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Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Turning on comments again

Last week I turned off the comment feature. In retrospect I wish that I hadn't.

For awhile it looked like this blog was attracting more than its fair share of (a) 14-year old hormone machines calling themselves "Lance" who get their jollies by pretending to be Gunnery Sergeant Hartman from Full Metal Jacket, (b) chronically unemployable beefcakes who vent their rage at the rest of humanity by hacking out inane statements at their keyboards while under the influence of 190 proof Everclear, and (c) garden-variety losers who use pledge-drive time at PBS to phone bomb threats into local stations as dread harbingers of death and destruction unless the network brings back "Red Dwarf". A few people even sent such threats to me.

My initial decision to remove commenting stems from the fact that although I have time to post to my blog when the Muse so leads, I have neither the time or desire to actively police the comments. I'd rather comments be used for serious discussion: meaning that I'm really not that welcoming toward anyone who'll try to convince me that all my worries will disappear... if I only subscribe to one political party or another. One person even said that I was "traitorous" in regards to some of the things I was saying, which had to do with the fact that America has become a self-shamed mockery of her former glory. Well, I'll note this: when you really love a person, how can you possibly live with yourself if you do nothing while that person destroys his own with alcohol or drugs or addiction to porn? Answer: you can't. It works the same between citizens and their countries too... and no amount of blind nationalism can change that.

I got fed-up with the people who insisted that it could. Enough to the point that even though I enjoyed reading the thoughts and comments of most of my readers, it seemed more necessary to keep it a REAL discussion, hard as that became with all the trolls that started showing up. But as a friend told me tonight: "Why should you stop doing something because some idiots can't understand what you're doing? Why should you let them take away your fun from this?" He was right, too.

So, for the time being anyway, I'm going to open up the comments to everyone, including anonymous posters. If abuse begins again, I'll keep the comments going but will find other ways to direct the comments toward meaningful discussion. And if anyone sends in or posts a threat, either to me or another commenter...

...well, guess I'll get to use the IP numbers (that are attached to ALL comments) to track down the person responsible, and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.

In the meantime, to those of you who may have sincerely enjoyed this lil' site and the fresh content that I'm trying to provide here and were enjoying the commenting for all the right reasons, welcome back! And to those who have just discovered this place: sit a spell, take your shoes off, and y'all come back now ya hear? And feel free to post if your own Muse, or heart, or Holy Spirit leads you to do so. And to those few who were trying to ruin things for other people: take a hike. Or post anyway and reveal yourselves to be the mental munchkins that you are. Or make a threat, so that I can post your lovely mugshot on this blog after you're dragged to the cooler.

(I mentioned "nationalism" earlier. Will write soon about the difference between nationalism and patriotism, and how there is actually very little real patriotism in America today.)