Rude and Entitled Assholes

As much as I rant and talk about idiots, there are some things I would never do, mainly because I have a decent upbringing, which instilled in me a basic respect for other people’s feelings.

One of the things I would never do is to go into someone’s personal website and send him a message that his site (or he) is boring and useless and bland. The idea of intentionally hurting the feelings of someone just because he runs his own website and I don’t like the content (or his life) is just completely foreign to me. What right do I have to criticize someone’s free content, which I was not forced to read, particularly when the whole point of the site is to be a journal or expresssion of his thoughts?

It would be different if I were arguing about an issue. But unless the website in question has a message so repulsive that it’s designed to provoke a response (a Klansman’s personal site, for example), I usually respond either with praise or not at all. I limit my personal attacks to people with really offensive messages and to public figures.

I would never include a link which said “look at this stupid guy’s web journal” despite all the inane material availble online. Why bother? That person is saying what he wants to say, and no one’s forcing me to read it. He probably isn’t aiming his content at me anyway. To write him and say “your life sucks” or “write about someting interesting” is just plain rude; it shows ill-breeding and a complete lack of respect for other people in general.

And then there are the sorts who write to me, say about this site, and offer comments like “I can’t believe you didn’t include Joe’s Market in Passaic. How could you do such sloppy work?” I sometimes invite these people to go fuck themselves with the neon from Joe’s sign. More frequently, I ask them to provide the URL of THEIR great, well-researched body of work and I also offer a gentle reminder that I have a life, and that only a certain portion of it is actually dedicated to providing them with free entertainment. Funny, but they rarely respond.

These things roll off me pretty easily; I’ve been dealing with idiots and assholes for years, my all-time favorite being the one who informed me somewhat forcefully that I needed to stop including pictures of myself where I happened to be smoking. Imagine my response. But I’m always amazed at the sheer audacity of someone trying to tell me what I ought or oughtn’t say in my own web journal, particularly since they’re often too chickenshit to include a valid return address.