Tuesday, November 22, 2005

On the population of the blogosphere

As I trundle wide-eyed around the blogosphere in search of an education, occasionally dipping a tentative paw into a discussion and more often than not discovering too late that what I thought was a goldfish has turned out to be a piranha, I ruminate from time to time on the various species and subspecies to be found frolicking and lurking, sometimes both at once, in the blogosystem.

There are a lot of people like me: punters of fundamental if not wholly reliable goodwill who are complete mugs for any form of communication. We are the ones who cannot let a phone go unanswered, a letter go unopened or an email program go unchecked. We risk Blackberry Thumb from too much texting and brain cancer from too much time on the phone.

But there's another, disproportionately large, tribe who seem to be basically just bastards. Lurking around the Comments section of various blogs that I've been told about or have found for myself, I'm struck, and I don't mean that in a nice way, by the number of people who seem utterly incapable of positive comment. Instead, they vent: everything from sneering and whining through libel and slander to outright vicious personal attack and sometimes downright threats.

And the worst of it is there's not even much honest pain or outrage involved. Most of the time I'd swear that they're just doing it to show everybody else how superior and cool they are.

Does the blogosphere hold peculiar attraction for these mean, twisted, stunted, evil or otherwise tragic creatures? Or is it just that being an unmitigated arseh*le is the new black?


elsewhere said...

It's a descant for pedants, particularly male ones.

Fyodor said...

The world has more arseholes than people. It's just that teh interwebs frees these people (including moi, on numerous occasions) from the inhibitions and constraints that condition them to behave appropriately in normal discourse. Anonymity/pseudonymity doesn't help, either. Ahem.

St. Elsewhere is unfortunately correct, of course: overwhelmingly male. ygzrz

Lucy Tartan said...

I don't know if the internet does free people / arseholes from all restraint - at least, you put that insight together with what everyone's noticed about the overpoweringly manly cast to bloggy shouting matches, and it seems likely that women don't fight as much on the internet because we haven't been brought up to the trade.

Give your kitty a pat for me.

Zoe said...

Well I've been very much enjoying reading your comments about the place.

There does seem to be an unusually large number of knob-ends, but there are also some gems.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Oh wow -- you're THAT Zoe. I came across your blog ages ago when Googling for something or other, back when the blogosphere was still an utter mystery to me, and was rooly, rooly impressed. Love the sanitary-napkin portrait!

Anonymous said...

Its the new black.