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The Insecurity Report, Entry #478 - Internet Comments

In case anybody needs it, here's another example of irony.

Awhile back, I wrote way too many posts about the movie Heckler.  It's a good documentary for about half an hour and then a strange exploration of insecurity for another hour.  But it hit really close to home, so I wound up having a much stronger reaction to it than I ever expected.

Since then, I've been trying not to be too negative whenever I write about other people's work.  It's not that I want to say only positive things - I just want to state my opinions without being a complete asshole.  For all its faults, Heckler effectively conveys how shitty it feels to have somebody make you feel small by casually insulting you without any substance, and I don't want to be that guy.

I still post negative things from time to time.  (Okay, a lot of the time.)  But I try hard not to be insulting to the people involved and I try to be as coherent as possible.

So.  Irony time.

What exactly do you do in a situation when somebody posts a really angry, insulting comment as a response to your blog post in which you yourself were angry and insulting?

I'm not going to link to the posts in question since I'm not trying to call attention to the commentators or be petty or anything.  And I'm not trying to be passive-aggressive so much as I am trying to work through my insecurities.

Mostly, I'm just really confused.

Like... dude, it sucks to be called a "fucking fuckface idiot fuck" or whatever, whether it's in person or on the Internet.  But how much am I allowed to bitch about that when it comes on the heels of me saying that somebody else's movie was an abject failure of comedy or saying that somebody's website is creatively and intellectually bankrupt?  If I'm opening up with complaints, on some level that must mean that insults are fair game.

I still hate it.

Would I feel better if they used bigger words?  Like, if instead of calling me a sadsack loser, they said I was "neurotic and caustic?"  (I mean, I am neurotic and caustic.  That's just plain honesty.)

I'm also really bummed out by the thought that the one time somebody was willing to give me feedback, they read a post that sent them into a psychotic rage instead of something that's just goofy. There's a people-pleaser part of me that wants to chase those folks around with links to other stuff.  Why not try this one?  That's just me screwing around.  Wait, why are you blocking me?  I'M NOT A PSYCHO!!!!

Jesus, I need to get some thicker skin.  I'm still terrified of the day I get a shitty review of one of my books.  At least I've got a couple of positive ones in the bank to help me prepare.

Now, bonus round... if somebody replies to this post calling me a fuckity fuckface... does that mean the Internet implodes?

PS - Happy Independence Day, all.  Hope you're enjoying your extended weekend and your freedom of speech and all.  Liberty, beer, etc.