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Saturday, November 15, 2008

I know I'm not wrong

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.
I love both of them, but for very different reasons.

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.


Way Way Up said...

Totally agree. I usually hang onto comments from anti-seal hunt freaks because I enjoy the debate and if they get ignorant well then its like you said about how their comments say more about them than they do about me. Generally I try to keep profane comments off my blog just because of the nature of my job and plus, well my family reads it.

Anonymous said...

I don't get a lot of hate mail, generally because I tend to keep the blog away from contentious issues. I rarely get anything via email, and I've yet to delete comments apart from obvious spam, and even then if they look quasi legit but have a commercial link I'll leave the comment and take off the link.

About the only thing that generated a lot of debate was my boycott Cape May and down with Trap Neuter Release programs post. Now that was entertaining.

Jackie S. Quire said...

I really like the way you do your Reader--- sections. And as you know, I've adopted a similar way of dealing with questions, or comments I find are a bit harsh.

Again... like Clare, I don't often publish controversial posts. I keep it on the light side - - at this point.

But I think it's useful. And dare I say it might actually keep flame wars at bay???