Monday, July 8, 2013


I love the Internet.

When I joined the online world back in the days when I had a dial-
up connection, I thought of it in two ways.  It was a promotional
tool and a research resource for my writing.  Within a short time,
I added “personal expressions” and “social gatherings” to my first

I have made a great many friends online and reconnected with pals
I haven’t seen in decades.  Of late, I limit my online socializing
to my Facebook pages and a handful of mailing lists.  When I can’t
control troll infestation, I don’t hang around. 

When it comes to my own venues, I consider them my online houses.
I try to be a good host to my guests and I expect my guests to be
cognizant of and follow the house rules.  Some bristle at this in
the blatantly erroneous belief that, somehow, my pages are not my
pages, but their pages.  Uh-un.

This bloggy thing of mine covers a wide range of subjects, though
comic books remain its key focus.  I write about what I feel like
writing about and hope I do so in a manner that entertains and even
informs my readers.  I don’t ignore suggestions for bloggy things,
but I don’t always act on them.  This is my little soapbox and its
main objective will always be to please me. 

All comments to my bloggy thing must be approved by me before they
appear.  While I find the venom of anonymous cowards amusing, I’m
under no obligation to give them a public venue for their rantings.
I figure they can always start their own blogs if they must share
their pathetic tantrums with the world.

Sometimes I will cut off comments on an individual bloggy thing as
I did with “Dragon*Con Dies at the End.”  I approved all comments
to that post for a week and then ended the discussion.  Because not
one pro-Dragon Con poster had been able to convince me my positions
were wrong or even unfair and most of those who attempted to do so
were cherry-picking my comments and ignoring the comments for which
they had no defense.  I stopped approving comments that supported
my positions as well.  Just because I write about something on one
day doesn’t mean I have to continuing writing about it.  If I have
anything else to say about Dragon*Con, then maybe I’ll once again
approve comments on it.  Until then...not gonna happen.

What will happen is that I’ll continue to post new bloggy things on
as close to a daily schedule as I can manage and I’ll continue to
add bonus postings as time permits.  I hope my readers will enjoy
this free edification and entertainment.  I want my bloggy house to
be a welcoming stop on your online journeys.

My Facebook page has become my favorite online destination.  On any
given day, besides the usual plugs for my bloggy thing, I might be
posting a notice from the First Church of Godzilla, a link to some
comic strip involving comic books or kaiju, or a remembrance of a
beloved comics creator (and sometimes friend) who is no longer with
us.  The last of these is the most popular, though, surprisingly,
one such remembrance marked one of the first times I deleted a post
and un-friended someone for their behavior.

These remembrances are sort of like brief wakes for the deceased.
People who also knew these creators or their work comment on their
experiences with the creators or their work.  It’s a great way to
keep these creators in our thoughts, even if it’s only once a year.
It never occurred to me - until it happened - that some rude asshat
would post negative comments to one of these threads.  To me, it’s
like going to a wake and shouting your dislike of the deceased in
a room full of his or her relatives.

Schools should really teach Keeping Your Pie Hole Shut 101.  Just
because you can say something doesn’t mean you should or that you
have to say it.  When it comes to these remembrances, I’ll delete
negative comments.  If the commentator continues to make an ass of
himself or herself, then they get un-friended. 

I have had such posters claim that my un-friending them is an act
of cowardice.  I see that as further proof that they are ignorant
of basic etiquette.  I have close to 5000 Facebook friends, which
means I have to be selective in who I add to that group.  Why would
I keep someone in the group who annoys me?  Again, it’s my page and
not theirs.  They have no inherent right to be on my friends list
and I have absolutely no obligation to keep them there. 

I don’t invite people who annoy me to my house.  If someone who is
already at my house behaves in an annoying or rude manner, then I
ask them to leave.  As a host who strives to be a good host, I can
and do insist that my guests behave in a manner acceptable to me.
If they want to attempt to annoy me further, they’ll have to take
it elsewhere, though, in truth, I probably won’t see it.  I don’t
go looking for things that might annoy me and I don’t take the bait
when someone tries to direct me to such things.

This brings us to the impetus for today’s bloggy thing: my naming
some of my Facebook posts as NO COMMENT ZONES. 
Most of my friends get this.  A sad few get all imperious, again
forgetting whose page we’re talking about here.

I rarely write about politics these days in sad recognition that I
can’t convince those who embrace the lies and deceit of Fox News,
the Republican Party and the Tea Party to embrace facts and logic,
to consider who the positions of so-called conservatives actually
benefit and to likewise consider who is harmed by those positions.
However, a few times a week, when I come across some news story or
opinion piece I find particularly interesting or on target, I will
post a link to it on my Facebook page and designate the post to be

Experience with online interaction has taught me such posts attract
asshats.  Even when a comment thread starts out in a polite manner,
I know it will soon deteriorate into the kind of bile one finds on
Fox News and in other so-called conservative venues.  I wish that
I could say the comments are the sole providence of the wrong wing,
but some of my brethren on the left have been known to act out as
well.  Sigh.

I designate these posts as NO COMMENT ZONES because I
have no wish to police these comment threads.  I have a full life
and it doesn’t allow time for me to coddle petulant creeps.  A NO
COMMENT ZONE is exactly that...a post in which no one, whether
they agree with my beliefs or not, gets to comment.  If you post a
comment, I delete it as soon as I see it.  If you’re a jerk about it, you
will likely be un-friended by me.  If you don’t like the policy, you are
always free and, indeed, encouraged, to un-friend me.

My Facebook page is MY Facebook page and not yours.  I would have
thought such a basic concept would be understandable to all.  But,
apparently, some very few people figure that because my posts also
appear on their news feed - because they requested I accept them as
Facebook friends and because I accepted them - they should have a
say in how I use my Facebook page.  Uh-un.

Facebook is full of choices.  You can accept a friend request, you
can refuse a friend request.  You can like a page, you can not like
a page.  You can comment, you can not comment.  You can play a game
on Facebook, you can find such things a waste of time...and so on
and so one.  Choices.  Lots of them.

When it comes to my Facebook page and something you don’t like on
it, you have exactly two viable choices.  You can un-friend me so
that I don’t darken your news feed or you can just ignore whatever
I do that you don’t like and enjoy the parts of my page that you do
like.  Two viable choices.

Bitching about my policies isn’t a viable choice.  All you’re doing
is putting yourself on a path to be un-friended.  Because I don’t
have time for your bitching. 

I try to be a good host in the venues I operate.  I expect you to
be a good guest.  It’s that simple.

I love the Internet.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.    

© 2013 Tony Isabella

1 comment:

  1. It's one thing to have a constant foil who challenges your thinking by seeing the other side. It's another to face constant rudeness, baiting or trolling. Blocking is a nice feature Facebook gives us, so use it well and use it as often as needed. :)