I owe those precious few of you – those who were civil, who took the time to read and think before posting, and who were unfailingly polite – an explanation of why, finally, I have decided to disallow comments on this site.
Long time readers know I have been back and forth on this issue for probably a year. I’ll shut them down for a week or so but then after some of you email me asking that they be reestablished, I break down and do it.
I’ve tried moderated, unmoderated and semi-moderated (lots of words in the spam instructions), But each time I would reestablish comment privileges, the same reasons that made me stop them in the first place would rear up and bite me in the ass.
Look. I know I have a temper. I know I fly off the handle. I know I have a thin skin. I know I am not a very pleasant person. I know all of these things.
And I get worse when comments are allowed.
I am an emotional, passionate, person with strong opinions. After 4 years of blogging, I know the kinds of people who prowl the internet – many of them even more unpleasant than I am. Perhaps I should be writing a diary instead of a blog. Some would probably argue that’s a good idea. That way, I wouldn’t have to deal with people who could care less what I write – the ideas, the arguments, the threads of logic – and say whatever they want in response to whatever they think I am saying (or, more obtusely, what they believe I should be saying).
And if the feedback I got was intelligent, respectful, and open to the give and take, parry and thrust of debate then this blog would be a joy. Alas, such is not the case. That’s just the way the internet is.
I have indeed had spirited debates with some commenters over the years. But the fact is, I’m tired of the bull, tired of the insults, tired of the flaming, tired of the whole damn thing.
I will no doubt receive criticism for this – probably deserved. But I know 2 prominent bloggers who reached the same place that I am now – one quit blogging altogether and the other stopped allowing comments.
Since I am not going to give up the blog, option B would seem to be my only alternative.