Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Saturday 31 May 2014

Biting Back

I blog, and because I blog about ‘other stuff’ there are times when people disagree with me.

I began by deciding to write a blog about ‘writing and other stuff’, and the ‘other stuff’ sort of took over. This is because I live in the World, and things happen in the World that I have thoughts and opinions about.

I tend to express them.

People then tend to interpret what I say, and, for better or worse, they have opinions too.

Some people express their opinions right back at my blog.

The bottom line is, I have no problem with that. I hold the floor. It’s my blog. I get to introduce the subject and have the first, and, in a way, the ultimate say. I keep an open comments section where anyone can post his own thoughts. I do not edit or delete comments. I don’t even ask for names, or e-mail address, and I don’t moderate comments before or, for that matter, after they’re posted.

I also make it a point of principle not to disagree with commenters or to justify myself by trying to explain what I’ve written after the fact.

Most of the people who read a blog will not necessarily know me. I realise this, and I realise that most readers are reading a single blog in isolation. Most readers are also bringing their own values and/or prejudices to that reading. They will think what they like and it is not up to me to persuade them otherwise. 

For this reason, I am regularly misunderstood. I have been berated and even vilified on my blog. I get it. People have strong views that oppose my own. They’re entitled. I’m not going to fight it. I’ve stated my case. People disagree. Some of those people might be willful; some of them might simply be trolls; some of them are, in my opinion, ignorant; some of them are simply angry or frustrated; and some of them have perfectly good reasons for seeing things differently from the way that I see them. That’s the nature of humankind.

Once in a while, someone will be quite extreme. Once in a while, someone will be quite unpleasant. Once in a while, someone will attack me in the comments section.

I allow those comments to stand, too. 

I am often baffled by these attacks. They generally represent, for me, a willful misreading of the content of the original post. It would be easy to go back and point out the commenter’s errors in these instances, but there seems very little point. Why get embroiled with someone whose agenda is so fixed as to render them incapable of an objective approach to reading a blog? Those people are so entrenched in their thinking that nothing is going to change it, including reasoned argument. Nevertheless, I allow those comments to stand. The very fact that they have chosen to engage deserves some small measure of respect from me.

The husband reads my blog regularly.

This is me and the husband, together, as ever.
He doesn’t comment on it, although he does, from time to time, hit the like button on my FaceBook postings.

Blogging is my thing, and he doesn’t want to cast a shadow over it. The husband is well known in his field and he prefers to leave this to me. He respects it, and I rather like that he leaves me to it.

We do regularly talk about the blog, though, and he regularly comments on the comments, in private, particularly when someone is less than well-mannered.

I believe that there have been occasions when he’s wanted to step in and answer some of the comments that he’s considered particularly aggressive. I know that he’s wanted me to argue my case with dissenting commenters on several occasions.

Last Saturday, May 24th, I wrote a blog called Sense Prevails. On Sunday the blog received a comment. It was short and to the point, and the husband took it personally. Yesterday, after stewing over it for the better part of a week, he posted his first ever comment on my blog. 

It’s not like him.

I don’t know exactly what made him do it on this particular occasion with this particular comment. I don’t know whether it was the nature of this comment. I don’t know whether it was because the husband’s name was invoked. I don’t know whether it was simply the straw that broke the camel’s back.

I will say this: Strictly speaking, it wasn’t necessary. It was, however, rather gallant. There’s something chivalrous about it. Once in a while it’s rather lovely to be supported in this way, not least by the man who loves me.

I bloody love him too.

So, thanks, Dan. 

Now, if that’s off your chest, let’s get things back to normal, shall we?

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