Friday, May 1, 2009

The First Learning - Content Overrides Source

I've always wondered what goes through people's minds when they write something and have it ripped to shreds in public reviews and private discussions, not to mention reader reviews on the Internet.

Well, we learn something every day. I have my first insight, thanks to an anonymous reader on my first post. Here's the comment:

Congratulations on your words of false wisdom. Savour them. These hollow sputterings are just that. Proof that the internet has somehow provided a vehicle for greasy bags of oil to parade around as pundits. Hot shitty air.

Instant reaction - shock. Not so much at the opinion, but at the tone. I hadn't thought a simple piece about the incident that got me to start this blog would inspire such strong emotion.

Delayed reaction - contempt. Someone who wants to trash what I post, but hides behind the “Anonymous” tag, deserves no attention.

Only thing is, they DO deserve attention – lots of attention, thought and self-examination. When I read the comment again, and took in the portion of my post that was quoted by the reader before his/her comment, I realized that the vitriol carries a pertinent point. Here’s the quoted text:

The apprehension that I felt after digesting Eric’s question remains within me. I can feel it as I type out each sentence. I have found that the best way to deal with a fear is to know it, dissect it, face it, beat it – until you know that who you are and what you are is sufficient to walk amidst society with your head held high.

It so easily comes across as preachy, full-of-it, know-it-all lecturing. Unintentional, but there nonetheless – almost like someone that has conquered all fear and challenge standing on a mountain top and shouting out to the rest of the world – “Here’s how it is done, people. Watch and learn.”

Have I mastered all my fears and inadequacies? Hardly – they have manifested themselves in my life on numerous occasions, and continue to do so, oftentimes with permanently damaging consequences. Relationships with those that I know as friends have been strained, and equations with those that I hope are friends have become ambiguous.

Yet, in failing time and time again to confront fears and face them down, I HAVE learned that without doing so, they leave their mark – sometimes permanently. The realization has not turned me into a fear-conquering colossus, but (IMHO) is not any less valid for that.

Perhaps these qualifying sentences should have been in my original post, and I thank “Anonymous” for making me rethink my words. Lesson learned.

If the comment wasn’t really about the quoted lines, and simply used them as the platform from which an attack could be launched – well, hard as it may be to see yourself described as a “greasy bag of oil”, I guess people are entitled to their opinions, and to express them on a public forum.

After all, when you are a nobody writing for a small audience (at best), indifference cuts deeper than scorn ever can, and a comment's pertinent content must override its negative source.


  1. A-

    Blogs are opinions. As are comments. I think it IS interesting that someone posts such an angry, tired comment without their name. Foolish and immature. It was not constructive, just boring in itself.

    Opinions and assholes, everybody has one.


  2. As always, anonymity is used to protect the source from censorship. You above all others should realize that one can never say what they mean in public (ie, you twitter post). They must pander to mass sentiment and say what is pleasant for everyone to stomach. This is total crap because then no one would ever say what they think and we would all be a society of sheep (which most of your loser readers seem to be anyway). So easily taken in by flowery language and faulty reasoning. Yes, this post is fucking anonymous. As it should be. Turds.