All regular readers know that, while I love blogging, there are a few things, a few comment thread events, that tick me off pretty fast.
There's the first-timer's "Nice post; see my blog, here's a link" comment, the first-timers who on the basis of one post make sweeping comments about the entire blog, the "That's refuted in (link) this post" comments who don't themselves engage the post, the "My dog smells bad; what do you think about that?" (i.e. wildly off-topic) comments, the broken-record (i.e. everything is about their pet-subject) comments.
But those are all fairly minor. Here's probably the two that bug me the most. Don't tell anyone, I'm sure no one suspects it. (Rolls eyes.)
The first is the "I don't really want to discuss the content of your post, but I demand you answer this tangential question" comment, and the second is the "I insist that I have thoroughly studied every syllable and punctuation-mark of your post, but I demand that you answer this question (which will require you in effect to re-write your post, because you already did answer it)."
I mention this today because I expect to get some on the Pyro post I just published. Few topics bring out these two sorts of comments like talking about Da Gifts.
I would wildly theorize that it is because charismatic-types attribute an excessively high value to their feelings, and an excessively low value to careful reading and analytical thought. So they (it seems) glance at an opposing post, react "Oh! this criticizes what I know in my heart to be true about The Gifts®! Here's my boilerplate response for when someone does that! Nothing will pry my fingers from that response, which gives me comfort and assurance!"
Both responses have in common a refusal to read the post. It is the sort of thing that does make me look out the window at the ledge, and ponder. I think you'd have to be a writer, and particularly a writer who tries to be a careful and clear and exact writer, to feel how that feels. It makes me think, "Why did I bother writing that? All that time, studying and thinking and picking the right words... why? I might as well have posted 'Bibble babble bop.' I might as well have told about the time I was fly-fishing and caught a bat. Why? Why?"
Similar is the other commenter, the "Here's my tangential question" person. You want to say, "Look, I know my post doesn't interest everyone. Really, I'm okay with that. But it does interest some people. Not you — I get that, and that's okay with me. Why can't it be okay with you? Just... get a hobby or something. Wait for a topic that does interest you to come up. This one was kinda important to me, so... dig in, or move on, and no hard feelings. Okay?"
Yeah, but it's never okay with this reader. I did a (still-unfinished) series about the sufficiency of Scripture at Pyro, and was plagued with a couple in particular who would not discuss the actual post contents, but insisted that I interpret their experience for them. Which was kind of the point of the posts... but they would not make that connection. Would. Not. No matter what I said. Sigh. The ledge... it beckons....
Well, I write all that while letting comments pile up at today's post, unread. I suppose I'd better go back and see what's happening.
Though I think I know.