Thursday, April 10, 2008
My Sandbox, My Rules
Kittywampus is an itty-bitty blog. Maybe a few dozen people people come around and read regularly, and I love you guys for doing it. I love you even more when you leave comments. Others find me through search terms like "natural shrinkage of ovaries" or "attention getter activities for English classes" (which led to the Best Penis Spam post, so it'd better be a liberal school!) or "basement flooding pepper pike Ohio" (huh?!). Most of these random encounters end in one or the other party simply going "WTF?" and moving on.
But the past couple of days have been different. First a client (a certain publishing mega-conglomerate that shall henceforth remain nameless) found a post from a few days ago where I mentioned working on a job for them. In that post I promised I wouldn't divulge anything about the current translating job because it was unpublished, and then I referred interested readers to the public website for the larger project. The client objected - I still don't know why, since I was scrupulous about anything that was even remotely confidential, and the post was snark-free - but I removed it since I wanted to protect the job that shall also remain nameless.
Then yesterday I got a succession of increasingly unpleasant comments. The first took a mildly bullying tone on the Clinton-O'Bleness dust-up. The next took me to task for a spelling error (and for not fully appreciating my mother!) in my post on reproductive rights. The last one, by "John" on my follow-up post to the O'Bleness story, informed me: "You are so full of shit that the best I can offer is a cyber enema." (None of these three commenters had properly traceable IDs. Welcome to Trollville.)
That's not what this blog is about. The blogosphere bristles with rants and invective. So does cable TV. I don't think the world needs much more of that. Call me idealistic, but I don't think democracy can thrive without civil society. As a matter of style and temperament, too, I prefer reasoned arguments over name-calling. I try not to be too dull or pedantic, and while I'm sure I don't always succeed, I don't think potty humor is any remedy. I get enough of that from my beloved four-year-old Tiger, anyway, whose favorite "naughty" phrase right now is "poop on your head."
I'm sure this is just the normal bloggy growing pains that go with wading into controversial topics. Maybe it's also a reflection of the bitterness of this primary season. I'm aware I can be grateful that all I got was some scat and not overtly sexual threats or insults. (Then again, I don't know "John's" preferences; perhaps he thought he and I could have a real good time with an enema? Sorry, buddy. Not my thing.)
But I also don't need to put up with this Scheisse. So, you'll now see a comment policy right below Grey Kitty's picture. I'll delete liberally, if I must; I don't want to impede the conversation by turning on comment moderation. I'm leaving yesterday's comments up for the same reason my brother-in-law used to leave a trail of dead ants on his kitchen counter: to warn the next insects. We'll see if it helps!
Rock iris courtesy of Sungold's garden porn collection. It just finished blooming.