I’m used to getting slagged at some of my posts on YouTube, most notably the ones where I “hate” on the failings of various other road users that I observe from my bike. In fact, it happens with such regularity that when several days or a week goes by without me being called out there by some anonymous cheesebag I begin to wonder if something’s wrong.
I’m readily dismissive of that trash, but I don’t have the same tolerance for those who stop by this blog and behave in a similar fashion.
Make no mistake, if you want to take me to task or criticize me, I’m totally open to it providing you do so with consideration and in an attempt to promote discourse and dialog — and most importantly: not from behind some sort of phony name and email.
Anything less is fully lacking civility and credibility.
See, I view my blog as a bit of a stage version of my house, in other words there’s no fourth wall and anyone can grab a seat in the theater and observe the stuff I report on.
But it’s my house. And sure, I know that having open and unmoderated comments leaves anyone in the peanut gallery feeling so entitled to stand up and shout what an idiot they think I am. And that’s fine because 89.9523% of the general population is blessed with something that the 10.0477% lack and it’s called a sense of decency.
Speaking of that minority percentage, let’s take this morning’s respondent to my previous post about the bike count, one which I rightfully predicted there would be people who’d have no problem finding me to be way outta line in their not so humble opinions. Using the name “Aw Shux. Credit? No thx!” and the email address of “Anonymousjonson@gmail.com” this person couldn’t resist leaving the following comment:
You can stay home next time, Campbell. You’ll deserve credit when you STFU and realize that it would be inappropriate to name as many volunteers as possible when some would almost definitely be left out. Like you said, hundreds of people participated. Suck it up and be a little more appreciative of the good work being performed by your superiors. Or perhaps next time, you should do a bit of the planning, the organizing, the number crunching, and the writing. Memememememememememe. This count is for the benefit of the community. I’m sure that you were thanked for participating, but did you thank anyone for the opportunity? This shit doesn’t just happen. People work hard for ungrateful folks like yourself all the time. How often do you stop and think about your toilet or your sink or any of the things that you take for granted on a daily basis?
This person then fretted over that for about 12 minutes before coming back and validating all that with this clarifying follow-up:
By the way, I took no part in the bike count. I am simply expressing my opinion of this self-stated self-absorbed blog post. My opinion is completely objective.
Of course in responding accordingly the first thing I did was check the IP Address attached to the “objective” opinion and then do a cursory search to find the server from which it originated to be in Kansas, northeast of Wichita, which is intriguing on a personal level.
It’s a bit of a long shot and one made in the dark to boot, but since the only people with whom I’m affiliated in Kansas are those good folks who work for the company that employs me, and it’s headquartered not at all far away from that server’s reported position outside of Wichita — I’m thinking I may have a coworker of sorts out there who’s found my blog, thinks I’m a total tool, and had no problem from the relative protection of phony names and email addresses telling me so.
It may very well be just some curmudgeon entirely unconnected to me, but if it is as I hypothesize, wouldn’t that type of harassment be special?
The unfortunate thing is had this person, whatever the connection or lack thereof, not been so knee-jerk and such a masked grenade thrower and instead been up-front and even just slightly more considerate in his or her argument — or worse! in a direct email to me — then the possibility for discussion would have existed, a level of credibility would have been established and I wouldn’t have been so immediately dismissive. Certainly I wouldn’t be writing this post.
But I’m guessing that stepping away from that “I’m totally right and you’re absolutely wrong” approach would’ve been too hard for “Aw Shux.” That would’ve required taking responsibility and ownership, you know… like I do in my blog. That would have required having the fortitude to stand in full disclosure behind your opinions, you know… like I do in my blog. And that all stems from that Sense of Decency I spoke of earlier.
Most people got it. Some people don’t.
So here’s the deal: Caveat Malum; Troll Beware. Since any comments submitted become my sovereign property and thus exist at my discretion, toward any that are both derogatory in nature and submitted from anonymous sources I reserve the right not just to delete them — that’s a given — but to edit them as satisfies my devious whims.
For example, I could swap out every “e” in a comment with an “x” or “chq” or “3.1415.” Or just replace the whole demeaning rant with “My cat’s breath smells like catfood,” or “I was going to write something mean but pew! I’m so full of shit I have to go open a window. BRB.” Such modifications may or may not include me replacing one anonymous email with another that I feel far more adequately captures the essence of the sender.
Just think of the fun to be had!