Honestly my greatest concern with the A to Z challenge wasn’t over keeping the pace. Like every blogger, the real challenge is coming up with the next idea or topic, so when you run down 26 of them you can’t help but lament over the idea that you just covered half a year’s worth of material in a month. Now what the hell am I going to write about?
Fortunately the social media world gives us plenty of topics to discuss. People’s bad behavior alone could fill your blog posts for years to come. And before I even had time to worry over my next topic a blog visitor helped me out. I’ve been blogging both professionally and personally for about five years. In that time the only comments I’ve ever deleted were of the Spam type. On my blogs you don’t get to promote your company’s SEO optimization service or mask your product offering in a comment that suggests you used Google Translate.
People have opinions and I like to hear them. I don’t expect agreement on every topic I opine on, nor am I opposed to a healthy discussion even when the commentator has suggested I am wrong. I make my case, you make your case, I retort, you retort and some where along the line we agree to disagree.
Last week, however, I received a comment that I deleted. I felt bad about the action because the person did a lot of work in posting the response. It was long enough to be its own blog, it was bullet-pointed, and on many points the comment’s author was correct. I’ll explain why I deleted it in a moment, but first here is the back-story.
My much ignored Nightmirrrors blog is a platform for mostly horror movie and horror genre commentary. In the world of horror movies there are ample opportunities to criticize and I often do just that—but since I love all things horror, most of the posts are light-hearted and “tongue in cheek” articles. Often it is the kind of stuff horror fans passionately argue over regardless of the ridiculousness of intellectual discussions over fictitious creativity—sort of like discussing if Batman is a superhero since he has no super power.
One such article was titled, “Why Vampires are Better than Werewolves.” It’s a classic argument among fans. Which is better, stronger, and which you would prefer to be. From the title my opinion is obvious. The argument I make is a little one-sided but then again, in case you need reminding…there is no such thing as vampires or werewolves. The article, although written a while ago, continues to get a number of reads and comments. People who comment mostly fit into the “werewolves” are better camp. Some are so defensive of their furry brethren that one might begin to believe that they believe in werewolves and vampires. As a horror writer, my mind shifts to the potential story in all of that:
So this guy criticizes werewolves on his blog. Engages in some arguments with readers and then notices that these strange people begin to show up in his life…watching him from the shadows…
As I said, the latest comment was no less passionate. And as I also noted, it was a pretty good argument…over a mythical creature. But just the same I deleted the comment. Not because the commentator “won” but because within his argument he opted for an argument ad hominem. In other words, rather than stating his case and allowing it to speak for itself, he choose to make his point by attacking my “lack of intelligence.”
I see this approach often in the social media world. On blogs, on Amazon forums and on Goodreads. Toxic comments that make disagreements personal. It’s too bad and really uncalled for and mostly a sign of muddled thinking. I prefer to influence with “honey” rather than with gasoline and a match. You would think people would know better, especially if he or she is an author and reliant at least in part on good public opinion to sell books.
I won’t share Nico’s argument. It’s my blog and you can disagree with me, but you can’t call me stupid or an idiot AND get your opinion heard—my blog my rules. I will however share with you some great excerpts for how this commentator framed his argument:
wow you have THE worst interpretation of both werewolves AND vampires I have EVER seen
really the whole werewolf… idiot
maybe start to think before you say something else stupid
you moron, honestly have you ever read a book, or even a magazine
ha you idiot,
In conclusion- YOU DESPERATELY NEED TO READ A BOOK!!!!!!!