Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Bit Of A Vent

A little background: as most of my readers are aware, I am an occasional contributor to Pajiba, a pop-culture site. Originally the site only did movie reviews, but recently has expanded its coverage to music, books, and other assorted subjects. One of the things I like about the site is how well they treat their commenters: regardless of consensus or even subject matter, they all get a chance at shining. I should know, since I got my gig there by starting as a commenter. So it is reasonable to assume that I may be a bit defensive of the comments section and the nonsense therein.

There is a contingent of site visitors that only come for the reviews, and deign to participate in the less serious posts on the site. They rarely bother to comment positively or negatively, and that is fine by me. Live and let live.

Unfortunately there is one particular commenter, the aptly-self-titled pissant, who has decided to make it his or her personal mission to 'convince' (read: bully and pester) the site runners to only do reviews. This person feels that the non-review posts (especially the more gossip-oriented Pajiba Love) are akin to making the site TMZ2 (which just proves that this person has not actually hung around TMZ for a decent length of time). This in and of itself is not the reason I am venting.

No, the reason I am angry is this:

So many comments for this. If you will, a story:

In college, I lived in a house with three other guys. Friends were constantly over and partying. Naturally, someone had puked in the yard. One day, a strange dog came into the yard while we were sitting on the porch. He proceeded to eat the vomit, hang out for a bit, and then take a shit in our yard.

That is how I view EE. And, no, I'm not trying to get in on it.

I simply have too much to say, and I don't want to disrespect the other commenters or the post writers by taking up their space (and I definitely don't want they to have to deal with my superlong rant in their mailboxes), so I am posting it here. Feel free to do what you will with it, I just really got to do this.

Let me give you a hypothetical scenario.

Say there is this couple. Been together for some time now. They are quite comfortable with each other. Then, one of them begins to change. Now, they still have those lovable qualities, but they seemed to have adapted some new aspects. Now while others find these habits endearing, the person's significant other hates them and constantly demands that their loved one changes back to the person they believe they knew. Now the person changing, they acknowledge that they aren't the same anymore, but they respectfully decline, having gotten used to their new form sand their new popularity.

The significant otehr just cannot comprehend why someone they love so much refuses to do what they say and stay the same way, and they refuse to accept any of the changes. As far as they are concerned, the only person worth loving was the old version. Yet they still stay with this person, convinced that they can make them change back, often insulting their new look or their friends, and considering the person they once loved beneath them. They start to feel like they are doing this relationship a favor by staying around, until their loved one gets it through their thick skull that only their opinion matters.

Now, tell me: does that sound like a healthy relationship?

It doesn't to me. Neither person is happy, and it seems like one's sole duty is to make the other one miserable enough to capitulate. That isn't my definition of a loving relationship.

I get that you are displeased with the site, but you are doing nobody favors with the insults. Really, all you are doing is hardening the site even further against you.

And you are really underestimating how essential the comment section and the resulting posts really are. You claim to appreciate the music and book reviews, but you ignore the fact that, if not for the commenters (and Pajiba's willingness to experiment), those wouldn't even be there. The book reviews came from two popular and (at least for one) beloved commenters. The music reviews are the result of another frequent commenter, and all of them indulged in those silly diversions you so hate. For you to spit in their collective faces is really offensive.

And that is what you are doing: spitting in their faces. Yeah, the site isn't perfect. Yes, the commenters go off on ridiculous tangents and potty humor. But that is how the site is now. It has changed, and it is increasingly likely that it isn't going back. So your little snide remarks and complaining is doing nothing but spreading bad feelings around. I hope that is not your intention. If you really feel that you cannot accept the changes, or adjust to them, then maybe it is time to move on and find a site more to your liking.

Oh, before I forget, I know quite often people like to throw the "freedom of speech" or "if you don't like my comment, don't read it" defense, so just in case:

First off, freedom of speech is from the government. They can't tell you to shut up and go away. But regular citizens, acting in their own behalf, have that ability. I consider it highly ironic that you desire to curtail the very mechanism (the freeform comments section) that allows you to express your opinions.

Second, people can disagree without being disagreeable. My irritation is not because I disagree, but stems from the implicit disdain and demeaning attitude with which you post. You may take it as a personal attack, but seeing as I don't even know you beyond your comments, I wouldn't mean it as such.

Third, and final, the internet is a big place; if you really want to say what you want without people confronting you about it, I suggest you get a blog and shut off the comments.

For everyone else, thank you for indulging me.

9 brain pickings:

  1. Brilliant, V.
    This individual about whom you have written is a major irritant for almost any of us who love and worship at the Great Temple of the Godtopus.
    That said, it's ironic that this pissant would be moaning about the "change in direction". I have archive pages from Pajiba's very earliest days which prove beyond doubt that Pajiba BEGAN as a website that reviewed not only movies but books, music and yes... even politics. In fact, there was a LOT of political news and analysis.
    I have never met one Pajiban but consider the staff, Eloquents, lurkers and even the doofs (like me) part of a big, weird, eccentric and highly entertaining family.
    To those who would try to pee in my post toasties, cream in my corn or (insert other disgusting metaphor here) I say "Fie on thee and a plague on both thy houses... ya summabitch."
    Keep rockin' it, Vermillion.

  2. V -

    You're too kind, and I really appreciate this post, man. I don't really understand the dude -- he's been making the same complaint now at least since last October. If he hates us so much, I don't know why he chooses to stick around.

    Also, we feature more reviews than ever before! We just feature a lot of other stuff, too. But there is a nice little tab that allows one to bookmark only the movie review page, if one didn't want to be exposed to the other stuff.

    But the most upsetting irony about "pissant" is that he's not just a random asshole. Though I don't know him personally, he's from my hometown and is friends with Phillip, which somehow makes it all the more obnoxious.

    Anyway, thanks for voicing what many of us have been feeling about the guy.


    - Dustin

  3. Well said.

    I'm mostly surprised the Jiba hasn't been swarmed by chumps by now to the point that the community centre feel of it has soured. Perhaps that oft lamented 'EloquentEnvy' has done us some favors? I don't know...I want to share but I don't want it ruined. How selfish is that?

    I can only wonder what the draw is for guys like this, and like our other former constant reader...and there's a little twerp called Case that has enraged me far more than anyone I've yet encountered online. But luckily, they are the rarity. I'm so overjoyed when the comments glide ever so gently past this type of whingey, no-adding, all crampy drivel.

    I've been surfing around since '91 and I've never seen anything like the Jiba. Love it, warts and all.

  4. Lovely, Vermillion. Well said. This person is a serious jackhole, and honestly, I don't see how he thinks that making everyone on the site- owners, writers, and commenters alike- dislike him to this extent is helping his cause. It's just bizarre.

    Well, whatev. Honestly, I love Pajiba, and will continue to read it no matter what changes are made; for how can a relationship grow if change is met with resistance? Although I've never been a fan of change in theory, in reality, I embrace it. It's what keeps life interesting and challenging. If others can't do that, well, too bad for them. I'll just continue to ignore his comments, and enjoy everyone else.

  5. V,
    That was incredibly well said. That person was being a bloody prick. I don't know what 'jiba was before I got there but I can't imagine it being anything else. It truly is a fantastic site (case in point, Dustin has commented here).

  6. Very awesome, and well said. I hate that little pissant. Oh hey I see what I did there.


  7. What a thoughtful response to an unwarranted attack by an appropriately-named jerk.

    Hats off to you, sir.

  8. How odd. Godtopus did bestow upon us the magical option to NOT READ the stuff you don't like. I have been known to exercise this, as I just can't keep up with all the comments and everything. But that is why I adore EE, it keeps me up to date on the best stuff I missed! Beautifully written, Vermillion, and I am 100% on your side on this one.

    And now I think I need to go catch up on yesterday's EE... yay!


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