Oh, man, how do I. On my pet issue of keyboard cowards, the get-a-life people who descend immediately into the mud with the launch of the first comment.
John Wagner puts it more intelligently than I have in more than half a dozen attempts at it:
We are "word police," always on the lookout for something that we don't like, something we can criticize.
That type of attitude is a major detriment to true communication, and a real reason why so many companies/organizations/people are afraid to truly dialog with others.
Most importantly, it takes a medium that has great potential to increase understanding and help people find common ground -- the internet -- and turns it into one big shouting match, with no one really learning anything other than how to pick apart another's point of view.
Exactly, John. It's like a Jerry Springer show.
John makes reference to this piece from Dorian Lynskey, the British music critic, who got a whoopin' for daring to criticize Bruce Springsteen. Oh the humanity. Lynskey writes:
The most belligerent voices on the blogs speak with either a weary, condescending sneer or a florid pomposity redolent of Ignatius J Reilly in A Confederacy of Dunces. If, as they imply, their taste is flawless and their intellect mighty, then perhaps they could find a better use for these prodigious gifts than taking potshots on websites. Just a thought.
Why am I so exercised about this? Because it's such a giant waste of potential. What could be valuable and helpful ends up an exercise in defensiveness and anger.
And any of you who disagree with me obviously have not read what I wrote.