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An Ugly Side of the Blogosphere

I've only been doing this blogging thing a few months.  And, over that time, I've learned a thing or two.  One thing is that a great many bloggers are extraordinarily witty, intelligent people, with great writing skills and hardy senses of humor.

Unfortunately, that's not everyone.  There's also the pompous, childish, snarky, petty and mean-spirited sort out there.  You know, the kind of guy who got his ass kicked every day in middle school, and then takes it out on his subordinates after he gets a good job later in life.  There's all different flavors of this.  In many degrees.

"Look at me!"

I know, I know, I shouldn't give people like this the attention (or link) that they so richly crave.  But, every once in a while, I feel compelled to respond to the tripe spewed forth by the lowest common denominator.  You see, despite my better judgment, I think it's a valid exercise of free speech to draw attention to those who are worthy of our scorn.  What kind of behavior deserves this response?  I dunno.  Let's just say I know it when I see it.

Justice Potter Stewart

So, what's this all about?  It's about a vicious, personal attack made recently by a (self) glorified award show pundit (big surprise) against one of BN's own.  Bluestreet has already chronicled this in the diaries, but here it is again:

After all, the World Cup is over. You might see some lame excuses in the pages of Le Monde or Paris Match, but not where something as American as college football is being discussed. I seriously doubt that Jaques Chirac, who has oddly embraced his country's national goat as a national hero (oh right, they glorify losing over there, my bad), bothered to talk up the Auburn cheating scandal in between his reflexive denunciations of Israel's right to defend itself from Hezbollah.

I like trading barbs as much as the next guy.  And I understand that HP is personally bitter at BN for reporting on USC's recent off the field scandals.  But to call out Nestor as someone who supports a terrorist organization?  That is beyond the pale.

But, my point here isn't just to kick sand on HP for being a jerk (who has previously called Nestor a "hooligan" from across the pond).  It's also to reflect on the larger issue of how everyone in this community should respond to this kind of behavior.  Whether its displayed on someone else's blog, or when an ill-mannered interloper lurks around our comments sections, what is one to do?

Of course, there is an easy answer.  Just don't read the blogs that suck (or are written by people, however competent, who suck).  The blogosphere is beautiful because it allows a free and frank exchange of ideas and allows, between people of good will, a chance to discuss and debate their differences.  I wouldn't change a thing.  And I wouldn't even dream of proposing a code of conduct, or the like; that just seems too Orwellian to suit me.  Just as with our friends, the shows we watch, and the games we play, we have a choice.  And, aside from this post, I choose to ignore people like this.

After this missive, Ramius says "they will tremble again at the sound of our silence."