Friday, August 15, 2003

Some People Are Just Incapable of Civilized Discourse

That's the conclusion I have been forced to accept regarding one of my frequent commentors.

I had the early Mass this morning at my parish, so I thought after Mass I'd put up a nice little blog on Our Lady's Assumption. Well, I checked my e-mail and the comments to my blog, and I discovered that since yesterday afternoon, when I had last checked the comments to Tuesday's blog, this commentor had spewn his poisonous bile all over my comments box, in a manner and amount unprecedented even for him. Evidently he had discovered in his soul some heretofore untapped suppurating pustule and decided that my blog was the place to lance it.

This blog is something I do in my spare time, because I enjoy writing and debating about events and ideas. I have a comments box because I am genuinely interested to see my readers' reactions to my writing. But I have neither the time nor inclination to check my comments every few hours to make sure that no one is being boorish or offensive.

I have been exceptionally tolerant and forbearing of this commentor's offensive conduct up till now. I merely warned him when he monopolized comments threads with his lengthy diatribes, extending through 3 and even 4 succesive comments boxes. I endured his idée-fixe upon the Pope, and his attempts to turn almost any topic into a ride on that favorite hobby-horse of his. I have endured his disruptions of perfectly good conversations with irrelevant interjections. I have even put up with personal insults directed at me and other bloggers and commentors.

But when this person, in the space of a few hours, contrives to abuse another commentor with mockery and derision, make snide and bitchy speculations about the Pope's sexual orientation, insult a friend and fellow blogger and make obnoxious remarks about his marriage, the line has most definitely been crossed. I won't tolerate such outrageous conduct. That it comes from someone who has on numerous occasions persumed to instruct us on what the Christian faith really means is simply grotesque.

I have rarely banned commentors, in fact I have only done so twice in the year or so I have had this blog. If you want to disagree with me; tell me I'm wrong: fine, go right ahead. I'll even put up with a fair amount of personal abuse. I only banned those other commentors for the most egregious behavior. And, in my view, this latest episode falls into the category of egregious. So he is gone, and he'll never come back. I'll make sure of that. (I discovered, in the process of banning my poisonous commentor, that he is using no less than 13 different IP addresses and 3 different e-mail addresses to spew his bile from. Here's some advice to him: Get a life!) If he wants a place to spew his venom, he can get his own blog.

I thought of deleting the offending comments, but I won't, at least for now. I want people to see and know the measure of the man, and why I banned him.

I apologize to Christine and to Mark Shea, and any other reader who has been offended or insulted by that poisonous little man.