March 16th, 2006
typed with the fury of a woman who has something to important to say

I am learning the meaning of the phrase “roll with the punches”. sometimes when you stand up for your beliefs people will try to attack you on a personal level because they don’t know how else to bring you down.
it is akin to little children who when angry and flustered will pull out something irrelevant like, “oh yeah? well you have a big nose!”
it is somewhat funny, but as we all know words can hurt too.
but here lies the beauty…
the lesson i am learning is that no matter what, my feelings are not wrong. my whole life I have been in doubt of them. questioned them, barely recognized them, ignored them, rejected them, feared them, stuffed them away, felt them invalid, misinterpreted them, put them after the feelings of others, held them in until I thought my lungs would burst. the reasons for this are numerous and too much to get into here, but because of this, as an adult I have had trouble recognizing them (read: numbness). (I will experience discomfort somewhere in my body, usually my stomach, which swirls, churns or aches). I didn’t know before but these are my emotions sending me a message, “something is up. stop and listen for a moment.” STOP AND LISTEN.
sometimes it takes a few hours for me to understand what the message is. often when I get it, it comes in a flash. big knowing. “oh my god, of course! that’s it.” onto step number two, expressing those feelings. somewhere along the way, you learn (usually the hard way) that you also need to express those feelings and that you have a right to do so. here lies another great challenge but one worth doing.
and so a message to those who will try to bring me down. you can attack my writing, you can attack my spiritual beliefs, you can attack my chosen profession, you can criticize my talent, you can insult my physical appearance, you can do whatever you think of to make me look bad in the eyes of others.
because from the deepest place in my heart there is an incredible strength, something I have not felt until now. an unshakable knowing that I have a right to these feelings. and no matter what you do to me you cannot take that away. my feelings and beliefs are my own, and they come out of a loving place, a place that wants to heal me and take care of me at every turn. even the anger. i have never really known what it meant to love yourself, until now. it seems so simple, to act in a way that honor’s your feelings and beliefs. to trust what your body is telling you. to stand up for your beliefs even when you feeling like the whole world is against you.
i sit looking at a photo of myself on my desk. I am two years old, with long brown hair and bangs, sitting on my bed wearing my pink p.j.’s with the feet in them, looking shy and apprehensive about the world, (I was an intensely shy child). for the first time i feel such incredible love and admiration for this girl, I want to hug her up and tell her everything’s o.k.
you are strong, and powerful and loved. even if you don’t know it yet.

Mar 16 2006
1:36 pm
maryann writes:

you are awesome! thank you for writing this post (i needed to hear it) and for blogging in general (i have enjoyed each one that i’ve read). thank you also for writing your book–i have it and i think it’s clever, inspiring and delightful!

Mar 16 2006
1:37 pm
Hilary writes:

You are strong. Amazingly strong. Your love of that little girl in the photo on your desk is truly inspiring and powerful.
The person who wrote that attack does a brilliant job of illustrating his own ignorance. Your words and actions are so much stronger than that man’s self centered, uneducated attack.
Now I’m off to put the Ad Free Blog logo on my site!

Mar 16 2006
1:40 pm
eden writes:

I don’t understand the point of that article at all. I found you via the AdFree Blog site (which is a great idea — I added a sticker to my already ad-free blog).
One of the many off-points of the article is that a blog w/o ads must mean that the blogger can’t attract advertisers. How untrue. Maybe some of us don’t like the tag “blogwhore” and consciously avoid it.
Then he goes completely off-topic (if there is a topic) and attacks your personal blogs. If he doesn’t like the content, so what? I thought his story was about ad-free blogs, not about individual blogs.
He’s a poor writer and pretty incoherant. I wouldn’t give him a second thought. Easier said than done, I realize, but his opinion isn’t worth the effort it would take to decipher it.

Mar 16 2006
1:40 pm
rachael writes:

Wow, that article was pure pissy hate. Name calling is shitty and your writing and art and Jeff’s are lovely and I think you should continue to make what you want to make. Artists have as much reason to open our mouths and have opinions as anyone else. Even holier-than-thou direct marketers…yeesh…
Keep doing what you do…

Mar 16 2006
1:42 pm
Willa writes:

I’m not weighing in on the pro- or con-ad platform, but I have to say that that is one of the meanest-spirited articles I have *ever* seen. It is a ridiculous personal attack with no merit whatsoever. Everyone has a right to their opinions, but to resort to this kind of language and insults is just beyond egregious. Hopefully you can take comfort from the fact that you at least got his attention! So sorry that some people must make others feel bad in order to give themselves credibility.

Mar 16 2006
1:47 pm
keri writes:

i will add that this is one of half a dozen articles written in the same vein, thought this seems to be the nastiest of the bunch.
I post it here not to garner sympathy, but for amusement’s sake.
thank you all for your support.

Mar 16 2006
1:55 pm
A.J. writes:

Hi Keri,
I was really shocked to read the article you linked to. Ad hominem attacks are de rigeur on the internet, which is discouraging and unfortunate.
This particular article is no reflection on you or Jeff; it is a view inside the mind and character of the writer.

Mar 16 2006
2:04 pm
schmutzie writes:

I completely don’t understand why someone would bother writing the kind of article that person wrote. If you think that someone’s personal stand against advertising is stupid, then that’s what you think, but what is the purpose behind writing a public attack on the idea? Is he pro-advertising? Does he feel a deep-seated need to defend advertising because you have so unfairly attacked it? It ridiculous. There is nothing for him to gain by writing such an article except a puffed chest and a false sense of superiority.

Mar 16 2006
2:06 pm
eliza writes:

bah. keep doing what you’re doing, kerri. obviously, someone is a little bitter that your blog is more entertaining than his petty little bullsh*t writings, and that you’ve garnered more success in your life than he.
The only braying jackass in that whole article was him.

Mar 16 2006
2:07 pm
Amanda Woodward writes:

wow. It takes some serious energy to be that malicious.
Congratulations for standing up for what you believe in, keri. Despit this garbage, your message rings so very true. We all need to realize that our beliefs are ours alone, we are worthy of having our own indivdiual opinions and they cannot be taken away from us.

Mar 16 2006
2:12 pm
Aimee Roo writes:

Keri, I do love the way you think, and I am happy that you were able to take something positive away from the experience.
While I think that the article was snarky, he does have a right to his feelings just as much as you have a right to yours. Not everyone believes in ad free blogs, and for some of us the little extra income is the difference between being right on the edge or going into the red. It’s fine to be against ads if that is your true feeling, but I also think that there are good people with good reason to be for them.
I just see a little contradiction, you can have your feelings, but he can’t? I am sure you didn’t intend it to sound that way, but it is always good to look at things from both sides.

Mar 16 2006
2:20 pm
Aimee Roo writes:

just to clarify quicky, although i think the author of the article has a right to his opinion, he certainly went about expressing it in the worst way. personal attacks are just so unkind and unneccesary, and i very much disagree with his method.
however, i do still think that he has a right to feel pro-ad and express that.

Mar 16 2006
2:20 pm
christina writes:

I was really surprised to read such an ignorant and seemingly purposeless attack of the ad-free blog idea. It was childish and sounded foolish…and yet I guess why it riled me so much is because it didn’t seem to have a purpose: so many blogs are promoting advertising and he’s not condemming them. Why condem the blogs that support NOT advertising? Anyhow, I think what you’ve been articulating does ring true, and I take heart in your courage, even when I’m maybe not quite as brave.

Mar 16 2006
2:21 pm
Kimberly writes:

Wow, just what I needed to read. I will not back down. As someone who is always been pretty quiet about what I’m thinking I am now in a situation that I’ve been very vocal. I have become determined to not go quietly and to stand up for what is right. Thank you for the encouragement.

Mar 16 2006
2:21 pm
Rhonda writes:

Keri don’t even go there… don’t even give him th etime of day…he is not even on the same page as you….It doesn’t seem like he has an ounze of brain left in his shrunken little head…
hats off to you.. keep up the good work!

Mar 16 2006
2:21 pm
keri writes:

Hi Aimee,
I’m not sure where you see a contradiction. Nowhere have I stated that he does not have a right to his opinion, (in fact I believe I actually give him permission to attack in this post).
I do feel that his opinion is mean spirited and nasty, but i do not question his right to speak out, (though I feel that he is definitely questioning mine.)

Mar 16 2006
2:23 pm
Aimee Roo writes:

keri, you are right. i just re-read the article and you did tell them to go ahead and attack your views. it just felt a little lopsided to me the first time through for some reason. and like i said, i didn’t think that you intended it to sound like that.

Mar 16 2006
2:26 pm
Cindy writes:

Just in case anyone would like to encourage the writer of that article to leave his nastiness behind in a quest for true journalism, please see below:
I can’t think of someone it would be more fun to smother with kindness!

Mar 16 2006
2:45 pm
kistyn writes:

you ROCK, keri!!!! don’t give stinky people any energy. this my first time entering a comment on your blog… i’ve been a spectator for about 2-3 weeks now. your words and work inspire the artist in me! keep on keeping on!

Mar 16 2006
2:49 pm
simone writes:

it’s weird–I just read that article and felt it was kind of sad. It’s so cranky. It’s like he’s a jilted ex lover or something. He has the right to his opinion but does that kind of personal attack sway anyone to be…what? pro-advertising? It’s strange that people feel so violently righteous in the defense of something as annoying as advertising. It’s similar to when I tell people that my daughter is not watching tv (“not even Baby Einstein???”) or eating sugary desserts. Do people feel personally attacked by these choices?

Mar 16 2006
2:54 pm
Diana writes:

If you were such a braying donkey, you would not be worth devoting a column to. I think — rather, I KNOW — Mr. Magill doth protest a little too much.

Mar 16 2006
2:59 pm
keri writes:

“Mr. Magill doth protest a little too much”
that one made me giggle.

Mar 16 2006
3:03 pm
Megara writes:

What a despicable excuse of a “writer”. Honestly…
and they know it because they don’t even have a proper contact…

Mar 16 2006
3:11 pm
Katherine writes:

Reading all of this has inspired me to put the Ad-free blog logo on my blog (if I can figure it out, I’m new to html) – heck, even if only 3 people are reading it (my mum, mother-in-law and best friend!) I can still make my own private stand. I really objected to Mr Magill’s tone in his article – what could have been an intelligent discussion on advertising was instead a personal, humiliating attack. So here’s the email I sent to the staff at the website in question:
“I have just read Ken Magill’s article “This Owl Brays Like A Donkey” and wish to complain. If Mr Magill wished to open up an intelligent discussion about the use of ads in blogging then he has failed. Instead, we got a nasty, personal attack against two people who have done nothing more than to literally put their money where their mouths are (rather than accepting advertising money on their blogs) and stand up for their principles.
I believe it is right to question the way that advertising seems to interfere with more and more aspects of daily life, certainly with some of the more insidious methods used (recently in the UK we had a campaign aimed at children, via their mobile phones, with the notion of keeping it “secret” from their parents).
While Mr Magill makes the point that “for the vast majority of bloggers, swearing off ads would be akin to me swearing off dating Victoria’s Secret models” perhaps if more grass-roots bloggers made a stand against blog-advertising then the more popular blogs would question whether their integrity is worth a little more than what Google etc are paying nowadays. There’s a time and a place for adverts (such as in Keri Smith’s illustrating work for various companies), and perhaps blogs should not be that place. Should the internet be purely about buying stuff? How about connecting people, building relationships, educating and entertaining ourselves?
Whether or not one agrees with Mr Magill’s viewpoint, the unacceptable fact is that he has set out to humiliate Keri Smith and Jeff Pitcher; his tone is vincitive, verging on bullying. In contrast, Keri Smith’s writing tends to be gentle and inspiring – even in the post in which she responds to Mr Magill’s comments. I know which writer I prefer, and know also that I won’t be checking out your site again. Please think twice before allowing your writers to abuse people in this way.”
Sorry for such a long comment! Keep going, Keri.

Mar 16 2006
3:28 pm
laureg writes:

hi! love your blog, and i HAVE to de-lurk just to post a comment.
that article was just- wow. and not good wow. a breathless, sharp-intake-of-disappointed-breath wow. it IS possible to state one’s own personal truth and be secure in it without trying to clobber others with an opinion.
what that article makes me think (mostly) is that the people who probably could stand to do a lot more honest introspection don’t, and those that should probably ease up on themselves a bit, well, don’t either. just some food for thought that struck me.
i enjoy your blog, and enjoy reading the things you have to say. your creativity is really inspiring, and the way that you continually challenge yourself is so honest and very motivating. thanks for putting your thoughts and your work out there for the rest of us to marvel at!

Mar 16 2006
3:34 pm
stefanie writes:

I admire your strength and I love your words. Keep on loving yourself and knowing that you do deserve to be heard.

Mar 16 2006
3:36 pm
Caroline writes:

It’s just the unhappy bully in the playground looking for someone to squash. You should send him a copy of your book (he really needs it)and challenge him to apply one creative idea to his shrunken world….. it could change his unhappy, beer drinkin’ life forever. People who’s creativity/life force is “stuck” are always jealous of those who aren’t. In the wise words of our beloved Neil Young, “don’t let it bring you down, it’s only castles burning`….”
Keri, you are a sweet source of inspiration for so many people — water off a duck’s back.

Mar 16 2006
3:44 pm
Jasmin writes:

What an obnoxious little _little_ man. He could have written a far more thoughtful post on the merits of advertising on blogs without stooping to personal insults. Instead, he chose to sound like a bitter, raving loon who is in dire need of therapy. Pay him no heed. I love your work and your site and will continue to do so.

Mar 16 2006
4:04 pm
John writes:

LOL, what an idiot. I can almost hear his fingers furiously hammering the keyboard, specks of spittle flying – “how DARE someone take action against the propaganda industry that employs me!!!”
He suggests that any blog that “can’t attract advertising” can’t have worthwhile content. The logical extension of that argument is that any product that needs advertising to attract customers can’t be worth buying – so why do we need marketers?
We are a society becoming ever more obsessed with protection of property rights over human rights – here’s a property right for consideration. My mind is MY property, and if I don’t want someone thrusting advertising for ever more irrelevant baubles and trinkets into it, then I want THAT right respected. Ad-Free Blogs – marvellous idea. Advertising has had enough negative impact on newspapers without starting on blogs.
Good on you! He’s entitled to his opinion, even if it’s wrong, but is just an idiot to express it in such a manner.

Mar 16 2006
4:06 pm
Helen writes:

That guy is a total dork.
End of story.

Mar 16 2006
4:15 pm
sarai writes:

my first response was to yell and scream and kick the silly little man that wrote that article.
but i know he’s entitled to his thoughts (no matter how ridiculous) just as i am. tis the beauty of this country.
then i thought he was just a pitiful little case. carrying around so much hate and spewing it out all over the internet.
bad karma indeed.
i think you are a beautiful person that has much to be proud of. don’t let those living a superficial life injure the authentic living you are doing. don’t let them rob you of the gift you so lovingly give the world.

Mar 16 2006
4:17 pm
SarahBelle writes:

What kind of man must this guy be, to take personal jabs at the heart of another..jerk! *LOL*
I just wanted to encourage you and let you know how inspiring you are, as an artist/illustrator and just all around creative person.
I started visiting your site a few months back and I find myself being drawn to it more and more ..I’m having a rough time lately- creatively, spritually, emotionally, mentally, etc..and i find your site to be a breathe of fresh air..there’s a hope and positivity that ‘lives’ here that’s undeniable..
Not just the images or the words, but what your site and your work stands for…it’s in your character and your passion for life.. I have longed to find an artist/mentor for years, to find someone to sees the world the way I want to, the way I need to..
And although I don’t know you personally, I feel as though somehow I’ve found a piece to my puzzle..I’m not where you are yet..but someday I pray that I will be as amazing as you are.
I’m beginning to ramble, so I’ll just say..
Thank You

Mar 16 2006
4:21 pm
courtney writes:

This guy must have gotten dumped by an artist. Either that, or his mother never loved him. Either way, he’s got some major issues. What did you ever do to him? Sheesh.
In college, my public speaking prof told us that debate is not name calling. It would be nice if that guy knew that.
This kind of column would never be printed in a newspaper, as the paper might get sued.

Mar 16 2006
4:32 pm
courtney writes:

I’d also like to point out that this guy is writing for a Direct Advertising magazine. They don’t want ANYONE turning down advertising, as that is their bread and butter. (I’ll admit it, I work in advertising.)

Mar 16 2006
4:35 pm
kristine writes:

I am sorry.
I read the article and it reads as nothing more than a personal attack. The part that made me cringe is the way in which he mocked one of your entries. It seems to me that this guy used a legitimate forum to to display his own hateful issues. The article has nothing to do with advertising.
I am continually inspired by you. My hope is that you will continue onward. I love your remark today in which you said, “from the deepest place in my heart there is an incredible strength”. You are amazing Keri and please know that you are supported and embraced.

Mar 16 2006
4:36 pm
Monica writes:

Yes, because heaven forbid that we not all bow down to the almighty advertising capitalist machine.
Ugh, I’m not against ads per se, but I respect the idea of an ad free space. There are certainly precious few of those. But to be this vitrolic over the very IDEA that you might want to avoid ads? I don’t even begin to understand that–but your response was powerful.

Mar 16 2006
4:52 pm
Jenn writes:

I love that you decided you felt a particular way about something and took action on those feelings. I think so many people complained about the new ads on blogs, and yet they did nothing. It’s about time someone took a stance for something they believed in. I think the bloggers with the ads have done just that. Why can’t you? We need both sides of the fence. That’s what makes this an interesting world. Way to go girl.

Mar 16 2006
4:55 pm
emma writes:

Just sending you some good thoughts.

Mar 16 2006
5:04 pm
chickengirl writes:

Keri- I was just flipping through your book Living out loud again last night. Today I go to your blog and see that you do indeed do what you write about- you are a strong woman.

Mar 16 2006
5:10 pm
Leonie writes:

Hi Keri,
I wanted to tell you how much light you bring into the world by being YOU. By being all parts of you, by sharing you and your story, your art and your views. They are all vitally important to this world. Thank you for being authentic.

Mar 16 2006
5:21 pm
Tammy T writes:

Thank you for that. For that affirmation that it’s okay to be there. It’s okay to be figuring these things out and making a stand after what feels like a long time. I am so in the same place, along with another good friend and it feels good to know that you are there too. Thank you for your affirming words that I so needed to hear today. And love to you for putting this out there!

Mar 16 2006
5:38 pm
susanna writes:

What an ass! Not only was he downright offensive but he’s a terrible writer. I just sent off the following ticked off email to the editor:
Hello Mr.Shultz,
I just read Ken Magill’s article This Owl Brays Like a Donkey and I was really taken aback by his…well, his personal attack on the bloggers Keri Smith and Jeff Pitcher and their decision to have ad-free blogs. Personally, I don’t care whether or not a blogger posts ads. It’s a way of making extra money for some and a personal statement for others. Magill’s statement, “If it can’t draw advertising, maybe the idea is a piece of garbage that should stay in the author’s head where it belongs” was really offensive. Downright crappy. His word, not mine. Smith’s blog isn’t her primary way of promoting her illustration. Rather, it’s her a way of communicating with other artists, illustrators, readers and writers. And you know, she can be inspiring. Reading Magill’s rant about Smith and Pitcher was like being stuck in a windowless, office cubicle with the always-opinionated, whining coworker. A more interesting article would could have covered the reasoning behind a blogger’s decision to post ads versus being ad-free. Anyway, that’s my personal rant!
Keep your head up high, Keri! Don’t let the bastard keep you down!

Mar 16 2006
5:48 pm
Marie writes:

OMG. OMG. This guy’s article is one of the most pathetic thing I’ve read recently! Any article that starts with “Artists should never open their yaps other than as part of their art” is petty and lame. So what? Should we listen only to marketing experts? Because THEY surely have spent years thinking about the impact of advertising, neo-capitalism and globalization on the happiness of all… Right?
I could go on and on about this article, and repeat everything that was said in the other comments. But I’m just going to say this: you have a purpose here, on the internet, and here on earth: you brighten our lifes, and give us courage. You but a smile on our face, help us go through the day even if it’s raining outside. Did you know that seeing your stuff, and inparticular the “be your own super-hero” page helped me to get up and continue to work on my never-ending thesis? Is there any more noble purpose in life than to help and encourage others? I can see none, and certainly not helping Coke sell more bottles…
So forget the ignorants and the jealous, and when they still get to you, think of us, at work, at home, smiling every time we open your blog.

Mar 16 2006
6:05 pm
Kelly writes:

I am appalled by that article – not just because I’m a frequent visitor to your site but because as a journalist it’s embarrassing to know there are such whiny, petty people out there getting published.
Thank you so much for remaining open and honest and unfettered by criticism. It has helped me more than you will ever know.

Mar 16 2006
6:19 pm
ani writes:

keep fighting the good fight!
–ani (with a little ‘a’)

Mar 16 2006
6:24 pm
Deb Sofia writes:

Your ideas have created a wonderful and loving community. Another community, even though not a blog, is Craigslist. The advertising business is very frustrated with Craig’s success, since he is ad free and does not charge for most ads listed. (only “job” listsings in certain cities–NY, SF )
And one other point—Mr Magill begins his article with the “rule of thumb” phrase. Historically, this indicates the size of a stick that a man is permitted to beat his wife with–no thicker than than his thumb. I do believe Mr. Magill is angry.
Your blog keeps me thinking of our beautiful world, and all the ways to appreciate it and please continue with your work. You are amazing.

Mar 16 2006
6:28 pm
jen g writes:

oh my–at first I thought, here she moves to the U.S. and is immediately treated to the hate talk that passes for discussion currently in vogue. Then I considered that you have challenged one the basic tenets of our capitalist culture–everyone is a consumer; everything is a commodity. Of course the wolves are going to howl.
So, I just wanted to pass on some wisdom gleaned from the Wizard of Oz, namely, “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.” And it is always a very little man indeed, fast food waistline notwithstanding.
rock on girl . . .

Mar 16 2006
6:42 pm
Anonymous writes:

Okay, let me say that as a communicator or journalist Mr. KEN MAGILL is so wrong it scares. That’s not the way to say it Mr., I don’t know if “directmag” is a serious magazine, but that opinion looks just as a personal blog entry. So incoherent and so un-professional, that’s not the way you expose an idea, even if you’re wrong or not, that’s not the way anyone who writes express him/herself, but how a child would. You really need to go back to school, i hope there ppl help you understand some other things too, you clearly don’t.

Mar 16 2006
6:42 pm
Anonymous writes:

Okay, let me say that as a communicator or journalist Mr. KEN MAGILL is so wrong it scares. That’s not the way to say it Mr., I don’t know if “directmag” is a serious magazine, but that opinion looks just as a personal blog entry. So incoherent and so un-professional, that’s not the way you expose an idea, even if you’re wrong or not, that’s not the way anyone who writes express him/herself, but how a child would. You really need to go back to school, i hope there ppl help you understand some other things too, you clearly don’t.

Mar 16 2006
6:42 pm
Anonymous writes:

Okay, let me say that as a communicator or journalist Mr. KEN MAGILL is so wrong it scares. That’s not the way to say it Mr., I don’t know if “directmag” is a serious magazine, but that opinion looks just as a personal blog entry. So incoherent and so un-professional, that’s not the way you expose an idea, even if you’re wrong or not, that’s not the way anyone who writes express him/herself, but how a child would. You really need to go back to school, i hope there ppl help you understand some other things too, you clearly don’t.

Mar 16 2006
7:11 pm
Lin writes:

Amen!!! To thine own self be true!! BRAVA!

Mar 16 2006
7:46 pm
Lunarmusings writes:

Wow… It hurt reading that article. I can’t imagine what self respecting journalist would write that and consider it to be appropriate. It was on long reactive rant. And I did feel slighted for you… but as hard as it may feel right now, the Truth is that it is not about you. No part of You is in any of what he wrote about, or the his motivation behind what he wrote. His anger, critism, and charge is his crap. His very unprofessional, unexamined, badly written, unresolved crap.
Breathe… and keep going girl…we are all with you.

Mar 16 2006
7:54 pm
Alanna writes:

Wow! I just read the article flaming your adfreeblogs website. Amazing how riled up someone can get over something that doesn’t even affect them. So weird. It’s like random acts of meanness as opposed to acts of kindness. The author of that article needs a hug or a hobby. Isn’t there anything more interesting they can write about instead of wasting angry words on such a simple and innocent statement? All you can really say to someone like that is, wow! wow! wow! wow!

Mar 16 2006
8:35 pm
Lynne writes:

Here’s what really amazes me… that this guy actually thinks he has the right to judge what anyone else finds valuable! What gives him the right to suggest that what you share with your readers has any less worth that what he writes and shares with his? Arrrgghhhh!

Mar 16 2006
9:11 pm
andrea scher writes:

Beautifully said Keri!

Mar 16 2006
9:30 pm
yasmin writes:

hear, hear

Mar 16 2006
9:38 pm
Becca writes:

I don’t have much room for hate in my life, but I do find that article is really quite odious, and I was incensed while reading it. I’ve scrolled through only a couple comments and I’m sure it will only be repetition, but I for one truly do support you. The article was poorly constructed and spiteful, it would do the writer some good to try to look at things from a different perspective. I’m glad that you’re learning to trust yourself, and I’m glad that you won’t back down. Huzzah for you, and for everyone else that won’t back down!

Mar 16 2006
10:16 pm
cat writes:

Wow…all I can think of Ken What’sHisName is: “That guy sounds like a very unhappy person. If he wasn’t so busy trying to spread his poison to others, I’d feel sorry for him.” Give young and grown-up Keri(s) a hug from one of her fans. :-)

Mar 16 2006
10:36 pm
Corinne writes:

I have been reading your journal I found by accident about a month ago. your “Space” Is a very calming place I like to visit after a long day of work or play. I’m so thankful you do have a add free blog. Keep up the beautiful work you do. I have to add, I had to order your book, Live out Loud. I just loved It. It has made this tired over worked 43 year old stop and think, Wow I like this Idea of Playing!!!! and so I have been, In all areas of my life. Thank you Kari!!

Mar 16 2006
11:05 pm
soren writes:

hey Keri, just wanted to send you good vibes and protect you and little Keri from that idiot. I don’t understand why he feels the need to take an opinion about ad-free blogs and turn it into a personal attack on you and jeff. what the hell? UGH. I’ve always tried to avoid the total slimy-ness that you sometimes run across on the internet, and when I accidentally run into it it always makes me feel so mad and helpless.

Mar 16 2006
11:48 pm
janice writes:

not everyone who has had such a personal attack- upon themselves would want to share it with the rest of us–i myself am not sure i could do it. brave.
in regards to the aforementioned article this individual is a ranter
–expressing an opinion in an intelligent and unoffensive manner is always an option that I appreciate whether I agree or disagree with said opinion. ranting just makes me want to turn down the volume.
it seems the effect he was “going for” is the one he got…and this person does not really merit another sentence written about them-as the article was poorly written and obviously does not offer any food for thought. perhaps journalism is not his forte, but rather dating Victoria Secret Models.
this blog is you. your personal space, whether or not it is on the world wide web or in a corner of your home….the rest us us are “guests”-some invited, some not.
i leave you with a quote from my favourite poet:
to be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.
e. e. cummings

Mar 16 2006
11:49 pm
Robin writes:

I have just recently found your blog and would like to add my thoughts to the others posted here in saying the article on directmag was uncalled for and quite disturbing. And you, you handled it with a grace and dignity that shows your true inner spirit. You have earned my respect and I look forward to reading your blog.

Mar 17 2006
12:58 am
marloes writes:

It’s not about your feelings or beliefs. Or about your body, I even think they are not you. It’s not about having the right to .. or need to stand up for .. there’s still struggle in that somewhere.
But you have found what’s really you. That ball of energy that you are suddenly aware of. That you can feel inside, always if you want to. That connects with everything and can’t disconnect (not by you(r ego), not by someone else). That’s you. Ain’t that wonderful? It’s unbelievable sometimes for me, such a big wonder.

Mar 17 2006
1:01 am
liz elayne writes:

All I could say as i read that “article” was “wow. wow. wow. wow.” over and over and over again. who is this person who would spend time writing such hateful things.
you are brave and amazing. and full of such grace to respond as you have here.
blessings to you.

Mar 17 2006
1:45 am
Kelly writes:

Hi, I’m not normally a commenter, but I thought I’d come out of the woodwork for that one. It’s obvious that you know you’re on the right track, so these sort of voices are unnecessary noise. Regardless, I just can’t get over how nasty this article was — who is this guy?? My god, it’s one thing to disagree with another’s principles but it’s another thing entirely to turn that opposition into outright mockery. He clearly has an axe to grind, and your site was a convenient target. It saddens me to know that people like that can consider themselves professional writers. Where have our standards gone?

Mar 17 2006
1:45 am
MARYBETH writes:

Hi Keri,
This “supposed journalist” completely contradicts himself! If blog’s are not worth reading and hold no power or worth, then WHY DID HE SPEND SEVERAL HOURS READING YOURS -EVEN CLICKING YOUR LINKS,Spending TIME READING THEM, THEN WRITING AN ENTIRE ARTICLE ABOUT IT?
Me thinks your statement of truth, has this obviously delusional person, feeling himself falling from an imagined high horse.
AWAYS Remember

Mar 17 2006
4:02 am
tom_tom writes:

oh, thank you.
thank you for these precious words

Mar 17 2006
4:59 am
Jes writes:

That article was so full of negativity, and a little too much self-importance, that I actually chuckled out loud.
That adfreeblog thing is what set him off (with the assumption that people who use it, are overly self-important), and I bet he doesn’t even realize it.
If you’re reading this Media Boy, you should know that I don’t know Keri. I don’t worship the ground she walks on. I have read her journal for awhile now, and like that she is a positive person, who shares herself with others. That said, I stepped back for a moment to ask myself whether I thought his article was a joke, because I wanted to blindly stick up for Keri, or? Nope. His article is badly written drivel.
I would be embarrassed if that’s the sort of story my bosses asked me to write. I would also be embarrassed for myself, if that’s the type of drivel that I came up with on my own, for my job.
What important media site allows such drivel to be posted anyway? I didn’t even bother clicking around the site to see what else they had to offer. The article told me all I needed to know.
Keri, don’t give this man so much of your time. His story was ridiculous, and I hope you can see that. Many people know who you are by name. I’m states away from you, and have met numerous people in person who know who you are, because of what you give to others.
Do not go back to read his article. Read only what people here are saying to you. That is all that matters, you need to believe that.

Mar 17 2006
5:02 am
Kim writes:

You are brave and insightful..two qualities that the ‘gentleman’ who wrote this sneering little piece lack. You have every right to feel proud of your achievements. Don’t let these snide detractors get you down. Kim x

Mar 17 2006
6:27 am
Dan Heffernan writes:

I don’t understand why this Ken person is so hostile. Even if he does not agree with you and your friend’s ad free blog idea, I still do not understand why he needs to get so personal. It’s as if you did something wrong to him in the past like farting in his face. Instead, pay no attention to people like that. He is obviously unhappy with his own life and just needs to try and put someone else below his boot heals to feel better about himself. Do not give this person a second thought or let his comments affect your positive energy. Instead, stand by your beliefs; it’s what I like about you. Your blog is positive, friendly and inspiring. I really wish more people existed in the world like you. Take care of yourself.

Mar 17 2006
7:20 am
zoe writes:

He is just a sad old bitter fool. Simple as! Let’s all feel sorry for him being so full of negativity and obviously unhappy inside to have to insult others. I expect he is jealous of you Keri, for many many reasons.
Keri you are a wonderful amazing woman. I take insults and any nastiness that has been given to me as sort of ‘power’ to only make me stronger. Take it as a compliment he has gone to the trouble of writing about you!

Mar 17 2006
7:38 am
Marian writes:

What a classic Troll that guy is.
In your face harsh irritating direct advertising is going the way of the dinosaurs anyway.
I bet more can be achieved by gentle networking, it is possible to reach the people who really appreciate what you make and do.
I for one dont buy what i dont want anymore, the www makes this possible, unfortunatley it is also the breeding ground of the bully beasts known as trolls.
I feel a caricature coming on.
Keri, you brighten up my life!

Mar 17 2006
7:45 am
Susannah writes:

Keri, take heart. I’m a journalist based in London, and have been reading, and enjoying, your blog for quite a while now. The words that ‘journalist’ strung together do not make any kind of article that i recognise. It would be one thing to write a discussion of ad-free blogging, but it is quite another thing to make the piece such a personal attack on you and your husband. Highly unprofessional in my opinion.
I think its inevitable that by putting our words on the web we open ourselves up for attack, but the snidey opinion of one man doesn’t have any bearing on how powerful your blog is. Judging by all the comments your post has received you’re making a difference to a lot of people – both friends and people you’ve never met (even me in rainy cold England).
I don’t have a blog – instead I’m writing a book as that is my way of sharing with the world. we all do what we can to connect like-minded souls and to pass on what we have learnt. every little helps…
all the best x

Mar 17 2006
8:07 am
Carla writes:

Hy! I’m writing from Portugal just to say to you that i love your blog and it makes me cry and laugh a lot. So please continue making me feel good, i need it, i need you…
Thanks for your words and your beautiful feelings.

Mar 17 2006
8:21 am
katherine writes:

. . . you are radiant, incandescent . . . you most certainly will shine on . . . :)

Mar 17 2006
8:23 am
Anja writes:

I still support the idea one hundred percent. Sorry if that hurt some ad bloke’s feelings.

Mar 17 2006
8:26 am
holly writes:

“it is because of the critics, the doubters (in the outer world and within ourselves) that we have such hesitancy when we write. and i know the hesitancy just mars it. it does not make it better at all.
as i write this i many times have had the chilling feeling come around my heart because of the thought: “what if it may not be true? people will say i am crazy. where is my logic? i haven’t a ph.d. in philosophy or psychology.
but i don’t let the cold feeling stay there because just the same, i know what i say is true, because it is true to me and therefore i say it freely and you must have it. a few years ago i woul dnot have dared say anything in this book without looking up long, corroborating passages in big books: ‘william james says,’ etc etc.
I BELIEVE NOW IN SPEAKING FROM MYSELF as i want you to do when you write. don’t keep marshaling thoughts like: ‘i must prove it.’
you don’t Have to prove it by citing scientific examples, by comparing and all. say it. if it is true to you, it is true. another truth may come up later. what comes truly from me is true, whether anybody believes it or not. it is My truth.”
-brenda ueland, If You Want To Write

Mar 17 2006
9:16 am
cris writes:

Someone once said “Perhaps where I stir the most nasty opposition may be the direction I need to explore further”.

Mar 17 2006
9:41 am
Lauren writes:

Hi Keri,
All I can say is he needs to get off of that soapbox.
Keep doing what your doing and being brave enough to do it.

Mar 17 2006
10:04 am
Lisa writes:

That “Direct” guy is a complete idiot. Don’t waste your time and energy internalizing his ridiculous criticism. As a reader, I appreciate what you’re doing. Thank you for continuing to provide us with glimmers of inspiration!

Mar 17 2006
10:15 am
soapgirl writes:

I’ve never commented before Keri, though I read your blog regularly. As I read through his attack, it literally felt like “I” was punched in the stomach. I can only imagine what it was like to read it yourself.
Then when I was able to step back and formulate an opinion — wow. Talk about a braying donkey — that guy was truly as ass. His article did not make one single coherent point about advertising, which was the alleged focus of the piece. instead it made a very clear point that he’s unable to articulate his position, has to resort to personally insulting the folks he disagrees with, and is completely unprofessional.
I applaud your stand on ad-free blogging and admire your strength in facing the opposing side head on — and with your own head held high. Take comfort in all the supportive messages here, and continue to follow your own inner voice. That’s the best anyone can do.

Mar 17 2006
10:48 am
crystal writes:

Hi Keri…just coming out of lurkdom to say that I love your blog. It’s so inspiring to me, and it makes me sad that someone would say such mean things about it or about you. Mean people baffle me.

Mar 17 2006
11:23 am
Alexandra writes:

Even though I may not have felt as strongly as you about ad-free blogging, one of the things I did take away from it was being more aware of the subtle, insidious, and not-so-subtle messages I get throughout my day whereever I go, and when you had brought up the whole issue in that original blog about ad-free blogging I thought you were trying to take care not only of yourself but your readers as well, and thats a beautiful thing, caring enough and being courageous enough to share your opinions,thoughts, and feelings in order to challenge people to look around them in a more conscious way. I also want to add that this Ken guy sounds like a self-righteous gasbag himself. There is a way he could have disagreed with you without being such a prick.

Mar 17 2006
12:21 pm
jerusha writes:

it’s the hostility that frightens me. why? what purpose does it serve? it doesn’t make him more persuasive, it makes him less. it’s an emotional argument trying to wrap itself in reason’s clothing. and that means that something you said scared him, and was very, very effective. you are right – you are strong.

Mar 17 2006
12:51 pm
lisa deal (nookncranny) writes:

my dear, i am one of the many girls (of every age) around the world linking our arms with you. as you know, this is not only about ads on blogs. this is about the courage to have heart in a world that promises at times, to abuse, even to fight such an undertaking. it’s about choosing, with eyes wide open, hope and idealism rather than pessimism and spite, when the wounds of previous efforts still linger in our bones. such is an act of beauty. of love. of affirming life. we are learning to remain unyeildingly sensitive, and are engendering in ourselves and others heretofore untapped resevoirs of strength capable of enduring beyond anyone’s harmful projections. perhaps, once upon a time, we all were convinced that softness was the equivilant of weakness. now we are digesting the truth, that love is strength. this is the buisness of healing the hearts of women, and in turn all good souls.
i once had a little nookncranny on diaryland. i am currently creating a website due this summer, and i can’t wait to invite my little owl to come live there.
for the reasons just discussed, it is from a place of pure vulnerability that i submit an act of hope with the complete absence of logic when i say, i love you.

Mar 17 2006
1:19 pm
beeb writes:

I don’t think I’ve ever saw a post that had so many comments. You’ve hit upon something here. Something I have yet to learn and I know I’ll be happier when I do. But how? This is a hard thing for me. Wonderful post and even though I can’t read allll the comments (there is so many!), the few I’ve read I’ve found myself nodding and saying, “Yes!”

Mar 17 2006
1:36 pm
Jennifer Louden writes:

Keri- what strikes me, as the observer I am i.e. my story- is that those who aren’t willing to risk- to create, to feel, to have a spiritual inner life- rip and tear at those that do. I used to think that meant I was less “intelligent” or “intellectual” beause I was so interested in the inner life, in creating, and it often feels so soft and squishy.
But you know, now I see it’s what people are really hungry for- so hungry it scares them and then we get made fun of.
I had a similar experience with People magazine years ago- I went into pre-term labor until I calmed myself down.
Also, the whole ad free thing: you know, one of the key struggles right now in the world is the struggle between what is real and what is not. That struggle is being played out in all kinds of small ways in all kinds of small daily decisions we make and your ad free blog choice is one of them.
Finally :) if you all want to hear Keri on the radio, she’ll be on my show on Easter Sunday and available by free podcast a week or so later. We’ll talk about this!

Mar 17 2006
1:47 pm
boogiewig writes:

Has anybody sent an email/message/letter-to-the-editor to Direct Mag about their column?
Seems to me they might need to hear these opinions directly!
Thank you for your inspiration, Keri!

Mar 17 2006
2:01 pm
sandra writes:

Although I thought the tone wasn’t the best and he could have left some of the personal attacks and nastyness out (what good comes of that), I found one bit interesting that I was wondering if you could address:
“Clicking on Smith’s name reveals that she is a freelance illustrator who has worked for Random House, Forbes, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Ford Motor Co., The Body Shop, The Boston Globe and Hallmark.
Gee, keri with a lowercase

Mar 17 2006
2:19 pm
keri smith writes:

Please read this post (it explains my position on the subject).
it may also help to read the few posts before it so that you understand a bit more about why I have done all this. keep in mind i do not ask that you agree with my stance.
(also, it appears that you have entered an incorrect email address as the email i just sent you on this bounced back.)

Mar 17 2006
2:59 pm
nikki writes:

I had a long “editorial” like that written about the magazine I founded ( a few years ago by a local “journalist” and even though I knew the guy who wrote it and had heard from several sources that he was a complete jackass and even though I knew he was wrong about us, it made me cry and cringe. Because it was so mean and so nasty and I didn’t know what I had done to provoke that kind of very personal attack. And the answer was, of course, nothing except have opinions that were different from his. I have to admit that I still cry when I get critical letters but not nearly as long or hard.
Lots of support out there for your right to have your own opinion, so try not to take it personally (although I know that’s easier said than done!)

Mar 17 2006
3:01 pm
m writes:

Hi Keri,
Reading Ken Magill’s article further proves to me just how powerful your idea of ad-free blogs really is. We should ask ourselves why he found the concept worthy to write about in the first place. Perhaps he was threatened?
Anyway, I’m always turned off by people who use insults to get laughs. Never seemed to me to be a sign of intelligence.
I’ve noticed that the words or phrases people use to hurt others are often words that have either been used against them or words that describe their own insecurities.. I re-read what Mr. Magill wrote and copied down most of the insults.
Here they are:
open their yaps, stupid, suspicious use of other people’s material, self-righteous gasbags, airheads, torture, infantile philosophy.
Was he describing his own article? What’s interesting to me is that all of the hurtful words Ken used to describe you were ironically describing how he was acting towards you. They were describing his actions. So I’d suggest to Ken that he take a good look at himself and think about why those insults may actually be things about himself that he doesn’t like, or hasn’t yet come to terms with.

Mar 17 2006
4:07 pm
spiral writes:

when i read his article i felt personally injured. how dare he lash out with such bile?
i discovered your blog on march 1 this year, and not wanting to sound too sacharine, it has changed me for the better. your words, images, advice and general dont-be-afraid-to-try-something attitude has really helped me. you’ve removed the creative ‘bung’ that had been imposed by all the criticisms and negativity id recieved – i can never thank you enough.
by attacking you in such an intimate way he really oversteped the boundary of legitimate criticism of add/add-free work, and the wider issue of commissioned art.
i detested the way he scoured your blog for something to poke fun of. im saddened that in doing so he missed the spitit of your personal opinion and philosophy which runs through your writing, art, and creative expression. [in my opinion, this also includes what ive seen of your commercial work; so you are not a sell-out.]
of course he has the right to his view. but he also insulted ALL OF US for enjoying the output of a so-called “self-righteous gasbag.”
im so glad you’ve taken this with humour. im amused that he was so devoid of an acutal argument that he had steep so low to imply your work is merely a “coherent thought on the toilet”. (*amused at image of you visiting someone and doing a quick collage from inevetable pile of magazines found beside thier loo*)
sorry, never posted here before, guess i vented a bit. also – totally agree his insults were those reflected from inside him.
with many hugs and much thanks

Mar 17 2006
4:55 pm
Katie writes:

he is completely vile.

Mar 17 2006
5:54 pm
Amanda writes:

Oh dear.
Is that all he has to write about?
If he felt that your little no advertising venture was a farce, then his article should have been about that.
He didn’t have enough facts to write about in regards to it, so he spent the article slagging on you personally like a 3 year old.
Look at this site Keri.
Look at the responses you get from people.
92 random people around the world stating how much they are inspired by you.
In my book, that is pretty amazing and something to really be proud of.

Mar 19 2006
1:27 pm
Claire writes:

RE: Ken thingummybob
As my grandmother used to say:
What a horrid little man!
Whose article is not only offensive but BADLY written!

Mar 21 2006
8:37 pm
natasha writes:

what a prick! did i tell you what a prick he is? i am not even sure what point he is making. is he saying that if you work for a living you are the same as a prostitute? is that his point? or is it just if you enjoy what you are doing and are not a miserable arsehole like him that makes you bad person? i guess that is my biggest gripe. it doesn’t even make sense.
i have lurked on your blog for a while and the thing that always pops out at me is that you have such an amazing ability to bring out creativity and appreciation in other people. and that is amazing.
a personal attack always stings, but that is what it was. not factual, not informed, just a miserable person attempting to spread the misery around. sad sad Ken(with a capital K).

Mar 23 2006
4:18 pm
Gerri writes:

What an idiot. I’ll never understand how some people can act so high and mighty while being so childish. I don’t believe he actually criticised the lowercase names on the site. How stupid.
As to the only actual point in his article, just because you sell your work to corporations does not make you a hypocrite. You don’t have to be against all companies just because you are opposed to seeing advertisements absolutely everywhere you turn. I mean I’m all for capitalism and all, but I think our society is way too saturated by commercialism.
There are so many people out there who act like this and I guess you just have to keep reminding yourself that they are just taking wild swings at you hoping to hit a nerve because they really don’t have anything else to add to the argument. He is the one whose thoughts should have been kept to himself.
Please don’t let people like him inhibit the way you share your thoughts with us.

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