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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

"I am Rubber and You are Glue" OR "I Know You Are But Who Am I?"


I am disabling the ability to leave an anonymous comment on my posts. The only reason I have had that option on there is to save people without an online identity the hassle of jumping through hoops to post a comment. In which case, they would be able to post a comment and sign it at the bottom. This is the same reason I don’t have word verification enabled . . . I hate jumping through hoops.

However . . .

There are a few reasons why you will see a change on Vertizontal in regard to anonymous comments.

#1 Spam. Hate it. Anonymous comments come in with the “click here” hyperlink in order to try and sell me something. Dumb. Doesn’t happen too often but . . . dumb.

#2 Cowards, bullies, and idiots. Some people, hiding behind anonymity feel the freedom to post things they would never say to my face. Most of their comments hold no weight, cause a stir, and amount to them blowing off steam. Most of the really bad ones are very “authoritative” sounding so . . . we not back them up with some credentials?

#3 I don’t accept anonymous written comments at church because of the undo stress and general non-helpful anxiety they cause. Why would I do it here? I am breaking my own rule.

Some of them are hilarious and make me laugh though. I will admit some anonymous comments have brightened my day. Some are so far out and hateful that I laugh and pity the poor person’s life and the fact they have never had a girlfriend.

Is anonymity a bad thing? Not always. Throughout history it has been used to bring down crooks and liars. It has exposed governments. Challenged unfair leaders. Surfaced truth. Cleared records. Freed prisoners. Provided helpful commentary.

But, the kind of anonymity that has changed history and/or impacted culture in monumental ways was usually handled quite differently than blog assassinations and rude comments made in passing—they were thought out with a lot of homework, a lot of sweat, a desire to make a change, evidence to support claims, and usually done in an anonymous manner to keep one from losing their job or bringing shame upon their family or winding up dead.

Some anonymous pieces of literature have surfaced throughout history because of the writings being counter-cultural.

Still other works have been published as anonymous for reasons we can only speculate—perhaps because of the controversial nature of the subject or the art. This may be the case with writings such as Sweeney Todd—the Barber of Fleet Street wherein unsuspecting restaurant customers are fed pies made of human flesh.

Often times writings are submitted to publishers as anonymous because of the raw, suggestive, and even pornographic nature of the literature. In such cases, I can only assume the author is either ashamed or afraid.

Some anonymous writings could be the result of an author creating a mystique surrounding their writings to attract readers in a way they may not if their name were attached. This may be the case with the book, “Go Ask Alice” (about a teen’s drug abuse).

But, this is my blog. If someone has a problem with what I write they have the freedom to send me a signed comment. And, I have the freedom to mock them if they don’t. Those are my rules.

Some have told me there is always a bit of wisdom and “something” we can learn from negative comments. I disagree. At least to the “always” part.

So far, I can count the intelligent anonymous comments I have received over the years on one hand.

Speaking of . . . kudos to the recent individual (who will remain anonymous) who fessed up to an anonymous comment they made yesterday. The interaction has been great. To read the thread, see the comments on my Naked Mary post. Thanks for your follow-up and confession Tim. Oops.

I am tempted to leave the option open for this post only because I know there would be a ton of witty comments from all my friends as they posted anonymous things. But, nah. I’m done.

Sorry you will all have to do that word verification nonsense in order to comment.

I appreciate all the wonderful and helpful interaction.

6 comments:

Jan said...

Hey John, I'll have to admit I don't know what in the world I would have done as worship arts minister if that had happened (the naked Mary thing) - I can so see both sides, although I think the art is beautiful. I can just see the conundrum of the situation. (my big word for the day!)I think there is one key here - and that is seeking to be understanding and BELIEVING THE BEST about others, not assuming the worst and not even assuming we know their intentions. USUALLY when I get an anonymous comment, and sometimes even when people sign their name, I feel this is the biggest problem - they assume the worst and not the best. That hurts so much. Yes, I am a tenderhearted soul but I think all of us don't appreciate being misunderstood. I hope someone will see my heart and understand my passion and motivation. But that doesn't always happen, and when we jump to conclusions and judgments and assumptions, people are hurt and doors to hearts are slammed shut. Sometimes mine included. These issues (the mary painting and the anonymous comments) both show the need to seek to be understanding. My sermon for the day.....

JVo said...

Great thoughts, Jan.

Ben said...

Please don't read my name...stop..don't let your eyes look up there. I want this comment to be annoy...anomy...point is I don't want you to know who I am.

I'll give you some clues...a poker game with me, you, and dame judy dench...the title 'dame' on the table in a winner takes all hand.

Now with your new iron clad comment system I'm guessing this post will never see the light of day. Which is why I feel free to offer no relevant or helpful content of any kind. However, because of my no-name status - I feel free to say things like...

"yes - women should be in ministry as long as they pass several tests created by men. Push ups, goatee growing, and depth of pitch and tone to name a few."

"yes - love the painter hate the painting"

"no - anonymous comments often contain viruses and other spells and should never be read or responded to."

Instead - because of your new system, and my newfound anonymity (Assuming you're a man of integrity and have not glanced casually at my name) I can say these things with a high amount of confidence and a low amount of forethought.

Tim Maynard said...

lol ben

I mean

lol whoever you are

it took me 15min to remember my password for blogger BTW. Who's going to give me that time back!?

eric said...

Dude, now way I am leaving my name...

Pat Callahan said...

I love it when you get all worked up into a lather...