Reader-submitted question: Do you really like being insulted?
Well, nobody LIKES being insulted. But in general, I don't mind giving a forum to people who disagree with me. They usually fall into one of two groups:
- People who have a legitimate point or bring an alternate perspective to something I have written.
- People who are incredibly stupid.
This blog is better because of my readers. You often disagree with me, and you tell me why. I really appreciate your opinions and welcome your participation. Sometimes you make me change my mind. I feel like I know many of you, even though we've never met.
And then there are the other people who complain. In a single bile-drenched anonymous message, they can make themselves look worse than I could in an entire blog. I cackle with glee when these come in. Sometimes I call a friend, so we can laugh together. I can't wait to post them: incoherent rants from anonymice simply must be shared with the world. Sometimes I will get e-mails and phone calls from people who know the anonymouse and want me to know that they are mortified.
I know that a lot of other bloggers don't publish their hate mail: they would rather believe that nobody ever disagrees with them or criticises them. (Dooce prints off her hate mail and drives over it.) I've always felt that nasty comments say more about the people who leave them than they do about me. In fact, they usually reinforce my belief that my original post was correct. If you disagree with me, you are more than welcome to say so and list your reasons. But if you think you can bully me from my comment box, be aware that you're probably going to end up looking like an idiot in front of the same people you were hoping to impress with your original nasty comment.
Thanks for your question.