It was brought to my attention via a great blog post at CrankyDriver.com that the comments on my column over at TTAC last week got a little rough. I resisted the urge to go look for myself. Ugly comments really only reinforce what I write about here.
When I wrote those couple of pieces for Jalopnik I made the mistake of refreshing my browser almost obsessively, reading each and every comment and getting more and more pissed. I'd keep reading over the course of the next couple of days, as long as the feeding frenzy continued. It accomplished nothing but to make me feel, well, icky. I obviously encounter enough a$$holes on a daily basis. I don't need to add any more to the mix.
Here on this blog I have the luxury of moderating comments. If you're a dick, your comment doesn't get posted. Simple as that. I'm not here to give you a forum in which to make yourself feel like a big man by being sh!tty to me.
But I don't have that luxury elsewhere, so I have a rule. I generally stop reading comments over at TTAC after the first day. A full day's worth of comments is long enough to give me a sense of what the general direction of readers attitudes will be. Last week was actually the only time it got as ugly as it did. The first day I responded to some people and ignored the worst offenders, but I could see that it was taking a turn towards a Jalopnik-style free-for-all so I didn't go back. Nor will I.
The thing that really gets me is this: If you are so upset and worked up over what I wrote, I can guarantee you that you are the person I'm writing about. You're pissed because I just called you out on your idiocy. Frankly, everyone else - the normal, polite, engaging, non-sexist, non-racist, hygienic, intelligent people - everyone else thinks it's funny.And they think it's funny because they know it's true.
The things I write about don't just happen to me, and they don't just happen at the auto show. Anyone who has worked with the public for any amount of time can tell the same stories. The only difference is I'm standing in a convention center when these things happen, and they are waiting tables or ringing up your purchases or writing your traffic tickets or trying to help you at the bank.
So I'm not the only person who thinks you're an a$$hole. Basically, everyone you encounter every day of your life thinks you're an a$$hole. Don't shoot the messenger.