Most of the comments I trash are spam, pure and simple. But every now and then I get one from some clown who thinks insulting me is a really cool move.
I don’t mind disagreement. Some of my favorite commenters disagree with me frequently. I admit it took a while for me to accept it. I used to get nasty emails and phone calls when I was a newspaperman. Some people, I am convinced, lived for demanding corrections on this or that piece of mine or someone else’s. Newspapers like to pretend they correct gladly. They don’t.
In the old days we could snarl back on the phone. We sometimes even put angry callers on the speaker phone so everyone in the vicinity could laugh at them. And they could hear the laughter and our ripostes.
Later, with declining circulation and advertising revenue, it became policy at many papers to treat everyone, no matter how irascible, with respect. I hated it. I once wound up being sent to a psychologist for lessons in how to make nice with jerks. Ugh.
So when I started blogging, the first few times I got a rebuttal on a post I trashed it immediately. I gradually relaxed. I don’t do that anymore. Except in one instance: when the commenter insults me. Like a recent fellow Texas blogger did in calling a post of mine stupid which, of course, is the same as calling me stupid.
Even then I thought about approving the comment and arguing with him. I finally decided the insult was his idea of making his argument more profound. Of course, it didn’t. It only gave it a snarl and I’ve had enough of those. His comment was trashed.
As yours will be if you forget this simple rule: disagree all you want but no matter how much my post may upset you, don’t insult me. This isn’t somebody else’s house where I only get a paycheck. It’s all mine and I make the rules.