I'm the first to admit that I can be abrasive at times. I can sometimes focus in a little too much on my own train of thought and snap at people that I think are being rude, ironically, then becoming equally rude as a result.
I definitely became that snarky responsive person last weekend after my article in this series got just a few too many people that clearly hadn't read the article, but felt the need to comment (complaint) about the state of parking in the inner-city, how developers were making lots of money and some other madness that doesn't bear repeating.
I lost my cool and I felt guilty for much of the week. Mainly at how I let them get under my skin and how vulnerable I felt through my own viewpoint and really, how I project that onto Mirage at times and tend to blur the lines.
One woman that really got under my skin went on to share our page with some very hurtful things. None of them worth mentioning, but one of her comments was something like "for a page that says it is promoting positivity to the community is extremely rude and not welcoming to different ideas".
Really, if I'm being honest, she was right. I'm not very welcoming to certain different ideas.
I definitely have a problem with people on the internet that don't bother to read an article before jumping in with an ill-informed comment and I have no problem poking fun at them. I'd say I equally get my defences up when people start to argue and complain about things having to stay the same or how bad everything is.
The beauty in all this though is through all the negativity it made me question what I think Mirage stands for. I don't really think we are everything for everyone. We are primarily an art zine that tries desperately to focus on Novocastrians doing cool things that might not otherwise get a mention. We are a community of like-minded people that think Newcastle is moving towards a future vision where the city is even better than it was. Our employment opportunities have well and truly passed from the Steel City we once were and we not only educate but inspire and incubate futuristic creative ideas. Not just a sea-change from Sydney but an aspirational city all of our own.
Personally, I'm obsessed with driverless cars and am truly excited by the prospect that within my lifetime they may become the norm. With that in mind, I hate conversations around the complaint that Newcastle doesn't have enough parking within the inner-city. It's not an issue to me because over the next 10 years public transport with connecting us and cars won't be used the same way they've been for the past 100 years.
I don't have some vision where Mirage becomes this gigantic generic vehicle and has a viewpoint that is watered down to keep the masses happy. Honestly, I don't ever expect to connect with everyone. That's not cool either.
What I want is that Mirage continues to be the groundswell of thinking differently.
It might be wrong to antagonise people that don't think like us, but it might just get them thinking. It gets me thinking. Isn't the world a better place if we all do a little more of that.
Thinking, before we react.