I am very lucky in that I have never had a mean, creepy or downright nasty comment on my blog, and I thank everyone for that. (Said in best Julian Clary voice).There have been a couple of blog incidents in the past few weeks that have really tested my mettle though. Given that I trawl around other blogs, I suppose it was bound to happen at some point. I visited a blog that isn't on my regular rounds, but is interesting enough to check in on from time to time. I don't always leave comments on the blog, but this time felt I could add a little je ne sais quoi to the discussion. Or not. Ever been virtually sent to the dunce's corner or slapped on the wrists for being slightly off-topic? A bit like getting an "Irrelevant Waffle" in the margin of your History homework. (Come on, it happens.) I think that being off topic was the reason, but maybe that particular blogger just likes to exercise control from time to time. (I'm not going to mention the blog and it's not linked to this one - part of the new, matoor me!)
Then about a day later, I left a brief comment in a newspaper comment box (never could pass up a comment box). There were a lot of comments on this particular discussion, so I went back later to see how they were progressing. Lo and behold, some person had left a one-liner calling me pretentious! I have been called many things in my life but pretentious isn't one of them. If anything, I'd probably be called "down to earth" - a back-handed compliment if ever there was one. Anyway I digress. How could this person possibly conclude, from one sentence, whether or not I'm pretentious? When I looked back on my comment, I could see that it wasn't as clear as it could've been (possibly due to the Pinot Grigio) so I went back and restated it.
So what's your point EPM, you're all saying. Well, back in the day, I would've gone back to the blog or the comment box and done one of three things:-
- let them have it,
- defended my position in an erudite, possibly long-winded sort of way,
or, in the case of the second example
- pointed out that anyone who attacks a person instead of the argument has nothing of value to say.
The new, matoor me however, recognises that if you argue or defend yourself, you validate the other person's comments. Well, actually, I've known this all along, I've just had a bit of a problem putting it into practice.
So in the case of the bossy blogger, that blog will simply never again benefit from my input (now who's being pretentious?), nor will it be linked ot otherwise highlighted in any way, even though many of my readers might find it interesting. And in the case of the idiot in the comment box, I simply ignored what he said and went on to re-join the conversation with enthusiasm and vigour but no reference to his intended insult. What is it they say about young children's behaviour? Ignoring, rather than reacting to, bad behaviour is the way to stop it. Well, ignoring bloggers and commenters who get right on your ta-ta's is the best revenge.
Told you I was matoor.