WARNING: Rant alert! *** Rant alert! *** Rant alert!
I may not know who you are--at least, not by name anyway, but you know who you are. You're one of those people who lurks around the blogosphere. You find blogs you like and read frequently, yet you continue to lurk. One day, you read something on one of your favorite blogs and it strikes a chord with you, so you decide to post a comment. But you choose to do it "Anonymously." Without name, country, or portfolio. And most often, when you comment anonymously, you do it because you want to take a cheap shot and you don't want others to know who you are or come back at you with a retort.
I loathe anonymous commenters.
Okay, that's strong. I forgive those who comment anonymously if what they're sharing is personal and they might not want the whole blogoverse to know who they are because they don't want Aunt Millie accidentally finding out they've joined the Democratic Party or come out as a purple dinosaur with green spots or been previously molested by the family's favorite parish priest or whatever. Those kind of anonymous comments are fine. I respect that. I've even left anonymous comments like that myself when I didn't want everybody and their dog to know about me personally as much as I just wanted to make a point or share a perspective I felt was needed. Having said that, note to Aunt Millie: I'm a purple dinosaur with green spots!
And when I've disagreed with a blogger's entry--like the young woman who wrote about spending $200 on a pair of jeans and I commented that I thought that was excessive or the woman who queried whether tipping your newspaper carrier is appropriate when the service is crappy and I gave a rundown of how hard it is to be a newspaper carrier--I've done it openly and using either my Real Name (Janet M Kincaid or JMK) or my Blogger Name (DC Rush Hour) with a link to my blog. Perhaps that makes me a fool and I've certainly had bloggers come back at me with often justified, "fuck off" or "mind your own damn business" responses, but I've engaged their commentary openly and haven't hidden my retorts behind anonymous comments.
In that sense, I loathe anonymous comments.
Let me give you two examples. Several weeks ago, I wrote about Marlene Dietrich and mistakenly stated that she was a member of the Nazi Party. My bad. My very, very, very bad. Someone--let's call them, oh, I don't know, "Anonymous"--commented on my blog and ripped me a new one, then closed with "Get your facts straight!" Please note "Anonymous" that I did not approve and post your comment for two reasons: first, because you commented anonymously and second, because you used a shitty, snotty tone. If, on the other hand, you had commented and said something like, "Actually Dietrich fought against the Nazi Party. Here's a link. Just thought you'd want to know" I might have posted that, even if you'd commented anonymously.
As another example, back in December, I received a postcard of Eiger in Grindelwald from friends in Switzerland. Silly me, I couldn't see the forest for the trees and thought "Eiger" was a German word. I searched in vain in all my German dictionaries to find the definition and even said so on my blog. Fortunately, Sister Mary Lisa commented and said, "Eiger is actually a town in Switzerland. Just thought you'd like to know." She did it in a kind, forthright manner, and she used her name. The result: I fixed my blog accordingly. (And, I meant to post her comment pointing out my error, but accidentally deleted it when I went to moderate my comments that day. Nevertheless, thank you, SML, for showing me the forest.)
There you have it. If you're going to post comments on my blog, please do it openly and honestly. If you're going to post anonymously, be tactful or share something relevant. But if you're going to be snarky and snide, don't bother unless you're willing to sign your name to it.
Janet M Kincaid