Monday, July 10, 2006

A Note for Readers

I don't much like to metablog, but I just deleted a reader comment for the first time and thought this might be a good occasion to state my preferences. I believe in the lively debating of ideas, even when things get messy, and have future topics in development which I hope will make that clear. I'm also happy for readers to publish comments agreeing or disagreeing with any brilliant or asinine position I might take, and I am glad to see that my posts about Jill Greenberg's "End Times" are spurring further dialogue. That being said, however, I'd like to ask that participants challenge themselves to express their positions without resorting to that winning combination of curse words combined with venemous invective. It doesn't offend my sensibilities so much as it makes the "salon" a wee bit claustrophobic - especially if the comment is made in exclamatory agreement, as though I were part of some gang you just started.

Before you hit "Send," just ask yourself this question: Would I be comfortable screaming this in a quiet coffeeshop with a look in my eyes that some might misinterpret as "crazed"? If in doubt, rewrite it, because that's how you'll look from the other end of the series of tubes we call the Internet. When we can't put you together as a whole person, your words have to say it all.

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