Saturday, July 29, 2006

My House

Opinions are like assholes, everyone's got one. - Some unknown asshole

Once upon a time, young girls wrote down their personal thoughts in private books and hid them away under their mattresses so nobody could know what they were thinking. These surreptitious journals were known as diaries, and woah to the parent who happened upon the delicate reflections of the adolescent female.

Today, the diary has morphed from a juvenile source of confidential expression to an online world - 50 million strong - of HTML, images, and trackbacks - otherwise known as the blog. Young and old alike not only share their secrets with the world, but invite others in to comment about their daily shenanigans, private thoughts, and personal beliefs.

When I first started blogging, I was shocked that people would comment on my posts. They liked me! They really liked me! This is so cool! Now I should really head over to their blogs and see what they wrote and comment to them too! I hadn't realized that this sort of interaction was part of the blogging process. But hey, this was fun stuff!

I soon discovered that it wasn't always fun. Why? Because not everyone is nice. I know, this comes as quite a shock, but it's true. In fact, some people actually spend a good portion of their time attacking others. Others find themselves becoming too familiar too fast, making comments that are inappropriate and uncomfortable for the recipient. And thus began my love-hate relationship with the comment portion of our blogs.

The argument goes, that if you put something out there, you have to be expected to take the good with the bad. Is that true? Just because a person writes something on the internet, does that give people the right to vehemently attack that person for no real reason? Is it expressing yourself when your whole agenda is to hurt others when you comment? Just because you have the right to do it, does it make it right to do it?

I look at my blog as an extension of myself. Actually, no - I look at my blog as an extension of my home. Our websites are our internet real estate. In an increasingly crowded world, this is the one place where there is always room. We move in to our spaces. We decorate. We make it homey and comfortable. And we hope people will enjoy themselves when we choose to entertain. The thing is, in the real world, our front doors are locked and secure. People can walk by, but legally, they can't come in without an invitation. Not so on the internet, where our web doors are always open. Anyone can come in - anytime, and from anywhere. And because the rules are different, people seem to think that they can behave accordingly.

Would you walk into someone's home with a mask on, verbally abuse the occupants, and then trash the house? No? Then guess what - don't do it on the internet either. Going to someone's blog under an anonymous moniker and battering the blogger with insults and relentless tirades is no different. It's rude. It's inappropriate. And it's extremely bad karma. Don't believe in karma? Then good luck to you.

I find it sad that the rules of common courtesy don't apply on the internet. We are supposed to be a civilized society. I do my best to treat people with respect because that is how I want to be treated - both in person and on the internet. I thank my parents for having this sensitivity, for being able to distinguish between right and wrong. Unfortunately, not everyone was raised with a moral compass.

I can't control other people's opinions, but I can control what goes on in my blog. I know many people who don't delete ugly comments on their blogs because they feel that other people's opinions are valid and should be left for all to see. I disagree. This is my blog, it's my home, and I make the rules. If someone comes in and makes a mess, I have no problem cleaning it up. If that means eliminating obnoxious behavior to get that bad smell out of the air, then that's what I am going to do. I do not allow garbage to stink up my house. You don't like it? No problem. There are 50 million other houses out there. Go to one of them.

38 comments:

The Tongue Lasher said...

I must find these miscreants and punish them.

Dave said...

Well said, Brooke. Nice home, by the way...

Tits McGee said...

::applause::

Anita said...

I'm sorry Brooke, it was me. Okay, it wasn't me, but don't you sort of wish it was so that apology would be for real?

I love this, though. Flaming is so juvenile. All assholes should be drug out into the street and shot. Spammers included.

Nick said...

I'm glad some people understand that.

swissmiss said...

I couldn't have said it better, Brooke. (showering you with flowers and accolades)

miss kendra said...

does that mean i can't call you a twat anymore?

miss kendra said...

i mean it in the nicest possible way.

also, your decor is lovely.

Übermilf said...

Swiss Miss Pudding Bars!

I'm singing that jingle right now.

They don't make pudding bars anymore.

The world is sadder for it.

Nick said...

Amen to that.

mgc said...

Actually, no - I look at my blog as an extension of my home. Our websites are our internet real estate. In an increasingly crowded world, this is the one place where there is always room....

i like this idea very much! well done.

Knitty Kitty said...

so true and basic a concept yet some people still don't get it.
I'm glad we both went in not to get angy at the asshole that started it but to show our support.

babyjewels said...

I love you Brooke. In fact, if I had a wang it'd be hard for you.

Who's bothering you. I'll rough them up. With my imaginary wang. xo

sleepydog said...

Brooke,

Well said. There's no reason for anyone to be rude to anyone for no reason. I don't really get any comments on my blog, but if I did, I wouldn't mind people posting comments that I disagreed with, I might actually enjoy engaging in some on-line debates, but people that post comments just to be denegrating and hurtful are just fucked up. I would delete their posts in a heartbeat. You gotta wonder what kind of satisfaction someone could possibly get out of randomly posting nasty comments to people that they don't even know. Maybe they get tired of watching donkey porn..I dunno.
So to all you Anonymous cowards out there: Don't fuck with Brooke ! She's got a legion of blog-buddies and we will hunt you down and tell your mommy what you've been doing.
You know who you are ! You'd best un-fuck yourself immediately.
That is all.

Karen Little said...

Greetings - brilliant post! I made it my post of the month for July - hopw that's ok?

Later.

Lexi said...

well said.......an amazing post

Sysm said...

There's a particular breed of person that says "If I'm okay with what I'm doing, and you're not, then you're the one with the problem."

I do my own version of that: "If you're so ego-centric and insensitive that you don't care how what you do and what you say is interpreted by those around you, then I'll have nothing to do with you."

I know that I'll have very little luck trying to get an asshat to change their ways, so I don't waste my energy. There are enough people that I enjoy spending time with.

As always, Brooke, you hit the nail on the head. In a much more diplomatic way than I'd ever be capable of.

WhiteBoyBob said...

Well put, and my sentiments exactly.

I got abuse a while back for espousing my beliefs on my blog. It's not like I was being racist, sexist or homophobic either.

Still, as only a couple of my friends read it nowadays that's not really a problem.

ChickyBabe said...

Well said, Brooke. And just as a blog is an extention of our home, we reserve the right to welcome some people and shut the door on unwanted visitors, and each home owner can set their own rules. Those who don't like it are most welcome to choose the X button.

Bill said...

I don't have any brilliant comment for this except to say this is one of my favourite Internet hobbyhorses: the way people think that rude and vulgar behavior is okay because, "It's the Internet and nobody really knows me."

It always amazes me how proud stupid people feel in proclaiming their stupidity.

On the other hand, I feel good because I really do believe in karma and puts a smile on my face when I think of the kind of people they end up having to deal with in their lives. You know, the old thing about flies to shit.

Egan said...

I love that you speak your mind Brooke. Keep up the good work.

katarina said...

Makes me happy that my blog isn't popular. The less people, the less mean people.

Flounder said...

Are you talkin to me?

Deezee said...

I like your take on this. I'm always up for a constructive comment - even if I don't agree I'll post it, sometimes through gritted teeth - but a thrashing? who needs that........

charming, but single said...

Amen. I don't think people really get what it is like to get a really obnoxious quote on something you've written by someone who is too chicken to post their own link to their own work.

Also, people amaze me with the negative stuff they say ... seriously, I love getting advice from my readers about certain things, but I sometimes want to scream when I get patronizing comments ("Oh! I remember what it was like to be young and single! Good thing I'm married now!"). Sometimes I hate the patronizing ones more than the mean ones ...

Cactus Prick said...

Well, I consider myself a member of your online home room, and now I feel like you scolded the whole class because of one kid's behavior.

That being said, I still deserve a good spanking, Teach.

Nick said...

Round three has been updated to accomodate your "real" lives.

Neil said...

You just inspired me to delete some annoying comment on my own blog that I was leaving there because I felt this person had a "right" to communicate their opionion. But you are right... your blog is like your home.

Melissa said...

I love your thinking Brooke. You are so completely right.

mernitman said...

My friend Nan from Texas says, "Opinions are like opposable thumbs -- everybody's got one or two of them."

Whoever's home it is gets to sweep the welcome mat. Makes perfect sense to me.

Brookelina said...

I should make clear that I have not been a "victim" of the assholes mentioned here. Other blog friends have been recently, and it pissed me off enough to write this post. I have had some obnoxious commenters, but they are mostly my friends. That being said, thanks for all the great comments! And welcome to all the new names I see here. I'm not always such a bitch, really.

And Prick, don't think I won't give you that spanking.

sandra said...

My thought of the week: some people are assholes. Deep, I know.

jiggs said...

I'm gonna disagree with you brooke. homes are private places and blogs are not. blogs are more like your little chunk of the beach. People can come by and tell you nice your sand castle is, but some can also tell you that your sandcastle sucks. and while it's not nice to do that, you open yourself up for it by making your sandcastle in a public forum.

im here somewhere said...

um, it wasnt me..

even though you promised me lesbian lovin and never delivered.

Alistair! said...

Here Here. I said a similar thing a couple of years ago when someone accused me of deleting negative comments and I said much the same as you. It's my blog, if I want to delete those comments I don't like I will.

Jill said...

You tell them!!!

winters said...

Hello Brooke.

I always visit Karen Little's "post of the month."

Very good points. And I agree, a blog is yours, and you can do what you want with it.

Not many things in life we can say that about.

Spinning Girl said...

You TELL it, sistuh.