Skip to main content

Wipe your feet

This is me, looking constipated
because I am slightly miffed.
You should see me angry.
I don't know about you, but I get slightly miffed when someone gets shirty in comments on my blog. I have no objection to people disagreeing with me. The posts here are my opinion, and though I am clearly always right, I accept that other people will have differing (if wrong) opinions. That is their prerogative. But I really don't like it when they get nasty about it.

A good example has recently occured over an old post of mine about why I dislike opera. This was always intended to be somewhat tongue-in-cheek (not least because a good friend of mine is an opera singer), but does express some genuine dislikes I have. Realistically there is no real right and wrong about an issue like this. Whether a piece of art is good (or art at all) is purely subjective.

Recently I've had a few comments from an anonymous poster and I just wanted to make a few comments about these.

First there is that anonymity. I have nothing against this per se - it can be practically easier to make comments this way - but when you come in on the attack, I think it is only polite to be honest about who you are.

Then there are some of the specifics:
  • 'This is the problem with the internet,' (s)he says. 'It gives a voice to self-important, ill-informed heathens.' Ah yes, the ad hominem attack. The last resort of those who don't have any legitimate arguments. (Oops, was that a recursive ad hominem attack?)
  • 'Your sarcastic put downs don't impress me.' I have no interest in impressing you. My remark was sarcastic - I retain the right to be sarcastic on my own blog - but with good reason.  
  • 'Understanding the true brilliance of a work like Tristan demands a certain higher mindedness that most people don't possess.' Ah ha! Now we have it. The common herd don't appreciate great art. I would suggest that if it's true that a work of 'art' can only be appreciated by the cognescenti it isn't art at all, it's just showing off. 'Aren't I clever,' it says. Art is a medium of communication. If ordinary people can't appreciate it, it's bad communication and bad art.
But I didn't want to get into a sparring match. My main point really is that this is my blog. I expect you to wipe your feet on the way in and play by the house rules, Mr(s) Anonymous. Feel free to disagree by all means, but try to be polite about it. If you want to play by different rules, get your own blog. Then you can make reasoned, cogent arguments like 'Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha! That's the funniest thing I've heard all year' as much as you like.


  1. This is the second time in one week I've seen this happen. On another blog I recently witnessed a horde of trolls berate some poor woman because of her opinions on reviewing. Some people seem to have too much time and not enough to do. (Speaking of which, maybe I should go and do some real work instead of commenting here - but at least I don't hide behind anonymity).

    By the way, can I interest you in some cut price opera tickets?

  2. It seems to be happening with increasing frequency, and I am saddened that some people seem to think that commenting on a blog or tweet excuses them from being polite.

    Is it a cut price opera or just cut price tickets ?


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Is 5x3 the same as 3x5?

The Internet has gone mildly bonkers over a child in America who was marked down in a test because when asked to work out 5x3 by repeated addition he/she used 5+5+5 instead of 3+3+3+3+3. Those who support the teacher say that 5x3 means 'five lots of 3' where the complainants say that 'times' is commutative (reversible) so the distinction is meaningless as 5x3 and 3x5 are indistinguishable. It's certainly true that not all mathematical operations are commutative. I think we are all comfortable that 5-3 is not the same as 3-5.  However. This not true of multiplication (of numbers). And so if there is to be any distinction, it has to be in the use of English to interpret the 'x' sign. Unfortunately, even here there is no logical way of coming up with a definitive answer. I suspect most primary school teachers would expands 'times' as 'lots of' as mentioned above. So we get 5 x 3 as '5 lots of 3'. Unfortunately that only wor

Why I hate opera

If I'm honest, the title of this post is an exaggeration to make a point. I don't really hate opera. There are a couple of operas - notably Monteverdi's Incoranazione di Poppea and Purcell's Dido & Aeneas - that I quite like. But what I do find truly sickening is the reverence with which opera is treated, as if it were some particularly great art form. Nowhere was this more obvious than in ITV's recent gut-wrenchingly awful series Pop Star to Opera Star , where the likes of Alan Tichmarsh treated the real opera singers as if they were fragile pieces on Antiques Roadshow, and the music as if it were a gift of the gods. In my opinion - and I know not everyone agrees - opera is: Mediocre music Melodramatic plots Amateurishly hammy acting A forced and unpleasant singing style Ridiculously over-supported by public funds I won't even bother to go into any detail on the plots and the acting - this is just self-evident. But the other aspects need some ex

Which idiot came up with percentage-based gradient signs

Rant warning: the contents of this post could sound like something produced by UKIP. I wish to make it clear that I do not in any way support or endorse that political party. In fact it gives me the creeps. Once upon a time, the signs for a steep hill on British roads displayed the gradient in a simple, easy-to-understand form. If the hill went up, say, one yard for every three yards forward it said '1 in 3'. Then some bureaucrat came along and decided that it would be a good idea to state the slope as a percentage. So now the sign for (say) a 1 in 10 slope says 10% (I think). That 'I think' is because the percentage-based slope is so unnatural. There are two ways we conventionally measure slopes. Either on X/Y coordiates (as in 1 in 4) or using degrees - say at a 15° angle. We don't measure them in percentages. It's easy to visualize a 1 in 3 slope, or a 30 degree angle. Much less obvious what a 33.333 recurring percent slope is. And what's a 100% slope