Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Geniality, pusillanimosity and the Internet

Well, I should check before I pass The Stick to make sure it sticks.

Apparently, two people I passed it to were sort of ineligible. See, I really am the last person online to hear about things. It's a distinction (since the ego craves distinction above all else, and will take what it can get). Kelli already had The Stick just a few days before, if only I had checked. And Carmi can't take any comments because he's had the journalist-plague: hate mail. I know how this feels, as I have received a few discussion board slams of a pusillanimous nature. I apply the adjective because I think attacking people online for their comments on, or posting of a poem betrays a cowardly nature. A kind of going home and kicking the dog spirit. Something's eating such a person, but they wormhole their anger through the time-space continuum and it warps out on your poem, or article, or comment on a poem.

In much the same way as do bad reviews seem to betray an agenda that started long before the book in question came around. Having served as target practice myself, I have a lot of sympathy for those who suffer these abuses. My feeling is that civil discourse begins at home. A larger view of such motives among people who slam, defame, harshly critique and otherwise abuse the general genialiality of Internet discussion forums, blogs and listservs only reinforce the fact that we are engaged in building community here. Those who don't honor that overall goal stick out like sore thumbs. Or, as the adjective implies, sore losers.