Jonathan Zasloff and the World of Passive-Aggressives
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On Anonymous Blogging and Commenting

Who's a bigger weakling: The guy who posts anonymous comments on a blog; or the blogger whose feelings he hurts?


The answer is obvious, and yet nothing hurts a blogger's feelings more than an anonymous insult.  We want people to identify themselves, so that we may salve the wound.  It works a lot like this: 

You post a nasty comment.  If I know your name, I'm going to Google you.  Am I your superior in some way, I wonder.  If so, then I am able to disregard your comment.  Who are you to say anything to me?

Thus, it's always old bloggers who rant about anonymous commenters.  Old guys are full of themselves.  Despite being born during the most economic prosperous time in the world - and being born white - they have worked for everything they've got.  You had better respect them.  

They'll always find a way to win a status game, and thus they must know who insulted them.  How dare you?! is not something kids demand an answer to.  It is extremely important for older people to identify their critics.

Yet caring about anonymous voices reveals insecurities and weakness of will.  By caring, they identify themselves as lacking philosophical perspective and emotional depth.


If I needed to borrow $1,000 to pay my rent, would you loan it to me?  If I died today, would you care?  Sure, you might be upset in the he-was-too-young sense.  Yet you wouldn't need to pull your car over onto the side of the road tomorrow, overwhelmed with grief.

That's cool with me.  Why should I be somebody to you?  I'm not your father, son, or lover.  I'm just some guy who posts things you find interesting and thought-provoking.

It is indeed humbling that people read this site, and it still shocks me to find out who is reading.  Yet I understand that our relationship is casual.  It's an ongoing one night stand rather than a relationship built on mutual obligations, respect, and trust.

Why then would I care if you insulted me?  Why would your words have power?


Unlike a random hit-and-run commenter, you and I actually have a relationship.  Again, it's not intimate.  Yet there is something there.  It's hyperbole to claim you wouldn't care at all if I died.  

If our relationship is limited, what then is the relationship between me and an anonymous blog commenter?  There is no relationship.  Why would that anonymous person have power over me?  


An anonymous commenter - or blogger - has no relationship with me, and thus has no power.  There are a few people in my life who can hurt me with their words.  I have given them love, and thus power.  (When this power is abused, the love is taken away.)

Until I have given you love or respect, you have no power over me.  I therefore care not what you say.  You may insult me under your real name or a fake name.  Either way, I don't care.

And why should I care?