Love, Anonymous

November 11, 2009

When you put yourself out there on a blog, you’re bound to have people disagree with you.

When people somehow think your blog is supposed to be funny, insightful, spiritual, or of any worth whatsoever, you’re bound to get people who think the exact opposite.

I’ve always made a policy to welcome all comments, be they good or bad. And for the most part, I have very courteous readers and commentors. Most of the comments that happen to be negative are still civil. A few readers even go to the effort to send me a private email rather than berate me in public.

However, there are plenty of blogs who get the business from hate mailers far more than me. Last week, Matthew Paul Turner and Pete Wilson both experienced huge firestorms lit by one [constructive] comment. As I’ve been a longtime reader of these blogs, I’ve noticed there is an art form to the hate mail. It takes just the right ingredients to make a perfect comment to bring a blogger down.

I find encouragement, laughter, and insight in many comments, but I am truly fascinated by the commentors who oppose me (or whatever blog I’m reading.) They always result in a moment of self-reflection. I often wish I got more hate mail. Seems like it would validate me, like I’m being persecuted.

I’d like to help you write the perfect comment to the blogger you love to hate.

Five Steps to Perfect Blog Hate Mail

Get rid of your avatar.
The greatest among hate commentors are the anonymous ones. They are the Santa Clauses of blogging. They fly by night across the blogosphere to leave their gifts on strangers’ websites, and slip away in a magical sleigh with no way of being found out. Make sure you acknowledge that, yes, you are commenting anonymously, because you don’t need the credit for your amazing comment.

Tell them they aren’t funny.
That’s the first thing you want to establish. Assume the blogger is trying really hard to be funny, has literally spent hours trying to write a joke, just for your benefit, then heckle them. Heckle them like a 3rd grader at a school talent show. Whatever the joke is, you don’t get it. And you don’t want to. Demean the blogger’s humor as childish or amateur.

For the record, I have never said I am funny, nor do I think I’m funny. So if you don’t think I’m funny, welcome to the club, President: me.

Tell them they’re not supposed to be funny.
Sadly, while all true Christians have experienced baptism, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and a perfectly sanctifying cleansing from a sense of humor, there are many carnal Christians who still engage in such debauchery as laughter.

This is a classic tactic for Christian hate mailers. If a Christian blogger ever writes anything slightly chuckle-worthy, or God forbid, pokes fun at anyone, tell them their ‘humor’ is making all of us look bad. Christians should all be in love with each other because Christ never made fun of wolves in sheep’s clothing, or people who acted ridiculously in his name.*

*The idea that Christ had a sense of humor is a lie. A dirty lie. And the idea that our Lord had a sense of sarcasm is blasphemous. Sarcasm is the lowest form of humor, crafted in the bowels of hell itself, reserved for drunkards, card players, and others who will not inherit the Kingdom.

You can totally shame Christian bloggers by telling them that their reckless use of the internet is surely killing the image Christians have in the world.

Please read the following list and tell me which one makes the culprits look the worst:

Dog fighting
George Lopez
Taking candy from babies
Poking fun at Joel Osteen on a blog
Joel Osteen

Ouch. Obviously, we Christians better clean up our comedy act if we don’t want to have an image problem.

Tell them they should be praying.
This is the compliment to the previous step. As a commentor, you should imply that you are somehow more spiritual than the blogger who is wasting his time by blogging about a problem or person, rather than praying.

It takes a bit of a leap in logic to go there, but you can do it. I believe in you.

First, you must assume that the blogger is certainly not praying for the person or problem they are blogging about.

Second, you must, of course, have the spiritual gift of prayer…while simultaneously visiting strangers’ personal websites and taking the time to voice your opinion on their humor, opinions and spirituality.

Make sure to make the comment public.
While I appreciate the constructive comments that come to me via email, it is far from ideal. That’s much too in line with Paul’s words about confronting the brother among you in private first. The blogger needs to know you care about their soul enough to make your comment in front of everyone.

What steps would you add? What were some memorable comments you witnessed around the blogosphere? And hey, if you’ve got a beef with me, now’s the time, since I’ve given you the perfect formula!