Your chance to explain what’s so scary to you that you have to hide your identities behind a mask while hurling oh-so-brave insults. (possible enshrinement of your cerebrally challenged remarks in google for all time?)
The New York Times super-smart web culture columnist Virginia Heffernan’s recent ruminations about the low standards, (e.g. the low I.Q.) of typical web commenters and their frequent self-congratulatory ignorance and stupidity, while capturing some truths about them, left out one aspect of the problem — the source, the cause of the domination by dimwits: anonymity.
I just can’t believe that the average human being is as creepily vicious as the average commenter. And the reason can be found in something a close reading of Virginia’s column discloses: all her examples of idiot commenters were anonymous and used screen names. Anonymity allows the the inner thug and thick-head to emerge with no fear of being shamed or embarrassed by their ugly deficiencies. They can be low brow creeps and not get caught. It’s why bank robbers wear masks. Of course not all the most moronic are anonymous; some are too stupid to know how stupid they appear and so proudly affix their real names to their lame remarks. But in general I think if you administered an IQ test the anonymous would score significantly lower. They’re the special ed class of blogging. Like monkeys in a cage they seem to be unaware that there are other ways of expressing their views than throwing feces.
And by the way, as I’ve said before, this goes for both liberal and conservative commenters who seem to try to outdo each other in their embarrassing display of intellectual impotence. They are what H.L*. Mencken called “the booboisie”.
Recently an editor at a well-known publishing house said he was putting together an anthology of what he described as new threats to liberty and asked if there was something I’d like to contribute.