|I'm mad as hell!|
When I started writing this blog almost two years ago, I was lucky to get a dozen visits a day. Yesterday the blog recorded over 1,200 page views, from every province and several foreign countries. I'm very appreciative and I thank all who visit, it makes writing rewarding.
As this blog developed, comments have become an integral element. Many readers find the missives in the Comments Section more interesting than my central piece, which seems to act as a platform or moderator in a debate, something to get the discussion started. That suits me fine. The Comment Section is the driving force behind the numbers of visitors on this site.
The essential point that I wish to remind everyone is that nobody has to come here if they don't want to.
I am by nature a libertine, and loathe to restrict what people say. In fact, I particularly enjoy the rants appearing in the Comments Section, whether they be written by federalist or separatists, English or French.
I don't allow people to hide behind anonymity to defame anyone and frankly I don't think anyone has tried to do so. Ever since I made an adjustment to the Comments policy a few months ago, the level of civility is just about right. I continue to believe that a certain level of rage, sarcasm and condescension is fair. Almost every one follows the rules.
I've removed some comments for being a tad racist or personally offensive to others, but again, fairly few.
There remains things that I won't publish, but it's hard to describe. I can say that I'm not very partial to gratuitous swearing or comments written in large caps.
I'm not interested in printing re-hashed quotes from Pierre Falardeau or Karl Marx. If you are a sovereignist and if you write in French, you are welcome here.You are entitled to your opinion and entitled to confront those ideas, either mine or that of commenters that you don't agree with.
Over on Prefontaine's blog, a commenter pointed to our blog's Comment Section as 'shockingly offensive' and was sad that many people expressed such angry opinions towards Quebec.
How exactly does he expect people to react to the sort of drivel that however politely framed on that web site, is essentially nothing more than hate?
So, tough noogies... people are angry.
Say that you are fed up with Quebec and it's a sure bet that nobody will publish you. Say it with emotion or passion and you may as well be talking to yourself.
Everything is so controlled and sanitized. Well, not here.
I'll repeat what I said. If you don't like it, don't come.
Fully half of the people who read this blog are francophones. I'm sure that a lot of them on the nationalist side are drawn here as people are to a car wreck, morbid fascination.
While web-site after web-site trash English and anglophones, calling us colonialists and oppressors, those people seem surprised and offended by our reaction.
There are those who complain about the anonymous nature of my posts and your comments. They say it's dangerous because people don't have to be responsible for what they write.
This is just hogwash that people blather when they don't like what they read.
While anonymous posting is considered an outrage by the highfalutin, anonymous voting is the hallmark of our democracy.
Should we be obliged to go to the voting station and shout out our choice?
The very nature of the secret ballot means that people can express themselves without influence or fear of reprisal.
That is exactly what happens on this blog.
I hear a lot of frustration and anger in a lot of your comments and the emotion is compelling. I enjoy the drama, which is very real. Expressing rage and letting loose a good rant is legitimate. It reflects how some of us feel about the politics around us.
I am happy to say that most of our commenters are intelligent, witty, and certainly opinionated (a good thing.) Commenters keep me on my toes and they drive me to check and recheck my facts. Errors that I make are quickly pointed out.
And yes, I still consider Julie Snyder married to Pierre Karl Pelédaeu.
One thing that we all share is a thick skin. If you're going to comment here, you're going to have to absorb the not so polite barbs of those who disagree. It's part of the unwritten contract to posting here. If you dish it out you'd better be prepared to accept a few body checks!
Sometimes we have comments that make no sense and sometimes we have some that are downright moronic, but it spices up things.
If you're like me, and I assume most are, the very worst thing about writing a piece or a comment is to be ignored.
As the editor of this blog I resist using my position to censor or even to respond to commenters unless I feel particularly compelled to do so. That's because my policy is that the comment section doesn't belong to me, but rather the readers.
As to the comments themselves;
I'd like to remind readers that it would be helpful if they followed a few simple rules when commenting;
First, if you are not addressing the story that I wrote about and are replying to another commenter, please identify who you are referring to.
To Anonymous @ 12:46 PM
To Canadagirl @ 10:05 AM
Next if you are quoting something he or she said, put it in quotes like this;
You said- "I think Canada is great"
Skip a line to make it clear that it is you now talking and make your reply.I urge readers to adopt an anonymous pen name, so that people can follow your thoughts consistently.
If you don't have a Blogger profile, sign your comments with an alias. It's fun to be referred to by a name.
IT DOES NOT IMPINGE ON YOUR ANONYMITY. (Oh, Oh, large caps..tsk..tsk)
If you are a lurker, I encourage you to take the first step. One small comment, that's all.
You might find participating interesting.
At any rate, I'd like to hear your opinion about our Comments Section. Tell me what you think. I do listen.
To francophones who write in English, I appreciate the effort,anybody who complains that the English is sometimes rudimentary is a spoil sport.
Finally, to end on a upbeat note, I wish to share my all-time favourite rant. It comes from the Academy award winning film "Network" Peter Finch delivers a superb performance in a scene that reminds me every day that we have a right to be furious and a right to express our anger.
Ha! wasn't that great!
Now GET MAD! Go out and write an interesting comment!
People across the world will be reading what you say!