Shithouse rat

I'm a bipolar writer in the Naked City. I'm not playing with a full deck. I don't have all my dots on the dice. My cheese is sliding off my cracker. I don't have both oars in the water. I'm a bubble off plum. In other words, I'm crazier than a shithouse rat. These are my stories. Comments--short or long, nasty or nice--always welcome!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

The politics of comments

I was originally just going to post this as a comment to my post yesterday, but I thought it deserved it's own entry, in part because it pissed me off so much. So here it is.

Surly Girl brought up a point in the comments from yesterday's post that turned out to be particularly on-point today.

There's a certain blog I've been visiting lately--a good blog, mind you- where I read some posts and left some comments.

In looking at old posts, I saw that some had a large number of comments. However, this turned out to be somewhat deceiving, because typically, all or most of the comments were simply banter back and forth between the blogger and another blog bud. For example, one post had 45 comments, and all but one consisted solely of quips back and forth between D (the blogger) and her pal S. Another one had over 60, and as I recall, once again all but about 3 or 4 were from D and S-- the other commenters were ignored.

Today, I stopped by for a visit and D had posted a thank you for all the people who visit and comment. She apologized for the fact that she no longer had the time or energy to really visit or comment to other blogs, but she deeply appreciated the feedback she got from her visitors.

This is the comment I left. It may very well be the last I ever send her way.


I recently came upon your blog, and really like it. Coincidentally, however, this post came on the heels of a piece I wrote the other day concerning the "polltics" of commenting.

Although I can certainly understand how one might not have the energy or time to comment to/visit other blogs, I have noticed something interesting in the short time I've been reading (and commenting) to your posts.

You and S seem to have an IM style banter going on. When he makes a little quip, you unerringly respond. Sometimes these have the effect, to my mind, of almost trivializing an otherwise serious post.

Conversely, I notice that others--not just myself--who take the time to compose a detailed, thought out reply are sometimes simply ignored.

Perhaps I am too sensitive, but if I feel I am being excluded from a commenter clique, I will hesitate long and hard before visiting or commenting again.

Just my observation, for what it's worth.


I didn't really want to make waves, because I anticipate that D and/or S will be defensive about this, if they bother to ackowlege it at all. I was not trying to be gratuitously nasty, but it seemed like the most blatant case of comment-cliqueing I've encountered thus far.

As always, I welcome your comments (lol)


At 2:34 PM, Blogger Swifty said...

I've come across this before, and yes, it does annoy me, but I let it ride. I don't think it's worth letting them know. I tend to not pay a return visit.

By the way, you made an interesting and relevant comment on my blog, and I DIDN'T RESPOND. String me up by my thumbs :-)

At 2:51 PM, Blogger Danny said...

Sounds like they need to just use one of the many IM programs that are out there - like AIM or Yahoo. :)

At 5:34 PM, Blogger Diana Crabtree said...

I have no idea who this inconsiderate person is, but I bet she appreciated you letting her know and is sorry to have pissed you off.

At 2:18 AM, Blogger Danny said...

But then you can go to the opposite end of the spectrum, and find a blog where the blogger readily comments, and leaves nice comments on others' blogs:

Beware: he's not for the faint of heart. Sorry, Elvira: I'm not spamming - just spreading the love :)

At 3:19 AM, Blogger JC said...

Well, I am just feeling terribly guilty as you have been a wonderful faithful commenter. I have been busy trying to get the Bring it On! thing out and track down my ducklings to the point that I basically haven't made my normal rounds and feel terrible. I am here now and intend to check out all the posts that I missed.

At 3:52 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

Hey Don:

I guess it's a toss up, but this time I just couldn't resist. Sometimes I find it hard to "stifle" (as Archie used to say to Edith Bunker on All in the Family--you may not be familiar with that show, but we stole it from another show you Brits had already done--LOL).

All I can say is, if I came home and found the avalanche of comments you had there, I would be at a loss as to what to do too. Easy for me to complain because I'm not in your shoes. Plus, I've been guilty of this too. My solution was to comment later...much later. But that's a little absurd, or is it?

At 3:54 AM, Blogger elvira black said...


Thing is, I'd only recently discovered what instant messaging is all about myself. But I don't use it much. I'd rather air my dirty laundry in public.

At 3:55 AM, Blogger elvira black said...


I think you're right, and now I feel like a schmuck on wheels.

At 3:56 AM, Blogger elvira black said...


Thanks for the heads up. I just visited and commented there. It looks like he's on a holy (or unholy) mission LOL.

At 4:06 AM, Blogger elvira black said...


Oy vey--now I am feeling guilty for making you feel,..

Don't be ridic...I love your blog and really loved your Bring it On post. Plus, of course, you actually have real world issues, like trying to find out if your sons were ok. As for me, 50 percent of my soul is owned by my blog (as per the icon/link on the bottom right of my main page). I think maybe that's not such a good thing.

At 12:26 PM, Blogger surly girl said...

i worry about the whole comment-clique thing and try not to breed it on my blog. it's an uncomfortable sort of feeling, sort of dropping comments then being ignored while in-jokes fly all around you. i think it's a little bit unavoidable when you have "regulars" that visit, but the more the merrier as far as i'm concerned....

At 12:32 PM, Anonymous Yzabel said...

This kind of commenting is indeed bothersome. I've seen it happen on forums as well (I think that in my early days on the web, I probably did it once or twice myself, feeling all proud to "show that I could make private jokes with someone", sort of). In both cases, it quickly gets aggravating, with a nagging desire to tell them "get a room" or something similar *lol*

Just out of curiosity, did you get any answer to your comment about this issue?

At 5:34 PM, Blogger JC said...

Yes, Elvira I had a real world issue, but I also know that in the blog world you have a few folks that you love and can relate to. I think that those are the folks that I need to concentrate on-and I wasn't. Having a crisis isn't a good excuse if my comments are so wonderfully supportive. Thanks again for bringing this to my attention.

At 3:49 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

Surly girl:

I've just scratched the surface of all the different comment tribes out there (lol). I've spied a blog or two recently where the comments all seemed to be clever little one-liners from regs. I think I'd feel like I crashed a private party if I entered there (lol).

At 4:06 AM, Blogger elvira black said...


LOL! As far as forums, I've had some....adventures on those too--and of course I've blogged about them. The worst was the bipolar "support" forum where the inmates definitely ran the asylum, and unwitting newbies like me were attacked with a vicious fury that shocked even me (lol). On one of the writer's e-groups I joined, I came out of my bag a little too, and the results were not that pretty.

Yes, the blogger in question did respond. Rather than getting defensive, she thanked me for pointing out a pattern that had developed which she didn't realize might be offputting--and she certainly didn't intend it to be. In her case, it was also a choice between trying to get 4 hours sleep and performing "comment maintenance." I think her pal was a bit miffed, however.

At 4:08 AM, Blogger elvira black said...


All I can say is that I love your blog, and I think you are a true mensch (that's a good thing)--it shows through in everything you post.

At 7:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good thing that the blogger responded nicely to the comment! After all, sure we may not be frightened by risking to get flak for our comments, but if things happen courteously, it's always better than if there's a feeling of struggle wrapped around it.

Forums can indeed be vipers' nests at times. Somewhere on another blog of mine, I once griped about these as well (I regularly visit a forum for an online game, and I must tell it's a place that has always surprised me by its posters' ability to quickly turn bitchy and sour). Like everything on the internet, though, it's really a matter of whether or not we want to let it affect ourselves--even if not reacting to provokations isn't easy.

(And I'll agree with the post you linked to: there are a**holes everywhere, whatever the nation, the country and the rest.)

At 7:30 AM, Anonymous Yzabel said...

Bleh... The "anonymous poster" was me. No idea why it bounced me as anon when I *had* typed my name in the box... o_O

At 10:14 AM, Blogger Swifty said...

Elvira, the 'avalanche' of comments you refer to is a recent phenonemon. If you go back for four or five posts you'll find I'm averaging around 4 comments. It really started with my shortest post ever, around 8 lines I think, and what seemed to tickle the fancy of the readers was my reference to masturbation. It was just a bit of fun; a 'filler' when I had nothing else to say. It seems that sex sells especially if you make it humorous and use euphemisms, in this case I 'pleasured myself'. I wonder what would have happened if I'd thrown caution to the wind and referred to wanking and cocks?

At 12:57 AM, Blogger elvira black said...


I think my forum-ing days may well be over. (sigh...)

How about a post featuring an avalanche of wanking cocks pleasuring themselves in the wind?

At 5:18 PM, Blogger Urban Chick said...

too weird...i found you through the blog herald piece and yet i recognised you as someone who comments on some blogs i read regularly

and now i'm fretting as i recently indulged in such a back-and-forth with a blog i had recently discovered

it was fun but i did think towards the end of our silly but fun exchange: god, i hope this isn't putting off any new readers (and said as much in a final comment)

hey ho

anyhoo, nice to 'see' you in your natural environment!

At 3:21 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

Hey Urban Chick:

It's a small cyberworld after all...I'd recognize those shoes anywhere (lol).

I have bookmarked you, and will return to peruse--and comment on-- your tales of mayhem and menstruation!

At 11:43 AM, Blogger Squid Vicious said...

Way to go. You broke Satan...

How someone chooses to use or abuse their blog site is their own fucking business. Who are you to criticise how they use their site? If you don't like it, either stay the fuck away or get thicker skin. Too bad your petty "my-feelings-are-hurt-because-my-comments-aren't-being-personally-addressed-by-everyone-and-their-fucking-dog" attitude had to rain on someone else's parade.

If 100 people hit my blog in a day or no one goes there in a year, I don't fucking care. I'm not in this to boost my ego. Your post comes off as being a sad, pathetic plea for people to comment on your blog. What is your problem? Did your daddy not hold you when you were a baby? Maybe he held you too much? Either way, if you need the random words of "strangers" to validate your self worth, then you need to take a serious look in the mirror and up your meds.

And just when did you appoint yourself "BLOG NAZI"? You are trying to tell SOMEONE ELSE how they should use their blog? Two words my dear, FUCK YOU...

At 12:07 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Dear Squid (full name Squidward Testicles; occupation unemployed serf; total hits five):

Ahh, thank you so much for your bracing comment! it's been so long since I've had a flamer (rubbing hands together in glee).

I guess the "meds really didn't work for you" lol.

If you and your fellow Satanic sycophants honestly think that I have the awesome power to shut down the mighty Satan's blog, then my ego should definitely be the size of the stratosphere.

Plus, I detect a definite note of Nazi-ism in your tone.

Plus which, I got an awful lot of comments, didn't I?

If you have the right to come on to my site and tell me to up my meds and try to dictate to me on how to conduct myself in the blogosphere, why in the world wouldn't I have the right to make a reasonable comment on a blog?

This guy Satan must really have demonic powers if people can get so very bent out of shape if he decides to take a little sabbatical.

Three words for you, you bittersweet squiddy testicle thing: get a life.

At 10:05 AM, Blogger Assorted Babble by Suzie said...

Hi I'm Suzie found you off of Squid's Site Meter.

It seems you were a target as well of cruelty. He wrote a whole filthy damn post and now another one about ME. Boy did I get lucky to get TWO! Both attacking and blaming me for his computer problems! I had noticed he also made a NASTY Statement to you too. (I did not check to see if it was there last time I visited though)Actually I did not understand you because I had not heard of who you were.

However he did go back and sugar coat with edits of his vile, filthy written post blaming me for viruses and telling everyone awful untrue things about me and why they should not visit my blog, but this was ONLY after comments of my readers went there in my defensive.

On my site I had close to 20 people stating the truth about me and my blog. (That they had NEVER had a single problem w/my site)

Now I see what he said to you, that was terrible and so vicious! (his comment on here)Plus stating the 2 Word Statment on his post FU! In ref: to you!

Not completely sure about the dispute, but at least I do not have to worry about him saying these things to me on my blog, since now he claims he gets a virus from me (I and others have proven that to be UNTRUE)

In my case about comments, I am not in good health (actually lately not well at all) If I am sitting there when comments come in I usually responded right back to them and other times I try going back and listing a note to all, but I guilty depending how bad that day is, that I do not always get to.

Feel welcome to visit me anytime, and I hope you will. (smiling)Wishing you the best and hopefully no more nasty comments to or about you. Take care!


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