But's it not without its faults, and I think one of its biggest shortcomings is that it enables cowardice. Or, rather, it enables cowards to crawl out from their guano-lined caves and, behind a cloak of anonymity, spew vitriol without repercussion.
|"Name withheld ... because I have something vitriolic to say."|
My blog, and, frankly, the folks who read it, have recently been targeted by an anonymous visitor who only finds the courage to engage me with his name kept secret. Here's the latest example, which appeared as a comment on an anecdotal post I did about the effects of climate change in my home state of Colorado. It appeared as an anonymous comment, and I've let it stand so my readers can compare and contrast--you know, weigh the anger of the comment vs. the tone of the actual post. Here goes:
You guys are all idiots. If any of you own internal combustion engines or use electricity in any way you are wretched hipocrits (sic). You complain about this shit and then walk or bike to where you fish? Losers. Brook trout!? Seriously!?Let's ignore the misspellings and the egregious use of excessive punctuation and the caps-lock key and get straight to the essence of the post. This dude is angry. He's lashing out. He's clearly fed up with folks giving credence to the reality of a changing climate. Without speculating farther, I can't say much more, other than this person felt the need to vent and then did so.
SAVE THE MASTADONS!
Behind the shield of anonymity.
I would have honestly welcomed a post from an informed reader who disagreed with what I said in the post (although, I thought the politics of the post were pretty damn vanilla compared to some I've read lately). I'd be willing to have a courteous discussion on the issue--perhaps I could learn something useful that I don't know now.
In other words, in the thoughtful prose of former Republican senator from Wyoming, Alan Simpson, I would have been more than happy to "disagree without being disagreeable." But then, the comment would have had to have been made under an actual name for all to see.
Look, I'm fine with the fact that not everyone agrees with me on issues pertaining to conservation--and frankly, I lean to the left when it comes to environment (most of you have no idea where I stand on other issues, but feel free, under the cloak of secrecy or in forums of your own, to speculate all you want). I'm also willing to debate environmental issues in a forum that's both polite and educational--as I said, I might learn something (but you'd have to be open to perhaps learning something, too).
Oh, I suppose I could have avoided this issue altogether if I'd simply disallowed anonymous posts on my blog. But what's the point? Cowardice and anonymity go together. Anybody who read that comment likely understands that, and I think the comment loses any credibility because there's no name attached to it.
So feel free to crawl out from your cave and leave all the nameless, vitriolic comments you want--we may not know your name, but we do what kind of person you are.