Monday, July 31, 2006

Common Courtesy

I was going to post on how the Question has got to be the greatest beneficiary of Hypertime, but Blogger ate the post!

So instead, I'm going give a demonstration on online etiquette. And Philip has helpfully volunteered! (I'd link to his website, or some other way of communicating with him, but he's only posted his first name, so I don't really know who he is).

ANYWAY... You all know the post I did about James Meeley. (Thanks for all your positive feedback about that, I really appreciate it.) Philip thinks I took a cheap shot and that he'd prefer I take the high road. I explain to him, besides his factual errors, it's my blog to take cheap shots if I want. And that, while my mom can expect better of me, I don't really owe anything to people I don't know. Besides, it's not like he paid for anything. And he responds:

Why would you care? No idea. Common courtesy maybe? You do post comments on other blogs. Debating an issue rather than attacking people maintains a sense of decorum. If you can't see the value of this then I really feel sorry for you and I hope you never take this attitude into a situation where it could be used against you.
Where do I start? Caring what a practically anonymous poster prefers is "Common Courtesy"? NO. Not here. Not on my blog. Courtesy is deference to the wishes of others, and here's where I don't have to do that. Here's where I get to say what I want to say and if you don't particularly like it, great! Ignore me. Walk away. I'm just a crazy person talking about alternate dimensions and gay Pied Pipers. I still have no reason to care what you prefer.

I DO post comments on other blogs, that's true. You know what I don't do when I post on some else's blog? Tell them what to do. (Okay, I do tell Blockade Boy what to do, but only when he asks for suggestions and he seems to like my ideas).

Also, I always try to debate the issue and not attack the person, though in this case the issue IS how you come across in your comments (particularly James's comments). For example, Philip, if I said you were an ugly, short, impotent troll with no social life and poor hygiene, THAT would be attacking a person, but I'm not doing that.

If, on the other hand, I said your comments about what you'd prefer, and how you feel sorry for me demonstrates an unwarranted sense of entitlement, THAT would be attacking your argument. And I'd prefer you keep that arrogance to yourself, or at least post about it on your own blog where I could ignore you.

So, to sum up, if you don't like what I've written, go away. If you do like what I've written, but think I've gotten something factually wrong, let me know and I'll correct it. (Grudgingly, perhaps, but I'll do it.) And if disagree with some conclusion I've come to and want to engage me in intelligent debate (about superheroes), fantastic. But you do not get to tell me what you'd prefer I do. You don't tell me what to say, or how to say it, or anything like that.

Not here. Not in my house.

THAT'S Common Courtesy.

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