers like you! Don't let all the nutsos get to you - get angry, express you views, and carry on the fight (or the "peace") - whatever works.:) You are wonderful! Angie

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