Tuesday, August 18, 2009

This week's vents . . .

One of my favorite spots in the AJC is the daily vent. There are some very imaginative, frustrated, angry, snide, and silly people out there, and they don't mind sharing every thought that crosses their minds. One recent gem: "You're in a movie. Shut Up! It is that simple." Been there. Felt that.

The appeal of venting is its anonymity. A fed-up-to-here rant about a long line, out of stock item, tailgater, healthcare mal-form, messy kid, bad date, encounter with a government office, etc. is simply sharing. A heated bark directed at the person who has just annoyed you, or about that person in the hearing of his/her friends/coworkers, can bite you back.

"Facts always get in the way of a good vent."

People relish repeating someone's toxic vent to everyone around them. The vent begins to take on a life of its own, until the original setting and the facts are obscured by the vent itself. That's a convoluted way of saying that we all love a well-turned phrase, and the facts get in the way of that enjoyment.

Vents are born in "it's not fair" land, a reality populated by polar opposites, irreconcilable differences, and misunderstandings. It's a place to rant anonymously, to cast aspersions without taking the consequences. It's the modern-day suggestion box for the passive aggressive.

I love venting, for all its fervid ardor and inherent off-the-wall craziness. You know you work with, live next door to, shop alongside with the people who roar their angst, anger, and amusement in rampant anonymity. But it's nice not to know WHO exactly is putting hand to keyboard or calling in on the telephone line.

Keep the Vent, AJC. Let the residents post on your Discussion Board, City of Dunwoody. Keep recording those anonymous parents, DeKalb School Watch. It's informative. It's provocative. It's FUN.

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