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Sure, she’s gained popularity, but is it really worth being snarky like Violent Acres?

Have you read any posts by the anonymous blogger ViolentAcres?

In little more than two months she’s launched a controversial, self-promoting blog that’s catapulted her straight into the heights of many of the ‘what’s-hot’ lists and measurements. Sure, we’re not talking Technorati Top 100 – but then like I said, this blog has only been live since October.

VioletAcres, who doesn’t reveal her name or much else about herself for that matter, has courted popularity with such snarky (but strangely agreeable) view points as:

Four Rookie Mistakes People Make That Keep Them Poor

“I hate to be harsh here, but when you have children, you are basically choosing your life as it is. So if you’re living paycheck to paycheck now, you’ll probably always live paycheck to paycheck. If you’re in a lot of consumer debt now, you’ll likely always be in consumer debt. If you’re working lot of overtime, get used to it because you’ll be doing until it your body literally gives out. Very few families deviate their financial standing after there are kids in the picture.”


Pet Peeve #1

“I can’t stand it when people use the phrase ‘in my opinion’ in their writing. Of course it’s your opinion! You’re the one writing it, aren’t you?

Listen, if you don’t have the balls to write commentary without using those two phrases, you shouldn’t be writing. You cheapen and weaken everything you say when you puss out and proclaim ‘well it’s only my opinion!’ Your reader knows it’s your opinion because you wrote it. But now that you’ve invalidated your points by focusing on the fact that you’re allowed to make them (instead of on the points themselves) the only thing you communicate to your readers is that you don’t have very strong convictions.”


You Can Learn a Lot From a Rich Girl

“I’ve spoken to a lot of college kids lately who regularly spend $200 for a pair of blue jeans. When I ask them how long it takes for them to earn that kind of cash, the answer usually falls in the realm of a week or so. At this point, I will stress that not even the very wealthy spend an entire weeks worth of salary on one article of clothing.”

And then there’s the tale of ViolentAcres vs the “mommyblogger” Sweetney. One day Sweetney, who writes and posts pictures of her children to her blog, discussed how disapointed she was that her daughter wasn’t more popular at pre-school. VA decided to comment on Sweetney’s post by reposting a picture of her daughter on her blog, and comparing the child to a child with Downs Syndrome.

In a later post, having been on the receiving end of much criticism for her actions (much to her delight, no doubt, as the traffic levels rose) VA wrote:

“In the midst of the whole Sweetney debacle, I read a comment that almost thawed my cold and bitter heart. A woman posted eloquently about how my picture insulted people with downs syndrome more than it insulted Sweetney’s daughter. I clicked a link she left to her blog and found out that she was the Mother of a child with downs syndrome and for an instant, I felt guilty. It wasn’t my intent to make fun of children with downs. It was my intent to make fun of Mina, who has an incredibly sloped forehead for someone who is not brain damaged. Her kid, on the other hand, was cute in a ‘God’s Clown’ sort of way. Briefly, I thought about constructing an apology and sending it to her.

But then I remembered how much I fucking hate retarded people.

As you can see ViolentAcres, enjoys courting controversy – and by writing about her here I’m falling for the buzztrap as someone once said.

But I’m writing abut her, and giving her further Technorati ranking in the process, because I want to raise some points for discussion.

The first question many will ask, of course, is “who is ViolentAcres?”. That’s a question people ask of just about every anonymous blogger. As I warn my wife (who has a very uncontroversial yet anonymous blog), most anonymous bloggers who gain notoriety get found out in the end.

With some bravado, ViolentAcres paints herself as a self-confident, financially stable women: (emphasis below is mine)

“Since I’ve started this site, a lot of people have said a lot of nasty things about me. I’ve had my identity, my sexuality, and my parenting techniques all questioned. But probably the most hurtful comments of all are the ones implying that I have a job.

See, the difference between you and me is that I invested my money wisely so I don’t have to spend my life doing shit I don’t like and you…..ah…..didn’t.

This is why it cracks me up that some of you are trying so hard to find my name, hoping against hope that you’ll find out where I work and get me fired. My portfolio is my ‘job’ and my portfolio isn’t going to fire me, people! Also, it generally doesn’t answer the telephone. So you’re going to be sorely disappointed if that’s what you’re hoping for…”

For me, the more pertinent question is “what is her motive(s) for having this blog in the first place?”. Everyone has a reason why they blog – and this would explain why a clearly intelligent and astute women has decided to take the snarky route over perhaps a more toned down but constructive approach.

And hey, I’m not knocking the bitchiness. People know I’m kinda infamous for it too – and in some ways I wish I could be more snarky on this blog. In my family it’s a shame I ended up being the boring married-early straight son and my brother the edgy gay son cos I can be the the biggest bitch in town.

But I also learned that although you might attract a big following as you rip people apart, there is very little you can do with it. To influence, you have to try to build things up rather than tare them down. That’s why I prefer GigaOm over Valleywag or TechCrunch. And frankly why Om’s proposition has a longer shelf life than Nick Denton’s or Michael Arrington’s.

At this point in my career and my blogging reputation, I’m caught in the middle – no longer snarky enough to get the masses but not a big enough (positive) reputation as I would like to be considered influential to the same degree as my partners in crime Chris and Tara.

Oh how I miss being snarky. And how I’m – just – a teensy bit jealous of VA. But ultimately I feel that my non-bitchyness will get me further in the long-run than ViolentArces.

What do others think of ViolentArches? Does anyone else know who she is?

Published in Thoughts and Rants


  1. When I read VA it makes me think of someone walking into my living room and shouting at me. Sure, I can choose not to read her blog but, by then, it’s too late. I’ve been shouted at and my Sunday will not be the same. Watching that ropey film last night on Channel 4, Changing Lanes, where the message is “be nice” (wasn’t it the same in ET, too?) or pay the consequences, part of me thinks Mena might have been right. It’s not about being nice so much as being constructive and VA is clearly neither.

  2. Curious. “She” can sound rather masculine at times…

  3. I think there is a lot to like about her blog (“in my opinion” -hah!). Some of her posts resonated with me.

    At least she is honest, we can try and sound all high and mighty but let’s face it; we all hide behind a nice facade for professional reasons.

  4. Now that I have taken the time to read all of her posts, I can only strengthen my support of her work. She really is something i.e. smart, witty and hillarious.

    The non-developer-blog equivilent of the caustic tech blog @ if you like.

  5. Ben Ben


    She makes references to her ‘husband’ in a number of posts. Sure, I guess one must consider same-sex marriage as an option, but unlikely for many reasons.

  6. Ben Ben


    “At least she is honest, we can try and sound all high and mighty but let’s face it; we all hide behind a nice facade for professional reasons.”

    I wish we didn’t have to.

  7. @Ben:

    Or, he could be making it up.

  8. I saw a link to that blog on digg and assumed that it was some lame Tim Robbins type blog spam. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it before.

  9. Overall, I find her very entertaining and I’m a bit jealous myself, but I also wonder if all the snark ever pays off. My natural writing style tends to be constructive so that has become the tone of my site, but occasionally I get into a really snarky mood. Maybe I’ll start an anonymous blog to let that out and see what happens.

  10. Violent Acres: The Mother Teresa of Cyberspace

    She is like a female Mark Foley; he didn’t merely spout empty rhetoric about how dangerous the Internet could be for kids, but actually went out and proved it.

  11. All those comments above are fake comments from violentacres herself. Yes she has different accounts to make herself look good. But you knew that already right?

  12. Joe Nobody Joe Nobody

    At the end of the day, do you REALLY care who Violent Acres is? If this person wants to write about things they find interesting, and you happen to agree or disagree, does it change anything? A blog is a way to express yourself, and a way to share it. Does it keep you up at night knowing this person ticks you off? They can say things you can’t, or are afraid to share? I think it’s awesome that someone else has these thoughts, and that I can share my frustrations, simply by reading. GO VIOLENT ACRES!!! Everyone else, get over yourselves, maybe real blogging is your outlet. TRY IT!!

  13. ? ?????????? ?? ???? RSS ?????, ?? ????????? ??????-?? ? ???? ?????-?? ??????? ?????????? 🙁 ??? ??? ??????????

  14. Rune Rune

    I can relate, Ben, I have always tended to lead constructive discussion and methods of “building up” to influence people and spread positive ideas.

    But, as I’m aging, and cynicism is setting in, I can recognize more and more that people need doses of BOTH types of medicine. Healing, thoughtful, and gentle communication.. AND a bitch-slap/reality check once in a while.

    I find her writing to be refreshing and LIBERATING. As Joe nobody says, I can share my frustrations simply by reading VA! . Its amazing. She says the things I’m too polite and liberal to say. The way I see it, she is a partner to the team of world-betterment. Without destruction, construction becomes chaos, right?

    Sadly, I don’t understand how people could be offended at her writing. I mean really, once you put down your defenses, her writing is mere satire and slapstick. Its as if all of us have gotten so accustomed to subtlety we can’t tolerate blunt statements in the slightest!

    In my years on this planet, I’ve found something solid and true and it is this : If you can’t this joke, you must be hiding something.

    Throughout all cultures, “teasing” is a form of testing you. But in our culture, teasing is now looked down upon, we dont want to be tested, we dont want out offspring to be tested. We want an easy A! I like to think humor (yes, even icky humor) is our way of “teasing” out the truth from the people and things we come into contact with – so don’t resist it so much .

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