BLOGGING: Comment Rage

It’s going to be one of them days: another bad dream involving my sister and then, upon checking the comments, this rather mean-spirited note, on my last post on William Gay’s Provinces of Night:

"I found your blog through Google while researching a subject. Your writings are meaningless, uninspiring and amateurish. You make out to be intellectual but you do not have proper grounding or specialize on any specific subject. Why do the likes of you crowd the internet with meaningless blog. Your half baked education seemed to be your handicap, but it’s not expensive or too late for you to get yourself a decent education and familiarize yourself with whatever subjects you want to educate the rest of us on. Take my advice, before you star pretending to be an intellectual, know your subject before you start dishing out your silly blog. Right now, you I find your blog boring, irritating and meaningless. You know nothing about literature or writing and you are making a fool of yourself. Don’t give up your day job."

I followed back to the commenter’s website, that of Judith Martin, and found some very nice original artwork and what appears to be a fashion portfolio.  A new kind of spam? Folks have tried the overly solicitous comment and they’ve become easy to spot, so perhaps this, filled with unwarranted negativity is the latest draw. (Though I wouldn’t feel it profitable to show your bad side to the world then expect them to buy your wares! Personally, I would be a bit fearful of dealing with one who attacks a complete stranger in this manner.)

But it looks legit–that for one reason or another, Ms. Martin found it necessary to linger at my site for half an hour and something touched a nerve so that she couldn’t hold in her contempt. I replied to her comment, but wonder: What inspires such vituperative response when simply clicking away would have sufficed? Did Ms. Martin really believe I will hold her opinion in high regard as an expert and quit blogging?

It’s an interesting phenomenon and I think that Mark Bernstein’s work on weblogging might be a good place to  help me understand the psychology behind the commenters as well as the blogging process.

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6 Responses to BLOGGING: Comment Rage

  1. J Wynia says:

    What’s particularly ironic/strange about this situation is that Judith Martin is the name of the original Miss Manners*


  2. susan says:

    Oh my! The name sounded vaguely familiar but it’s rather a common name so I didn’t pursue it.

    That IS funny! Disgruntled relative perhaps? Anti Manners?

  3. Josh says:

    Huh. And here Kas and I have been wishing for months that we had the money to contract you as an editor for us due to your natural adeptness at dissecting literature.

    Whatever Judith “found” we must have “missed” somewhere.

    Oh well. Ignorance is bliss I guess? 🙂

  4. susan says:

    Hey,thanks for your support, Josh! It never ceases to amaze me how hurtful people want to be for no good reason.

  5. Carl says:

    I wouldn’t worry about it. One oddball doesn’t change the fact that you write some excellent reviews.

  6. susan says:

    Thank you, Carl. I don’t claim to be a professional critic; just a reader who appreciates good literature and is moved to share those discoveries.

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