Since my post on Penn & Teller’s PENN & TELLER: BULLSHIT! “Martial Arts” TV show, there has been an increase of comments here on my blog. Most were about that post, some were about older ones. That’s all good, I appreciate the feedback. It’s one of the coolest things about blogging: people from all over the world interact with you.
Some of you just drop a line, others give a detailed explanation of what they’re thinking. Regardless, I enjoy talking to you about the things I’m passionate about or interested in. So let’s make it perfectly clear: Feel free to comment as much as you like! However, there are a few things you have to understand:
- Every comment is read and approved by me. It’s more time consuming than automatically approving comments but it helps keep spam down and it allows me to talk to you. Which is the whole point of comments anyway so I plan on keeping things like this.
- I get plenty of email. Mail that takes up time. My time is limited and I don’t want to waste any more if it than I absolutely have to.
Why do I mention this?
Because the Penn & Teller post generated a ton of reactions, but only a fraction were approved. Why? There are many reasons, here’s a short list:
- They were spam. ‘Nough said.
- They were useless. I don’t need to know you just did number one on the toilet. Nor do the readers here need to know that.
- They were a recap of everything I wrote. Ehm… I already know what I wrote, no need to repeat it.
- They were uncool. Mr. Yetman’s comment comes to mind. That’s the first and last time I’m allowing such a comment. See next bullet.
- They were going to incite a flame war. A truckload of comments went back to Mr. Yetman. Some were very polite and well reasoned. Others were very crude and inflammatory. I understand all those reactions but I chose to end the thread and didn’t publish any one of them. Why? Because all that needed to be said was in the reply I wrote. He’s letting it rest and as a result, so am I. Anything that gets added to that comment thread will only rekindle the flames. Nobody, I repeat, nobody benefits from that. So the thread ends. Period.
- They were disrespectful. If you can’t argue without becoming snarky or insulting, please find another blog to do so. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE sarcasm and all kinds of dark humor. But I LOATHE ad hominem attacks. You can do the one, but not the other here.
There were over 50 of such comments. In other words, I had to invest a lot of time in moderating everything. As of right now, I’m not going to do that again. So let’s start off anew…
Meet the Lord of the Land, aka Me.
Hi, my name is Wim Demeere and I’m the Lord of the Land here on this blog. If you like, think of me as sitting on a throne, looking at you with a dark gleam in my eye. Or you can just picture me sitting on a throne… Either way, I’m siting on that throne because it’s rightfully mine: I own this blog.
I pay for the domain name and hosting, I write the content, I’m the guy who fixes things when they get broken, etc. I’m the boss, I’m in charge, I’m the man. So far, so good, right? But, enlightened despot that I am, you are more than welcome on these lands of mine.
In fact, you’re getting everything here for free: the content, my time, my responses to your comments, it’s all there for free. Isn’t that just flat out awesome? I mean, it’s not like I don’t have anything else to do: I’m a self-employed personal trainer. That means that every minute I don’t spend working, I don’t make a single buck. Nada, nothing, zip. Now I don’t really mind that because I thoroughly enjoy blogging and talking to you. But there are limits to my benevolence and we just reached them.
As of right now, I’m putting on my despot hat a bit more firmly and will leave the enlightened part to more intelligent people. I’ll explain in a bit but the gist of it is this:
I am the Lord of the Land and my will is law.
If you like, picture me waving a big-ass broadsword over my head, wearing lots of leather and fur. I’m also sporting about 50 pounds of additional rock-hard, body-building muscle and my voice thunders as I declare this. The funky, horned helmet and silly look on my face is optional; it’s your imagination so knock yourself out…
Anyway, what does this all mean? In reality, not much will change. I’ll still blog about the same things and you’re still more than welcome to participate in the comments section. But I’ll also implement some basic rules:
- I’m Lord of the Land and my will is law. I just wanted to say that again because it sounds so cool, yeah! But I mean it. Anything I say is how it will be, like it or not. And like all despots and tyrants, I reserve the right to break or ignore my own rules. Because, say it with me, I’m Lord of the Land and my will is law! *The crowd roars!!!*
- This is not a forum. You don’t come here and spout your bile or trash people’s names as is common practice on all the forums. I’ll banish you from here in a heartbeat.
- This is not a democracy. You don’t get a vote unless I give you one (which I often do in polls.) Don’t come whining to me when I don’t publish a comment of yours or something “isn’t fair”. Because I’ll get all Carlos Mencia on you and kick you to the back of the line. (50 points for those who get this one.) :-)
- Freedom of speech is what I allow you to say. Freedom of speech is dear to my heart but I’ve seen it raped and abused too often on the Internet. You can say whatever you want, but I have the overruling power to refuse to publish your comment: freedom of speech does not mean freedom to use my platform any way you like as I have no obligation to provide you my platform. You are more than free to publish it elsewhere.
- Show some goddamn respect. I hate bullies, loudmouths, arrogant pricks, trolls and their ilk. If you act like one, I’ll drive you from my lands shouting “You. Shallnot. PASS!!!” all the way. This is my land, my house. You’re a guest and I’ll be as good a host as I can. But you’ll have to behave and show some respect to me and more importantly, all the other guests.
- No grammar police or spelling fascists. You contribute nothing to the conversation and annoy everybody else, including me. The only thing you achieve is pleasuring yourself and those of your ilk. Do it elsewhere so we don’t have to watch it; it’s embarrassing.
- Don’t go away mad, just go. If you don’t like it, find another place to comment. The Internet is huge: tere are plenty of blogs, sites and forums where you can express yourself in the way you prefer. I try to avoid going where I’m not wanted and advise you to do the same. No hard feelings, really. But life’s too short for fighting and arguments in a comments sections of some blog. Discussing and talking things through, yes. But not infantile “You suck!” bickering. If you can’t handle this, just go elsewhere.
As Austin Powers would say “I’m spent!” I’ll not come back on this topic again, I think I made my point…
UPDATE: For the benefit of the slow, this obviously applies to my social media accounts as well…