Commenting on Commenting on Comments

… or, as John Heavrin will note, they can’t blame me for it. I don’t comment there; I just bring the faults here for occasional picking.

I was popping into NLM for my weekly visit and noticed Shawn’s post on Comments. It’s already cycled off their sidebar and I didn’t want to bother searching the site for the actual link (it was this past Wednesday), but some of the text of their comment policy was worth a few comments here:

I’ve noted to myself recently that there is a noticeably more irritable tone that can be witnessed in the comments.

One would think something pretty irritable can’t get much worse. When your whole worldview is colored by the Culture of Complaint, the background tends to be a uniform dark gray.

Regardless of what you think of someone’s ideas, don’t call a person by names. That includes not calling Bishop Donald Trautman, “Trautperson” for example. This really detracts from the substance of any discussion and often results in the real points and issues being lost.

The namecalling is such a badge of self-identification. I was noting on various blogs commentary on the new make-up of the BCL-successor committee, the reorganized Committee on Divine Worship. Lots of bile directed toward California bishops. The NLM commentariat, as Shawn concedes, couldn’t keep from falling over itself to traut out it’s favorite perjorative.

Namecalling is one of the sure signs you’ve stumbled into the Culture of Complaint. You don’t need to stick to Catholicism to find it. Or “orthodoxy” either. Philip Pullman calling Donohue-clones “nitwits.” Muslims going after British schoolteachers. Bloggers wanting to pull the plug on the USCCB movie reviewer. It’s mostly mindless extremism. Or perhaps in Pullman’s case, designed to jack up movie and book profits.

The NLM comments have often been noted for being more constructive, reasonable and on the up and up than often happens in these sorts of matters.

Yes, dark gray is more light than black.

I don’t mind one whit that John comes frequently to comment. Dissent is healthy in the blogging world. He also has high principles and fights fair even when I might be stepping a toe past the bounds of courtesy to get a response.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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1 Response to Commenting on Commenting on Comments

  1. I have actually found the comments (as well as the articles) on NLM very useful at times, though somewhat less so at times recently.

    I was pleased to see this post, as well as pleased to see Shawn slap down a couple commenters in various threads over the last week or two who called into question the value/validity of Vatican II and the new missal. There is, sadly, a danger of all sorts of odd folks moving in when a site becomes known as a “Trad” watering hole. I think the NLM contributors are perhaps becoming aware of this and trying to counter-act the trend.

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