Since I started this blog I've kept comment options open to all. I believe in freedom of speech as well as freedom and encouragement of response or rebuttle. Anyone should be able to respond to my articles regardless of their affiliation; no one should be a member of blogspot or google or any organization or institution. I'll deal with the spam (I've received only two spam posts, promptly deleted); I don't think I'll ever be popular enough for the efforts of spammers to pay off so I don't think my blog will ever be inundated, and what individual spammers wish to waste their time with is up to them.
Recently I received my first hate comment. I appreciated the time the author took to read my article (I assume he read one), and then to comment on it. The great effort he mustered up in order to articulate so effectively and so elaborately his feelings for my blogging. His words will remain with me for hours, even days to come. He wrote in that inimitable, poetic style, the brief yet effective words, "you suck." All in lower case. Such wisdom, such accuracy; he is likely a minimalist, and his brief comment carries between the lines (or I should say characters) such depth. Such passion. There is little mystery behind the note, though. It wasn't a comment on my article but a slur aimed directly at me. I monitor my blog visits and the activity during the days prior to his post points clearly to the author's identity. I'm certain the comment had nothing to do with the Tales from the Darkside post he tagged it to. I won't post my speculation, however, since I don't wish to embarrass him (most definitely a he), nor do I wish to embarrass myself in case I am wrong (a possibility, let's not kid ourselves).
Having read that missive I decided not to let just anyone post on my blog. I can't help it if some people choose to be rude and unintelligent, let alone uninspired in their expression to tell me what is really on their minds. I can however help to lessen, though minutely, rudeness and stupidity from spreading over the world wide web. Blocking anonymous commenting will likely lessen such uncreative and uninspiring responses. There is enough of it on the internet, and enough of it in the world, and I'd rather not be a catalyst in adding more.
But then I changed my mind. Thanks to allowing anonymous commenting I've received some good, productive comments, including two people pointing out errors I've made (one in a Darkside character's name, and the other concerning the death of Mr. Charles W. Runyon, whom I was pleased to learn is quite alive). Thanks to such astute observations, people are helping to improve on my articles by taking the time to correct me. I truly appreciate such devotion.
Besides, the great thing about hosting a blog is that I have the ability to delete whatever comment I wish to. In a year and a half I've deleted three: two spam and the slur that prompted this post. I will never delete a post that points out an error I have made; indeed I welcome these as they are appropriate and necessary for the sake of accuracy. I don't think I'm playing at Big Brother by choosing to eliminate some comments; I am not altering information nor am I doing it for the sake of self-interest, otherwise I'd keep only the praise and correct my errors without acknowledging the worthy correctors. I will, however, make a note when I do delete a comment, and hence leave a ghost of the unwanted, just to remind myself of the kind of society the internet is, and to keep hoping that the winds of change will make the world wide web a better, more respectful place. Some might say I am an idealist, but maybe it's just that I suck.
If the author of that statement wishes to post something of value, even anonymously, please go ahead. If that author is shy, then send me an email. Please feel free to contradict anything I have said, but have a point, make it clear, and I might end up even agreeing with you. Proper spelling is a plus.
Otherwise you'll get deleted.