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!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Confessions of a former comment nazi

Nazis Not Welcome
Originally uploaded by bdunnette.
Hey guys, thanks for the comments on commenting. It's very ironic that in my "heyday" I was like a comment nazi--my feeling was, as Jack's Shack said, that if someone took the time to comment, responding was the least I could do. In the past, I sometimes found myself feeling "jilted" if someone didn't respond to my comment. It felt like I'd initiated a conversation and the other person just gave me a blank stare and walked away.

In fact, I got so obsessed with the issue that I remember doing a number of posts on it with names like "A final comment on commenters's comments on comments" or something like that. In fact, things go so out of hand that I wrote a comment to a blogger who seemed to be ignoring "legitimate" comments (like mine, of course) in favor of endlessly bantering back and forth with one of her pals in IM fashion.

The result of this comment of mine was an apology post from her on her blog. Coincidentally, the commenter pal (Satan) decided to go on vacation right after this and not tell anyone. Instead, he just (literally) said "fuck you" to his loyal readers and went his merry way for several weeks--his idea of a grand joke, I guess. As a result, some of his regular fans thought I'd alienated him. The result was a comment flame war with Squid--one of Satan's ardent fans--claiming that I "broke Satan."

We bantered back and forth here, exchanging insult for insult, and to tell you the truth it was the most fun I could have had with my clothes on. Here's one representative comment from Squid, who lovingly nicknamed me "Elvirus":

"But alas, my dear I've vested too much time into you and your tunnel-visionist mindset. Your pathetic attempts to bag on my lack of comments on my blog does not hurt me, for I am not a stat whore unlike you. I REALLY could care less if anyone visits my blog. Anytime you want, you can suck a fart out of my ass."

And you know something? He was right. In those days I was trying like hell to get more traffic to my site, and became a self-admitted "blog pimp" and "comment whore" to boot. But it did make for good blogging material--I really milked the shit out of it for awhile.

Most likely, it was my raging hypomania speaking, but I couldn't seem to leave the comment issue alone during September of '05, writing post after post about it. When people are in a manic state, they tend to be full of themselves, self-righeous, opinionated, and generally asshole-ish.

Well, my karma caught up with me, and the result is that I eventually turned into one of those bloggers I criticized so vehemently before. Squid and I came to a truce. And Satan abandoned his blog many moons ago.

In any case, I truly believe that receiving and responding to comments can greatly enhance a post. I guess the prob is that I'm just now crawling out of my shell and don't quite have the energy I had back in the day.

But if I really want to get back into the true Shithouse spirit, I should try to get back into the fray if I can. I truly do enjoy it. But I don't want to be like the bad old Elvira who somehow didn't seem to be able to "live and let live."

Anyway, thanks guys! And Ice--you are, as always, one of a kind.

My next post will not be about comments.


At 1:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd forgotten that whole episode. That was how I found your blog, though.

I don't really care anymore whether people respond to my comments or not. I understand how time consuming and emotionally draining it can be, especially when you agree with the comment can't really think of anything to say in return.

I know that my comments are seen. It's enough.

At 1:42 PM, Anonymous paula said...

that was me

At 4:14 PM, Blogger Timothy said...

I get very few, if any comments, on my blog. Never have really gotten much, but I just keep on bloging. I have taken some time off lately, as well. I have had a few ill feelings that no one seems to bother coming to mine, but I have learned to let it go. It is nice to know that at least one person has at least read my blogs, but that has not stopped me from bloging.

At 5:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn I miss all the fun.

At 9:19 AM, Blogger Brink Craven said...

Used to be that i didnt answer my comments because I didnt know that it was expected!

On Flickr-a lot of times, when an artist get a bunch of comments, the poster just pipes in momentarily to give the group of commenters a shout out instead of making exausting individual replies.--like "hey guys, thanks for all the comments". I think that it is a pretty good compromise.
Its just like you did here -Although its even more better that you devoted a whole post to it!

as always, very funny E

At 12:27 AM, Blogger Squid Vicious said...

Happy Hannukah! I miss the olde days, too. I have mellowed in my old age. I still am a fan of Satan, though.

Glad to see that you still think about me...

At 3:50 AM, Blogger elvira black said...


Yes, I did meet some really cool bloggers like you as a result of that debacle. But where are you? Have you given up your blog or just taking a break?

At 4:04 AM, Blogger elvira black said...


My stats were never very high, though I did try Blog Clicker and Blog Explosion very very briefly. Have you heard about them?

In any case, blogging can be therapeutic in and of itself, and many more people visit a given blog than comment anyway--so your words are reaching people out there!

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


It was fun indeed...I know you've had some juicy flame wars including one with a gaggle of women bloggers, as I recall. That's what I like--good clean entertainment!

At 4:09 AM, Blogger elvira black said...


Thanks, g/f! I get a few Flickr comments once in awhile but it never really occurred to me to respond to them either. I think there's a whole potential "community" out there with Flickr--people start groups and stuff and share their latest photos, so it might potentially be fun. And yes, the blanket "thank you" seems like a good compromise.

At 4:12 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

squid vicious:

Merry Christmas to you and yours. Your group blog looks great, and I love the design too.

I guess Satan is still around but only as a commenter from what I can see...but that can be a blogging "vocation" in and of itself, esp. for a comment-meister like Satan.

At 4:54 PM, Blogger Satan said...

I'm sorry, who are you?

At 5:12 PM, Blogger elvira black said...


Classic Satan comment!

Oh Darkest One, don't pretend you don't remember. I know it's been emblazoned in your memory and you have contemplated it every day. It haunts your dreams and fuels your nightmares. I have this power.

Since your blog seems to consist of a pretty birthday cake of late, all I can surmise is that you have decided to devoted your demonic skills solely to the comment-sphere, which was the real raison d'etre of your blog to begin with.

See how Satan sucked me into singing his praises and going on and on when he (sob) doesn't even remember me? Clever, snarky demon.

At 7:28 PM, Blogger Satan said...

No seriously, I remember the post you're talking about but dont remember any part you played in it?! Didn't realise I'd been to this blog... obviously Squid has, so there's a good chance I have too. Oh well.

I do have a blog. Just not as Satan. Have 100's of comments as per usual.

Merry Xmas anyway.

At 7:41 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

I guess it's by special invitation only--how's about a URL?

I long to be commenter 101.

At 11:21 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

Yep, just as I thought...


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