Why I let PeopleAreHell.com expire

I used to have a website domain called PeopleAreHell.com.

I reserved it 11 years ago because it seemed like a great domain name for a cartooning project I’d been mulling over, but I never got very far with it and each year I renewed the domain it seemed like a penalty payment to not work on the project. But after giving it some thought, my reasons for letting the name expire this year go much deeper than the $15 GoDaddy was hitting me up for…

The domain name was pulled from a play titled “No Exit” by Jean Paul Sartre in which a group of people trapped in a room together come to the realization that “Hell is other people”.

Once upon a time people in general (to put it bluntly) annoyed the hell out of me, so I thought it would be hilariously sarcastic to create a website devoted to sharing the idiotic things these people did to attract my ire.

The idea was, all of these annoying people I encountered on a daily basis were actually demons from Hell masquerading as humans, so I would draw them as they really were (demons) in a cartoon style.

The woman with the screaming brats at the movie theater?
Demon.

That jerk in the sports car who cut me off in traffic while yammering away on his cell phone?
Demon.

The idiot in front of me in the 10-items-or-less grocery express checkout lane who apparently doesn’t know how to count?
Demon.

I was running into a lot of “demons” back then and I figured that I’d never run out of source material to feature in the online comic.

Don’t look for the comic — it never launched.

Every time I tried to work on the comic I’d get halfway through a drawing and abandon it. I didn’t know why at the time, but working on that strip depressed me. It was not a fun project to execute because it required me to relive the moments I was at my worst — impatient and unpleasant and unhappy and frustrated with people and the world.

The idea for the comic was born out of negative emotions.
Those people had made me angry and the comic was going to be my way of exposing them, getting revenge. Seth Godin has called it “teaching them a lesson”.

Who goes out of their way to feel those emotions?

I’d get sullen and depressed and be in such a bad mood for days that it was like I’d become one of the demons I was trying to expose.

And that’s when the light bulb came on...
I was holding a grudge against these people for no real reason. They didn’t even know I was upset with them. And if they did know, I can’t imagine they’d care. I feel silly even giving the “reasons” I was angry at them in this email to you… Let it go, dude!

So I decided to let the domain expire this year, along with all those bad feelings I was filing away as “content” for my comic.

I’ve stopped looking for those demons who are out in the world trying to make my life miserable (turns out I was doing a pretty good job of it all by myself.)

If you expect people to act like demons from hell, those are the people you’ll find (and if you’re not careful, you might find out that you were one of them all along.)

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Possessing creative powers beyond those of mere mortals, Don The Idea Guy rescues those in need of innovative ideas through his brainstorming sessions, articles, and website: www.dontheideaguy.com