To the Person Named “DropDead” Who Sent Me This Nice Email After Their Comment Failed to Appear

Maybe you should post Notice: you only enable comments that
a.) Agree with whatever you post about?
b.) are flattering to your ego
c.) DON’T contain any new information
d.) would NOT lead to any actual discussion
e.) fawn all over you

Dear DropDead,

Yes, it is entirely true. BlogLily exists within a happy little bubble. I don’t actually want to participate in conversations where no one listens to anyone, where people lecture in capital letters and get other people so riled up or turned off that we never get to hear about the last wonderful thing they ate, or read or heard or did.

Come to think of it, my happy bubble doesn’t have a place for people who tell me to drop dead either. Something about your first comment — the one where you imagined me to be saying something I didn’t say so you could lecture me on something I wasn’t talking about — made me think you were the sort of person whose second response would be a silly email like this. That’s why your comment never appeared. It didn’t sound to me like you were going to show up and talk about your favorite Victorian novel, that’s for sure. And was I really wrong in thinking that you weren’t going to be nice to the good people who come here and talk to each other?

And yes, I do want to be fawned over, flattered and agreed with. That’s why I’m a lawyer. That’s also why I had children. Let the fawning, flattering and sucking up begin!

Thanks for visiting and have a nice day,



35 thoughts on “To the Person Named “DropDead” Who Sent Me This Nice Email After Their Comment Failed to Appear

  1. Dear Lily~

    Brava to you, my dear, for standing up for yourself. I know from years of lurking in on line chatrooms, that there are people who troll the Internet with the sole purpose of raining on other people’s parades. If this person truly wanted to impart to you new information, or to disagree with you, there are compassionate and even friendly ways to do so.

    For my part, I love reading your blog, and find it difficult to imagine what might have been this person’s argument against any of your posts. I can only conclude that he or she is angry at the world, and decided to attack you because, quite simply, you have a loving relationship to the world.

    Take care, and blog on, dear Lily, blog on!

    ~Love and Blessings,

  2. i wonder if, perhaps, if DropDead misunderstands the rights of the editor.

    they are, of course free to exercise their right of free speech in their own forum/blog/site — but it seems as if they are confusing that right with the courtesy required when it comes to commenting on sites moderated by other people.

    i, for one, appreciate it when i don’t have to read the ravings of someone who isn’t really looking to embrace discussion, but trying to hijack a post to suit their own needs, whatever those needs might be — especially when the comment is nothing more than thinly veiled abuse.

    DropDead, it is a privilege to be allowed to comment — a editor is under no obligation to extend that privilege, especially if it is abusive. i think you’d find the same results if you tried the same tactics with your local news rag… or am i mistaken in thinking that there is no difference, in essence?

    thanks bloglily — i like that you keep it polite around here.

  3. Wow. Someone was having a seriously bad day. Too bad they took it out on you!! Thankfully the vast majority of people I have come across via blogs are not like that! Sorry to see they were so rude!

  4. Dear DropDead.

    The next time you post a comment please think about the negative repercussions you can cause on such a democratic medium such as blogging. What you write in one such comment affect all the other readers who are enjoying Bloglily’s words and thoughts and scribbles.

    If you disagree, make sure it is relevant, and does not give other readers like me cause to imagine you to be saying something you didn’t say so I can lecture you on something you weren’t talking about.

    To Bloglily: just keep blogging. We’ll keep reading. 😉

  5. Hello Selene, Mostly, this made me laugh — especially the part about fawning and sucking up. I did mention to my family tonight that there’s not enough obsequiousness around here, but I didn’t get a good response. Oh well. Maybe when they’re old enough to want to drive my car they’ll learn to properly fawn.

    Mick — That’s the word I was looking for — hijack! I’ve seen that happen before on other blogs. It’s rude and boring, like the person at a party who wants to tell everyone she hates her boss, but can’t quite find an opening — “Oh, you like purple? That reminds me, my boss wears purple dresses and I really, really hate her because she is so stupid….”

    But now I’m searching my conscience and see I’ve done things like that myself, on on occasion, but only out of an excess of enthusiasm, not intentionally and not soapbox-like. Still, it made me think maybe I should mind my own ps&qs a little.

    Danielle, Yes indeed. A bad day. It’s just not nice to tell people to drop dead, and anonymously too! I’ve been tempted to do that, but I’ve never actually hit “send.”

    Thank you for that Ms. Genie!

    Dear Eli, I’ve never had a total stranger say something like that to me. Children, now, they do it all the time. (Someone once shouted, MOM, YOU SUCK! at me. But then they stopped when it was pointed out that I buy the food and cook it around here and things might not be so tasty if people keep insulting me.) And Welcome!

  6. Lily: Drop dead.

    😉 {sorry I just HAD to use an emoticon there.}

    I am very happy to made the aquintence of you and your blog. Keep up the excellent work…oh and I want to hear more about the white rabbit…when is he returning? Please troll the “casual carpool line” until you find him again.

  7. And I am happy to have made your acquaintance, Mr. Chacon. But just remember — I know where you work, mister! (insert emoticon!)

    As for the white rabbit, better than seeing him again, I’ve been getting book deliveries all week inspired by his suggestions. The latest — W. J. Bate’s biography of Samuel Johnson, looks particularly good. The trouble is I can’t read any of these things until I finish up a project for work. As it’s 11 p.m., I’d better put in my final hour and go to bed.

  8. I recently commented in litlove’s reading room about how democracy and free speech are bound to hurt everybody’s feelings now and then. I quoted Salman Rushdie saying that “Democracy is not a tea party where people sit around making polite conversation.” (Her post was about free speech and the comments were quite heated although never nasty).

    However, nobody ever said that your blog had to be a democratic tribune. There are plenty other blogs for that. We come here for the warmth of the tea party conversations, and it is lucky you take courageous steps to expel misbehaving intruders. The ‘democratic’ part about your little salon is not free speech. It is democratic in the sense that everybody can participate: we do not have to be well-dressed, we do not have to be wealthy, all it takes is to be well-read and well-behaved.

    PS: I recently issued a warning to a commenter on my blog. I approved the comment after heavy editing, and replied that any future comments had to be properly written and well-argued. I can take matter-of-fact disagreement. I do not take aggressivity. No news from said commenter so far.

  9. I am glad you keep it positive, Bloglily. I’m sure we all encounter plenty of unnecessarily aggressive people in our daily lives. I wish I could edit out some of the negativity in real life! I’m sure as sure not going to stand for it on my blog.

    I had an experience like this a while ago. It is complicated to get into but I believe the baddy commenter was a person I knew who was using a false identity and e-mail address. I ended up deleting the whole post, comments and all.

  10. Mandarine,

    Yes, I agree, vigorous public debate, without government intervention, is one of the cornerstones of democracy. It was terribly upsetting after 9/11 to hear the white house press secretary warn people to “watch what you say.”

    And as everyone recognizes, your blog, like your house, isn’t the public arena. It’s never for a moment occurred to me that I should invite my least favorite of people — the one who never listens, gets into shouting matches, and generally makes themselves conversationally unpleasant — to my house. I don’t see why I’d do it here either. That said, I’ve only not permitted a very few comments and most of those were the weird ramblings of people who seemed to be living in an entirely different universe and didn’t know they were even here.

    Dear Edwin, Now there. Agreement. Concord. Flattery. Isn’t that what we all want? I know I tend toward the happy bubble here, but then that’s because there are other people who are better at being witty and funny about how ridiculous and stupid the world is. Or who can take one simple statistic, as you recently did, and create an entire universe of speculation about its true meaning. For that, I salute you!

    Hi Dorothy, I do like the idea of the blog as a sort of physical place. Maybe it’s because I like imagining that I’m handing out drinks and snacks to all you commenters and all those who don’t comment.

    Helen, The great thing about writing fiction is that you do get to include what interests and amuses you (or irritates and confuses you) and you get to decide what will happen with it all. In a way, a blog persona is a fiction, but it can be a benign one or an unneccessarily aggressive one. And I feel like I get enough of that in my daily life, as you say, so it seems okay to keep it away from here.

    Well hello Eoin, I love expressions like “spot on!” and am only sorry I can’t deliver them, not having the proper accent to do a credible job with it. And thank you.

    Hello Charlotte, I am very fond of good manners. And that’s all there is to say about that! xo

  11. BL – I think your blog, like most other great ones, is a work of art in and of itself. Your visitors come here for the atmosphere you have nurtured. It is literate, visually pleasing, entertaining, evolving, and civil. It is a safe and thoughtful oasis in a world which needs more of them. I am glad you don’t let jerry springer types besmirch its beauty. Too often honesty is confused with hostility. Your blog is always honest and never hostile.
    Best, Q

  12. What an odd e-mail for you to get Bloglily. I’d expect that sort of thing on one of those dedicatedly furious political sites. I can only assume that it was sent to the wrong blogger.

    Funny that I read this today as other bloggers are waving hands and despairing for a “code of conduct” for the “blogosphere” in order to “formalise blogging behaviour” in order to somehow avoid situations similar to this.

  13. Dear BlogLily, I’m sorry that you have had this nasty experience of a horrible commenter (if that it a word!). Well done on dealing with it so well.

    I had a horrible person comment on my blog a long while ago, and my response was to cry at my desk! I just deleted the comment, and was very glad of the kind words from other bloggers who had the misfortune to read the comment. I still don’t like to think about it!

    Like many other of your readers I like your blog because it is a calming, thoughtful place (if a blog is a place and a place can be thoughtful!) where people take care to be respectful to one another.

    Keep up the good work!

  14. The thing I hated most about this email, Lilian, was the outrageous conflation of kindness and courtesy with flattery and dishonesty. The second most despicable thing was the suggestion that you can assume aggressive speech is honest.

    I’m sorry you got such a comment, L. It’s a kind of cyber-bullying. Pfuffle, I say! Or some such germanic oath-like expression.

    Imani, We need no special code of conduct to behave well. It’s not like this world is all that different from any other. And yes, for a moment I thought I was on DailyKos (which I loved for a long time, until I noticed how often people went out of their way to be mean to each other.)

    OP, Baby. I love you with equal fervor!

    Q, That’s very kind. Not fawning. Just plain old kind. xo

    Spot On, Ian. Dude.

  15. My chief emotion when reading this is pity for the people Drop Dead has to work with every day. This is probably because I have a colleague I can imagine writing something like this and I know the distress that has been caused by her attitude to life. Why do people waste the precious gift of life in this way? (That’s a rhetorical question, by the way; I really don’t expect anyone to be able to answer.)

  16. Dear Bloglily, how could anyone possibly disagree with anything you say?

    But, seriously, I’ve never known you to be the least bit offensive, so I can’t imagine what must go on inside poor Dropdead’s head. As far as I can tell, you’re one of the kindest and most open-minded of people. All I can say is I’m glad I don’t have access to the inside of his/her head. It must not be a very fun place to be. And don’t people know that the minute you personally attack, you lose the debate?

  17. You are marvelous and deserve every bit of fawning over you get! If I wasn’t convinced of that unassailable fact already, your response to dropdead proved it.

  18. Wow, is somebody jealous much??

    Glad you laughed, and glad you are so fawned over, bc this blog is worth fawning over, amen.

    I got a “Bite me” comment on somebody else’s blog today. And then a long, unseemly rant. I laughed in response as well. Let’s laugh some more, shall we?

  19. LK–You seriously crack me up!! Bloglily–you are very right–their sentiments were horrible and totally uncalled for no matter how bad their day was going! It is nice to be in control of that delete button–isn’t it…

  20. Oh-oh. In addition to all that has been said, I would like to say that as a reader of, I am especially put off by DropDead’s points (c) and (d). It is quite an achievement to disparage both a blog and its readers in one fell swoop.

  21. Well, it’s not as if the disgruntled one was handicapped by typing Tourette’s — he (she?) just wanted to disagree. I moderate comments on my blog for the same reason — it’s not “a free country,” it’s a private space. I wonder if people who go off at others on the web do the same in personal interactions. Some no doubt do, but I think others just don’t get it that there are flesh and blood people on the web — it feels like a video game to them, and the rest of us have to deal with that.

    P.S. I love your blog. It’s like a visit to northern Cal.

  22. Ann — That’s a really good question, how online behavior compares to offline behavior. I wonder if maybe there’s this submerged nastiness in people, and it only comes out anonymously, as it did when people would send poison pen letters to others in their village, accusing the vicar of having an affair with the woman who ran the stationers. I’m so glad you like visiting here. It makes me so happy when people drop by.

    Hello Kristin, Not when you’re in the room!

    Polaris, Yes, that’s true. And such lovely readers, too.

    Dear Danielle, For a long time, I didn’t realize you could moderate comments and delete the ones you thought weren’t likely to go somewhere good. I have learned to trust my instincts on this. There was a time when I refused to do that, thinking that people couldn’t possibly do ill, but after several decades of being consistently proven wrong, I’ve become more atuned to the possibility and more wary of it. PS: I, like you, am a huge LK admirer. The kit can do no wrong, in my book!

    W — bite me!?? It’s vigorous, at any rate. There’s so much ranting in the world, and it’s boring and silly, although sometimes amusing to think that anyone could get THAT worked up about the world of words. But they do, and yes, amusement is what’s called for.

    Hello dear Patry — It’s wonderful to count you among the people who visit here. I’ve been following your book tour and am thrilled by the great reception your book is getting. (And I’m also looking forward to reading it, having just ordered it from Amazon!)

    Dear Emily, A surprising number of people seem to be utterly aware that the ad hominum attack is a sure sign of desperation. I think there should be some sort of society that educates those who are on the receiving end of such an attack to (a) recognize that fact and (b) refuse to respond to it, except to call it out. If I only could think of a suitably punchy name, I’d start yet another blog to promote this idea.

    Oh Ann, I hadn’t even thought of that. I’m sure there are a lot of accusations about theft from the fridge, and not keeping the coffee pot properly cleaned up. Also, there is probably a fair amount of failure-to-recycle guilt mongering and all sorts of issues over who gets the largest cubicle. It sounds like maybe you’ve had your share of that kind of thing. I think you’re right that this kind of reaction is quite life-denying in a way. It’s so humorless and rigid and destructive.

    Dear Rose, Yes indeed. We are all a little too impatient for what we want!

    LK — If you ever need the favor of a good defense returned, please sign me up. I can’t promise to be as punchy and forthright as you, but I’ll do my best. xo

  23. Pingback: A Code of Blogging Conduct? « Tales from the Reading Room

  24. Pingback: You Suck! « BlogLily

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