Rapping with a fellow kottu-blogger last week, the subject got to responses in the form of comments and tags – and this guy gets a whole lot of them due to the popularity of his blog. The comments, for the most part, he said are engaging, interesting and complimentary, with few, if any, ’negative’ stuff that is usually done more with the intention to provoke than to inject an interesting observation or start any meaningful discussion stemming from the post in question.

The discussion went on to the kind of mentality it takes to be intentionally insulting or to spew meaningless profanity at some bloggers by folk that obviously dislike them, either for their respective views or on a more personal level. I’m sure most of us have read some of the unbelievable crap that is put out there in the form of comments and tags with the intention to hurt or anger the recipient, with what appears to be innuendo, false presumptions, taking parts of the post out of context, or just plain viciousness. Humour (albeit, as twisted as the author) is also sometimes employed to get the insults across.

I guess it takes a special type of person to hide behind the cover of a pseudonym or other virtual barricade and hurl shit around at whoever takes his or her fancy – for whatever reason. As is usual in most matters, the original cause for any action – in this case, abuse or insults – must have something to do with the ego, as it is unlikely that viciousness is aimed at random. I discussed some aspects of this phenomenon earlier, but that had more to do with ego and the part it plays in bloggers expressing themselves, sometimes their most personal affairs, for all to see, rather than the part it plays in abuse.

The way I see it is that the compulsive urge to abuse, insult, or attempt to demean, is a form of psychological distress manifesting itself in the convoluted logic that allows itself to do so. And, in all probability, a response is what is sought – in order to feed the perverse urge and sustain it. So, like some of the smarter bloggers who refrain from responding to the crap, the best reaction would be to non-react.

In the end, however, I guess we should feel sorry for these folks, as the dirt they dish out must fill their heads a whole lot – and that can’t be very pleasant for them.

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