I’ve been berated by a reader–so much so that my lip started to quiver and I had to blink back tears–for having two posts in succession he calls “negative.” Now, let’s be clear, this reader, who I will call Theodore, is not my most faithful reader since he doesn’t have “Preservation in Mississippi” on his home page as some others do, but he is still a fairly consistent reader, and the last thing, the very last thing I would ever want to do is run off the few readers I have, even if they are mean-spirited and hurtful toward me personally.
So, in order to warn those who are especially sensitive, the fragile flowers amongst us, before they start reading a post, but also keep my freedom to blast away when necessary, I’ve decided to rate my posts. So warned, the Sensitives might want to just stop and go dance with Barney, the singing dinosaur–“I love you, you love me, we’re a happy fam–il-y”–to pass the time they would have spent reading my post.
In remembrance of FEMA’s rating system for buildings after Katrina, I hereby establish a scale of one to five.
1–Bubbly and effervescent (or as much as I can muster)
2–Slightly less bubbly and effervescent
3–Bland, wishy-washy, neither here nor there, lukewarm
4–Scowling, dark clouds gathering
5–Throwing things, lightning crashing everywhere, run for the hills!
Of course, my posts are far more sophisticated than a simple negativity rating can embrace, so I propose a second rating, this one for “Thoughtfulness” that will allow the reader to decide whether this is just a scream of rage or a deep yet possibly negative thought on a subject of great heft and importance.
1–So light and fluffy you might float away
2–Like cotton candy, something is there but the second you feel it, it’s gone
3–It might have required thought; on the other hand, I might have written it in my sleep
4–Eudora Welty, Patrick O’Brian (deep but accessible)
5–Faulkner, Proust, Dostoevsky (very deep and profound but possibly way above any of our heads)
For instance, to help ya’ll out, my first negative posting of the week Just to Clarify: Demolition ≠ Preservation would rate the following: Negativity: 5, Thoughtfulness: 4. Actually I think I edited it back to a 4 on the negativity scale, but my original intent was a 5, so I’ll go with that. My second post of the week Green = Energy Efficient? would rate Negativity: 4, Thoughtfulness: 5. This post would probably be Negativity: 2; Thoughtfulness: 2. Or should it be Negativity: 5, Thoughtfulness: 1? This may be harder than I thought . . . .
Ok? Got it? And Theodore? Feel free to retreat to your sunny happy place when you see a 4 or 5, alright?