Tuesday, February 05, 2008

To the Naysayers, The Bloga Haters

Boy, am I ever relieved! I thought I was the only blogger/columnist in town who got hate mail. Now I see that the Indy's Starshine Roshell gets it as well.

Yes, misery does love company, and have I ever found a soulmate. Starshine, I always knew we had something in common. Santa Barbara is no longer a lonely planet for me!

I take a lot of consolation from the fact that Starshine gets those nasty missives too. After all, she is not only a much better writer than I am, she's also much better looking too. (That picture of Starshine that accompanies her column ought to be the ultimate hate mail firewall.) The feeling is kind of like when the smartest kid in your class gets sent to detention. Look who joined The Breakfast Club!

Let me share with Starshine, and the rest of you out there, my philosophy about getting nasty e-mail and being the target of comments posted on other blogs that are rude and crude.

First; as Rush Limbaugh says, "don't confuse your callers with your listeners." (And yes, this is probably the only time you will ever see me quote Rush Limbaugh with approval.)

In my case that translates to don't confuse your detractors with your readers. Readers read and cranks insult. I know the difference between the two.

Second; in the history of television no show has ever been cancelled because a critic didn't like it.

TV shows get cancelled because viewers don't watch them not because a selected few people don't like them. If the opinions of TV critics counted Jerry Springer would have been yanked off the air long ago. If the opinions of letter writers mattered T.J. Simers' column would have disappeared from page two of The L.A. Times sports section sometime late in the last century.

When people stop reading me, I think I'll know. Until then, I'm here to stay.

Lastly, if I don't know you from Adam, your opinion doesn't count for Jack.

Actually most of my hate mail comes from a single source, someone named "Anonymous." You may not like what I have to say but at least I put my own name on it every day. What's your excuse?

Seriously, the criticism of people I know and respect gets taken to heart, as does respectful disagreement from strangers. The barbs and insults of someone hiding behind some handle gets dropped faster than a cell phone call in Montecito.

There you have it, the three simple rules I read my hate mail by.

And unlike Starshine, I've chosen not to quote any examples from the mail I receive. After all, as far as I know, all of the senders are unpublished writers, and I intend to keep it that way.

Return to top of page       E-Mail Me       Print This Page