ways to suffer on the internet

There are two kinds of ways to suffer on the Internet: through direct and silent censure. Direct censure because of an unflattering assessment of a writer’s work (but often person) occurring in comment streams or in counter-blogs, resulting in a troll-like awfulness that is the Way of the Internet... Blog conflict is great fun for anyone not personally involved, yet this kind of easy entertainment doesn’t do the community any good, for the lesson is that a negative review brings a heavy price: retorts an editor would never print and a consequent dumbing-down of literary debate. Insult comedy is a lower form of criticism, trading on wit only, and though it is a mode of the truth, it excludes the worth of the opponent, preferring to focus only on the opponent’s vulnerabilities. Blogs pander to the worst in us. To the most vicious and cutthroat aggressors go the spoils.

- Shane Neilson, gathering up some spoils in response to Jacob Mooney's blogging resignation letter from earlier this week. You can read Shane's whole reply here.

All this blogging back and forth (sorry, writing "Specials to the National Post"... there's a big difference, right?) about how blogging is dead is starting to blow my mind. Can't we just call the NP Books section the new Bookninja and move on, already?

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